January 23. 2018 3:50PM

Kristy Merrill • 39 • Manchester

What is the best career advice you ever received?

My mom, a seamstress, and my dad, a career Marine, gave me great advice: Don’t expect things to be given to you and don’t be afraid to work your way up from wherever you start. Always work hard, give your best no matter your job, and be nice.

Why did you choose your profession?

Growing up in a military family, I developed a strong appreciation and passion for public service. My career in politics and public policy stems from caring about the world around me, and wanting to give back. My job allows me to help those elected to serve the State Senate and help to make a real and lasting difference in our communities.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

My mother is from the Philippines and I’ve been able to visit her home town, where daily life is much more difficult than it is for us here. That experience puts into perspective for me how richly blessed we are as a state and a country. I believe those who are blessed with much have an obligation to help those less fortunate.

What advice would you give your 22-year-old self?

1. Develop an exercise routine — it doesn’t get easier when you get older. 2. Start saving for retirement. 3. Don’t become jaded. Never lose your passion and drive for life, or your faith in those around you.

What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?

There is no question that legislators, the business, education and non-profit communities recognize this as a top priority. In the State House, several steps have been taken over the past few years to accomplish that important goal and this year, for example, legislation is being considered that would reduce the real estate transfer tax for first-time homebuyers, which could help.

What would you like to be doing when you’re 40?

In addition to continuing my service as Chief of Staff, I have a goal of opening a business in my spare time that focuses on furniture restoration and home décor to embrace my more creative side.

What was your last major achievement?

Leading a team of staff that supported legislators in passing New Hampshire’s most recent biennial budget and providing funding for all facets of state government. Most rewarding, however, was handcrafting a radiator cover as part of my woodworking class.

Volunteer activities: I just completed three great years on the Families in Transition board of directors, and work to support our church when I can — Manchester Christian.