Chelsey Neil and Edmonton Oiler Ryan Jones
We’re back to profiling the amazing and interesting folks that make up our vibrant Alberta Cancer Foundation staff. This time we’re looking to our Cross Cancer Institute office and profiling Development Assistant Chelsey Neil. She is a master of multi-tasking and has been officially voted as having the best hair in the office…just sayin’!
Ashton: Hello Chelsey! It is great to visit the Cross Cancer Institute today. I just love the atmosphere of compassion here and being able to witness first-hand the incredible work of those who deliver cancer research, treatment, and care in our province. Ok let’s start with a very serious question, how do you get your hair to look so good every day?
Chelsey: I use hot rollers and a very special, top secret rolling technique!
A: I’ll have to try it…your hair always looks so fabulous. I’m lucky if I can do a half-decent ponytail. In all seriousness, let’s get down to the hard-hitting journalism. How long have you worked for the Alberta Cancer Foundation at the Cross Cancer Institute office?
C: April 13, 2013 is my two year anniversary.
A: Congratulations! What did you do before you worked at the Alberta Cancer Foundation?
C: I have worked within Alberta Health Services since 2009. I was first at the University Hospital Family Medicine Clinic working with residents and students. Then I moved to diagnostic imaging downtown. I realized that I really missed the hospital setting and saw the posting for the Alberta Cancer Foundation job at the Cross Cancer Institute and knew I had to apply.
A: What attracted you to a career at the Alberta Cancer Foundation?
C: When I saw the job, the posting really excited me. I biked in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer and my Dad had cancer so I was very familiar with the Alberta Cancer Foundation and what they stood for.
A: What is your educational background?
C: I have a diploma in Management from Grant MacEwan.
A: Please describe what your Development Assistant role entails.
C: I am currently transitioning into memorial program responsibilities. I will continue to work on our “In honour of” program which is when someone asks that donations be made in honour of their birthday, wedding, and so on. I also handle the calls to the Cross Cancer Institute office and assist walk-ins who are seeking information.
A: What is the best part of your job?
C: I like that it is very dynamic and my tasks are different every day. I love working with the kids who want donations directed to the Alberta Cancer Foundation instead of birthday gifts. We give them certificates and make them feel special for their fundraising efforts. I also like connecting with the families of the memorial donations. I get a lot of hugs here and it is the best part of my job for sure.
A: If you could describe the Cross Cancer Institute in one word, what would it be?
C: Humbling. Everyone who works here—doctors, researchers, nurses, and support staff truly love their job. It is more than a paycheck to them.
A: What are some of your goals?
C: I am working hard to finish my degree in my spare time, a Bachelor of Management from Athabasca University. I have 8 classes left! I really want to stay at the Cross Cancer Institute office and be mentored by Jane Weller, Development Director. I see myself in the individual giving and memorial program fields in the future.
A: Would it be a fair statement to say that your job at the Alberta Cancer Foundation has really made an impact on your life?
C: Of course! I have found a job that I am passionate about that allows me to make a difference daily. I’m also marrying an Alberta Cancer Foundation staff member [Sean Capri, Direct Marketing Manager] next spring!
A: The first ACF wedding…WAHOO! Congrats Chelsey and Sean, I can’t wait to see the photos of this gorgeous cruise wedding. May you share a lifetime of happiness together! What’s it like being in a relationship with a co-worker?
C: Well I work out of the Cross Cancer Institute and he works out of the provincial head office downtown so we never see each other during work hours unless there’s an all staff meeting. It is really nice because we can talk about our days together and have a common understanding. We also ground each other during more emotional times like when a donor or patient we’re close with passes away.
A: Well the hard part is over and it’s time to move onto the super speed round of just questions that are “getting to know you”. It’s almost like speed dating! Alright, here we go in 3, 2, 1…
Favourite Hobby: Playing video games like Zelda
Favourite Food: Gluten-free pizza
Favourite TV Show: House
Favourite Place to Travel: The Caribbean on a cruise. I love cruises!
Favourite Band: Mumford & Sons or City & Colour
Favourite Quote: “Live every day like you’re dying”
Favourite Movie: Transformers 1, 2, and 3
Favourite Beverage: Diet Pepsi
Favourite Holiday: Christmas
Favourite Book: The Five People You Meet in Heaven or The Shack
Favourite Alberta Cancer Foundation Event: The Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer because I’ve participated 3 times. This year I’m volunteering instead of cycling.
A: Done and done. Thank you so much for allowing us to get to know you better in our blog series interview. We are so lucky to have someone like you with such a passion for our organization on the ACF team.
C: Thank you!