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Get to Know Michelle Roche, Environmental Specialist

November 18th, 2021
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Passion coupled with sound environmental management skills are a core part of the job for Michelle.

 

Tell us about yourself.

My father is from Trinidad and Tobago and my Mother is from Flatrock Newfoundland, where myself and my brothers spent the best part of our childhood.

After graduating from Holy Trinity Regional High I headed to Northern Ontario where I found myself a job planting trees – an experience that set me on a path to begin studying Environmental Studies and Forest Conservation at Lakehead University and then Natural Resource Management at the University of Northern British Columbia. I spent 10 years working in the Forestry Industry across Canada but always dreamed of coming home to Newfoundland. In 2011, I was given that opportunity when I was hired here as an Environmental Coordinator.

Since moving home, I married my longtime friend from high school, became a mother to two wonderful daughters and built our “Net Zero Ready” home. I’ve gained designations as an Environmental Professional and a Registered Professional Forester and sit as an Executive Director for the Registered Professional Foresters of Newfoundland and Labrador. In my spare time I love sharing my tree and plant identification skills with my girls and their local brownies and spark troops.

What motivates you to do your best every day?

My team is made up of mostly women-and I take pride in how this could help inspire young girls or other women to see themselves in similar roles. We put in a tremendous effort each and every day to ensure sound, environmental management is being applied to every single facet of our operations.

What does an average day look like for you?

Every day I think about the kind of legacy I want to leave for future generations of this province. The legacy I envision requires me to be a steward of the environment in which we work. I take purposeful action in advising and influencing the decisions made about every aspect of our operations as it relates to environmental protection. I take pride in having a seat at the table and giving a voice to our environment. I also love that I have the opportunity to work directly with every single line of business across our company.

Tell us what inspires you about your job.

My work has given me the chance to see the beauty, and size, of our province first-hand. It was during a train ride to Menihek Generation station when I first was able to fully appreciate the sheer size of Labrador and the astounding beauty it has to offer. This sparked in me the understanding of how vast our operations truly are and how far reaching the impacts of my decisions could be. These experiences fuel me to do my best to protect our environment so others can enjoy the beauty our unique province has to offer now and for generations to come.

What is something about your job that people might find surprising?

It’s not an easy job. It requires rigorous audit processes, attention to detail and integrity, but if you are ignited by the ability to prevent or reduce potential irreversible damage to our environment, then the hard work is more than worth it.