"I like to help people see all sides of the story."
Jodi manages the TransEd storefront, where she answers questions and resolves concerns about the Valley Line LRT—13 kilometres of light rail transit that will connect Mill Woods to downtown Edmonton.
“A lot of it is online and over the phone,” she says. “They call or email when they have a concern, and I try to track down answers.”
Jodi joined Focus and TransEd in March 2016, shortly before the storefront opened. She helped develop FAQs about the Valley Line—first-hand knowledge that equipped her to respond to citizens.
The TransEd storefront is open Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Jodi is at the booth every week day. When she closes up, she heads home for a brief pause before dashing to her bellydance studio to teach until 10:00 p.m. Saturdays are another full day of teaching.
Despite that nonstop schedule, Jodi isn’t stressed.
“Bellydance is very empowering,” she says. “It’s therapeutic. Everybody has something going on in their lives. With dance, you can come and move and not think about all the things that stress you out. We don’t do enough of that for ourselves.”
After high school, Jodi did odd jobs, while studying and teaching Kung Fu and Tai Chi in the evenings and on weekends. Eventually, she opened her own studio and took a day job in the complaints department at the Better Business Bureau. She became Operations Manager, responding to complaints and helping find resolutions to marketplace transactions.
It was good training for TransEd.
“I like to help people see all sides of the story,” she says. “There aren’t just two sides. There are three to everything.” Jodi describes herself as a neutral third party. “I am not emotionally invested, so we can look at this in a new light and try to resolve the situation.”
When Jodi first discovered bellydance, she immediately closed her martial arts studio to concentrate on brand new moves. When she left the bureau, she opened her own bellydance studio. Now her busy life is half TransEd—half hip shimmies.
While most Valley Line enquiries are online and over the phone, visitors also stop to chat about the new line. It may seem like small talk. But a conversation about a brand-new, transformative way to travel to southeast Edmonton often turns into something big.