Mary Lynne West-Moynes
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MaryLynn West-Moynes, the new president of Georgian College, had
27 years in post-secondary education experience before she took on the highest position at Barrie's college. Even with all that experience, there's plenty to learn at Georgian. She stopped with GoodLife long enough to share a few of the things from her life that are helping her adapt to the new position and helped her get there in the first place.

1. More than 9 to 5
I have been described as a little bit of a workaholic but I prefer to describe it as that I get energy from work. Watching people come together and come up with a solution, that energy drives me. Once it is done we're able to step back and say ‘Wow' this actually got achieved.

2. A journey
I just finished my Ph.D. in Organizational Culture and Assessment in Leadership. It was a 10-year journey where I read a ton of research papers. So, in my mind, there is nothing better – usually during the holidays – than having some kind of fiction, usually a junky novel, and allowing myself to go to this place where there's a tragedy and it is resolved and everyone lives happily ever after. There's a comfort in knowing that in the end, for the most part, this is all going to work out.

3. Cooking Large
There is nothing better than having a party and cooking for a crowd. My husband often teases me: “What's wrong with having four people for dinner?” My friends are part of my extended family and what do you do? Families eat together.

4. Having A Blast
I've been to two Elton John concerts in the last two years – one at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton and one at the Oshawa General Motors Centre. I love all kinds of music and it doesn't matter who it is though I do worry about my hearing. Once I was vacuuming in my house and when my son arrived home with friends, he told his dad it was embarrassing. [The music] was so loud.

5. The Finer Details
I love accessories. I like shoes and purses. I don't have a lot but I love them. Most jewelry has been given to me but it's usually about where it came from and who gave it to me. In a recent position, one of my sayings was “We are building a legacy here.” So when I left they gave me a piece of porcelain from the Ming Dynasty that they turned into a broach.

6. Real Life Inspiration
I worked with some great leaders who may not have been known to others but were great to me. They always had passion and a belief that they could actually get something done. I worked with Gary Polansky who, 15 years ago, believed there should be a university in the Durham Region and people thought he was crazy. What a lesson for me as a young senior administrator. He believed it and very carefully, methodically went after it and made it happen.

7. Rose-Coloured Glasses
When I worked in Hamilton, the Skilled Trades Faculty needed a new building and they were sure they were never going to get it. I told them if they didn't believe they were going to get it, they wouldn't get it. When I left, they gave me a set of rose-coloured glasses in a tool kit. I do believe if you live life with rose-coloured glasses and think on the positive side of things you can achieve whatever you want.

8. Keeping Perspective
One of my daily rituals is to walk the halls and be with the students. It's easy to get caught up in the administration and what the government is doing, what programs we're running and labour relations, all those things. But if you want to get grounded, talk to a couple of students and see where they've come from and what's important to them.


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