In this week’s Top 20 Under 40 feature, we are spotlighting Shelley Desautels. Shelley is a wife, a mother of two teenagers, a fantastic singer, and someone who never backs away from a challenge.
Shelley was born and raised in Vernon, BC. After graduation, she obtained a degree in geography and her GIS Diploma. Shelley took the entrepreneurial leap and started her own business, Mighty Owl Mapping, focusing on forestry and community mapping projects, and she is also an instructor at Okanagan College for the GIS Certificate program.
It may sound like a great deal of work, but that’s not all Shelley does. In fact, it’s not even close!
Shelley also works as the Service Officer at the Legion. When her husband left the military, she quickly realized how difficult it was to navigate the red tape and paperwork Veterans Affairs required. Shelley’s first-hand experience allows her to assist others in similar situations, and she works diligently to connect veterans with the services and community organizations they need.
But, again, that is still not the end of her to-do list. When looking at the needs of our community, Shelley is always quick to step in and help. That attitude has landed her several other executive roles, including secretary of the BC Community Forest Association, secretary of the Canadian Federation of University Women, treasurer for Boxing for Wellness and director for the Shuswap Cycling Club.
This past fall, you may have also seen Shelley’s infectious smile on campaign signs throughout the region as she was the local Liberal candidate in the federal election. Not coming from a solid political background made for a steep learning curve, but Shelley approached the position like she does so many others, with an honest desire to help and the work ethic to show up for the job. The experience was both eye-opening and rewarding, and don’t be surprised if you see her name on the ballot again!
Like the nominees before her, Shelley also understands the importance of time management. Balance comes from focusing on the task at hand and remembering to take time for herself, too. When she’s not contributing to the community or organizing her calendar, you may find her unwinding with yoga or a great Dr. show on Netflix.
Thank you, Shelley, for all you do!