Dec. 15, 2003: Mother of three keeps priorities straight

      Monday, Dec. 15, 2003
      Contact: Shelley Kean
      Tel: 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—This year’s Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal winner at Capilano College has lifelong learning down to an art.

      “For fifteen years I was the chief company negotiator for our family business that employed more than 500 people,” says Connie Smith, who was born and raised on the North Shore. “Eventually, I grew tired of the adversarial nature of labour relations, but I realized I had enjoyed working with the company’s lawyers on purchase and sale agreements, leases, or service contracts.

      “I was almost horrified to discover that I took pleasure in the minutiae of details,” she adds.

      With this revelation in hand, Connie decided to pursue a career in the legal field.

      “The Paralegal program, which is two years in length, was too long for me to be unemployed,” she explains. “But the Legal Secretarial program was nine months, had an excellent reputation, and could be used as a stepping stone to becoming a paralegal.”

      She was accepted into the program and within two weeks of its completion, Connie was offered a job with a local law firm. She was selected as this year’s winner of the Lt. Governor’s Silver medal based upon her scholastic achievement and contributions to the community. The award was presented to her at fall convocation held at the College on Nov. 19.

      “Connie’s leadership and diplomatic skills were demonstrated throughout the school term,” says program coordinator, Diane Blaney. “How she managed to find time to balance her home life with a hectic college schedule and maintain a perfect 4.33 GPA is totally beyond me.”

      Connie spent time last year as an assistant Brownie leader and also co-managed her daughter’s ice hockey team.

      “Never mistake a career for a life,” she says. “My husband and I have three great children, three large dogs, three cats, a guinea pig and some fish. I enjoy taking my dogs out in the woods and exploring the trails – even after almost 30 years of hiking on the North Shore there are still new places to find.

      “I enjoy an ongoing battle with the weeds in my garden,” she explains, “and in the summer, my family enjoys camping, although we never seem to go as often as we’d like.”

      As she begins her new career, Connie still keeps one eye on the future.

      “I have been accepted into the part-time Paralegal program that starts in January at Capilano College,” she says, adding, “and so, the learning continues.”


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      For more information, please call Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596.