From Associate Director to Project Manager to College Instructor, all-around wonder woman, Liz Pettapiece-Phillips' resume is nothing short of extraordinary.
“If anyone had told me as a young girl growing up in the small town of Manitouwadge, Northern Ontario that I could have such an interesting and varied career I probably wouldn’t have believed them.”
A degree in Communication Studies from the University of Windsor and a passion for working in broadcasting lead to a 36-year career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto.
In the mid 1980’s, Pettapiece-Phillips landed a job as an Associate Director for CBC’s flagship newscast, The National and instantly felt at home contributing to a high performing team; building close relationships, and being apart of a community that inspired her.
That role lead Pettapiece-Phillips to developing a news associate director training program. “I really enjoyed helping colleagues who were working toward that career. Years later, I am still connected to many of these former students and am excited by their success,” Pettapiece shared.
Certified in Project Management, Pettapiece-Phillips also worked as a Project Manager organizing crew, facility, and broadcast requirements for many productions including Dragons’ Den, the Fifth Estate, Marketplace, Canada Day and other large scale live productions, like The Tragically Hip’s final concert.
“I was incredibly lucky to be working alongside industry professionals and on-air talent.”
Pettapiece-Phillips was also involved in CBC’s pilot mentoring program. This led to a volunteer position with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.
Pettapiece-Phillips returned to Windsor in January 2017 to work as a part time instructor at St. Clair College’s Mediaplex.
“The best thing about being an instructor, is seeing young people excited to achieve,” Pettapiece-Phillips shared.
“Whether it's mentoring students or new immigrants, being part of a family, a church community, a volunteer organization or a circle of close friends, I am motivated by the positive interactions that are a product of these relationships,” Pettapiece Phillips says. “And getting to meet and learn about other people is also one of the reasons I’m passionate about travelling. I think it's really gratifying to make connections with people.”
Her career advice to young people is the same advice she gave her three daughters when they were young: identify something that combines your strengths and your interests, and you will naturally excel in this work. “As a young person, I hadn’t realized that matching my skill set, strengths and interests could result in a career that I would be passionate about.”
“And whatever career you determine will make you happy, envision yourself in that role as you take the necessary steps to get to it,” Pettapiece-Phillips says. “It often isn't obvious and may take a lot of legwork to get there.” Recently retired from the CBC, Pettapiece-Phillips acknowledges the broadcasting industry has changed dramatically since she started her career, but she thinks now there are more varied occupations and endless opportunities for women.