Job Title: President & CEO at Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta & NWT
Why She’s Top 40: She’s helped Junior Achievement nearly double its regional reach, while seeing other non-profits as partners rather than competitors.
Aspiration: “I’ve just started as a mom to a little one-year-old girl. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all for parenting and you are continually learning as you go. While that can be terrifying at times, it is the most rewarding ‘job’ I have ever had and I look forward to the journey ahead.”
Jen Panteluk stands in a hallway, surrounded by evidence of the impact of her work. She’s the president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta & NWT, an organization that provides hands-on programs for Grade 3-12 students, covering entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy.
Older students run their own businesses, selling their own unique products. The hall is covered by quotes sharing how the program influenced them. She points out one by one – a terrarium on her windowsill, a frame holding a photo of her one-year-old daughter and a refillable leather notebook laying across her desk – all products made by former students.
“You see a transformation; they become more confident, engaged and passionate,” says Panteluk.
Students also learn the value of teamwork. Panteluk disagrees with the idea that non-profits should compete for donor dollars; instead she’s started collaborations with organizations including the Youth Empowerment & Support Services (YESS), offering free programs to underprivileged young people.
“All youth should have access to the programs,” says Panteluk.
When she started her position two years ago, 80 per cent of the organization’s reach was in Edmonton. She shifted the focus, and created a position dedicated to regional growth and development, resulting in almost double the regional reach.
Panteluk’s also a triathlete who has represented Canada at six world championships. Her most recent race was at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Cozumel, where she competed with a broken toe and placed 22nd (female sprint) and 28th (female AG) in her age category. Panteluk’s focus and determination are obvious in both her private and professional life.