I was born and raised in Drumheller, the community I love. I have been married to Kelly for the past 32 years and we were blessed with 3 amazing children, Trent, Taylor & Madison.
I spent most of my working career with my family working at Hi-Way 9 Express Ltd. My parents John & Irene Kohut started the business in 1969 with one truck. My brothers, John, Darrell, Dean and I became involved in the company at an early age. I was so blessed to be able to work beside my family for so many years. I learnt many of my business, life, and people skills from these amazing people. By the time we sold in 2011 we were servicing over 70 communities in Alberta and employed over 500 people.
After Hi-Way 9 Express, I started a blind and drapery company called Made in the Shade Blinds & More South Central Alberta, which I sold in February 2017 to Kerri Kuefler.
I have been involved with different boards and groups throughout the community, however my real passion was helping the Salvation Army keep the food banks full. I organized the Annual November one night food drive blitz as well as Stuff the Bus every August, which both continue to run and help feed Drumheller and surrounding areas. Thank you to Shannon Wade, Summer Manca and Kim Suntjens for taking on these endeavours.
I am very involved in organizing the Earth Day Clean-up. This is so important to me as it is a representation of how we look after our community. It is great to see so many individuals and companies involved in making a difference. This year was the best turn out yet and each year it continues to grow.
These events would not have been successful without the support of so many great people in our valley and that is why I love it here!
I am not telling you these things for recognition; I want you to understand who I am and how important this valley is to my family and I. My parents, brothers, husband and children have been fortunate enough to grow up in this safe and fun community and my hopes are to continue to allow other people the same luxury.
I believe with a firm commitment from everyone that lives here, together we can make positive change, grow our community, fill our empty buildings and continue to make Drumheller a great place to raise a family, start a business and retire.
“You Care, I Care, So Together Let’s make a Difference”
I want to thank my husband Kelly for his continuous support in this new venture!
A few questions I have been asked:
Why am I running for Mayor?
I love this valley. I was born and raised here and I want to do my part in giving back.
What are you doing to prepare for the election?
I have been fortunate enough to spend time with past and present mayors and councilors from our community.
As well I have also been on the road-visiting Mayors in Brooks, Camrose, Canmore, Banff and Stettler. I plan to meet a few more prior to the election. I have been inspired by how much they have done for their communities and the knowledge they are willing to share. They have all given beneficial insight that I will use on the road to the election.
I have also organized meetings within the community at different locations to allow you the people to bring forward your ideas and suggestions. I have had numerous meetings around the community and with citizens and it has been absolutely amazing, people care such much about our future.
What platform will you be running with?
I want to listen to the people of the valley and their concerns. The community will determine what my platform will be. So far I have met so many wonderful people and they have given some great suggestions and ideas. I love that so many give a suggestion, as well they give a solution. This is the best way to get things accomplished.
Since you have never been involved in politics, how do you feel you will be able to take on the role of Mayor if elected?
I have spent many hours researching municipal government. I feel it is most important to do my homework in this area, however I feel the most important thing is listening to all of you, the people of the community. You will help guide me into the direction the community wants to go. As well I would take my knowledge of business and help to continue to make this community successful into the future.
I would definitely be entering a whole new world. In doing my research, I have come to greatly respect those who have served in our Town Hall. I hold them all in high regard for their dedication and commitment.
What is the biggest asset I can bring to Drumheller?
I have been blessed to work with my family in creating a large and successful transportation company and I have a great understanding of what sacrifices have to be made to succeed. I also ran a blind & drapery business with the support of my husband and team of great decorators and learnt a completely different side of business. However I think my biggest asset is my love for the community. I truly mean this when I say, I just want to give back and try and make a difference.
What do you think your biggest obstacle will be?
In private business, many decisions have to be addressed very quickly. In private business you cannot afford to spend too much time cutting through red tape as the world moves very fast and if you move like a whale you get left behind. If elected, it is my hope that with the support of a strong group of councilors and strong administration we will focus on making things happens, in a timely manner.
What is one of your biggest hopes for the valley?
I want to see positive and happy citizens in our valley. I want to see a united community. I want to have every different group or committee pulling the same chain so we can advance our community quickly. This includes town hall, chamber of commerce, economic development, community futures, businesses, etc. I want everyone to work to a common goal and that is to make this a great place to raise a family, start a business, live, work and retire.
I have had so many great ideas and suggestions brought forward that I want to do everything possible to fulfill those requests.
If you could ask each individual personally a question, what would it be?
Do you feel you do your part to make this a better community?
Just like the saying “ It takes a village to raise a child”, I believe it takes caring citizens to make great changes. One-way of helping is volunteering. Whether it is on a service board, town board, in schools, church, local events, fundriasers etc., together we can do so much.
For instance, if every individual volunteered 1 hour per month, that would equate to approximately 8000 people x 12 hours/year = 96,000 hours given back to our community per year.
“I believe giving back in any form will change your life.”
I also feel the most successful communities are the ones where the people help make it a better place to live.
I want people to get involved and be part of the change. It would be great if every person that brings a suggestion also brings a solution.
I think volunteering is so important. I am so passionate about volunteering that I would love to see every position in the valley filled. There is so much that people can do with minimal time or effort and again this would help us on the road to great changes!
"Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much." -- Helen Keller