January 23. 2018 3:50PM

Kara LaSalle • 34 • Gilford

What is the best career advice you ever received?

Do not be afraid to ask for help. No one in a position of leadership got there without the support and help of others, so do not be afraid to ask for advice as needed.

Why did you choose your profession?

I started my career as an environmental engineer doing site assessments on commercial properties, many of which were multifamily rental units. I saw firsthand how substandard housing can negatively affect individuals and communities, and decided to make a career change. Now I help develop healthy homes and community facilities for the residents of the Greater Lakes Region.

What motivates you to give back to your community?

I truly enjoy helping others and feel it is important to help facilitate positive change in your community. I am fortunate in that I can combine my passions with purpose.

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

You do not have to have it all figured out. Some of the best things that have happened to me both professionally and personally were not in the original plan. At that age, deviations felt more like failures than opportunities. I am grateful for the wisdom and experience gained from those side paths.

What would make New Hampshire more attractive to young professionals?

Access to quality, affordable housing. The current housing market has a low inventory, specifically in entry-level homes. This limited inventory and a development market targeted at high-end housing results in higher sales prices for homes. Rental vacancy rates remain low, while rental prices continue to increase due to demand. The limited availability of quality, affordable housing is often an initial barrier to attracting and retaining young professionals in the state.

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

Maintaining a balance of family, career, volunteerism, and redlining the White Mountains.

What was your last major achievement?

Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce 2017 Young Professionals Award.

Volunteer activities: Belknap County Representative, Governor’s Millennial Advisory Council President, Fusion Board Member, New Hampshire Humane Society Excursions Leader Candidate/Communications Committee Member/20s & 30s Advisory Board Member, Appalachian Mountain Club - New Hampshire Chapter.