2017 George Meyer Leadership Award Winner 

Roxanne Thompson

Nominated by and presented by Amanda Zimmer, General Manager Rob Vogt, Editor Claresholm Local Press

For more than 25 years, Roxanne Thompson has been a leader in industry, business, and her community, leaving a deep mark on the place she calls home. This commitment makes her an ideal candidate for the George Meyer Leadership Award.

Her community involvement spans the very public to the very private.

She served on the board of the Claresholm and District Chamber of Commerce for more than a decade, including terms as director, vice-president, president, and past president. In her time with the chamber she spearheaded initiatives such as the creation of Ringrose Park, a beautiful pocket park in the downtown core; and the annual Mexican Fiesta, held on the longest day of the year every June. She also organized and helped out with numerous trade fairs, the hanging flower basket program for downtown beautification; membership renewal; chamber coins; murals and mural prints; business awards; and much more.

Roxanne was also instrumental in bringing back the annual Claresholm and District Citizen of the Year and Junior Citizen of the Year awards, organizing sponsorship, soliciting nominations; and coordinating the selection process.

Through her role as publisher of the Claresholm Local Press, she has been a supporter of the Claresholm Food Bank. The office of the Local Press acts as a year-round drop-off point for food bank donations. During Claresholm’s annual Fair Days parade in August, the Local Press has hosted a “food drive on wheels” the past 12 years, where food bank donations are picked up by volunteers pushing shopping carts.

At Christmas time, Roxanne has coordinated applications and donations for the Christmas Hamper program for more than 20 years, helping those in need. On average, 140 families a year have benefitted from the program.

Roxanne has organized Old Fashioned Christmas for the past 17 years. This event kicks off the shopping season with late-night shopping; horse-drawn wagon rides; music; carollers walking around the downtown; the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree; and beef on a bun, which is a fundraiser for the food bank.

Moonlight Madness was another late-night shopping event Roxanne organized each February for more than 15 years, encouraging people to shop local and support local businesses.


Back in 2003, Roxanne joined the Claresholm History Book Committee as treasurer. When the book was eventually published in 2010, there was an outstanding printing bill of $40,000. Roxanne and the three other members of the committee took out a personal loan through the local credit union to cover the cost. They in turn went to the Town of Claresholm and Municipal District of Willow Creek, secured interest-free loans from them, and paid the bank loan. Since then, Roxanne has committed the newspaper’s resources, in advertising and editorial space and staff time, to sell books to pay off this loan.

Her latest fundraising event is a Zombie Walk held in the fall the past two years, with all proceeds going to KidSport Claresholm.

Privately, Roxanne created the Claresholm Charity Fund, helping families in need with everything from medical expenses to fire relief. Through the fund she has also supported the school breakfast program and major community fundraisers.

She has committed countless hours to the Claresholm Curling Club, and been involved in bantam football and rodeo as well.

As a member of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association, she was elected to the board in 2007 and served until 2011. She chaired the Better Newspaper Competition committee from 2008 to 2011; chaired the Industry Education Committee from 2009 to 2011; and in December of 2014 she joined the C. A. MacLean Bursary Foundation committee.

In her community, she has been a tireless advocate for newspapers and the vital role they play, opening the doors of the Local Press to school tours and having staff make presentations to school classes, 4-H clubs, and other organizations.

When you weave everything together, you get a vivid picture of Roxanne Thompson’s commitment to her industry and her community.

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