Executive Director honoured with leadership award – Fishfarmer Magazine

Executive Director honoured with leadership award09 June, 2010 –

BC Salmon Farmers Association Executive Director Mary Ellen Walling has been honoured by her local business community with the non-profit business leader of the year award, granted this weekend.

The award was part of the annual Business Awards of Distinction event hosted by the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce.

“It feels great to be recognized by the community that I live and work with each day,” said Walling about the award.

Walling, a long -time resident of the coast, was first introduced to the salmon farming industry while working as Director of Industry Training and Community Development at North Island College. While there she helped develop a training program for the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation resulting from an agreement they signed with Marine Harvest Canada.

In 2002, she took on the role of Executive Director with the BCSFA – and has moved the industry forward a long way in her eight years of service.

“Salmon farmers are always looking at ways to improve their operations – and that’s something that’s been helped by increased transparency, co-operation and communication with the public,” said Walling.

Walling has also volunteered with many community organizations, such as Comox Strathcona Community Futures, Mid-Island Science, Technology Innovation Council and Rivercorp. While salmon farming business can keep her busy across the country and the world, Walling always keeps the local area in mind. For example, her presentation last year to a soy farmers’ association in the southern United States inspired them to host their AGM here in Campbell River in 2010.

“Campbell River is the hub of the country’s salmon-farming industry and we’re proud of our connection to this community,” said Walling.

Her collaborative approach, proactive communication and innovative spirit were all recognized in letters by her nominators.

The association extends its congratulations to all of the nominees, finalists and winners for the 2010 Business Awards of Distinction.