This feature highlights one of many women who make a difference in the community, put on by ACAWS and the Alberni Valley News as part of the 16 Days of Activism. Read our other features here.
I am the publisher of the Alberni Valley News, and a proud mom and grandmother. I started my career at the Westerly News in Ucluelet more than 35 years ago and have worked and lived on Vancouver Island ever since. The Alberni Valley has been part of my life since childhood, when we would camp at Sproat Lake, and now I am glad to call it home. I enjoy travelling, hiking, golfing, snowshoeing, yoga, painting, reading and knitting.
I have always believed in giving back to the community, no matter where I have lived. I believe in investing in positive change and growth. I get involved by giving my time, my skills and my resources. In my position at the newspaper I have the privilege of helping local organizations to get the word out about what they are doing, to promote Port Alberni and all it offers and to be a part of the progress that is moving the community forward.
Professionally, working towards gender equality has been a lifelong challenge. For women in my industry, sexist comments come from the public, the people we interview, the advertising clients we sell to and even our own colleagues. To get our jobs done, we often “put up with it.” But now that I am older and have children and grandchildren, I will call out people who speak or act inappropriately. I speak respectfully but firmly and I not only encourage my staff to do the same, I stand with them when the situation calls for it.
Generally, when it comes to talking about things I do to help people in the community, I like to keep such things private and as anonymous as possible in my personal life. But where my personal and professional life cross is in Rotary. I am proud to be the president of a club that is so generous to the community. These people work hard to do good. Just last month, I learned that a Breakfast with Santa was being organized at the mill with free train rides for struggling families and a gift for every child. I took it to Rotary, and the club agreed to make a generous donation toward the project.