Meet Local Leader George Hansel of Keene

Here on the Stay Work Play NH blog, we’re celebrating young leaders all over the state — and we have a lot to celebrate! Last fall, New Hampshire saw a boost in young people taking office at the state level. In fact, 42 of our representatives are under 40 years old. You’ll get to meet all of them on this space, but we also want to shine a spotlight on the young people leading their communities at the local level!

Meet George Hansel!

A self-described business man, George is the owner and operations manager of Filtrine Manufacturing Company. George has deep roots in Keene, where he serves on the City Council. (George was also the recipient of the 2017 Rising Stars Awards Civic Leader of the Year).

Tell us about your “Path to Politics” – what made you decide to get involved?

I ran for the council to make sure Keene continues to grow and thrive. I recognized pretty quickly after moving back as an adult that this was a community where you could get together with a handful of your friends, get civically engaged, and make a huge difference. That was too good an opportunity to waste by sitting on the sidelines.

If you could only accomplish one thing while in office, what would it be?

There are a lot of things that need to be accomplished. Part of my focus is devoted to ensuring people understand the great things we have to offer in Keene and the Monadnock Region – It’s hard to describe, but easy to fall in love with.

What advice would you give to another young person interested in getting involved in politics in NH?

Patience is always valuable in politics, waiting in line isn’t. Young people should dive right in.

What advice do you have for citizen advocates?

Don’t be intimidated by the pomp and circumstance of official meetings or hearings. Testify and let your voice be heard. Good elected officials listen to those who elected them.

Finally, just for fun, tell us something about yourself that will surprise people.

When I was five or six years old, I got lost in the woods for several hours while cross-country skiing at my grandfather’s house in Harrisville. Instead of stopping and waiting to be found, or retracing my steps, I just kept going in a straight line until I found a road. My grandfather thought it was funny. My parents weren’t as impressed.

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