Candace Kinser

The Multifaceted and Clever Candace Kinser

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31 October 2023

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For Candace Kinser, studying is thought of as a much-loved hobby, rather than a chore. She has her Bachelors in Anthropology & Political Science from the University of Hawaii, a Masters in Business from Massey University, a short-form MBA in Bio-Pharma from Rutger’s University, and grad studies in Asian Business Risk & Governance from the University of Melbourne – just to name a few. “Most people do gardening… I like to study!” says Candace. 

As well as being a total scholar, Candace is an accomplished business woman. She has held several executive and board director roles across technology, health, bio-tech, banking, and infrastructure industries, and she is currently on the board of Livestock Improvement, the Chairperson of Helius Therapeutics, and the President of Cancer Society for Auckland & Northland. 

Watch Candace’s interview with Rachel Smalley below as they discuss the healing properties of medicinal cannabis, why kiwis are the ones to watch in the technology space, women’s behaviour in leadership roles, and so much more. This is the sixth of a seven-part interview series for WOMAN, where Rachel will be uncovering extraordinary stories from a handful of exceptional kiwi women. Each has their own unique story to tell. Watch Candace’s full interview below. 

Watch the full interview here:

Candace’s roots are in the United States, but she came to live in New Zealand in her early 20s because she met a young kiwi who convinced her to visit. 

 “He said, ‘Hey, you want to come to New Zealand?’ And I thought, yeah, why not? I had a horse and ended up moving her down here, which was the greatest thing I could have ever done, because then I was introduced immediately to a community of women and people instantly through equestrian pursuits, and never looked back.” 

A few years down the track, Candace was diagnosed with cancer around her uterus – which would eventually motivate her to join the Cancer Society team. “I was literally driving down Highway 16 at the time the call came through. I answered on speakerphone, and the lovely nurse said ‘I’ve got the results, and you need to come in and we need to make arrangements quickly.’” 

Candace Kinser and Rachel Smalley

“Here I was on my own, I wasn’t married, my family were all in the United States, and I just burst into tears and went home. I was thinking, ‘I have no idea what to do, who to turn to.’” 

For people without support systems, an already life-changing diagnosis becomes even more daunting. Cancer Society NZ is a fantastic not-for-profit organisation that can provide the much needed care and advice to people struggling with their diagnosis. 

“It was extremely important to me that the Cancer Society fills that role. And when I became part of the board, I started realising, actually, they do fill that role, but we need to make sure that people know they can contact the Cancer Society for help. This is one of the things that I am extremely passionate about, and really proud that we’re continuing to grow and evolve.” 

Listen to the full audio version here:

Related Article: “I Still Want To Pursue Life” – Sophia Malthus On Living With Paralysis 

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