Joanne John and her small family immigrated to Canada from Trinidad and Tobago and settled in Ottawa, where she spent subsequent years establishing a career, raising a family, and becoming an active member of her community.
Recognized as an expert in the field of federal government Communications, Joanne provided strategic advice to department Heads and Ministers, on key issues facing Canadians. Her role involved moments of pure excitement and intrigue, like standing atop a nuclear reactor, unintentionally crashing planes in an aircraft simulator, touring maximum-security prisons, boarding a coast guard research vessel, and co-producing a popular television show. There were also periods of despair, like the morning she informed the President of her agency that someone had crashed planes into a building in New York City, where staff were attending a conference. Or when she faced a banquet hall full of nervous employees with the message that government austerity measures meant many would lose their jobs. To navigate through these issues, Joanne called upon her natural capacity to sympathize and empathize with the joys and sorrows that make up the human experience, as well as her action-oriented approach to reaching consensus, resolving conflict and finding solutions.
Joanne has also been as active member of her community, as a University of Ottawa radio co-host, Chair of the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s Advisory Council on Equity, and past member of TV Ontario’s Advisory Council. She has tutored adults to read and write and is currently working to develop a program for women that aims to successfully reintegrate ex-offenders into society, shelter the unhoused and provide refuge for victims of domestic abuse.
She is well versed in managing issues as they related to equity, diversity and inclusion, frequently drawing from her lived experience as a woman of colour who “started as a bus boy and bought the restaurant.”
In 2016, Joanne was contracted through the Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO), to work with the Association of Honduran Municipalities to restructure its communications function, develop internal and external communications strategies, and enhance the leadership skills of senior management. In 2022, CESO once again assigned Joanne to work with High Bar First Nation in British Columbia to develop of a communications strategy.
Joanne is a certified coach.
Now retired from her “day job” Joanne splits her time between Ottawa and Tobago, where she spends her time coaching, volunteering, and writing.
Joanne is a playwright. Her second and most recent play “Puzzles”, a family drama, was featured at the 2022 Ottawa Fringe Festival and has recently been nominated for 4 Prix Rideau Awards, including Best New Creation.
Joanne holds a Bachelor of Arts (English Literature) from Carleton University and a Diploma in Journalism (Print and Broadcasting) from the Algonquin College (Ottawa, Canada). She has two sons, a dog named Calypso and a boss cat named Bucky.
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