CONTRIBUTION · 22nd October 2014
01: Who are you? Tell the public a little about yourself?
Trish Parsons - Born and raised in Kitimat with eleven siblings, I’ve had the privilege of raising my own five children and now two of my three grandchildren right here in Kitimat.
After a brief three years in Calgary, Alberta in the mid-eighties where I met my husband Wayne, new employment opportunities in Kitimat allowed us to return to Kitimat and purchase our first and “forever” home. I worked at Mount Elizabeth Secondary School on the office team in the role of accounts clerk for eleven years and served two terms as treasurer of the local CUPE Union.
My employment with the school district ended with the School District amalgamation and support staff positions were reduced. With limited job opportunities, it was time to start my own business as a bookkeeper/consultant working for local businesses and community organizations for more than fifteen years.
I am currently serving second term as Director of the BC Chamber Executives Society and the Kitimat Community Foundation.
As the Executive Director of the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce since 2009 I continue to engage with proponents, government, resource services and community groups to build partnerships and effect change for our community.
02: What do you bring to the Council table?
A strong desire to serve my community and passion for Kitimat to build a strong, sustainable future.
03: What is your experience with local politics?
As an employee of a Governance Board, my current position provides me the opportunity to meet with proponents, various levels of government and the opportunity to work on issues that impact our community. Participation and dialogue with business, government and community agencies on the social and economic impact of projects affecting our community and region provide me with first-hand experience and knowledge of the specific challenges Kitimat is facing.
Experience as a current board member for the Kitimat Community Foundation and BC Chamber of Commerce Executives, and past boards of local CUPE and the Kitimat Marlin Swim Club have strengthened my skills, abilities and knowledge in working as an effective member of a governance board.
04: What personal attribute best qualifies you for office and how will you apply it to your role in office?
Leadership – I do not believe leadership is about title or power. It is the ability to work with others to achieve a common goal, remaining focused on the big picture.
05: How would you improve relationships with Kitimat’s neighbours?
Kitimat has faced challenges in the past where issues have arisen and divisiveness and confrontation have flourished. The energy of choosing sides and building armies would be better spent on dialogue and compromise. Kitimat is just one part of this region and for us to achieve long term stability we also need long term stability for our neighbours.
06: If you could bring one commercial business to Kitimat, which business would you bring and why?
Kitimat has a strong Economic Development office that has been working successfully to attract new business to Kitimat. We need to harness opportunities that are presented and contribute to the growth and stability of our community. Kitimat has the potential to be home to a variety of commercial businesses that would all benefit the community. To limit focus to one single business would limit Kitimat’s potential for long term stability.
07: If you could do any one thing in your role on Council to make Kitimat more prosperous, what would that be?
Kitimat is the result of industrial development and has prospered because of that development. To see continued prosperity we need to compete in a global economy that will bring additional benefits to Kitimat. We can find common ground that will see investment and development of resources while protecting the environment and strengthening our community.
08: If you could do one thing in your role on Council to make Kitimat a better place, what would that be?
A municipal council may not have authority on contentious issues, choosing to focus on ‘HOW can we work with this’ rather than taking a yes or no position will benefit Kitimat in the long term.
09: How would you define your leadership style and how does that style contribute to a more effective Council?
A leader influences the support of others to achieve a common goal. Leadership is about working with others not above others.
10: If there was something you could do to make Kitimat more environmentally friendly what would it be and why?
We need to continue to support current recycling programs that have been implemented and as resources and opportunities become available expand and enhance those programs.
11: In 15 words or less: What is the meaning of life?
A gift we can choose to embrace.