jackie normanJackie Norman is President and CEO of Safety Services Nova Scotia. But her leadership, impact and contribution extend well beyond the borders of the province she lives and works in. She is this month’s Up-Stander!

I first met Jackie soon after she assumed her leadership position in the organization she still leads today, almost 15 years ago. Within days of our first meeting, I learned this: to help prevent injuries, Jackie is prepared to act at every turn on new opportunities to make a difference. She is calm, assesses the risks and is mindful about resources, but is also fearless about pursuing what she sees as the right things to do.

While the nature of the job demands that a person in such a role must be able to talk the talk, Jackie Norman always walks the walk along with it. And because I have seen her in action on many occasions, one of the qualities I have come to admire most is her ability to be strategic about the decisions she makes.

This quality, of being unafraid to take a stand and move ahead in the face of uncertainty to make a significant difference down the road, is not something everyone with a similar title is able to bring to the table. I have four specific examples.

First, Jackie was a national pioneer, only thirteen years ago, in the area of e-learning in workplace health and safety in Nova Scotia. The proliferation of online programs in health and safety ever since demonstrates how she was ahead of the curve strategically.

Second, Jackie was instrumental in the growth and increased impact of provincial safety councils all across Canada as they evolved into much stronger, more independent provincial Safety Services organizations. Jackie helped lead the way to providing more services, training and other programs that have become financially self-sufficient across the country, and still serves as Vice Chair of Safety Services Canada, the national cooperative of all provincial/territorial organizations.

Third, as Safe Communities Canada, the organization I founded in 1996, began to branch out across the country, Nova Scotia, through Jackie’s leadership, became the first province to organize communities under this banner outside Alberta and Ontario. She did this because she believed that community, workplace and personal safety are interconnected, which became another strategic pursuit for her organization.

And, more recently, she has aligned herself with the issue of workplace respect as a key lever toward healthier safer workplaces, resulting in improved workplace environments and decreased risks of injury. We are working together on this project, which is most certainly in the early stages of being understood as a core factor in workplace health and safety.

It is little wonder that her peers selected Jackie as the Chair of the Canadian Society of Association Executives. The examples I have given you today are but a sample of the standard she has set for other leaders in her field.

Paul Kells

Workplace Respect and Safety Champion, Culture Change Expert and Inspiring Speaker

Reach new standards for safe and positive workplace cultures