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Kaisa Mäkäräinen developer of the North Karelia Province 2020

Kaisa Mäkäräinen of the Kontiolahti Athletes has been selected as the developer of the North Karelia Province 2020.

Biathlon skier Kaisa Mäkäräinen, who ended her active career in March 2020, is not only an ambassador for sports, but also an ambassador for North Karelia, who markets the province as both a place to live and a tourist destination. Mäkäräinen has a part in the fact that major biathlon competitions important to the entire province are organized in Kontiolahti.

Mäkäräinen has above all created an inspiring atmosphere where goals are made a reality.

—By her example, Kaisa Mäkäräinen has shown healthy self-criticism and has shown that by analyzing her own work and developing herself, it is possible to work among the top in the world in very demanding fields, the award criteria say.

Wednesday 20.1. At an event organized at Restaurant Kerub, the award was presented to Mäkäräinen by regional director Markus Hirvonen and Ilkka Koski, who chaired the Joensuu Youth Chamber of Commerce in 2020.

Kaisa Mäkäräinen says that she is proud of the award she received after the difficult corona year.

—There aren't too many of us here in the province, so I would encourage everyone to take care of our home region and its people. I myself like to take care of things carefully, but in a relaxed way. I would also see that as a strength of the entire province. Here, even big things can be agreed upon together, for example over market coffee. We don't necessarily need tall apartment buildings and fancy offices for that.

—Kontiolahti's competition organization successfully organized three weeks of the World Cup in the corona year, which says a lot about North Karelia: mutual cooperation, desire for success, interiority, flexibility, community spirit and, in general, the ability to find solutions to prevailing problems.

Mäkäräinen states that it is perhaps difficult for the locals to understand the international visibility brought by biathlon.

—I have seen it myself while traveling in Central Europe and Russia. It's easy to say that you live next to Kontiolahti, in Joensuu. You immediately know where it is.

The goal of the Provincial Developer Award, awarded by the North Karelia Provincial Association and the Joensuu Youth Chamber of Commerce, is to activate the residents of the province to work for a common and increasingly better North Karelia. The recipient of the developer award is also a positive example of the province's success.

In addition to the county association and the youth chamber of commerce, Kaisa Mäkäräinen's election was supported by the North Karelia ELY center, the city of Joensuu, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, North Karelia entrepreneurs, Keski-Karelia Development Company Oy KETI and the University of Eastern Finland.

Over the years, a diverse group of influencers from business, culture, education and sports have been chosen as the developer of the province. Last year, the award was given to the CEO of Mantsinen Group Ltd Oy, Mia Mantsin.

Kaisa Mäkäräinen is calmly thinking about new challenges.

—I am still at the beginning of a new phase of my life. Corona has slowed down my ability to catch up on new and different jobs, but at the same time it has given me more time to calm down and contemplate the world and new possible goals. Appropriately, I have been able to work, for example, in youth coaching and in the media, as well as with a few partners. In addition, I have been able to see up close the World Cup arrangements from the other side of the fence.

Watch the video of the interview with the provincial developer Kaisa Mäkäräinen.

Photo: BMW IBU World Cup Kontiolahti 2020 / Heidi Lehikoinen