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Kendra Johnston

Q&A, Forty Under 40 Winner 2021, president and CEO, Association for Mineral Exploration BC, 39

Who or what is responsible for your work ethic? 

My parents for always seeing my potential and encouraging me to reach my goals, my brother for always challenging me and my skating coaches for teaching me to try again.

What is your guilty pleasure? 

Sugar... in all forms.

What is the best book you would recommend? 

Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike by Charlotte Gray.

Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself? 

To keep learning from those around me, to create and run my own company, to leave a positive legacy on the mineral exploration industry. One more university degree, and to stay fit, active and healthy.

What was your childhood career dream?

There were a few — teacher, architect, radio broadcaster — but looking back there was always ‘scientist’ lurking in the background.

Name your happiest place. 

In the woods, beside a babbling brook, surrounded by the quiet.

What was your toughest business or professional decision? 

Knowing when the time was right for me to change jobs. When you enjoy what you do and the people you work with, it’s difficult to walk away and trust that a new opportunity will arise or trust yourself to create that new opportunity.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self? 

Slow down, you don’t have to do everything all at the same time. 

What is your best habit? 

Asking questions about everything.

Tell us one improbable fact about yourself. 

I had an alter ego as a roller blading apple mascot.

Best piece of advice ever received? 

You don’t know what’s happening in other people’s lives. Read the room before jumping in.

Biggest learning (about life or business) during the pandemic?

The importance of finding balance between work and life when they take place in the same space, and the added importance of being able to shut off at the end of the day and walk away.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

Creating an open space to have difficult conversations on socially weighted topics that led to industry-wide shifts in perspectives and a trend toward more inclusivity.