Turning heartache into hope.
That's what Kristensen and her husband, Mark, seek to do through their organization, Angel's Hand Foundation.
Kristensen was nominated by her colleagues at Kennecott Utah Copper for parent company Rio Tinto's "Olympic Hero" awards program.
An accounting manager in the Capital Project and Risk Division at Kennecott, she was one of 75 nominees. Kristensen eventually went on to win one of four Olympic Hero awards from Rio Tinto's Utah operation. The designation comes with a trip to the Olympic Summer Games in London, which begin July 27.
Rio Tinto, the multi-national mining corporation with headquarters in London, provided the metals for the gold, silver and bronze medals to be presented at the Summer Games.
"I'm quite excited," Kristensen said. "I've never been to Europe."
Kristensen and her husband are going to make it the "trip of a lifetime," she said and have expanded their travel plans to include Paris and Rome.
Roxann, 55, is originally from Fargo, N.D., where she grew up on a farm. She attended North Dakota State University and married Mark 27 years ago. The couple have two daughters, Cassady and Carissa.
They also had a son, Matt, who had been afflicted by a rare disease. They discovered that there "are so many families with children with disabilities," she said. "We have good medical benefits but, many of them don't."
Although Matt later succumbed to the disease, his plight launched Kristensen and Mark into founding Angel's Hand Foundation. It seeks to improve the quality of life for children with rare or terminal illnesses.
Today they serve 200 families with financial and moral support.
Further, Angel's Hand Foundation organizes activities where children with rare diseases and their families come together about once a month. It provides a community of people who can relate to each other's challenges.
"When we get together, they have someone they can relate to," said Roxann. "There are families who never miss an event."
Through Angel's Hand Foundation, Matt's legacy lives on.
Rio Tinto's Utah operation provides financial support to the Kristensen's non-profit organization, said Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett, mainly through the Angel's Hand Foundation annual fund raiser.
Kennecott employees also participate in the fundraising event, which Bennett described as "an enjoyable but emotional evening dedicated to educating the community on the unique needs of these struggling families."
In her professional duties at Kennecott, Kristensen has the reputation of a team leader whose passion for work effects everyone around her, Bennett said.
"Roxann's story inspires us through her tireless dedication. She is the quiet hero among all the Angels, including her own Angel, Matt."
Kennecott Copper Olympic Heroes
Contest winners, from left:
Lee Hutson, Sandy • Kennecott operator
Roxann Kristensen, South Jordan • accounting manager
Charla Romrell, Kearns • office administrator
Neil Namauu, Herriman • Kennecott control room operator