Leading ladies

This week I have had so many opportunities to be impressed by the number of strong women taking leading roles in the community.

This week I have had so many opportunities to be impressed by the number of strong women taking leading roles in the community I just had to write it down.

After my interview with the new Product Development Officer for the Fort St. James National Historic Site, April Hilland, we were chatting about some of the things going on in the community, and she mentioned some of the inspiring women we know and the things they have initiated in the community.

While it was a sad week for Fort St. James last week, losing one of the community’s most tireless advocates and volunteers, Kandace Kerr, who has moved to Sooke, there was a bright light of hope in what Hilland had to say.

She mentioned the hard-working women of the District of Fort St. James Office: Mel Chesnutt and Emily Colombo, who are initiating some brilliant new things like the newcomer potlucks and Bike to Work Week Fort St. James, for two easy examples.

Hilland herself is bringing new ideas to build on the already significant contribution Kevin Gedling made to reinvigorating the historic site.

She will be adding her own creative touch to the events and outreach programs, to help draw new visitors as well as to draw locals back to see the site they have seen so many times.

Earlier in the week I was also running with Renada Walstrom, who has been featured in the paper as an inspiration for her running program and leadership in health and fitness in the community. Walstrom continues to inspire me each week, with her great attitude and dedication.

After my first run back on returning from my vacation, I was again impressed by how much fun we have had running with her, and the continued enthusiasm for running she has inspired is exciting to be a part of.

The volunteerism of Izzy Willick also continues to impress me, as she dedicates countless hours to coaching the high school girls volleyball team and running the Murray Ridge Ski School year after year.

There are so many women in this community who continue to give of their time and energy to not only give to the community, but to make Fort St. James a great place to be and inspire the next generation of young women.

This is not to say there are not men around providing inspiration, but I just was struck by the many strong leading women driving the community forward and making things happen.

So here’s to all the leading ladies out there in Fort St. James making things happen and getting it done – keep up the great work.

If anyone would like to share stories of some other leaders in the community, contact The Caledonia Courier at newsroom@caledoniacourier.com or 250-996-8482.