Aina Budrevics, CAE, is the Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), where she has worked since 2006 in various roles. She is a graduate from the University of Toronto where she earned a B.A (Hon) graduate degree in Ethics, Society and Law. Aina finds value in contributing to the CSAE community and is a member of the CSAE Trillium Chapter Young Professional’s Committee. She is also active in her Latvian cultural community, assisting to lead a Latvian Girl Guide troop, and she is an avid traveler, skier, sailor and outdoor sports enthusiast.
 
What keeps you motivated?
The OALA’s wonderful small staff team, and the dedicated members we have, continue to motivate me to help lead the association I work at. We have a positive, supportive and enjoyable work atmosphere, which motivates me to keep striving and learning for the betterment of this association and its members.
 
How do you make a difference in your organization?
I try to approach situations with an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn from others. I try to bring the knowledge and experiences gained from my CAE courses to follow best practices and improve processes at the OALA. Above all, I bring a positive and optimistic attitude to my work and to the relationships I’ve created here.
 
What’s one piece of advice you would like to share with others?
Do what you say you’ll do – follow through and accountability are key.
And, on a very practical level, one of my pro-tips is using the reminders in outlook, for anything from putting in notes for things to do in 6 months or a year from now, or to ensure you follow up when you ask a committee to do something by a certain date. I’m constantly logging reminders, which help me ensure I don’t drop the ball.
 
What is one thing that may surprise people to learn about you?
My background you may know is Latvian, but I am also very involved in the Latvian community here in Toronto. I’m part of a Latvian folk dance group, and this July Toronto will host the Latvian Song and Dance Festival with participants from all around the world, where my group will be dancing with over 1,000 other dancers!
 
What are three things you could never live without?
The opportunities to travel and explore new places in the world; tasty cheeses (especially when paired with good wine!); and my close friends and family who are a never-ending wealth of excitement and support.
 
Recommend another CSAE aspiring leader to be featured.
Maddy Marchildon, or the other fine ladies from Redstone Agency.

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