Speak Your Mind – Karen Johnston
Karen Johnston is the publisher of The Cranbrook Daily Townsman, The Kimberley Daily Bulletin and The Kootenay Advertiser and represents a hosting business for the upcoming Speak Your Mind, The Kootenay Women’s Show 2014.
Q: In many ways, the news industry has been a gentlemen’s club. Did you have to do anything differently to rise through the ranks?
A: There is no question 26 years ago when I started in this industry it was an ‘old boys club’. It was difficult, at the beginning, to be taken seriously. Possibly my stubborn nature kept me going. I found by showing them the respect and assure them I was there to learn and excel, it didn’t take too long to earn their trust and respect. It must be noted, the shift has changed in the past few years. For example, I just attended a BC Interior seminar of Black Press publishers - of the 14 at the table, only five were men.
Q: Why did you decide to be a host for the Kootenay Women’s Show?
A: Because women need to be celebrated and celebrate – besides – girls rock! We are the best multi-taskers there are! We often stand in proud support of spouses, clean up scraped knees, wipe tears and tuck in our children, we ensure our homes are what are families need, many of us also work full time and have the responsibilities of running businesses and/or providing very important role for our employers. Most women do all of this with very little complaint and ask for little credit. As a woman, I believe we need to celebrate everything we do and what better than an evening with the sisterhood.
Q: The Abreast in the Rockies Dragonboat Team will be a recipient of a good portion of the proceeds. Why do you think they are a deserving organization?
A: Breast Cancer, while not exclusive to women, will affect most every women in her lifetime. My own mother is a survivor and one very close friend lost her battle with the disease several years ago. These ladies are our neighbours and friends. They celebrate the survivor and encourage the support. They have found a way to connect and move forward in an inspiring and positive manner. It is the perfect fit for our evening.
Q: What inspires you most as a woman and a business leader in the community?
A: My inspiration was actually nurtured by my Father who still remains my mentor. While his mind and body hasn’t afforded him to be the mentor he used to be, he never let his two girls feel they couldn’t conquer the world. I was taught to live my live with respect, kindness, understanding and most of all laughter. What you see is what you get with me and I truly hope I bring that to the table with all my amazing staff and those in our community. Every day is different with new challenges and I wouldn’t want to do it any where else or with anyone else - I love the Kootenays and all the great women, men and children that make us such a diversely rich community. My family, my work, my community - I love it and every single person I cross paths with.