After almost 34 years with Parks Canada, Karen Tierney will retire from the Parks Canada Agency on May 24, 2013. Karen began her journey in Pukaskwa National Park as a student delivering school programs. Karen backpacked and canoed this wilderness and shared stories of the land with school children, National Geographic, and people such as Bill Mason.
Karen then moved to the Rideau Canal National Historic Site where she led a team in the development of a safety rails policy for canals that addressed Labour Canada concerns and respected the Cultural Resource Management Policy.
In 1995, Karen became the marketing specialist in the Ontario Regional Office, where she worked with sites across the province on diverse projects, including: the development of a corporate sponsorship and fundraising strategy for Point Pelee National Park; the design and implementation of a marketing training workshop that was delivered to staff via integrated site teams; and the development of the exhibit design for the Hamilton Discovery Centre. After a brief period in the External Relations Branch with National Office, Karen returned to the Ontario Service Centre as Manager, Heritage Presentation and Marketing and was acting Director for the Service Centre for almost two years.
In 2004, Karen became Director of Leadership and Development where she developed the Parks Canada Learning Strategy, established the Leadership and Learning unit, developed the middle manager learning programs and led the Leadership Network in organizing ConneXions 2006, a forum that brought together over 400 middle and senior managers to discuss leadership.
Karen returned to the field in 2008 as Field Unit Superintendent for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks where she led the development of an integrated management plan for the two national parks and Rogers Pass National Historic Site. Karen also supported staff in the development of a strategy for maintaining caribou on the landscape, the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Canada’s worst avalanche disaster and the celebration of 125 years of Glacier National Park. Being back in the field has brought Karen’s Parks Canada’s journey full circle.
Karen loves the people that make up the Parks Canada team. She has enjoyed her opportunities to be creative in helping develop the organization for the future. She had many occasions to work with staff from across the country in designing interpretive media, developing and delivering learning programs for all staff and setting up the Ontario education program. Karen is most proud of the accomplishments by the Leadership Network in creating Parks Canada’s Leadership Attributes – a foundation document for the Agency.
Parks Canada is thankful to Karen for her lifetime of service, integrity and many exceptional contributions to the Agency and wish her the very best during her well-earned retirement.