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Scaling Heights: Championing Sustainability, Conquering Kilimanjaro | Meet Brenda Anderson


Our People are doing great things to support each other, our communities, our environment, and our customers. Our team member spotlights celebrate their milestones, share their stories, and showcase how they live our Values.

Brenda Anderson was nominated for her commendable and inspiring commitment to sustainability and impressive charitable efforts. Keep reading below to learn about Brenda’s latest goals and accomplishments.

Q. Tell us a little about you and your role at Western.

My name is Brenda Anderson, and I have been a Payroll Specialist with Western Financial Group for three years in June, working remotely in Alberta. I have also recently completed my Business Admin – Accounting Diploma and am looking forward to using my new skills.

Q. What does Sustainability mean to you, and why do you feel it is important?

To me, sustainability is minimizing impact to our environment, so that our kids and grandkids have a good place to live. I am not the best at it but was raised to not take more than you can use, walk, or bike when you can, and reduce waste and reuse items when possible. I found the Sustainability BINGO to have a lot of boxes that were normal things to me and a few new good ideas, like collecting precipitation for watering my plants.


Q. What was going through your mind after you won the Parks Canada Pass for Sustainability BINGO?

The Parks Canada Pass was very important for me, as I will need to be in the Banff and Jasper area a fair bit this summer for altitude training. The cost savings by having the pass will be appreciated. I love the mountains and cannot wait to spend as much time as I can there.

Q. How did the Mount Kilimanjaro goal come to be?

A few years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m thankful that she is a survivor, as well as two of my aunts. However, my family has lost three special ladies who fought a great fight. I had a goal to climb Mount Kilimanjaro a few years ago. As that became a closer reality, I realized I wanted to do something that would make an impact. The climb will be difficult, but these ladies haven’t had an easy fight. In fact, my mom’s sister is now facing a second round of cancer. I will be climbing in support of them.


Q. Tell us about your history with charity commitment and why it is important to you.

Charity commitment has been important to me for years. I have helped build parks, assisted at long-term care centers, worked at various events for schools and community leagues, and raised funds through many running races. When I decided to climb the mountain in support of Breast Cancer, I reached out to the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). Years ago, when my sister’s mom was diagnosed, I visited her mom daily in the hospital as my sister was finishing her nursing degree in another town. Her mom lost her fight over 20 years ago. In the past few years, CCS has been supportive of my family and continues to provide the medications my mom needs. I want to raise funds for them to continue helping others.

Q. Explain why living an active lifestyle is important to you and the benefits it can have on your day-to-day life?

I believe an active lifestyle gives me a better chance to be here for those important to me, including my daughter and a wonderful set of twin neighbor toddler boys I consider my grandsons. I do some homecare for my aging parents on weekends, and I need to be here for them as well, especially since my sisters are both in another province and my father’s mobility is getting worse. So, this summer, I am climbing thousands of stairs, walking endless kms, and hiking in the mountains to prepare for Kilimanjaro and get as healthy as I can.


Q. What do you draw on for inspiration while chasing these admirable goals?

I often chase goals that someone says I cannot succeed at, I am stubborn that way. Running with my own health battles and the desire to climb such a huge mountain came from this. But with my doctors’ support, I continue aiming for such goals. Helping people and supporting charities is also good motivation for me; I am planning to volunteer with the school near my hotel in Tanzania.

But right now, my greatest inspiration is my mom and my aunts. They are the reason I am doing this.