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APG’s New Communications Coordinator (PCN Winter 2014) JAN 23 2014 | Consumers and Producers | Pulse Crop News

This article appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Pulse Crop News.

Chris Thompson, New Communications Coordinator for Alberta Pulse Growers

Hi, my name is Chris Thompson, I am the new communications coordinator for Alberta Pulse Growers. I am based out of the Leduc office. I was born in Edmonton and have spent the majority of my life there.

Growing up I was heavily involved in competitive swimming and was training about 37 hours a week while going to high school. I also played water polo. After high school I started working right away. I had a number of sales jobs with various companies. I have also worked in the electronics industry for 5 years where I did everything from floor managing to loss prevention to running the movies, music, video games and software departments.

When I am not working I enjoy going to concerts, collecting records (yes, vinyl) and playing golf. Unfortunately, my golfing abilities are nowhere good enough to make the PGA, so as the song goes I had to “Get a haircut and get a real job”.

I enrolled in the Radio and Television Arts program at NAIT, with every intention of becoming a radio DJ. To obtain my diploma, completion of a four month practicum is required. I took a position with the Government of Alberta, as a wildfire information officer in High Level. The area I covered was Mackenzie County, with the exception the town limits.

This position was different from anything that I had ever done before. Having never really left a city other than to go camping, living in a forestry camp took some adjusting on my part.

During my three years up north, I was involved in a number of different projects. I developed and delivered presentations for schools and communities that were focused on wildfire prevention, I issued fire permits to local farmers and industry, and I designed and booked newspaper ads.

The majority of my time was spent informing the community when the wildfire hazard was high and keeping landowners up to date as to what the present situation was. The biggest events in which I was involved, were the Richardson fires in the summer of 2011 and the High Level fire of 2012. I was the head information officer responsible for over 330,000 hectares of wildfire. The town of Zama was evacuated during this time.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time up north. For recreation, I did a lot of hunting and fishing. I was also a firefighter for the town of High Level.

However, my position was not permanent and it was quite far from my family. I saw an opportunity with Alberta Pulse Growers and applied. This position will further enhance my communication and writing skills. Although I do not know a lot about the pulse industry, I am willing to learn. Communications to me is not so much knowing about a specific subject, but being able to pull key messages from knowledgeable sources. I believe it is important to communicate with people and relate what is important, in a way that is easily understandable.

With the talent and expertise of the staff, I know that I will have the support I need to inform you (the producers), and external audiences what is happening in the pulse industry. I look forward to working with all of you.