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Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40: Shelley Desautels

Program recognizes young community leaders in the Shuswap
Shelley Desautels was recognized as one of the Shuswap’s outstanding community leaders in the 2021 Salmon Arm Top 20 Under 40 program. (Contributed)

The Salmon Arm Observer presents Shelley Desautels, one of 20 young community leaders recognized in Salmon Arm’s inaugural Top 20 Under 40 program.


In this week’s Top 20 Under 40 feature, we are spotlighting Shelley Desautels – a wife, mother of two teenagers, a fantastic singer and someone who never backs away from a challenge.

Desautels was born and raised in Vernon. After graduation, she obtained a degree in geography and her GIS Diploma. She took the entrepreneurial leap and started her own business, Mighty Owl Mapping, focusing on forestry and community mapping projects. 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 Desautels does. In fact, it’s not even close!

Desautels works as the service officer at the local Legion. When her husband left the military, she quickly realized how difficult it was to navigate the red tape and paperwork Veterans Affairs required. Her firsthand experience allows her to assist others in similar situations, and she works diligently to connect veterans with the services and community organizations they need.

Read more: Salmon Arm’s Top 20 under 40: Tori Jewell

Read more: Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40: Robyn and Ed Jespersen

That is still not the end of Desautels’ to-do list. When looking at the needs of our community, she 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 Desautels’ 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 she 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, Desautels also understands the importance of time management. Balance comes from focusing on the task at hand while remembering to take time for herself.

When she’s not contributing to the community or organizing her calendar, you may find her unwinding with yoga or a great doctor show on Netflix.

– Submitted


Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40 program was launched this year by Dustin Serviss, of Serviss Wealth Management, in partnership with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, to acknowledge outstanding individuals, role models, mentors and community builders over the age of 18 and under 40.

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