Gen Next is a United Way initiative that brings together a group of passionate millennials in Calgary taking action to educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in community and philanthropic activities.
Gen Next Chair, Ashley Anderson has been involved with United Way for a number of years and is an active community member who enjoys bringing people together for lasting social change. Currently, Ashley works at Shaw Communications as national manager, consumer sales and learning.
1. How has the city influenced who you are or your organization?
This city has been integral in influencing who I have become. I am lucky to be a long-time volunteer with United Way, and now chair of our Gen Next committee. This organization grounded me, and allows us an opportunity to reach into our community to shape and influence others, and how they see root cause challenges in our city. I met my best friends here, I met my husband here, we had our kids here – my family has grown and flourished here. I have become who I am as a direct result of this friendly, abundant and beautiful city. I would be hard pressed to say that anything in my life has shaped me more than this city.
2. Where did you come from and what attracted you to the city?
I am originally from Saskatchewan (shoutout to Wolseley!) but have lived in Calgary for a little over half my life – we moved here as a family when my dad took on a role with a post-secondary school, and eventually moved into real estate. The city opened up so many incredible opportunities – I attended the University of Calgary, and our family has always relished the abundance of opportunity here.
3. Any tips or advice for Calgary newcomers or those considering a move to Calgary?
Volunteer!! Find an organization or two, and get out there – this city has SO many amazing organizations, doing SO MUCH GOOD. It’s a great way to meet new people and to get a flavour for the city.
4. Where is your favorite place to eat or visit in Calgary?
We LOVE food, and we LOVE to try new places. Currently our favorite is The Himalayan – this TREMENDOUS hole-in-the-wall Nepalese place on 17th Avenue West. I’m almost scared to admit it, because I don’t want any more people to know about it than do already.
5. What do you think is the biggest surprise about Calgary for anyone who isn’t familiar with the city?
How nice the weather is!! Hellloooooo Chinooks! We get an absolute LOAD of sun and I find people are often surprised by that!
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Safe, fun, and small-town-feel – I feel grateful to have met many, many amazing people in my years in Calgary.

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