Hassett & Reid Amazing Determination – a woman who has confronted challenges with perseverance and resolve.
Kiera Gosse – FINALIST
Kiera Gosse embodies the kind of passionate athleticism expected from someone who lists “racing in triathlons” as a hobby.
Gosse is an accomplished fitness trainer and runs a training and triathlon coaching business, as well as a mobile fashion and sportswear boutique called KSL Actionwear. When she’s not hard at work, she busies herself with friends, family and community – helping out where needed.
Her family, she explains, endured a life-changing event last year and it altered the direction of their lives. “My husband lost his best friend, who happened to be my best friend’s husband,” she says.
Now, life is rewarding by [our] living outside our bubble and helping others.
The experience, according to Gosse, had a huge impact. “[It] opened my eyes to others around me and helped to change my perception,” she says. “Now, life is rewarding by [our] living outside our bubble and helping others.”
She and her husband are focused on setting an example for their children and doing good works in the community. As a family, they support many causes, but cancer-related fundraisers are particularly important and serve as their primary focus. Those who know Gosse are impressed by her commitment and have watched her love for her family, her work and her charity remain steadfast, day after day.
“Everything she does, she does it with passion, determination, heart, enthusiasm and she never expects anything in return,” says Jessica Girard. “She wants to help people in need and she loves doing it.”
Lori Connolly – FINALIST
Motherhood is Lori Connolly’s top priority and her son is one lucky young man.
“Being a mother, without a doubt, is everything to me,” Connolly says. “I hoped and prayed for a child of my own and was granted the most precious gift.”
A single parent to her nine-year-old boy, Connolly balances her busy job as human resources manager at North Rocky View Community Links with the needs of her son.
“Lori devotes all her time and energy into her son, making decisions that will provide him with the best opportunities possible,” says Joelene Potter.
Parenthood, says Connolly, takes an enormous amount of work and commitment, especially when it’s a one-parent show, and she focuses on building a good life for her child.
Being a mother, without a doubt, is everything to me
“Being a mother involves daily sacrifices and selflessness for the betterment of my son, to give him the best opportunities I possibly can,” she says. “This drives me every day, and seeing my son happy and content brings so much happiness to my world.”
Among other lessons, Connolly teaches her son to live with honesty and integrity, and that unconditional kindness and compassion for others is a precious gift.
“I show my son daily that he has the potential to do anything he puts his mind to,” says the loving mother, “and that having courage and determination will get him through anything.”
Tyler Baptist – FINALIST
Tyler Baptist is a jack of all trades – wife, mother, world traveller, marketing guru, business leader and, now, real estate agent.
Baptist graduated from the University of Lethbridge Calgary Campus in 2005 and embarked on an eight-month adventure that took her to 15 countries around the globe. Afterward, she came back to Calgary and took a job with Qualico Communities. Nine years later, she continues to inspire.
“Tyler is amazingly determined in everything she does,” says Qualico Communities co-worker Susan Miller. “She sees what she wants and goes after it.”
Baptist, who lives in Airdrie with her husband and daughter (No. 2 is on the way), worked her way up to the position of sales and marketing manager, and even earned her real estate license in 2012.
I hand them the keys and I get to see that look of joy in their eyes
Her husband is co-owner of a renovation business, Fat Boys Renovations. Long term, the two would like to merge their skills and love of real estate and begin buying and renovating properties for resale or rental.
Baptist loves her career and is passionate about her job and the real estate business. “I love being there to guide my clients through the process of buying and selling homes,” she says. “My favourite moment is when a client moves into a new home: I hand them the keys and I get to see that look of joy in their eyes.”
Sylvia Schultz – 2016 Recipient
Sylvia Schultz is an inspiring young woman who endured the worst experience of her life and went on to launch a successful business shortly thereafter.
“My mom was killed in a car accident … a couple of years ago,” Schultz says. “My mother was the most important person to me in the entire world. Her tenacity, giving heart and selflessness made you feel, even if you didn’t know her, like you were in the presence of someone amazing.”
My mother was the most important person to me in the entire world
Although Schultz had been a sponsored athlete, she was no longer interested in pursuing that future after losing her mother. Instead, she purchased Jet Wash Auto Spa in Airdrie and never looked back.
For support and advice, she joined the Think Airdrie Networking group and met many local business owners who helped her along this new path. “They coached me, stood alongside me, offered assistance and showed me how to be a pillar of the community,” Schultz says.
She is grateful for the support she’s received and is deeply proud of her business, crediting her mother as its inspiration. “Jet Wash is a direct reflection of the love I feel for her,” she says.
Schultz’s friends are very impressed with what she’s accomplished and know firsthand how much work she has undertaken. “Anyone who talks to her for 10 minutes will understand what a big heart she has and how she is making an impact on our community,” says Ashley Veenstra.