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 am originally from Ontario, though I have been calling the Okanagan home now for three years. I've lived in Kelowna for almost a year now.
Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My sister, Rachelle, who also happens to be my best friend. Whether we're out adventuring or hanging out on the couch doing nothing, we never get bored.
If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Probably back home to Ontario to see my family. It's been a while since I have been back, so it would be great to see everyone again.
What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
Bean Scene! They are right by the clinic and I stop there daily for my dose of caffeine and the occasional cookie.
What is your favourite activity?
Anything that gets my body moving, whether it be in the gym, on the top of a mountain somewhere or on a yoga mat, I love it all.
If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
That's tricky! But if I can only pick one, I think my heart is with pizza.
What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
I've embarrassed myself so many times that I have lost track of the most embarrassing one.
What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
My grandmother started volunteering for a disaster service once she retired. She inspires me daily to help others and to ask for help when I need it as well.
Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
As a child I spent a lot of time outside playing with my neighbours. Our house backed onto a field and there was this one tree that we set up a tree fort in. There were six of us and we all had our separate rooms. I remember bringing small things back and forth from the house all day, and wandering around the field to find 'decorations'.
Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
As a clinic, we volunteer at sporting events and competitions around the Okanagan, offering free treatment to the athletes. This allows us to help the athletes perform at their best, all while learning more about the sports they love to play to better us as therapists.
If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I would love to see easily accessible clean water for everyone. It's sad that things like clean drinking water are such a struggle to obtain for so many people.
What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Hiking! I love exploring all the trails we have around here.
Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
I love waterfalls, so any place I can go that lets me sit and relax near one.
Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I would love to see more support for mental health in the community. There are so many different ways to help, so I would love to see this area develop further.
What do you think makes Kelowna great?
We have all the things you love about a big city here, with the added bonus of not having to go far to get out to the woods.
What are 3 things on your bucket list?
1. Travel to every continent at least once.
2. Compete at a national level in powerlifting.
3. I know its stereotypical, but I have yet to skydive and I would love to experience that.
Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I'm probably one of five people on this planet who does not like avocado.
What is the name of your business/organization?
Valeo Health Clinic.
Why did you get into/start this business?
I have always had a passion for helping people. When I personally experienced the benefits of massage therapy after various sport injuries, it was a no brainer.
What is the goal of your business?
To help people live healthy, strong and empowered in all areas of their life.
What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
Switching my career path. I originally went to school with the intention of being an addictions counsellor. Making the final decision to switch into massage therapy instead was the hardest, but most rewarding, decision I have ever made.
If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I would definitely keep things the same.
What do you always find yourself saying?
It's a tie between 'I need food' and 'I need coffee.'
If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Gabor Mate. With my previous education being in addictions, I would love to spend a day talking to him. I feel like there is so much he could teach me.
Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
Shopping locally allows you to support your community by directly buying from your neighbour.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I moved from Ontario to BC without knowing anybody. I'm pretty proud of the life I have set up out here.
Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Our office manager, Jess. She takes care of all the business up front, which keeps me (and probably everyone else) sane.
My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Dr. Anna Marie Gierach, the amazing new chiropractor at Altavie.
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.