Meet Teresa! She has moved all over but now calls Kelowna Home. She uses her compassion to volunteer and gives back to the community in many different ways!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
From California, before that Vancouver, then Halifax, grew up in Saint John New Brunswick, born in Hong Kong.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My favourite person to spend time with me is the love of my life Peter because no matter what we do, we have fun and we share laughter. He inspires me to be a greater person and gives me so much love and happiness.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Mosaic Books because in our modern world of technology it's still nice to be able to browse through books and pick up a nice gift that suits anyone for every occasion. I also appreciate the opportunity as a local author having my book signing there when I published Seeds In the Wind.
Describe yourself in one word.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
China is the place we hope to visit soon as it is so rich in history and I want to learn more about my culture.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
My favourite activity in Kelowna is Wakesurfing on the Okanagan Lake.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The most inspiring thing that has happened to me was seeing my dad beat prostate cancer at the age of 72, and now at the age of 84 he is still healthy and gets up each morning at 6 am and swims for an hour. A year after his surgery he took me to Lourdes, France where he wanted to give thanks to the Holy Mother at the healing shrine and received the blessed healing water.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
One of my favourite childhood memory was family day Sunday. My parents would take me, my older brother and younger sister ice skating in the winter, and fishing at the pier in the summer.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
I volunteer and give back wherever I can in the community. Volunteerism is an altruistic act that feeds our emotional well-being, it brings us great happiness. I am a board member for the Fat Cat Children’s Festival; I am also a volunteer at the Shoe Bank and the Kelowna Gospel Mission. I also help at the Food Bank, Inn from the Cold and the Yacht Club when volunteers are required. I started a fundraising initiative for Canadian Mental Health Kelowna called Get Your Onesie On to raise awareness and funds for mental health. We are having a Noon Walk in our onesies May 10 starting at Stuart Park and challenging all to come.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
If I could change one thing in the world it would be more compassion because if everyone could show more of that, doing some random acts of kindness each day, a lot of problems could be solved, there would be world peace, no discrimination, no homelessness, no poverty.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
The Japanese garden is the hidden jewel of Kelowna a tranquil, peaceful little spot in the middle of downtown Kelowna, a perfect place for reflection and alone time.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I would like to see Kelowna with more affordable housings because starting with that; more economic issues could be solved. With affordable accommodations more students could make Kelowna home and attend university, Kelowna could attract more future graduates of medical doctors to help address our shortage of doctors and specialists. It would also just help other young people in Kelowna to start getting into the housing market. It would reduce homelessness giving everyone an opportunity to own a home.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
What makes Kelowna great is our community, our climate, our network of people. Most people fall in love with Kelowna after a vacation here, and they visit then decide to make Kelowna home.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
I never like to call it a bucket list. Instead, I would call it my life list. Things I would do while I’m living not before I kick the bucket.
1.Would like to write a screenplay that brings awareness to mental health.
2.I would like to build a home for at-risk youth, kids between the age of 19-25 where they are out of the ministry care but are at risk of falling out of the system and require help. Those who have mental health issues who need a safe place to go to and get help so they won’t end up being homeless.
3. I would like to see the Great Wall of China.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
Not everyone knows that I was nominated Valedictorian for my class in University and received the honour of an award for Scholastic Achievements and Leadership.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Cherry Lane Homes
Why did you get into/start this business?
To help the love of my life grow his business!
What is the goal of your business?
Custom build homes and lasting relationships with clients. To build dream homes for clients, from starter homes that are affordable to the million dollar homes whatever is within their budget and vision.
What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
The biggest struggle in life for me has been being a single mom twice, but each time there were lessons learned, and change has always been a time for growth. The struggle was never about money as I have always been independent and capable of working, the struggle was putting my children through the turmoil, and I always felt the guilt and pain of not being a good enough mom. I felt like I was not providing that perfect family!
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
If I had to start all over again, I would not do anything different. Never live life with regrets, everything happens for the reason that brings us to where we are today.
What do you always find yourself saying?
There is no coincidence in life!
Tell us your best piece of life advice.
"Live every day to the fullest and carpet the @$#% out of the Diem!"
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
If I could spend a day with anyone in the world, I would want to spend it with Elon Musk. I would love to pick his brilliant mind and ask him all the questions I have about his perseverance of life, business, innovations, technology, and his future plans. I love his beliefs in sustainability and making sure we still have a planet for our future generations.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
It is important to shop local to support our community, our friends.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
My proudest accomplishments are my two children Alisha, who’s 30 and Trevor, who’s 21. They have become two loving, kind, compassionate human beings with big hearts and gentle souls. I love them both with all my heart, and I am proud of them every single day.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Peter Teschner President of Cherry Lane Homes who happens to be the love of my life, a man of integrity, full of kindness, and fun loving nature. Peter is a hard-working man, and a dedicated, loving father. He has given me more love, loyalty, and happiness that our journey in life together will be only of abundance and fun adventures.
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Anna Jacyszyn - Great friend, Amazing Jazz Singer, Actress (Mama Mia coming up), Columnist for Daily Courier, and owner of Fabulous PR
Some general comments I would like to share are:
My life belongs to the community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can!
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!