VP Policy – Robert Kitchen, Carleton-York
I grew up in Nackawic and spent my summers at Skiff lake and the Canterbury area. I attended St.Thomas University in Fredericton and graduated in 2000. After receiving my degree in Economics, I moved to South Korea, where I taught English for several years and travelled around Asia. My father had racehorses and passed his passion for the animals along to me in my youth, so, following my time in South Korea, I took the opportunity to work on a horse farm in New Zealand. My experiences living and travelling abroad have led to a deep appreciation for diversity and culture while simultaneously strengthening my love and commitment to the unique home we have here in New Brunswick.
Upon returning to our province, I started up a small business which I successfully ran for seven years and then sold, after which I worked in various jobs in Fredericton and Nackawic. My partner, Misty, her twin sons and I have lived in Nackawic for the past twelve years. The growth of my family and being alongside the boys as they grow into two amazing young men has been a personal highlight in this chapter of my life. These experiences have been a leading contributor to my focus on ensuring the long-term sustainability of New Brunswick for generations to come.
Growing up, through their example, my parents instilled within me the importance of volunteering and helping to build a strong community. While living in Korea, I organized a Christmas Daddy drive to buy gifts for the local orphanage children. I also coordinated social gatherings for local foreign residents. In Nackawic, the place I call home, I have been a member of the Nackawic Community Days committee; coached and sat as president of the York West Minor Hockey Association for several years, as my stepsons played the game. I have participated in the original steering committee for the Nackawic Waterfront Project and co-created the Nackawic Area United Way Community Fund; I continue to sit as a committee chair. I have also helped organize the annual Big Axe Beer Festival, which is Atlantic Canada’s largest outdoor craft beer festival and is held in Nackawic every summer. I currently sit on the board of the Mactaquac Country Chamber of Commerce, the Fredericton Exhibition Board and the Nackawic Curling Club. Beyond merely highlighting the need for robust and united communities, I have worked hard throughout my life to help my neighbourhoods thrive and succeed.