Growing up in a small town is paying off for a former Hanna resident making a name for herself in North Central Alberta.
Morinville Mayor Lisa Holmes has made Avenue Magazine's list of the top 40 people in the greater Edmonton area under the age of 40.
"We moved from Edmonton to Morinville, which is a community of about 10,000 people because we wanted to really have that small town upbringing like what I had in Hanna," she told 99.5 Drum FM. "When we got here and I saw the council of the day there wasn't any young women represented, there wasn't anyone under the age of 40, so I just thought it would be a great option to serve the community and have my prespective heard."
Three years later, in 2013, she was elected mayor of Morinville, which is about 35 kilometres north of Edmonton.
"I really got to understand what a small town means and what are the concerns of rural Alberta, which are completely different than what you see in the big urban centres," recalled Holmes. "I needed to be be able to balance providing what the residents need when we're becoming a small city, but also really keeping that small town feel and the heart of the community."
Holmes, whose parents started Berke's Jewellers in Hanna, also represented Morinville with the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and she became that body's president in 2015, a post she will hold for another year.
"It's a fantastic opportunity to be a voice for different communities and issues that we have across Alberta," she stated. "We have taken a big stand now on the shutdown of coal fired power plants and that's something that obviously would be near and dear to my heart being from Hanna."