Meet Jennifer Mickle, our new Lougheed House
What sparked your original interest in history/heritage?
My love of history, heritage and culture was nurtured by my parents and I have passed it along to my three sons. During travels, we seek out historical sites, museums and galleries and my engagement truly began when I visited the Fortress of Louisburg on Cape Breton Island, as a young teenager. As all the interpreters are in period character, we were asked at the gate why we wanted entry. My godmother answered, ” I am a mail-order bride whose clothing washed over board in a storm. A kind sailor gave me some of his clothing.” She was instantly granted entry and I followed her saying, “I’m with her.”
You leapt from working in a Manitoba fire and EMS office – a place literally driven by crisis – to a National and Provincial Historic Site in Calgary. One place is about being urgently responsive, one is about preserving and interpreting history for the wide community. Are you finding a big difference, administratively?
In addition to the fire/EMS department, I have also worked in human resources, at a vet clinic, insurance/investment company, two colleges, a retail store and with several society boards. I can honestly say that many of the same administrative problems exist everywhere. Effective communication and data management are always issues. Although emergency services are fast paced, administration follows the same pace everywhere; hectic with multiple needs and deadlines colliding. My old department had an on-site museum displaying over 100 years of history specific to Brandon Manitoba, as well as a division that performed inspections and provided fire prevention educational programming. Of all my previous work locations, the fire/EMS department compliments my position here at Lougheed House the best.
You’re studying for a certification in genealogy. What do you like about that subject?
Genealogy is the study of a family’s history. Although it is based in birth-marriage-death dates, it is also about the where, why, and how a family has lived. For me, the study of genealogy is the culmination of the many stories of my family. Stories are what Lougheed House is known for and I could not have found a better fit than helping the House share its family’s many stories.
What is the key to keeping an office organized?
Collaboration! To make this happen, I look at how the organization communicates, dynamics between departments and breaking down any walls between them, fostering changes that move us closer to the strategic vision, helping people adapt to change, and utilizing individual skillsets to good effect.