Sometimes it takes only a few seconds to change your mind forever.
Just ask Halifax’s Cari Duggan, the president of a hockey-training academy whose plane crashed returning from Florida in 2015. “Suddenly, you realize this isn’t going to go well,” she almost understates.
Still, broken-backed and bedridden for six months, she had plenty of time to think about her life. To be sure, it was a good one. “I was a labour negotiator for Canadian Blood Services,” says the MBA graduate from Saint Mary’s and former senior manager at Bell Aliant. “It really was my dream job. But I had also been involved as a team manager in minor hockey. My son James played. As I lay there, I kept wondering, ‘Why am I missing the kids so much?’”
That’s when Halifax hockey coach Chris Pierce, with whom she had formed an informal training partnership years earlier, suggested they establish a real school. With that, Outside Edge Hockey Development was born.
In three years, the enterprise has grown from hosting fewer than 10 kids to accommodating the children of more than 100 families in the metropolitan area. It also maintains training contracts with Dalhousie University and the Halifax Mooseheads.
Most recently, Duggan became the first woman admitted to a prestigious MBA (Certified Professional Hockey) program offered by the Business Hockey Institute (BHI). “We’re delighted that we have scored an extremely qualified student in Cari,” BHI co-founder Ritch Winter told Saint Mary’s alumni magazine last year. “She’s shown the determination to succeed.”
That, too, may be an understatement.