Former-QCT editor appointed new Director at CEDEC

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Photo: Ken Schankler

Michele Thibeau, new CEDEC Director

Michèle Thibeau spent 10 years working for the Chronicle-Telegraph, not realizing it was providing the perfect background for her latest endeavour.

"I spent almost a decade of my life learning the community," Thibeau, 40, said, later adding, "This job is a little more concrete... It's taking those contacts and bringing people around the table."

Thibeau last month was named Director of the Quebec Chaudière-Appalaches office of the Community Economic Development and Employability Committee last month.
"The great part about jumping into this job is that I know a lot of the people," she said.

That knowledge of the community was noted in CEDEC's announcement that she had been named to the position.

"In her previous employment as Assistant Editor of the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph," according to the statement, "Michèle developed knowledge about the English-speaking community of (the) region and a wide network of contacts, including various businesses, entrepreneurs of all ages, organizations and government departments. In fact, Michèle recalls reporting on the birth of our organization and continued to report on activities that the QCA CEDEC was involved with until 2008.

"Michèle's background in education and theatre studies has also provided her opportunities to work in collaborative environments, and she's quite eager to apply all of this experience to her work with Community Table and the Quebec Chaudière-Appalaches CEDEC."
A former colleague at the QCT concurred with CEDEC's assessment.

"I don't know ‘the job,'" said Clive Meredith, who worked with Thibeau at the paper, "so I can't know what's involved. One thing I can tell you is that I'm pretty sure Michele Thibeau would fit into any job. I had the privilege of working alongside her for some years at the Chronicle-Telegraph. To say she's hard-working is to understate. Her dedication to the Chronicle knew no bounds. She's sociable, perfectly at ease with anyone she meets...I think that about sums it up. They're damn lucky to have her!"

Thibeau said her new job bears some strong similarities to her old one.

"I'm paid to network," she said, "to find out who's doing what in the community."

In this instance, though, what she does with those contacts differs markedly from her responsibilities at the paper.

"We're like a bridge," she said. "We're just helping people to connect... to bring people together."

"It's a different sort of pace," said Thibeau, who applied for the job before Christmas after learning it was up for grabs and who is qualified to teach English as Second Language. She taught as a substitute at Quebec High School last fall. "But I'm still doing the same sort of things."

Thibeau, an Acadian on both sides of her family who learned both French and English simultaneously while growing up in Nova Scotia, took right away to her surroundings here.

"I love this community. I love Quebec City... It just took me by the heart."

As for her new job, she said there will be some things she will have to learn on the fly.

"I'm not afraid to make mistakes," she said, "but I feel very well supported in this milieu."