Scholar Throwback – Katie (Cheesmond) Giddy

As we begin accepting applications for our GRAS Scholarship and Bursary Program we wanted to take a trip down memory lane to see what some of our past scholars have been up to since they graduated.

What better place to start then one of our first recipients back in 2006. The life story of Katie (Cheesmond) Giddy is filled with many accomplishments and maybe a little fate! We will let her tell the story that ultimately brought her back to to the team here at GRAS…

What has your professional journey looked like since winning your GRAS scholarship?
“When I received the GRAS Scholarship in 2006 I was working almost full time at Agricorp as an Agriculture Financial Verifier for the CAIS program, while finishing my Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Agriculture business. I stayed in that role until graduation, when I moved to spent the next 9 years of my career with RBC.

During my time at RBC I focused on commercial and agriculture and agribusiness lending, leaving the position of Senior Commercial and Agriculture Manager in 2015. During my time at RBC I had focused much of my own personal professional development in organizational structure and agricultural tax. I loved working with business owners, especially farm families, using what knowledge I had from my Ag background and my professional career to support them through transition and change.

It was this love that drew me to the team at RLB Chartered Professional Accountants. I spent 5 amazing years as part of their management team as Chief Growth Officer, focusing on firm profitability, growth of our teams business development culture, and also spending time supporting farm clients in a financial consultant capacity.

2020 brought me full circle back to GRAS as I join the management team as Director of Hospitality, Sales and Marketing, where I will lend a hand in the launch of the new $6 million event space.”

Do you have any personal highlights you would like to share?
“I have been so incredibly fortunate to work with amazing people since 2006. I continue to be supported by some wonderful mentors, I made life long friends and I have relished the opportunity to learn and grow. Every professional role I have held has been complimented by having the organizational support to volunteer and give back to my community. Today, working for GRAS, rounds out a life long goal of working for a not-for-profit organization.”

Do you have any ongoing connection to GRAS? What did receiving a scholarship mean to you? 
“I probably have the strongest connection of all scholarship recipients- I got a job! – and I can’t wait to see what my future with GRAS holds.”

Stories like Katie’s are the reason the GRAS Bursary/Scholarship program exists. Since its inception in 2006, the program has awarded $216,500 to 118 students. For updates on more of our past scholars follow us on Facebook @GrandRiverAg

If you know a student with a permanent residence in Wellington County, Perth County or the Region of Waterloo who is currently enrolled in a college or university with an agricultural or environmentally focused program they can apply for a scholarship of up to $2,500.

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