Cora was invited to speak at the Greater Peterborough Economic Development Corporation’s quarterly event called ‘Creative Cocktail’
Local entrepreneurs are invited to tell their story and why they choose Peterborough to live and work.
Here is her story.
Hello my name is Cora Whittington and I am a first generation Canadian. My parents immigrated from Holland in 1952 and I was born in Chatham Ontario. I was raised on a farm near Dashwood, a small town 40 miles north of London. And then I went to University of Guelph where I met my husband David.
So no you know how I got to Peterborough.
While I am a first generation Canadian, David is a descendent from the founders of Peterborough right back to Adam Scott. David’s family farm was in the Whittington family since 1906.
I started out working for the Ministry of Corrections at the training school for Boys in Bowmanville and then was a founding youth worker for Peterborough Youth Services. I then took some time off and had three children. I am a learn-a-holic and decided that my university training was dated and started taking numerous courses. As a result I became self-employed and have had numerous opportunities that have given me a unique range of experience. For example, I became a train the trainer and travelled all over North America teaching Survival skills for Woman and Youth. I taught 1000’s of subject matter experts how to teach interactively through the Ontario Agriculture Training Institute. I also helped rural woman start businesses and was a mediator for the Farm Debt Review Board and various leadership programs. If I saw a need, I took the training somewhere in North America and then delivered the program to those that wanted it.
Then in 2003, my world got thrown for a spin. Our beloved family farm got sold to the city and county for the buffer zone to the landfill site, three of my long term contracts lost their government funding, 911 happened and I did not like the international travel with army in camo and rifles standing everywhere. Our three kids were all off on their own and I got a virus on my computer that wiped out much of my past work. The only think familiar that I had was my husband.
No work, no kids, no home, no business – we had a clean slate and since I had negotiated well – we could go anywhere we wanted. And we looked around, went to Victoria BC, explored locations in ON. In the end we decided to stay in Peterborough and bought a farm from David’s cousin who had never married on his grandmother’s side. The farm had been in the family since 1871.
In the meantime international telephone plans and technology gave me new opportunities. I became a leadership and life coach and coach people all over the world from my office. We built a retreat and B&B and give workshops from my own ideally created meeting space. People come to me for coaching, team building, problem solving and strategic planning. I still travel a bit – mostly to locations that are close to where my grandchildren live. If I am called from Guelph – I am there is a heartbeat.
More recently I have been giving teleclasses over the internet and as technology continues to evolve new opportunities are being added. I have a business partner in California and recently we recorded a workshop series using Skype and Camtasia and will be launching it this fall. Two people in two countries on the same video as if we were in the same room. The program is called “Start Influencing Those You Work With or Die Whining” It is a Giving and Receiving Feedback Program.
Because of my depth of training and experience I am able to coach people on pretty well any issue. Business issues, relationship issues, grieving, interpersonal conflict, communication issues, dreams unfulfilled. I specialize in intuitive coaching which helps people identify and eliminate any barrier – particularly those that the client is not aware of. I love innovation and helping people see their opportunities and their strengths when they cannot.
So Why Peterborough? I can work with the world from my beautiful paradise. We have 195 acres and on the opposite corner of the property we have access to the Otonabee River where we have a cabin, boat and dock. Just five minutes from our house and you would think you were in Algonquin Park. 10 minutes away and I have all I need in a friendly city.
Who would want anything else?