Kristine Wickner was recognized as one the Shuswap’s outstanding community leaders in the 2021 Salmon Arm Top 20 Under 40 program. (Contributed)

Kristine Wickner was recognized as one the Shuswap’s outstanding community leaders in the 2021 Salmon Arm Top 20 Under 40 program. (Contributed)

Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40: Kristine Wickner

Program recognizes young community leaders in the Shuswap

The Salmon Arm Observer presents Kristine Wickner, one of 20 young community leaders recognized in Salmon Arm’s inaugural Top 20 Under 40 program.

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Our next honouree in the Top 20 Under 40 program is Kristine Wickner, a passionate political activist and community change maker.

It was nearly 10 years ago when Wickner found herself a resident of Salmon Arm. After growing up in New Brunswick, she graduated and began a country-wide adventure of post-secondary education and exciting career opportunities.

When Wickner’s previous work position required her to permanently move out west, she selected Salmon Arm on the advice of a friend. Her East Coast roots felt right at home in this tight-knit community, and she has been impacting the area ever since.

For the past five years Wickner has worked with Okanagan College in recruitment and marketing. A dynamic leader, she promotes the area to neighbouring high-school graduates and those looking to upgrade and explains the benefits of continuing education in Salmon Arm before moving. Wickner understands the value of cultivating relationships and encourages students to genuinely appreciate what Salmon Arm has to offer.

As impactful as her career is, it doesn’t hold Wickner back from advocacy in a myriad of other ways within the community. As president of the Shuswap NDP, the electoral district association representing local residents to the provincial NDP party, her role facilitates engagement with members to put forward a policy that matters. She has held this role for several years and currently sits on the NDP federal council as well.

Wickner’s passion for politics comes from a deeply held belief in the need for climate and social justice. She wants a better world not just for her own two children, but for all. Our climate crisis and growing wealth inequalities need to be addressed now.

There is no infinite timeline to right the ship, so she works tirelessly to lobby the government for change.

Balancing the responsibility of motherhood and a career is different for everyone, and for Kristine that has come from letting go of the wildly unrealistic expectation that she needs to do it all without help. With partner and family support and prioritizing those tasks which contribute vitality, connection and contribution, she has found a way to balance needs, ask for and receive help, and have the energy to give so much to others.

When looking to the future, Wickner won’t be stepping away from helping others anytime soon. She has recently been diagnosed with ADHD and will be starting a support group for fellow moms with neurodivergency in the near future. She hopes to provide a safe space for other moms to learn and get support. And next fall, watch for her name on the ballot as she makes a run for Salmon Arm city council.

Submitted

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Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40 program was launched this year by Dustin Serviss, of Serviss Wealth Management, in partnership with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, to acknowledge outstanding individuals, role models, mentors and community builders over the age of 18 and under 40.

The top 20 were selected from individuals nominated by the public. Visit salmonarmtop20.ca.


lachlan@saobserver.net
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