Compliance, Research and Initiatives Advisor at York Region (The Regional Municipality of York)
Master in Environmental Studies 2011
"Cultivate your passions. Say “Yes!” to opportunities. Build your personal resilience."
About Michael Charendoff
How would you describe your years at EUC, and did the program prepare you for your career? How?
My time with EUC was inspiring, thought-provoking and thoroughly enjoyable!
The MES program at EUC prepared me for my career by emphasizing the importance and effectiveness of cultivating creativity, embracing multi-disciplinary perspectives, and applying systems thinking to tackle complex challenges.
What’s your favorite/most memorable memory of your time at York University?
In addition to the Masters in Environmental Studies, I simultaneously earned Graduate Diplomas in Business and the Environment and Environmental and Sustainability Education. I enjoyed transitioning between the distinct learning environments fostered by EUC, the Schulich School of Business and the Faculty of Education. I appreciate and remember fondly my peers and professors examining topical challenges from interdisciplinary perspectives.
Describe your post-graduation journey including experiences such as employment, volunteer work, community engagement projects.
I started my post-graduation journey with a joint internship – splitting my time as a Sustainability Intern between Environmental Defence and Xerox Canada. This internship provided the bridge between graduate school and working life. I was able to take theories of business sustainability learned in school and apply them in a corporate and ENGO context.
Following this internship I worked with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) as a Watershed Management Project Coordinator. In this role, I coordinated Environmental Assessment public consultation and led a wide range of community engagement and environmental education initiatives.
This valuable experience led to my first role with York Region as a Public Education Coordinator with a focus on water and wastewater. I’ve been fortunate to contribute to York Region Environmental Services Department ever since. Following my initial role, I served as a Project Coordinator in Sustainable Waste Management and then as a Policy Advisor in the Strategy and Innovation Branch.
What is your current job title, or project you are working on, and how would you describe the work you do in a typical day?
My current title is Compliance, Research and Initiatives Advisor within the Strategy and Innovation Branch of the Environmental Services Department of York Region. The projects I lead center on the theme of technological innovation to enhance efficiency, effectiveness and regulatory compliance in the context of water and wastewater operations. This work involves facilitating collaboration and decision-making with a wide range of disciplines and subject matter experts – from water operators, to engineers, to legal experts, to IT professionals and beyond. To execute this work, I apply project management, process improvement, stakeholder consultation and communication theory and skills.
If you could leave current students with a piece of advice, what would it be?
Cultivate your passions. Say “Yes!” to opportunities. Build your personal resilience.