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Erin Stapleton has her eyes set on the international stage

Erin Stapleton. Photo illustration by Belle DeMont
Erin Stapleton. Photo illustration by Belle DeMont

Confidence, perseverance and a seat at the table


Failure is not a word in Erin Stapleton’s vocabulary.

She is a definite force to watch in 2019 and the coming years in Atlantic Canada, the country and beyond. Stapleton has the confidence to carry herself and her business — and anyone she works for and with — down the road to success.

The work

Stapleton has more than 10 years’ experience providing environmental planning and stakeholder engagement services to the natural resources and energy sectors. Stapleton has worked on natural gas pipelines in British Columbia, wind farms and transmission lines in Alberta, mining operations in Nova Scotia, clean technology in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Currently, as the director of Stapleton Environmental Consulting Inc., she provides environmental planning, marine spatial planning and stakeholder engagement services to the renewable energy and clean technology sectors in Atlantic Canada.

As senior impact assessment specialist with Shared Value Solutions Ltd., Stapleton assists Indigenous communities with impact assessment processes — providing regulatory advice and conducting technical reviews related to natural resource and energy developments throughout Canada.

Stapleton was also named the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year, receiving the Momentum Award.

The perseverance

Stapleton’s family has a history in farming — an entrepreneurial business in itself that gave her the foundation to start out on her own and grow her consulting business.

With mounds of confidence, and the experience and academic credentials to back it up, she is a game changer.

Stapleton has never let fear hold her back, nor setbacks in business or health.

Rather, she has chosen to learn from and draw strength from those experiences.

“Having had cancer twice — when I was 17 through 19 years old — I’ve been in remission for 17 years, but that experience continues to have a profound and positive influence on how I live my life, personally and professionally,” she says. “When people reflect on their lives, they tend to regret the things they didn't do. I'd rather take a chance and have the satisfaction of knowing I tried, rather than spend my life wondering, ‘What if?’”


The challenges

Sometimes your home province can be the toughest nut to crack for an entrepreneur.

“Professionally, one of the greatest challenges was moving back home to Newfoundland and Labrador and establishing myself as a credible professional. In Calgary, I never had to justify my seat at the table — my expertise was welcomed and sought after,” Stapleton says

“While I didn’t expect it to be easy to build a business, I also didn’t expect the extent to which certain demographics in my home province discounted my significant experience. Luckily, my current roles allow me to work with clients and colleagues who know the value I bring.”

The future

Stapleton says what she would like to see, in Newfoundland and Labrador in particular, is economic diversification beyond offshore oil, renewable energy development beyond hydroelectricity and proactive planning to maximize the opportunities for the province in the global transition to the lower-carbon economy.

“Through my work with Indigenous communities, I’d like to do what I can to contribute to the effort to build and rebuild relationships between Indigenous nations, governments and industry,” she says.

“The change I’m trying to make in Newfoundland and Labrador is motivated by the fact that this is my home. I love this province and want to create a future where we aren’t dependent on one non-renewable, extractive economy — where our wealth is derived from a diverse economy based on sustainable, responsible development of our natural resources and communities.

“I was driven to seek opportunities to work with Indigenous communities as a result of a decade of working for industry. I want to put that experience to work for the benefit of Indigenous communities.”

Stapleton has her eyes set on the international stage, as well.

“I would like to bring my services outside of Canada, and branch into the teaching space and empower others to also take a role in the environmental sector here in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

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