Ashley Antidormi, Human Resources Business Partner – Environmental, Walker Environmental Industries
My name is Ashley Antidormi.
I graduated from Brock University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Art’s Degree in Psychology, and a minor in Criminology. After working for two years at a retail store in St. Catharines and a winery in Niagara- on- the- Lake, I made the decision to go back to school. In 2013 I completed the postgraduate course in Human Resources Management and managed to secure an entry level Human Resources position at Walker Industries in Thorold three months later. I have now moved to the position of Human Resources Business Partner- Environmental.
I have lived in the Niagara region my whole life, even purchasing my first home around the corner from the house where I was first brought home from the hospital. I now share my home with my boyfriend, Spencer, and dog, Tucker. I have two main passions; dogs and travel. My love of dogs led me to start volunteering at the Lincoln County Humane Society in St. Catharines in October 2017; and my love of travel has brought me to some amazing locations all around the world.
I plan to make Niagara my home base for a very long time, so I am very excited to have this opportunity to give back to the community I call home.
How do you define community leadership?
I view community leadership as stepping up and representing the community you live in. People who are leaders in their community spend time and resources to address the needs of the community, and push for actions on items that can make the community better. They are the voice of everyone living in the area.
“…it makes sense that I would want to lend my professional services to assist the community on the issues that need to be addressed so the area can stay a great place to live.”
Why are you personally motivated to explore community leadership?
I am personally motivated to explore community leadership because Niagara is a great place to live; I want to be more involved so that I can help shape the future of this community. I was born and raised in St. Catharines, and bought my house in St. Catharines. I plan on living in the Niagara region for a long time and hope to raise a family here, so it makes sense that I would want to lend my professional services to assist the community on the issues that need to be addressed so the area can stay a great place to live. I also want to try to move the community forward, to keep up with the times, and to attract new businesses, new tourism, and more young people to the area.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
I believe that we really have a good opportunity to attract young talent back to the community.
Historically, this area has served as a retirement community from the larger cities. We have seen the population of young people decline over the years due to lack of available good-paying jobs. They have been heading towards the larger cities of Burlington and Toronto to find work in their field, even after spending three or four years attending school at Brock or Niagara.
With the housing market the way it is, we have a real opportunity to attract young talent back to the area. We also have an opportunity to attract businesses to the area- it is no secret that there is a space issue with a lot of growing companies in small office buildings with big rent bills. If we can attract more businesses to the area, then young talent will follow as well.
I think the above is an issue because we haven’t had a thriving/ exciting community in a number of years. We are definately making head way with all the new festivals and fairs popping up, but I find that we new grads or young talent who want to stick around, can’t due to lack of job availability in the area.
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
The most important attribute of a leader is passion for the work that they are doing, for the community they represent, and for the result they want. You can see the difference between leaders who are passionate about what they preach and stand for, and the ones that don’t really care what the outcome is. When a leader is passionate about the cause they stand for, it is easy for others to follow them and believe in what they stand for; and I believe that is how we create a movement and push for change.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
I hope to expand on my assertiveness while part of this program. This is something I have been working on for a few years now, as I found I wouldn’t always have the confidence to speak up, politely disagree, or go against the majority vote.
I believe that being a leader means voicing your opinion even when the majority of others disagree- it means you may not always be popular, but will be respected for being genuine and true to yourself.