January 15, 2011
Lee Ann Knudsen
Lee Ann Knudsen

Publisher, Director of publications and communications

What is your job description at LO?

Communicating is my specialty, a key responsibility because communications are the glue that holds an association together. The LO communications team must stay light on its feet, because we are continually working in a variety of media -- magazines, websites, electronic broadcasts and print promotions. To make it more complicated, we prepare messages for several distinct audiences; sometimes we are talking to the trade, sometimes suppliers and sometimes to the public. Producing publications and promotions for the green industry is very satisfying, because our work really helps drive its prosperity. Communicating with the suppliers is fun, because for one reason, our advertising opportunities offer unique reach and effectiveness. And, I really enjoy promoting our Green for Life message to the public alongside the talented Denis Flanagan.

What was your background before coming to LO, and when did you begin work at LO?

Ten years ago, my experience with magazines brought me to LO. I had worked with business and consumer magazines on both sides of the border, in wide-ranging topic areas including travel, dairy herd management and sport fishing. I come from a farm background, and I knew I had found a home at LO because its members live by the same values -- faith, hard work, fair dealing and respect for nature.

What inspires you during your time at LO?

I have never seen anything like the volunteer power behind LO. Every organization depends on a few committed leaders to benefit a body of members, but LO’s volunteer participation rate is way off the scale. I marvel at how this industry is so forward-looking in creating better economic opportunity for all. Having the vision to co-operate with your competitor is one thing, but our unique, multi-sector structure adds a whole different dimension. The level of volunteer participation within LO, across such diverse sectors, is truly inspiring.

Name your all-time favourite movie, musical group and TV show.

I rarely watch movies or TV. Cowboy Junkies is the most-played group on my iPod.

Tell us one thing that few of your colleagues know about you.

My husband and I enjoy Thai cooking, especially bold recipes calling for ingredients like 40 fiery-hot chilies.