People of Georgian: Motorcycle-driving manager challenges status quo

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The Georgian community is full of unique, inspiring perspectives —and we’re sharing them as part of an ongoing series.

People of Georgian: Meet Marjorie Cook

This will be my 15th year of riding motorcycles.

Shortly after I got my license, I started a women’s motorcycle riding club that met out of Wasaga Beach, and the largest motorcycle ride I ever led had 203 female riders. When we rolled into town, they could hear us coming.

And when they realized it was all women, onlookers were double-taking and chatting about it. I’ll never get bored of that; that reaction’s always fun to see.

Diversity means a lot of different things. We’re always trying to raise the ceiling on what women are known to do or able to do. I’ll buck the system any time I can.

A person rides a blue motorcycle through a parking lot.
Marjorie has been riding motorcycles for 15 years.

I started riding motorcycles with a little Honda 450 that was made in the early 80s, and I now ride a Road Star Midnight 1600. His name is Jack and we love going all over the place.

My husband, Brian, is also a rider, and so we are really looking forward to getting in some riding trips once I retire, maybe even going to the Cabot Trail this year. We’ve done Lake Placid, we’ve gone around Lake Superior, and we’ve done Mont Tremblant, so we enjoy doing long distance trips.

A person takes a selfie while standing near cacti and shrubbery.
Marjorie loves taking long distance motorcycle trips.

Heading into retirement with ‘knees to the breeze’

I always wanted to ride motorcycles. My dad rode when I was a kid, and my first serious boyfriend had a motorcycle, and so I always said that at some point in life I would ride.

When you’re riding a motorcycle, you are using both hands and feet, plus your mind at all times. The expression is “knees to the breeze” and there’s a reason for that because once you’ve got that breeze coming into your knees, face and hands, you have a sense of a freedom.

Heading into retirement, I am really looking forward to being able to travel and take in life experiences I didn’t get to do when you marry and have children young, like I did.  

Two images overtop each other, each showing a two adults and two children sitting together outside. The top pose they're smiling and the bottom pose they're making funny faces.
Marjorie, centre, in old family photos with her husband and sons.

I’ve worked at Georgian for 13 years, and, honestly, the one thing I wish is that I had applied to work here sooner. This is the longest I’ve worked at one company, and I think that speaks a lot about the culture here.

We’re very fortunate in my department to have two female leaders.

I think people appreciate what a female can bring to a role. We look at things a little bit differently sometimes, so being able to have a different perception can often lead conversations in ways that may not always be if it’s only males looking around the room.

Three people pose together in front of a large sign. The image reads "Mud Girl Obstacle Race."
Marjorie, right, embraces things that are considered “out of the box.”

And as a mom of two adult sons, I raised them to recognize that gender doesn’t make a difference in anything that you pursue and it shouldn’t matter in life.  

I’ve always looked at anything that’s a little out of the box and said, “Why not try that? Who says I can’t?”

Marjorie Cook, Business Manager in Georgian’s Engineering and Environmental Technologies and Skilled Trades departments.

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