100 Stories

Colleen Volk, B.Sc. Computer Science (Regina), CPA, CMA (Toronto)

Chartered Professional Accountant

Colleen Volk

Coleen graduated from Campion in 1986.

All of Coleen Volk’s siblings had attended Campion. She was none the wiser for what she could expect. School was school, and church really, an obligation. What made Campion different? At the prompting of her sister, she agreed to attend Mass one night and find out:

“… she assured me the music was great and I agreed to give it a try. I don't think I had ever experienced mass with a Jesuit priest, and I had no idea faith could be so personal, so moving. The music was great, as promised, but the experience went far beyond that… Looking back, I think it made university a less scary place, knowing there was a place on campus that could provide solace and reflection.”

In her role as Deputy Minister at Alberta Energy, she is able to infuse the culture of her department and it has had a reciprocal affect on her. It’s also a chance to encourage others to push and reach their potential. 

“I'm most proud of the success I've had as a leader. It has been a privilege to serve the most recent part of my career in the public service, both federally and now provincially. I have led teams small and large, and have always enjoyed the opportunity to try to bring out the best in the team.”

Coleen knows the value and importance of engaging minds – to instruct, to relate, to mentor, to influence. The importance of education was central in her upbringing. Her mother and father both taught school. She sees teaching in her future:

“I'm not sure what I'd like to teach, or even if it would be in an academic setting. It could be something less formal like coaching executives or teaching English as a second language. My parents were both teachers, …I think they also gave me a sense of the importance of passing on what we know to those who follow us.”

Our next question some find a challenge to answer: ‘How do you give back to your community?’ seems a bit perplexing. But what’s revealed in the answers of most is what their passionate about and how they connect with others through this passion. It is clear in Coleen’s response:

 “I am passionate about mentoring people in my organization or other organizations who are pursuing their goals... I strongly believe that I would not have had the success I had in my career without a few remarkable leaders who took an interest in my development and who took the time to advise me and support me as I grew.”