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Work experience

2005Present

Founder and Community Manager

Ask Around
  • Identified opportunity, defined market niche and created business and marketing plans for unique online recommendation site. Built Ask Around into an established brand, new marketing channel and trusted local resource. 2,000+ members now share details on over 500 companies.

  • Recruited and managed technical resources for on-time, on-budget implementation of a robust online database delivering value to 10,000 local visitors each month.

  • Developed innovative marketing strategies encouraging users to contribute content. Achieved impressive traffic growth, opt-in rates and an outstanding 25% member engagement.

  • Built a community around the product and brand successfully combining print communications, public relations and face-to-face networking with extensive on-line social media campaigns. Attracted advertisers, collaborators and business partners for expansion.

  • Focused on customer interaction as a key part of a mixed marketing strategy, writing for blogs, e-mail newsletter, print marketing, local news media and twitter.

  • Administration and business functions including budgeting, finances and marketing analysis.

  • Built a strong business network via personal meetings, telephone contacts and social media.

  • Mentored, coached and supported other entrepreneurs through local business organisations as part of a personal commitment to business and community building.

20012003

Team Leader

Pre-school Business
  • Leadership for a broad team of stakeholders to create strong working relationships and a sought-after business in a sensitive political and cultural context.
  • Building and maintenance of trusting relationships and participation among demanding clients
  • Hiring five culturally diverse staff, building network of  local businesses and reaching break-even cash-flow within first year 
  • Research, writing and presentation of second stage expansion plan balancing the interests of wide stakeholder group
  • Coach and business mentor to businesses and artisans in a series of personal projects as a further contribution to the local community

Education

1998Present

MBA

University of Ottawa

Quantitative Analysis

Financial and Management Accounting

Corporate Finance

Micro-Economics

Human Resourses

Public Sector Relationships

Marketing

Feb 2000Jun 2001

Masters of Business Administration

Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
  • Over 100 business interviews for research project into Success Factors for Township Businesses
  • Company analysis assignment revealed financial pitfalls and possibilities for well-known local business
  • Economics projects used international financial data to track and predict value of local currency

Portfolio

Ask Around in Canada

Personal Projects and Community Involvement

South Channel Association                                                                                                                        2006 - 

Georgian Bay, Canada                                                                                                                      

Invited onto executive to help this water-based community association manage membership and improve marketing.

Market Finders Investment Club                                                                                                                1997 to 2009

Ottawa, Canada   

  • Co-Founder and Treasurer of unique financial investment tool for international workers
  • Responsibility for a large 20 member asset pool. Development and maintenance of a customized financial reporting system

Entrepreneur and Designer                                                                                                                        1992 to 1998Ottawa, Canada

  • Led a team of volunteers to organize three brand new business promotion events
  • Built a free-lance practice from scratch providing design resources for 2 manufacturing clients 

Small Enterprise Consultant and Project Coordinator                                                                         1987 to 1991Care International, Sri Lanka

  • Planning and implementation of construction training for 2,000 youth in war-affected Jaffna peninsula. Secured US$400,000 in Norwegian Government funding
  • Resurrected a politically sensitive training and commercial credit project for local entrepreneurs

Expertise

  • Business Research and Competitive Analysis
  • Writing and Editing
  • Prospecting and Cold Calling
  • Online and Face-to-Face Networking
  • Administration and Management
  • Customer-focused Service
  • Financial Planning and Reporting
  • Web 2.0 Marketing
  • Online and Offline Communications
  • Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Strategic Partnerships

Profile

"Businesses that build communities are fascinating entrepreneurial adventures"

Focused and enthusiastic communicator building brands using traditional media and online networks.  Community builder with unique business skills and international experience.  Seasoned, respected entrepreneur with many years experience guiding businesses to success. Creative and innovative marketer with a philosophy of continuous improvement, energized by teamwork and results.  MBA graduate with proven marketing, administrative, negotiation and networking skills.