Whether it's as general manager of the Comfort Inn in Ingersoll, a town councillor, member of the Kiwanis Club of Ingersoll or through her music, Kristy VanKoo- AD{TS1854966} 8

In service

Kristy VanKooten-Bossence

INGERSOLL DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

ten-Bossence enjoys people. Except for the four years spent earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in music at the University of Western Ontario, VanKooten-Bossence

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20 Under 40 * Wednesday, June 27, 2012 * Ingersoll Progress

VanKooten-Bossence gives back

has lived in Ingersoll since she was three-years-old when her family moved from Brockville, Ont. Initially, she had plans of becoming a music teacher, but ended up taking a job at the Comfort Inn in 1996 and was promoted to general manager in 1998. "You have every diff erent walk of life come through the doors. You never know what you're going to get, but you know it's going to be interesting," said the 38-year-old about her hotel job. After a 15-month hiatus that began in 2005, she returned to the to the hotel job and now manages a staff of 15 who she credits with delivering the highest quality service. VanKooten-Bossence is in her second term as a municipal councillor. "I wanted to give back to the community," she said about her decision to run for municipal office. "I wanted to have a hand in making decisions and be a voice for the people." Being a councillor means constant learning because no one can know everything. "I love it," she said, pointing out that the entire town has to be taken into consideration when making any decision. "I try to make the best decision I can for the whole town." Her involvement with the Th ames Valley District School Board's Ingersoll-Southwest Oxford Accommodation Review Committee (ARC) is what VanKooten-Bossence said she is most proud of in her career as a municipal politician to date. "The parents really embraced giving their kids a better education in new facilities," she said. "We're set for another hundred years." VanKooten-Bossence started learning to play the piano from the late Harold Riddolls when she was four-years-old and continued working with him until she was 18. While she also sings and plays the organ, violin and fl ute, piano remains her fi rst love. She regularly performs at St. James Anglican Church and is a member of the Embro Th istle Singers. She also performs at weddings and accompanies other musicians. "I love my music," she said. Her husband, Rob Bossence, her parents, Gary and Lorna VanKooten, and her brother, BJ VanKooten, are among the people she named as inspirations in her life. As if she doesn't have enough on her plate, VanKooten-Bossence recently volunteered to serve as president of the local ladies softball league. Joining the Kiwanis Club of Ingersoll in 2001, she served as club president in 2003. "It's a great a great organization that gives back to the community," she said. "It's focused on kids and community and to me that's what it's all about." - John Tapley

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