Catherine Rice – Communications Coordinator for Innovate Niagara
Catherine Rice is the Outreach and Communications Coordinator for Innovate Niagara, a Regional Innovation Centre in Niagara that delivers services and programs to help entrepreneurs start, grow, and succeed. In this role, Catherine crafts and manages Innovate Niagara’s digital content to spread awareness of opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs in Niagara and share client success stories.
Catherine graduated from Brock University with a BA in Popular Culture, and following that, from Niagara College with a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations. Upon completing her studies, Catherine has worked, volunteered and lived in beautiful Niagara.
How do you define community leadership?
Community leadership encompasses a group of people with diverse skills, experiences and interests, with a shared interest or stake in a community, that assemble to guide a
Why are you personally motivated to explore community leadership?
I am motivated to explore community leadership because I believe it is important to have a group of leaders that is as diverse as the community it serves. Ensuring diversity in community leaders lends itself to decision making that serves the best interests of a greater cross-section of our community. As every individual does, I have a unique set of experiences, and skills to offer our community. I would like to explore and develop my skill set further to better serve Niagara.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
A significant issue facing our community is talent retention. Niagara is home to two wellrespected post-secondary education institutions which offer programs that build on the strengths and resources of our community and region. Students from around the world are drawn to these institutions and programs. The Niagara region has significant resources related to agriculture, tourism, and education. It is a wonderful community in which to live and work. However, an issue which we face as a community is that we are losing a significant portion of talented, innovative and entrepreneurial-spirited young minds to larger cities like Toronto because of a preconceived notion that lucrative opportunities are more easily attainable in larger centres. Our challenge is to leverage our resources and promote the opportunities, including lifestyle, that already exists in Niagara to help individuals start and grow their enterprises here so that we can retain this talent.
“The Niagara region has significant resources
related to agriculture, tourism, and education.”
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
In my opinion, integrity is the most important attribute of a good leader. This attribute, by definition, must lead to high standards of honesty, accountability, and moral and ethical principles.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
One attribute I wish to develop to a high level is the ability to empower others to make a positive change in their lives and the community around them -to help them to realize their uniqueness and strengths which can enhance our community and allow it to flourish.