So, who am I and why should you care?
Well, if we are going to be working together, shouldn’t you know exactly with whom you’re sharing all your stuff?
I’ll go first.
So, I’m Jeff. Born in Ottawa, raised in Montreal, I have been out on Vancouver Island for 34 of my 61 years on the planet. I’m a father, a step father, a partner, a businessman and a man in long term recovery from substance addiction. I’m over 32 years abstinent today.
I have solid Newfoundland and Australian ancestry, so I’m pretty complicated. Stubborn, silly, patriotic and non-judgemental most of the time. I can be pretty skeptical and sarcastic other times.
I am a fledgling golfer, guitarist and bass player. I’m also a history buff, a voracious reader, and a pretty good cook. I am a political buff, love cats, omelettes and the Boston Bruins.
I am more likely to speak up than shut up. I believe in freedom of expression and the importance of telling the truth. I respect those who came before us.
After nearly a decade in uniform, in 1985 I left the Canadian Armed Forces and went back to school to study journalism. It was a perfect fit for my complicated personality.
After Mount Royal University, I moved to Cochrane, in the heart of Alberta’s ranching country, where I was mentored by one of Southern Alberta’s most well-loved newspaper men, the Calgary Sun’s Jack Tennant. I spent three years learning the ropes as editor at his paper, Cochrane This Week, before moving even further west to central Vancouver Island to raise my family.
On the Island, I became the longest serving editor in the history of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, from 1993-2004. I then left weekly newspapers to broaden my resume, editing a travel magazine and, later, a business monthly newspaper.
I’ve served on the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce board of directors, was a Hospice volunteer, and founded and managed the Philadelphia Flyers Alumni Hockey School of Hope for underprivileged Oceanside children for two years. In 1991, I was named Cochrane Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce.
With a series of serendipitous events in 2006, I morphed into an addictions support staff member and then counsellor at Edgewood Treatment Centre, one of the country’s top addiction treatment facilities, for six more years.
In 2012, I survived a quadruple bypass. For the next five years, I went on at Edgewood as editor of several different Edgewood Health Network publications. Over that period, I interviewed and wrote about staff and patients, and researched and wrote about programs and modalities from across the addictions spectrum.
I have written hundreds of heart-warming and heart-breaking stories for newspapers and magazines across the country. News stories, business profiles, travel, entertainment, sports, courts and all points between, I have always tried to be a man of integrity, a story teller armed with some zip and edginess. I’ve interviewed countless examples of the kinds of people who make life interesting for us all, and am richer for having met and shared them with my readers.
All that experience has led me to this new place in my life and, hopefully, in yours. I want to expand my horizons yet again and help you to expand yours. Let’s tell your story.
education and awards
Schooling, awards received, and my specialized background: