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C

helsey Smith is a passionate

advocate for social change, both locally and

globally. She worked to support the rights of children in Ghana in 2008, and to combat gender-based violence in Swaziland in 2013 where, according to a UNICEF Report, “approximately 1 in 3 females experienced some form of sexual violence as a child.” Chelsey is committed to creating awaremess and fundraising for The SOS Children’s Villages, The Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse, Light for Children, Red Cross, The MS Society of Canada, Greenpeace, The Indo Canadian Women’s Society, CEASE, and YWCA Edmonton. She hosted a film screening for International Women’s Day 2014 and drew hundreds of people together to celebrate the courage of girls and women, and the need for equality and education. Her campaign “Girl

in new social movements, and used #BringBackOurGirls, the movement against the abduction of the Chibok girls, as a case study.” Chelsey’s achievements include being listed as one of Canada’s emerging leaders with the Gen Y Talent Network, and receiving the Dr. Nicholas Rubidge Award for contributions to student life as president of the Royal Roads University Student Association. Over and above hosting educational and charitable events, her volunteer involvements range from speaking to youth about goalsetting and self-esteem to teaching yoga with BGCBigs to organizing rallies against hate crimes and homophobia. “I am the marketing and communications director for Benefit Strategies, and have enjoyed working casually as a reporter and production assistant for Alberta

CHELSEY SMITH

Humanitarian... advocate... communicator

Photo by Tracy Kolenchuk

Rising” addressed serious issues that girls face to become educated. For International Day of the Girl Child 2014, Chelsey hosted a community gathering to celebrate women and focus on barriers in our local and global communities. In September, Chelsey worked in partnership with MEN Edmonton and the YWCA Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign to engage Edmontonians in discussing and learning about healthy and harmful masculinities, and positive male role models. “I am dedicated to my work and leadership in the city and abroad, and delighted to join the ranks of other inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs in Edmonton,” says Chelsey about being named as a Sizzler. The 27-year old recently completed her MA in Intercultural and International Communication at Royal Roads University. “My thesis research explored the role of digital communication

W

hen it comes to public

Active

Putting the

in Activism Photo by Burce Clarke

relations and communications, Crystal Komanchuk is emerging as a leader in her field. She earned her public relations diploma from MacEwan University in 2011. “I was fortunate to get a wide variety of experience at the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation during a two-month practicum before beginning my career at the Leduc Nisku Economic Development Corporation as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. I continued my education with graphic design and economic development courses.

writing, editing, website updating, and more.” Crystal, 25, says that being named a Sizzler is a huge motivation. “Being recognized by peers in the Edmonton professional community is humbling. The work I have put into my path has been based on passion and interest, so much so that it’s hardly felt like work! Being a recipient motivates me to keep learning and growing.” She is particularly proud of her work as a Board Director with the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Edmonton, from which she received an Award of Excellence while a student, and the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Edmonton, which recognized her efforts with the Areté Award. “I started as a volunteer, became a director on each board and grow the portfolios I am responsible for as best as possible.” This year, Crystal was a judge for the CPRS National Awards of Excellence. She frequently travels to conferences to expand her knowledge and network.

“After a year, I switched gears and moved into a health-care organization, the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. I manage an annual awards program for nursing excellence and coordinate an annual gala. I’m also responsible for social media strategy, media relations, sponsor relations,

“I would like to continue to learn and grow professionally. I will keep saying yes to new experiences and continue networking via IABC and CPRS to develop new professional relationships. I will work to ensure my decision-making is based on research and strategic planning to spotlight the Edmonton public relations and communications industry.” Crystal also provides her expertise as a social media and website manager for two of her family’s businesses, Stephen Yettaw International Stone Sculptor and Flying Rabbit Fruit Farm. √ ~ Paula E. Kirman

CRYSTAL KOMANCHUK Motivated communicator... dedicated professional

EDMONTONIANS FALL 2015

Primetime on CTV Two. My freelance media and communications work includes grant writing, and resource mobilization for nonprofits, and digital and social strategy for small business. “While academia and activism have been my focus, I have entrepreneurial energy and aspirations: I think big! I am excited to carve out a career in communications and culture. “My advocacy work is neverending, but I am optimistic. I will push boundaries, break ground, and work towards a world that is more peaceful, equitable and just.” √ ~ Paula E. Kirman

Passionate about PR

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Edmontonians Fall 15  
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