The Salmon Arm Observer presents Ashlee Kingsbury, one of 20 young community leaders recognized in Salmon Arm’s inaugural Top 20 Under 40 program.
The next honoree in the Top 20 Under 40 program is the unstoppable Ashlee Kingsbury.
A third-generation entrepreneur, Kingsbury was born and raised in Salmon Arm. While she currently splits her time between B.C. and Alberta, the Shuswap is where her roots grow deep.
Kingsbury’s family started the Shuswap Lake Estates Development in the 1970s, and her mother eventually took over the Shuswap Lake Estates golf course when Ashlee was in her teens.
Like so many other businesses in the tourism sector, Ashlee and her family were looking at improving the business after navigating several challenging years.
Last year, their involvement in the Tsust’weye program gave them a pathway to sell the company, and Ashlee supported her family through that transition.
Ashlee is also employed in the oil and gas sector, and this past year Ashlee’s employer sponsored her position in the Avatar Innovations Incubator program. Participants were given eight weeks to develop a business plan and present it to industry leaders.
This program allowed her to utilize her oil and gas expertise and form a renewable energy company. With collaboration between the Avatar program and her co-founders, also all women, they developed and launched GeoConnect.
GeoConnect provides her clients with GeoExchange energy. GeoExchange extracts heat from the ground beneath a home and brings it inside.
A challenge of broad consumer adoption of GeoExchange has been the significant upfront cost, which Ashlee and her team address by providing a one-stop service. From design, installation, maintenance and providing financing with little to no upfront cost to the users, this innovative approach to renewable energy has sparked massive interest in the energy community.
“By owning the system we take the financial burden off of the consumer. With today’s technology, these systems work best in larger buildings or a district system. Our vision is to refine the technology so that it will be more affordable to the average consumer and will be installed in homes all over Canada,” says Ashlee.
Her strong desire to promote tourism while maintaining a balance with environmental stewardship inspired her to join the Shuswap Chamber of Commerce.
She became a board member of cconomic development, where the team worked together to develop the Market in the Bay – an event that was inspired by other local communities doing similar events.
Ashlee is a busy woman. Her roles as a mother, wife, employee and business owner are demanding.
Still, she maintains balance through self-care, daily meditation and time with family. In non-COVID times the Kingsbury family travels together as often as possible. They love exploring new places cultures and the beautiful Shuswap.
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.
Visit salmonarmtop20.ca for more information.