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Thank you for stopping by!

So you want to know the longer story?  Okay, then 🙂

 

In my past life I was a county health inspector – you know the kind, where restaurant scores and inspection notes were sensationalized for ratings…but I digress.  Yeah, that kind of health inspector, except I mostly inspected septic systems.  Ewwww, right?

Not for me…getting paid to play in the dirt was awesome! To be fair, though, it was mostly inspecting the construction of the system before it was in use.

I loved meeting ordinary people who had no clue about the regulation process, educating them on the purpose behind the regulations and being their advocate to make sure their septic system was designed and constructed correctly and in compliance.

Being the Program Coordinator for many years, I made sure every aspect of the program ran smoothly, trained other inspectors, creatively solved difficult situations while adhering to the regulatory process and diffusing difficult conversations with property owners who were angry just having to deal with us.

I understood their point of view, that from a regulatory perspective, I essentially told them what to do on their property, when it had to be done by and how much it was going to cost.

As you can imagine, that didn’t always make me popular.

In this technical-oriented job I also did a lot of writing – land development proposal recommendations and presentations to elected officials, grant application and report writing to funding agencies, and educational materials for the public.  But even in college, I loved the researching and writing required for my Chemistry Minor.

I’m a natural writer, educator and innovative problem solver, and I thrive on finding win-win solutions, so from that perspective, I loved my job.  But, it wasn’t always easy and I know my personal relationships suffered.

Along the way, I discovered a fun and memorable way to apply personality styles to improve relationships – both personal and professional.  Getting certified as a trainer,   I began putting my skills into practice, recognizing peoples’ personality styles and communicating in their ‘language’.

It was amazing and rewarding to see people’s resistance melt, and you know what?  Those difficult conversations weren’t so difficult after all. They actually became fun!

And my writing improved immensely, too.

But being in that position you really have to develop thick skin because people don’t like the ‘regulator’ person, even if you are trying to enforce regulations and be their advocate at the same time.  So, after 20 years, it was time to switch gears and step into the regulatory consulting role.

When the buy local produce movement gathered steam with the USDA Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative in 2009, I put my regulatory knowledge to use in consulting, educating and writing about food safety regulations and practices, bridging the gap between on-farm good agricultural practices and retail food regulations.

I’m happier.  I’m still the educator, and advocate, problem solver and solution provider, but without the regulator/enforcer hat.  That is a win-win for me!

So now I help busy people in the local foods, produce food safety and public health spaces who need copywriting, consulting and training support so they can confidently get on with serving the people they were meant to serve.

pam

 


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