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The Regional - Fall 2011

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Welcome to The Regional!

Karen Follett, Knowledge Mobilization CoordinatorWelcome to the Fall 2011 edition of the Regional!

When I started with the Harris Centre three years ago, I remember being very confused at my first meeting by the onslaught of acronyms and strange terms. KMb, brokering, knowledge transfer, stakeholder, lay summary, Yaffle. Even my title seemed daunting: Knowledge Mobilization Coordinator.

So, how exactly was I supposed to coordinate the movement of knowledge? When you boil it down, my job is to connect the university with the rest of the province.

Thankfully, I soon got the hang of it and became fluent in "community engagement" speak and got to work on bringing Memorial expertise into Newfoundland and Labrador communities.

The thing I love most about my job is it's never boring. Some days I help a non-profit group enter their research needs into Yaffle, our online research database, and then help find a match for them at the university. Then there are the days I get to travel with researchers to a remote community in a twin otter airplane.

One of the most exciting ways I connect people is by bringing people together face-to-face through workshops and other events. I could open up my own travel agency with the knowledge I've gained in planning logistics with the Harris Centre. We bring Memorial faculty, staff and students into different regions and communities of the province to interact with community leaders and decision makers.

It's amazing what you learn and experience by leaving the university environment and going into a community to talk with residents about their real-world issues.

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Looking back: Community sees a future in resettlement past

Placentia BayTony Oxford is the Mayor of Cox’s Cove, a small community on Newfoundland and Labrador’s west coast. Cox’s Cove has a small, but stable economy thanks, in part, to a fish processing plant and a large mink farming operation.

Mr. Oxford himself is a jack of all trades—along with his municipal role, he’s a tourism operator, a contractor and a volunteer. Clearly, he’s a man who understands the importance of diversification.

In fact, he’s just embarked upon a new research project with Memorial that he believes has the potential to increase the economic diversification of his community.

Tourism is growing along Highway 440, the road leading into Cox’s Cove, and as Mr. Oxford explained, the community has a potential tourist attraction that very few towns in the province can offer—the resettled town of Brake’s Cove, a community that was resettled during the 1960s and is located just minutes from Cox’s Cove.

“You can walk there in 15 minutes,” explained Mr. Oxford. “There aren’t many places in the province where there’s an abandoned village so close to a living community.”

While there are still people who remember living in Brake’s Cove (Mr. Oxford’s wife spent the first eight years of her life there) there’s very little recorded or written information about the place. “We’ve got this abandoned village, but if you look at it you wonder what happened here, what was life like?” said Mr. Oxford.


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Back to our roots: cultural tourism development in Twillingate

Wilma HartmannIt might seem that online marketing has almost nothing to do with root cellars, but according to Wilma Hartmann, it’s not such a stretch.

As one of the founders of Applecore Interactive, a web-based branding company, and the new co-owner of the Anchor Inn Hotel and Suites in Twillingate, Ms. Hartmann understands how important it is to tell an authentic story—after all, good marketing is about helping consumers connect with a product or company.

Recently, the Harris Centre connected her with the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador to help her complete a research project about the root cellars of the Twillingate area.

She’s hoping that the research could contribute to an interactive root cellar map that visitors to the region could access through their smart phones.

“Marketing has taught me a few things, primarily that god and the devil both lie in the details,” chuckled Ms. Hartmann. “The hospitality industry is no different: the experience is created by attention to detail. Both entail creating memorable experiences.”


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Good Relationships, Good Business: An Interview with Luanne Snow

Luanne SnowLuanne Snow has entrepreneurship in her blood—her dad ran several small businesses while she was growing up, and by the age of fifteen she was part of the operation, keeping the ledgers balanced and doing the accounting.

These days, she’s still helping entrepreneurs.

As the Chief Operating Officer of the Mount Pearl Chamber of Commerce, Luanne is constantly on the alert for ways to help businesses, both large and small, in her city.

Along with offering business supports and networking opportunities, the chamber also encourages local businesses and municipalities to connect with each other to discuss key issues and opportunities.

Luanne’s interest in community involvement began with a contract position with the city of Mount Pearl. “It all got started in 1999. I started to work on a government grant with the city, through the seniors’ independence group. From there I joined the City’s marketing and promotions department,” she recalled.

“From there, I went to the Mt. Pearl Sport Alliance for five years,” she continued. “When I heard about the job at the Chamber of Commerce, a position that was so community group oriented, I thought it would be complementary to what I’d already been doing (and enjoying very much!). I loved the idea of continuing to work with community groups in Mount Pearl. Basically, it was a chance to take what I’d learned from the sports side, and apply it to a business organization.”


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