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?
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born in Winnipeg and thankfully my parents moved our family to the Okanagan when I was in elementary school. I am forever grateful for the decision they made.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
I love spending time with my family and close friends, but my boyfriend Zach gets the number one spot.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
The set of Whose Line Is It Anyway. I've always wanted to be in the live studio audience!
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Blue Ginger Trading. I love their style, that it's a women owned business, and I always find the best gifts there.
What is your favourite activity?
Lately I've been loving Acro Yoga. It's a growing community in Kelowna. Acro Yoga is partnered yoga with that combines stretching, acrobatics, and balances. It's a lot easier than it sounds!
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Definitely tacos! El Taquero and the Surf Side California food truck are my favorites.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I tend to laugh things off fairly easily. I am the most embarrassed when I make a comment without facts and later realize I was ignorant. I'm still waiting for that magic rewind button in life to be invented.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
I went on a humanitarian trip to Kenya, Africa to build the first girls high school in a rural area. During a walk to fetch water with local mothers, I felt a mother wrap her arms around behind me and suddenly I was carrying her baby.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Playing in the hayloft with my sister at my grandparents farm in Manitoba. The smell of hay brings me back.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I am a member of Jr. Chamber International or also known as JCI Kelowna. We are a group of young professionals under the age of 40 who run events and projects to improve our community and ourselves. I was recently elected to the board position 'Training Director'. This means that I will be responsible for finding inspirational people in Kelowna to come and train our group on topics anywhere from leadership to business etiquette and even to how to make a lasagna! If you have a talent for inspiring others and have something meaningful to teach, I want to hear from you! Aside from JCI, I also volunteer with Enactus Okanagan College as a mentor.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Talk about a loaded question. There seems to the constant chaos in this world. I dream of one day where there would be no violence, no intolerance, no mass shootings, no natural disasters only peace, forgiveness, self-worth, equality, joy and love. I would not just change one thing, I would change one day.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Biking around downtown shop hopping, bar hopping and food hopping.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
I love to sneak away to the Kelowna boardwalk right by the bird sanctuary and paint.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
More support and compassionate solutions to the homeless population and more affordable housing options for families. This need will only increase as our population grows.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
For a city of under 150,000 there is so many artistic subcultures and the downtown is well developed and maintained.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Work for the United Nations.
2. Eat curry in India.
3. Go backcountry snowboarding in fresh deep powder. Maybe that will happen this winter!
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I can read Tarot Cards. The cards reflect key archetypes or spiritual lessons in our lives.
How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
What is the name of your business/organization?
Women's Enterprise Centre.
Why did you get into/start this business?
After graduating with a business degree from the Okanagan School of Business, I wanted to use my knowledge to support entrepreneurs turn their dreams into reality. There's nothing more rewarding then someone telling me they successfully launched their business!
What is the goal of your business?
To support women business owners start, grow and purchase a viable business in British Columbia.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
To be totally open and honest. I often second guess myself and feel like an imposter in my work. Usually I am the youngest person at the table. My goal is to own what I have and confidently move forward without that doubtful voice in my head getting in the way!
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I am so grateful for every opportunity that I have had. No regrets!
What do you always find yourself saying?
'Danielle, you'll miss every shot you don't take.' This may be cliche but it is so motivating for me.
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Jim Carrey. I'll never forget, in an interview he said, 'I've done something where no mater where I go, when people meet me, they bring their best selves forward.' Maybe that's the one thing I would change about the world, for people to bring their best selves forward. Myself included.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Of course. My favourite thing about Kelowna is the downtown core and artistic culture. Without shopping local, that would not be there.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Being involved with the WE FOR SHE movement which is about advancing gender equality. It focuses on how to support women in the workplace and to inspire young women to be bold in their careers.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Dr. Mina Hoorfar, the Director of the School of Engineering at UBCO gave an emotional and compelling presentation at WE FOR SHE Kelowna. That presentation has motivated me through the We for She NextGen Leaders Program project.
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Donna Morel owner of WETS (We Teach Swimming). It is a local company that teaches swimming lessons and water safety to children. I worked in aquatics for six years and when I learned about her swimming program I was blown away with the effectiveness of her methods!
Some general comments I would like to share are:
Please connect with me if you would like to provide training to JCI Kelowna. If you are looking to start or grow a business and are seeking resources, if you are interested in learning more about the WE FOR SHE movement, or if you like good coffee and want to continue the conversation! You can contact me at email@example.com.
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.