2022-2023 Board Applications

Below are all the applications that have been submitted from the community to be a member of the next Kamloops Pride Society board. Applications are listed in order of submission.

Remy McInnis

Pronouns: They/Them

Position(s): Vice President

About Themselves: I've lived in Kamloops for 7 years now and have been working over the past year to strengthen my own sense of community here. I volunteered with a couple of different organizations for several years in my youth, after moving here I fell out of it for a while but I've been loving getting back into it! I love taking my bike out on the trails here in town, and getting a coffee downtown while browsing all the local businesses. If I'm at home, you can bet there will be a puzzle on my table waiting to be finished before my cat knocks it all on the floor.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: I've been volunteering with KPS since the beginning of this year, and have assisted with Espresso Yourself, Rainbrews, and the Farmers Market booth. As well I've helped out with planning and facilitating some of the Pride Week events.

Why they want to join the board: I want to be join the KP board as Vice President because the current board members made me feel so welcome from day one, and that encouraged me to dive right in and remember how much I love volunteering and being a part of the community.

Skills: Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Fundraising, Program management, Event planning, Social media, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of Order, Community networking.

Alyssa Christianson

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): President

About Themselves: I am a 24 year-old queer woman who has lived in Kamloops for about 1 year. I have worked for BC Wildfire Service for about 4 years. During the summer months, I am often busy working in wildfire response in the Planning section. I am the current interim Kamloops Pride Vice President, and have been for the last 7 months. Previously, I volunteered as the co-chair of the Castlegar Pride Committee. My skills and interested include event planning, general organization, leading teams, documentation, and developing plans. When I'm not working or volunteering, I can be found at a spin class, doing a puzzle, watching Netflix, or making polymer clay earrings.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: I joined the Kamloops Pride Board in April 2022 as the interim Vice President. During my 7 months as Vice President, I lead the Events committee and participated in the Pride Week and Sponsorship committees. I have lead the coordination of, and volunteered at, events such as Rainbrews, Espresso Yourself, and the Farmers Markets. These events have been places where the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community can gather and socialize in Kamloops. I also lead the planning and execution of the first Kamloops Pride dance since COVID-19. The dance was a huge success with sold out tickets and a profit for Kamloops Pride.

Why they want to join the board: I have enjoyed my time on the board as the Vice President this year and I want to continue my involvement with Kamloops Pride on the executive level. In addition to running events, I have helped with governance documents, finances, website upkeep, and social media. I believe I have a comprehensive understanding of the President duties from working with the current President. I am applying for President because I am interested in taking on the leadership role with governance and Pride Week. Kamloops Pride is so important for Kamloops and the local 2SLGBTQPIA+ community and I want to continue to be a part of it.

Skills: Board development, Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Previous experience on a Board of Directors, Event planning, Excellent written and oral communication, Social media, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of Order.

Jenny Edwards

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): General Board Member 

About Themselves: I'm a 40-year old mum who was born and raised in Kamloops, and I am now raising my own family here. I work in live theatre as a development/administrative assistant and as a liaison to our Board of Directors, and I am also a trained actor and classical singer. I have been a volunteer with the Calgary School District, Girl Guides of Canada, SD73 here in Kamloops and I was a volunteer during Pride Week 2022.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: I volunteered with Pride Week 2022, and I work with my son, Gray, who makes and sells Pride jewellery.

Why they want to join the board: Growing up in Kamloops, there wasn't a lot of representation for the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community. Having an organization like Kamloops Pride is SO important to our community at large, and I would welcome the opportunity to be a part of it.

Skills: Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Fundraising, Event planning, Advocacy, Excellent written and oral communication, Youth outreach, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people.

