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In Focus | Donna McAllister

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Donna McAllister.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born and raised in Guelph Ontario. I moved to Kelowna 15 years ago. I still remember arriving in Kelowna on a sunny July day, and walking along the waterfront with the blue lake glistening in front of my eyes. Ahh, what a place to call home.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My husband and kids.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Europe, I'd start by taking my kids to Ireland to visit extended family and learn about their heritage.

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Quality Greens. It's friendly, convenient and has great, locally-sourced produce.

What is your favourite activity?
There are many things I enjoy, and most include being out in nature. I'd say hiking with my dog is one of my favourites.

If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
My husband's gourmet, homemade burgers.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
There are plenty of embarrassing moments. Thankfully, many of them occurred before social media, so there's not a lot of incriminating evidence, only stories to laugh at. I think I'll leave it at that.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I worked on an athlete from Morocco who could not speak english, and was only able to point at his leg to indicate the painful area. He had strained a muscle, and was worried about his race later that day in the finals of the 3000m Steeplechase. I treated him with chiropractic and myofascial techniques, then off he went to compete. He set the world record that day, which was super inspiring in itself. But the best part was the brilliant smile of gratitude and genuine heartfelt bow that he gave me when he went out of his way to thank me after the competition. Thanks Brahim, you inspire me to always give my best!

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have volunteered and donated to many organizations, including the IWEN foundation, CMHA, sponsoring local athletes and helping kids or families in need.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Peace and cooperation between countries with different cultures, economies and values.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
I love getting outside and being active, so I'd say top of my list would be hiking, followed by cycling, getting out on the lake in the summer and heading up to the ski hill in winter.

If you were granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
Can it be a run-on sentence? How about to laugh often, feeling happy, healthy and grateful for each day.

What is on your bucket list?
First on the list is a family trip to Europe to visit friends and family. Another important thing would be to volunteer, ideally with each of my kids when they are teens/young adults, with an organization like IWEN or similar. I think this would be perspective-changing for all of us.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I lose track of time when I am painting.

What is the name of your business/organization?
Okanagan Health & Performance (OHP).

What does your business do?
It is a multi-disciplinary health care centre with a diverse range of services, including Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Registered Massage Therapy, Osteopathy and Kinesiology.

Why did you get into/start this business?
The idea of starting a multi-disciplinary centre in Kelowna was inspired while working in Australia. As a Chiropractor at the Sydney Olympics, it was essential to communicate and work together with coaches, medical and healthcare practitioners for the best outcome of the athlete. I soon realized this didn't just apply to working with athletes. While working at a multi-disciplinary clinic near Brisbane Australia, it was very clear that effective communication and cooperation with other practitioners was a key ingredient to healing.

What is the goal of your business?
The mission of Okanagan Health and Performance is to inspire, educate, empower and help our patients achieve optimal health and performance in an atmosphere that embraces the healing of mind and body.

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Balancing family and work life, and living simply through eyes of wonder rather than getting caught up in the world of 'busyness'. I am inspired by the Zen Buddhist concept of 'beginner mind', which refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness and lack of preconceptions.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
Sometimes I wish I knew then what I know now, which would certainly have changed some decisions and coping strategies. However, the reality is that the more we learn, the more we realize there is to learn. Humbling thought, which brings me right back to the concept of 'beginner mind' no matter what age we are. Looking back, I really wouldn't change things as that has shaped the person that I am today. Certainly from a professional standpoint, I wouldn't change a thing. I love working as a chiropractor. It is such a rewarding profession, and I am grateful that I am able to do it.

What do you always find yourself saying?
Amazing!

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
I’d sure like to spend a day with Brene Brown. She’s a researcher, storyteller, author and an inspirational, thought provoking public speaker. I was inspired by her first TED talk about vulnerability and human connection, and by her book 'Daring Greatly'. Her parenting manifesto is awesome!

Why do you think it is important to shop local?
Supporting local businesses is a great way to feel part of the community. Not only does it help the local economy, but it also makes us feel more connected to this unique wonderful place that we call home.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
The most proud, powerful and vulnerable I have felt were the days my daughters were born.

Give someone that you think deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Firstly, my husband Mike who enlightens me with his wisdom, inspires me with his curiosity and who is an amazing father and partner in life. And, a huge shout out to my business partner Rob, and all of the wonderful practitioners, dedicated staff members and patients whom I have the pleasure of spending time with each day.

My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Elaine Sauve, Osteopath at OHP. I am inspired by her knowledge and ability to help others through a gentle, hands-on approach.

Other information you would like to share:
Thank you KelownaNow for keeping our community in the loop!

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.



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