Jillian Harrington of Clearview Cottage Resort is the Kawartha Chamber’s 2019 Young Professional.
The nominator describes Jillian as, “A natural leader with a friendly nature and infectious, positive personality that is perfect for the industry. She has displayed strength, grace and gratitude during times of significant challenge. A true role model for all ages!”
Leaving a professional career, Harrington is the third generation to manage the family business, Clearview Cottage Resort. Marketing, bookings, payroll, staff hiring, property maintenance and much more are daily tasks. Staff training uses the “show, we do, you do,” teaching method. As they learn, staff are given freedom and encouragement to share their ideas.
Taking on someone else’s passion is difficult in the best of times. Making changes to 50-year traditions has required respecting that passion and love of the past while introducing different approaches. Reservation software, online banking, and computerized invoicing have made administrative tasks more efficient.
The traditional focus of the resort was fishing; while today they emphasize shared experiences, spending time with each other and relaxing as a family. Minimal internet access encourages activity and connecting with each other. It is important to the recipient and her wife that all families are celebrated without judgement, so they have implemented an annual LGBTQ Family Weekend.
“If you take care of your guests, they will take care of you,” says the recipient. So, while some customary methods have changed, 2018 was their strongest business year ever and shoulder season bookings are on the upswing.
She offers this advice to other young professionals. “Do something you love and make a difference. Find balance and build a life, not just a job. Don’t do things in a silo. Draw upon your network of family, friends and community. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your dreams!”
Finalists Not Announced
The Sponsor of the Young Professional Award is Community Futures Peterborough