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A Techsploration Check-in Circle: Announcing Our New Executive Director

Techsploration’s Board of Directors is thrilled to announce to our community of students, teachers, alumnae, role models, sponsors, and volunteers that Arylene Reycraft has been selected as the organization’s new Executive Director! She takes on the Executive Director position from Techsploration’s Founder, Tricia Robertson, who is leaving the organization in the hands of the team she has been leading for the past 19 years to focus on her other career as an artist.

“From recruiting thousands of our role models and bringing in significant sponsorship dollars, to developing and delivering innovative programming, it is difficult to express just how instrumental Arylene has been to the success of Techsploration. Her dedication and commitment to Techsploration is infectious and will continue to propel this vital organization forward as she leads us into our twentieth anniversary next year,” says Tina Kelly, President of Techsploration’s Board of Directors.

IMG_3828 (2)Unless you’ve participated in a Techsploration committee meeting, you may be unaware that each meeting begins with a “check-in circle”. It’s a unique opportunity at the beginning of a meeting for attendees to share a meaningful or inspiring moment they’ve experienced at a recent Techsploration event. This is a tradition that regularly reminds us of the impact of our programs and the mission we have as an organization, and where some of our best Techsploration stories are first told.

Arylene has provided a number of inspiring and sometimes tear-inducing stories during her 13 years with the organization as the Program and Fund Development Manager. One of her favourite encounters to share is the time a young girl was found crying following a round-robin session with a physicist. When Arylene went over to see if everything was okay, the girl explained that she had always wanted to be a physicist since she was little, but had been told that she couldn’t pursue that career path because “girls weren’t physicists”. The guest role model changed that perception for her, and for the first time she realized she could have that career. The impossible made possible. According to Arylene, she’s had many similar experiences, each one leaving her with a deep sense of gratitude for the role models and sponsors, and a desire to expand Techsploration’s reach and impact.

While Arylene may have an arsenal of both heartwarming and hilarious stories to share at check-in circles, it’s more than likely that a number of our community members would include Arylene in their own meaningful “Techsploration moments” at a check-in circle. Arylene is recognized in the region and beyond as a community driver and a genuine advocate for women in science, trades, and technology. In 2016, Arylene was also one of six leaders chosen to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program’s (IVLP) Women in STEM Conference, which took place in Washington, Orlando, and Cincinnati.

“During an interview in March 2004, Arylene communicated her vision of what she would contribute to Techsploration. I never laughed so much and at the same time, I was certain that she meant every word. Fortunately for young women in Nova Scotia and beyond, Arylene is now the Executive Director of Techsploration. Her wonderful sense of humor is matched by her bravery, sense of duty, and determination to help others in finding their pathway to a successful life. In the months to come, as you generously make an offer to Arylene, to volunteer for Techsploration … and if you’ve met her, you know you will … your time will be valued – and your expertise put to good work,” says  Tricia Robertson, Techsploration Founder and former Executive Director.

Prior to joining Techsploration, Arylene taught customized management training at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC). She had initially joined Techsploration as a 3-month secondment from NSCC, but her passion for the organization and her ability to transfer her enthusiasm to others made her a permanent fixture and an essential component to the growing organization. Arylene attributes many of her own leadership learnings to the guidance she received from her role model and mentor, Ruth Goldbloom. According to Arylene, Ruth had an impressive grasp of reality and priorities. She recalls Ruth mentioning her first attempt at fundraising when she went to a car dealership in Montreal and requested a car as a donation for a raffle prize. She got the car. Ruth could not grasp why people wouldn’t want to give to a charity or a non-profit when she knew they had the resources to help…and that’s how she approached fundraising and is one of the reasons why she was so successful.

“I learned a lot from Ruth, and continue to learn from my other mentors and peers. I always aim to create an environment where others can achieve results, which is why I am so proud to be part of an organization focused on breaking the status quo. I’m absolutely honoured to take the helm at Techsploration and continue to build upon the legacy Tricia has created with Techsploration,” says Reycraft.

She adds, “I think it’s a rare occurrence to see tangible evidence that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life, but Techsploration offers that opportunity to our role models and alumnae on a regular basis. At our next check-in circle, I’ll be sharing my thanks to our entire community for their support and confidence in me taking on this new role.”