A photographer I am NOT. I was a Fine Arts major at University and theatre has been in my blood since I was a young teen, but it wasn't something that my family took seriously, and in all fairness, there wasn't a great job market for thespians in Saskatchewan:) My Dad once asked me what I would actually be qualified to do when I completed school- "wash a bus?". Tanya with her father at age 2: "I left school and worked for the Justice Department for 15 years, 11 of those as an Investigator. It was stressful work and I felt disconnected from creativity so I took on the part time SPPA position in an effort to at least be in touch with creative people. In 2000, the previous PPOC Executive Director resigned and this presented me with a new opportunity. I had already been actively looking for other work - I was burnt out in my career as an Investigator - I could never make people happy in that job. I had been dating a man from Ontario (member, Nelson Simard, to whom I am now married) and knew the position with PPOC could be done from anywhere in the country, which meant a chance to move closer to him. I had just finished renovating the home I was living in, which made it very salable, and, sadly, my Mother, who I had been living with and caring for throughout a severely debilitating illness, suddenly needed to be moved to a nursing home. My options were open, so I applied for the job. I likened my move to jumping out of a plane - I moved my mother into full-time care, sold the house, and moved to Woodstock with my two daughters in tow. I was smart enough to pack a parachute - I only took a one-year unpaid leave from my Government position to begin with, but as it turned out, I had no desire to return." Tanya Thompson: As executive director, what do I do? Hmmmm - what don't I do? I maintain membership records and track merits for awards. I ensure that regular updates are made to the PPOC website. I am the resource centre for PPOC members and for the public on all matters PPOC. If I can't answer a member's question, I will do my best to find someone who can. I coordinate travel for members of the PPOC Board and am present at their meetings to record the minutes and to offer background information and precedent on issues that may arise. I coordinate mailings and assist in the writing of material for Contact newsletter and am responsible for the ongoing email updates you receive from the PPOC Office. I talk to prospective members daily and encourage them to join the Association. I provide reports and mailing lists to various committee chairs throughout the country, as well we to our trade members. I look after all of the Association's bookkeeping. I do a lot of proofreading! It all sounds pretty trite, but we are currently staffing at 92 hours per week just to get the job done! My favorite part of the job is without a doubt, the members. I love getting to know them, learning who they are aside from their photography. I love to deliver good news about eligibility for an award or an accepted image. I love to help a member solve a problem, or to take advantage of a benefit they weren't making use of before." Tanya on stage: In my spare time, I'm an advocate for the elimination of violence against women, and have actively supported our own Women's Emergency Centre, performing the Vagina Monologues in four different years, and directing it once, to raise funds for our shelter. I'm an avid potter and secretly aspire to retire to a secluded location, with a wheel and and a kiln, and just while away the hours. I'm actively involved in community theatre and try to do at least one show per year - my last three have been musicals, and I've had a blast. I study voice with an opera singer from Toronto who comes to Woodstock weekly for lessons. I love to renovate, and with a 160 year-old home, that has been a good thing to love! I love to read and belong to a wonderful book club - we're about to embark on our 100th book as a group. I love to cook and I love my family. The combination results in a great many Sunday suppers at our home, usually with 13 of us at the table. That's when I'm happiest - surrounded by the people I love, enjoying a meal I've prepared. That just feels good." Tanya's latest pottery projects: If you have a member question or would like more information regarding your membership benefits, you can contact Tanya at the PPOC's national office at 1.519.537.2555.