Aidan Sheppard

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): Communications Coordinator 

About Themselves: I am 24 years old and am currently employed as a Women's Housing Support Worker. Prior to my current position I worked with children and youth in care. I'm passionate about working within my community to ensure that people have access to the resources available to them and to also act as a listening ear and advocate for those who may need it. When I am not working you can find me spending time with my pets, getting creative in some way (jewelry making, painting, crafting, letter writing and so much more) reading, scrolling social media, and spending time with my friends. If it's sunny out you'll find me walking some of the many trails around and in Kamloops or enjoying the outdoors in some form with my dog. With the remainder of my time I enjoy caring for other peoples animals.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: In the past year I have consistently volunteered with Kamloops Pride at events such as Rainbrews, Espresso Yourself, the dance and the Farmers Markets. I have recently taken on a role as a volunteer co-leader of Rainbow Reads, a 2SLGBTQIAP+ focused book club. In my workplace I sit on a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee where I have voiced ideas and concerns regarding the 2SLGBTQIAP+ community and ways we can make our workplace a more inclusive space. Through my work I have also been given the opportunity to run a "free to the community" clothing closet. When this program is fully operational, I will be ensuring that it is a safe space for all who are seeking out more feminine style clothing and accessories, including gender minorities and transgender individuals.

Why they want to join the board: During the time I have spent volunteering I have deeply enjoyed getting to know the members of the Kamloops Pride board and the roles they get to play in the community. Kamloops Pride as an organization aligns closely with my passions and values in regards to advocacy, inclusion, diversity, and a way to amplify voices of people who may otherwise be overlooked or unheard by society. It offers me a way to give back to a community that has welcomed me with open arms and given me a sense of belonging and acceptance. I am also very interested in the Communications Coordinator position because social media is something I navigate on a daily basis and enjoy using as a communication tool. Creating graphics and curating educational, informational or otherwise helpful posts is something I feel I would excel at and take joy in.

Skills: Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Strategic planning, Program management, Event planning, Advocacy, Excellent written and oral communication, Youth outreach, Media relations/Communications, Social media, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of Order, Graphic design, IT/Computer proficiency, Website building and updating, Community networking

Ashton O'Brien

Pronouns: They/Them, She/Her

Position(s): Director of Resources  

About Themselves: I am 33 years old and work at BCLC in eGaming Support. I have been on the Kamloops Pride board for 4 years, most recently as President. I am passionate about everything Diversity and Inclusion related, but pride is where I have the most knowledge. I have created and facilitated competency training at my own work as well as for other organizations, I have spoken and presented on topics related to pride and D&I in general, and I have sat on panels to speak on topics such as pride, diversity and inclusion, and mental health. I like sports, camping, technology, video games, and building things out of wood or lego, and I love being out in nature.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: President of Kamloops Pride - advocacy, events, resources, training

Why they want to join the board: I would like to continue building out the resources Kamloops Pride offers to try to close some gaps in the community. I would also like to maintain current relationships I have developed over the past year to see through some of the important work that's been started. This includes working with the RCMP to educate them about queer needs and experiences, working with partner organizations to create opportunities for collaboration and support, and working with TRU Probono Law and Nursing students to create more resources for the community. I would also like to build some training materials for Kamloops Pride to be able to present or distribute when requested.

Skills: Board development, Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Strategic planning, Previous experience on a Board of Directors, Fundraising, Program management, Event planning, Policy development, Staffing/Human resources, Advocacy, Excellent written and oral communication, Media relations/Communications, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Understanding of Roberta's Rules of Order, Graphic design, IT/Computer proficiency, Website building and updating, Training/Education, Community networking.

Charlie Smith

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): Administrative Assistant

About Themselves: Well I’m now the ripe age of 36 and work in sterile processing of surgical instruments. Unfortunately due to my own insecurities and struggles I haven’t volunteered before but that won’t stop me now! Interests range from plants, to diamond painting and learning how things work. I really enjoy learning the process of anything and the finer details of why, a thing does what it does. In my past I have filled many supervisor or management roles so I’m adept at working with others, and making sure tasks are completed. Over the years I have focused on internal growth and learning from others how to do better and in some cases share what I have learned. And I love podcasts! Especially ones that deliver knowledge in a interactive way, mysteries etc.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: Not nearly enough. My hope is that I’ll be able to contribute and actively be a positive force in the community.

