Tikinagan employee celebrates 30-year career

Posted: February 6th, 2019

When Diane Hoey started at Tikinagan, she had finished an office administration course in Sioux Lookout. Then in her mid-20s, she started out as a secretary and eventually moved up to Administrative Assistant. And she didn’t stop moving up and building her career here at Tikinagan Child and Family Services. Diane is celebrating her 30th year here and now works out of the Thunder Bay office in Intake and Investigation.

“I always say the kids come first,” says Diane with earnest integrity. This is a big part of what keeps Diane at Tikinagan, in that she feels connected to the children and families she’s helping and this has been a part of everything she has done.

“When I was in travel, I especially enjoyed helping arrange travel for the kids at Christmas time,” she recalls. Diane spent more than 17 years working in the travel department, which came after her time in administration. She moved over to working in Residential for a few years before relocating from Sioux Lookout to Thunder Bay in 2012 where she now works as a Direct Services Supervisor in Intake/Investigations.

Diane, 56, is from Sioux Lookout and is a band member of Lac Seul First Nation. She is kind, dependable and committed, a true example of the qualities that make not only a great member of the Tikinagan team but a strong leader and the kind of person others look to for guidance in what can be challenging work.

“It can be very busy and stressful. It can be rewarding though, especially working to keep our children in their communities,” she says. “I tell new employees and those around me to make sure they balance their lives and take time for a walk, go for a drive, do some yoga or just take a break. Work life balance is important.”

It’s obvious this approach is working well for Diane, as she not only is one of our longest serving employees but shines in everything she does.

“Diane was my administrative support years ago, and her people and organizational skills were invaluable!” says Barb Hancock, former Director of Services at Tikinagan. “When Diane moved into the travel department, she continued to work her magic. Congratulations Diane on 30 years with Tikinagan Child and Family Services. The organization is fortunate to have a dedicated employee such as yourself. Everyday you come to work and show us the spirit of Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin in practice.”

“Diane is always helping out and we made a good team,” adds Deanna Mitchell, a Service Manager who worked with Diane for many years. “We had many laughs on our travels and she let me play whatever music I wanted… I loved her for that!” Mitchell laughs.

“Not all days are easy, but she made those days easier. Her work ethic, sense of humour and outlook in life are so important in this field we work in. I am very proud of her 30 year accomplishment and look forward to many more,” Mitchell says.

When Diane is not working hard and inspiring everyone around her, she enjoys visiting her daughters and three grandsons in Alberta, coming back to Sioux Lookout to visit her family, participating in community events and getting out for walks with her dog. She also likes reading murder mysteries and going fishing.

“Diane is a glowing example of not just a committed employee, but the qualities we talk about with how we do our services here at Tikinagan and our service model, Mamow Obiki-ahwahsoowin,” says Thelma Morris, Executive Director. “She puts children first, and always has even when she was working behind the scenes in admin support and travel. We see her strength and commitment, and for this we are not only grateful but proud. Thank you Diane and congratulations on 30 years!”

When asked what she would like to tell her past-self 30 years ago, and what wisdom she shares with new employees, it’s to not be afraid of change.

“Sometimes change is a good thing. Attend training, take courses, try different jobs in the agency,” she says. And perhaps this is the secret to her longevity here, that not only does she embrace change and takes advantage of the training and educational support, but during all of it she puts children first and knows that wherever she is working she is making a positive difference.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, the management team and Diane’s coworkers- congratulations Diane for not only being at Tikinagan for 30 years but for making that positive difference in the lives of many children and everyone you’ve worked with.