Technical Director Laura Smit


Laura Smit

Laura SmitHow long have you been on the Board and what position do you currently hold?
I have been on the Board since 2018 and currently am a Technical Director.

What municipality or organization do you represent?
I represent the City of Orillia.

What is your educational and professional background?
? I began a degree in Chemistry and Forensic Science. I was distracted by life and found my way into the Drinking Water/Wastewater industry in 2001. I have worked in several municipalities in Ontario and as well as Jasper, AB.

The OMWA is a not-for-profit organization and all Board positions, including yours, are all volunteer, what inspired you to become an OMWA Board Member?
I strongly believe in the voice that all of us have – that the voice of one can be heard to represent the voices of many. Together we can unite and help each other in the industry, as well as work with the regulators and political side to inform and advise the direction of our work.

What do you hope to see in the future for OMWA?
I hope that the OMWA continues to be at the forefront of the industry, informing and assisting all municipalities with their drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems.

What would you say to a 16-year-old student considering a career path, in water?
I would say that this is an exciting time to break into an industry that has been around for over a hundred years, and will still be here a hundred years from now. Some of the lessons we have learned have been at the early stages, but as an industry, we are always looking to improve upon what was done before. So it is the same industry, but a very different outlook.

What advice would you give to a new graduate considering a position in the water industry?
I would welcome you to our world! It is a great time to be joining, as we continuously move forward in the industry. Don’t be discouraged by the job market, sometimes it can be difficult to gain some momentum. Persevere, keep your chin up and when the timing is right, it will all work out.

What’s your hometown?
I was born and raised in Orillia, ON.

What brought you to Ontario?
My family has been living in Ontario for a long time.

What was your first job?
My first job was delivering newspapers around my neighbourhood.

What challenges have you had to overcome in your career?
One of the challenges I had to overcome was knowing what direction I wanted to focus on. I have enjoyed my time learning in a small municipality where I was exposed to all aspects of the water industry, and now am enjoying a little bit more focus on one discipline to really dive deep into that aspect.

What are some of your hobbies or how do you spend your free time?
I enjoy reading, watching movies, hanging out with my family and I’m very involved in our local soccer club.

What is something quirky about you?
When I make a sandwich – the mayonnaise can’t touch the meat and the mustard can’t touch the cheese. I’d be happy to pass on the sandwich to someone else if it does.

What was your most prized toy as a child, and why?
My bicycle was my prized possession. With the money I saved from my paper route, I was able to upgrade and buy myself a new 12 speed pink Ventura bicycle. It cost $112 at Canadian Tire. I worked hard to earn that money and rode that bike for many years to see the world (which was mostly just Orillia). Then it was passed on to my younger siblings to ride until there was no ride left in it.

If you could have a t-shirt printed with a message, what would it be?
Done is better than perfect.

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