“Are you Roland’s boy?” is a question I find is often used to identify me throughout Merritt, the community I’ve lived in since the day my family and I moved to Canada over 14 years ago. The answer to this question is yes, of course, and anyone who has talked to my father could probably correctly guess that we moved here from Germany based on the accent that he “definitely does not have.” Sorry, dad.

You may know my parents, Roland and Kerstin, as well as my older brother Hunter. My dad ran a successful plumbing company for many years, but recently retired. My mother continues to operate her small business, and my brother moved to Kelowna in 2018. I’m beyond proud of what we’ve accomplished, together and as individuals, and as immigrants to Canada.

Since, my family has grown to include Madison and Evelyn, I moved to Kamloops briefly before realizing Merritt is where I should be, and lost my home and most of my possessions during November’s flooding. I may have also renewed your insurance somewhere in there, too, during my time at HUB International.

These events, these people, and this community have made me realize that right here is where I need to be, sharing the stories of this beautifully diverse Nicola Valley and its people. In my new role as full-time reporter for the Merritt Herald, I will amplify the voices behind these stories, and I am incredibly grateful for that opportunity.