Our Leader Spotlight | Laura Gazley
Program Specialist, Parenting Strategy, Niagara Region Public Health
This series is dedicated to introducing and celebrating the participants of the ACL+ 2021/22 program. Each week, we will focus on one of our leaders, sharing a little bit about them and what motivates them to explore community leadership in Niagara.
Laura Gazley has been working at Niagara Region Public Health since 2001. She returned to university part-time in 2008 and completed her Bachelor of Public Health in 2016.
Laura is frequently called upon to lead significant change processes within the workplace. For example, in the early stages of the pandemic, she led the project to move Niagara Region Public Health’s call centre from a completely paper-based system to a fully electronic system.
Through determination and knowledge acquisition Laura has moved from the position of Program Assistant to Data Analyst to her current role as Program Specialist in the Family Health division. She is also a successful personal trainer who has developed her own business where she leads women through transformational change by empowering them to achieve their fitness and nutritional goals.
Why are you personally motivated to explore civic leadership?
I have been working in government for over 20 years with increasing responsibilities. My interest in continuous quality improvement has led me to roles where I have led projects and people through significant change. I am motivated to explore civic leadership in order to increase my effectiveness as a leader so that I can promote real and effective change in my community. I also hope to become a role model for others in my organization by demonstrating behaviours that we want and expect from our colleagues.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
One of the biggest issues facing our community is the presence of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which are defined as potentially traumatic events that occur in the first 18 years of life. ACEs affect more than the mental health of the individual in childhood, it also affects their physical health throughout their lifetime. Preventing or mitigating ACEs is an upstream approach that can impact physical and mental health in our community. My work with the Family Health division in Niagara Region Public Health has exposed me to the potential impact that we can have on lifelong health.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
I hope to enhance my ability to communicate effectively with community partners and learn how to build relationships with other organizations. I’m an introvert by nature and have spent many years working on my ability to speak confidently in public situations. I also hope to develop the confidence to speak even when I am unsure or ask questions when necessary.
What Is ACL+?
Accelerate Civic Leadership+ is our answer to adapting our flagship Accelerate Civic Leadership (ACL) program for virtual learning.
Designed as a tool to expand the number of individuals who accept leadership roles in business, government, and social organizations to meet future challenges in the region, ACL+ strengthens the bonds within the region. It serves as a retention and engagement tool for our Niagara businesses and non-profits.