Why they want to join the board: To help. The work the board does for the community is exceptional and it sets a standard I want to achieve. By working with such a passionate group I hope, my desires to help those in the community adds to everything.

Skills: Team leadership or supervision, Interpersonal skills, Staffing/Human resources, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people.

Marie Marshall

Pronouns: She/Her

Position(s): Director of Youth Engagement 

About Themselves: My name is Marie Marshall. My pronouns are she/her, and I identify as a member of the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community. I am a 22-year-old Registered Nurse working at Royal Inland Hospital and Kamloops Hospice Association. In my free time, I love to ski, paddle board, and hike with my partner and family dog. I recently graduated from the nursing program at TRU. During my studies, I took additional courses to better support diverse populations such as the Human Sexuality for Health Care Providers course and the San’yas Indigenous Cultural Safety Training. I was also a very active volunteer during my time at TRU. I was the Co-President of a blood donation club as well as the Vice-President of a nursing undergraduate club. Through these clubs, I gained experience with event planning as well as leadership and communication skills that would make me an asset to the Kamloops Pride Board. I am also currently a volunteer with Kamloops Immigrant Services in which we promote inclusivity and diversity in Kamloops.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: I have been a volunteer with Kamloops Pride since spring 2022. I have assisted with data entry and have volunteered at community events. Prior to my involvement with Kamloops Pride, I was a member of the TRUSU Pride Club at TRU.

Why they want to join the board: During my nursing degree, I researched mental health disparities amongst 2SLGBTQPIA+ youth. I found that one of the biggest protective factors for good mental health was having a strong support system. With this in mind, I approached Kamloops Pride proposing that we start a mentorship program for the 2SLGBTQPIA+ youth in Kamloops. They informed me of the Director of Youth Engagement board position. I believe this position would provide me with the connections and support to undertake the initiation of a mentorship program in Kamloops. Additionally, I believe I could utilize my experience with event planning to create fun and unique events to connect the 2SLGBTQPIA+ youth in Kamloops. Lastly, as it can be challenging to find other queer folk in the community, I would also love the opportunity to make friends and work alongside like-minded individuals.

Skills: Interpersonal skills, Event planning, Excellent written and oral communication, Youth outreach, Media relations/Communications, Social media, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people, Training/Education, Community networking.

Vallankan Mendonca

Pronouns: He/Him

Position(s): Administrative Assistant 

About Themselves: I'm a TRU international student pursuing my post baccalaureate in International Business. Besides that, I'm the Student Ambassador for Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics. My job responsibilities are promoting the courses offered by the aforementioned school, interviewing various Club Presidents and faculties and sharing their learnings and experiences with TRU students. Speaking of my volunteering experiences, I have been a part of Thane Deanery South youth group (that organizes youth related events), Queer Azaadi Mumbai ( a group that supports queer rights) and TRU Women In Business Club ( helping people to network, grow, shine). My skills are Copywriting, Event Planning & Organization, Social Media Writing & Administration. Speaking of my hobbies, I enjoy playing table tennis, planning events, watching movies and listening to music.

Contributions made to the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community: I was a part of the event planning for Mumbai Pride March in 2020 wherein I had to send event invites to student reps of universities & company HRs. Besides that, I was involved in poster making for the Kamloops Pride March in 2022. Moreover, as a part of the TRU Women In Business Club, I & my fellow club members are planning to do an event that aims to educate international students about the various gender pronouns.

Why they want to join the board: I wish to be a part of the Kamloops Pride board because it will not just help me connect with the key stakeholders of 2SLGBTQPIA+ community, but also give me a good understanding of the issues faced by the 2SLGBTQPIA+ community in Canada & work with them towards creating a truly inclusive society.

Skills: Interpersonal skills, Strategic planning, Excellent written and oral communication, Social media, Google Drive/Gmail experience, Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, Ability to work effectively with a wide variety of people.