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In Focus | Steve Lemke

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?
Steve Lemke.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and have been in Kelowna for 21 years.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My wife, Jill. We love doing road trips and also watching reality TV together.

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Costco, I love the big carts.

Describe yourself in one word.
Driven.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Two favourite places, Nakusp, BC because I love the green valleys with the snowcapped high mountains and the fact that it is very remote. As well as Monterey, California because it is a moderate temperature. Never too hot and never too cold and an absolutely gorgeous coastline.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Walking the waterfront and Rockets games. But, Hmmm… My most favourite activities are in Nakusp. Kelowna is getting too busy for me.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Which time? There are so many. The most recent was walking around a corner and not seeing the big guy heading my way at the exact same time, I went flying and it wasn’t pretty.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
My annual attendance at the Global Leadership Summit based out of Chicago, Illinois. Willow Creek Church Association.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Having cookies after school while discussing the day with my mom and sisters.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I have facilitated the 'Boundaries' course at Trinity Church for the last 14 years in the spring and fall for nine-week sessions. People kept showing up, it was very humbling to be a part of this. I am also on the GEID Trustee board.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
To somehow have people respect each other.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
Kelowna has a traffic problem which requires its residents to adjust their thinking. I have visited New York City and it is a whole different transportation culture; people walk and take the subway. Kelowna needs a high-speed train from Summerland to Vernon.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
The weather, our mountains and lakes.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Build a cabin in Nakusp
2. Do a riverboat tour in Europe
3. Learn to play the guitar

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I have a Masters of Divinity degree, and I love Redwood trees in Oregon and California. I try to get there at least every two years.

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
Facebook is my go to keep in touch with friends from the many places I have lived.

What is the name of your business/organization?
Prestige Landscape Ltd.

Why did you get into/start this business?
In 2000, I was starving and trying to make a living in financial product sales, and my dad saw an ad in the paper for a landscape business for sale. I always enjoyed landscaping, so we bought the business.

What is the goal of your business?
To invest in our employees to the point where they become better people, they take that into their homes to make better families, and then into the community to make Kelowna better. All due to them being part of our organization.

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
The biggest struggle in work has been learning what making a fair profit is all about. I grew up in the non-profit sector. I know how to work hard and do the right thing but not so good on understanding margins. We have now hired someone smarter than me.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
Great questions with huge implications, in my second half of life I now know what I don’t know, which is much. So looking back, there are many things in my younger years that I would tone down and soften. I would also have taken business courses.

What do you always find yourself saying?
'Living the dream!'

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
'What you live, you learn; what you learn, you practice; what you practice, you become; what you become has consequences.' AND 'Wherever you go, there you are.'

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Bill Hybels and Bill Gates.

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Obvious. Support the local guys and we all survive!

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Growing the company to where it is today.

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Lawrence East, the lead guy at Metro Church. He’s doing work with people that I struggle to relate with. These people need support and mentoring, he and his team are doing a great job.

My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Lawrence East.

Some general comments I would like to share are:
None. I’m a quiet private guy who just likes to get things done!

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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