I Am Rotary – Tara Racette

My name is Tara, born in Chatham at the Hotel Dieu hospital. I am the middle child of three, with an older brother and a younger sister. For those who are curious, my father is from Rouyn-Noranda, and came to Chatham with the military in the 1980s. My mom’s maiden name is Lamkey, which I like to say is my local name and I can usually make a connection with people that way.

When I was very young and as the base here was closing we were posted to Gagetown where I attended Elementary school. We spent every weekend and summer that we could in Chatham, and always considered here our home. After several years, we again were being posted to Valcartier, Quebec. With an English speaking wife, and three English speaking children who all yearned to be in Chatham, my father felt it was time to leave the military and brought us all back home to the Miramichi or more specifically, Napan.

At that time, I attended Napan Elementary, followed by Dr. Losier Middle School and graduated from James M Hill. Post-graduation, I continued my studies at Oulton college with business administration. When I felt like this just wasn’t for me, I went on to get my bachelor degree in Sociology at UNB with a goal of becoming a parole officer. I had a fascination with the criminal world, and thought I could understand the criminal mind and help or motivate criminals to rehabilitate. Again, each weekend and summer I had off, I returned to my home to find work. After completing my second year at University, I obtained a job with the New Brunswick Youth Center as a Correctional Officer. Through training, I was tasered and pepper-sprayed and let me assure you that that alone is motivating enough to never want to break the law. I really enjoyed my summer in this line of work, was good at my job, learned a lot and was offered a full-time position. At my age, this was a pretty big deal and I had a huge decision in front of me – do I leave school to start work full-time in an industry I thought I wanted, or continue with my studies? I decided that maybe this line of work also wasn’t for me, and continued my search for my career.

Through school, university and into my early 20’s, I was a very shy, introverted person. I avoided center of attention situations and refused to speak in front of large groups. I purposely avoided classes that included presenting, and which I was mostly successful at doing. As I attended university, I found a part-time job as a waitress, and had continued to waitress on and off until 2016. This experience brought me out of my shell, helped me build confidence in myself, forced me to work hard, and made me realize that I needed a career that allowed me to social and in consistent contact with people. It also allowed me to hold back in applying for any job and wait until I found one that I could be passionate about.

In June of 2016, I had an opportunity to interview at Sun FM as an account manager. With little sales experience behind me, I persuaded Priya, who was the manager at the time, that I was the best fit for the job, willing to continue to learn, and work hard. Radio is the fun, interactive and challenging career I was looking for, and I found my place within this industry. Sun FM is a branch of Stingray radio, formerly Newcap, and is one of 105 Stingray stations across Canada. Many people can only hope to find a job or career they find happiness in, and feel fortunate to have found mine.

As this manager had to leave the industry due to medical reasons, Victoria had come into my life and was an amazing role model and mentor, and guided me into my first full year of sales which I had successfully done, achieving a silver Newcap cross-Canada Presidents award in achieving sales followed by a gold in 2018. During the summer of 2018, it was clear that Victoria would be leaving the company and I was offered the position of Sales and Station manager at Sun FM, which I gratefully accepted.  

I feel the majority of my success through the station has to do with the passion I have for my community, my home. I take great pride in giving honest marketing advice when asked, coming up with the next big idea for station or client functions, and being a part of growth and success in local small and large businesses. Participating in events for fundraising or for creating awareness with the station or through Rotary, I love how Miramichi pulls together and am proud to be a part of this community.

On a more personal side, I currently reside in Napan with my fiancée Mike Roy and our son Daxton, who is turning 5 and will be attending Kindergarten this year. We will be finally tying the knot this coming June.

Other than that, some of my hobbies include reading, writing, golfing even though I am a terrible athlete, and spending time with my family.

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