28 May 2020, General
There are some special individuals in this world who are like the sun. If you’re lucky, you might know one of these sunny people, that type that share warmth and kindness with everyone around them. Wendy Blackman is one of those people. For the past 27 years, she’s been brightening SIMARK’s Edmonton office as Operations Assistant and Safety Officer.
Wendy’s the kind of person you can envision waking up with a smile on her face. She starts each day with an optimistic outlook, excited to tackle any and all challenges that come her way. “I love getting up and coming to work,” Wendy says. “The challenge of solving problems and helping people…I just love it.”
Wendy started her career working in the Occupational Health and Safety department of an Edmonton transportation company. That’s where she discovered her passion for problem-solving. “I loved being able to solve problems, from helping people find their freight to fixing claims if they had damages. I enjoyed being able to give them an answer to make sure they were happy and satisfied,” she says. Wendy brought that eagerness to help with her when she joined the SIMARK team nearly three decades ago.
Helping people isn’t just what Wendy does professionally, it’s a part of who she is personally. When she’s not at SIMARK, she continues to put her energy into others. She volunteers with the Edmonton Seahawks Football Club and the Running Room to organize races. You’ll often see Wendy’s grandchildren volunteering right alongside her. “I make sure my grandkids are there helping and giving back to the community,” she says.
Wendy’s a wonderful role model to her 15 grandchildren and her great-grandson. But she believes they’ve also taught her a lot and shaped who she is. Particularly, her grandkids that she’s raising, who have special needs. “I find that I have a lot of patience and I think that I bring that to work too. Patience in dealing with people,” Wendy says. “I think you bring everything with you when you come to work; the way you are, the person you are. Understanding, caring, and just being there for people.”
As a self-proclaimed “people-person,” the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t been easy for Wendy. The days she’s not in the office, she’s missing being there. “I really miss the people. I miss seeing them and talking to them…It’s hard,” she says. “Some of the customers, I’ve known for years. They’ve probably been at their business as long as I’ve been at SIMARK.”
But the people she misses the most are her fellow team members, some of whom she’s worked with since she started at SIMARK. “It’s like a second family, and it has been for the last twenty-seven years,” she says. In fact, Wendy enjoys her role so much that she’s been known to put off vacations and even the idea of retirement. “I think I’m pretty well where I’m supposed to be.”