Okanagan Edge and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Under 40” program.
Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Under 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the sixth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.
Over the last five and half years as a Realtor here in the Okanagan, Justina Lee-Stolz has had the incredible privilege to serve many people in their real estate needs and to establish beneficial partnerships with many local businesses.
Lee-Stolz’s goal has always been to create incredible community connections and promote the awesome small businesses that exist in the valley. Real estate is a relational business, and it is the long-term attention to detail and care for not only her past clients, but her business partners in the community that allows her to realize continued success year over year. Lee-Stolz’s impact in the community is largely attributed to her desire to solve problems and connect those folks that she meets with the people and places that will solve any troubles they are experiencing.
Supporting local is another passion of hers, which is why Lee-Stolz runs an affiliate-passport program called Tour The Town with more than 30 local businesses that offer a first-time-one-time-use incentive exclusive to her clients to get them in the door. This helps promote the business and keep money local. Perhaps Lee-Stolz’s most notable contribution to the community to date is the curation of the 100AwesomePeople project that highlights and megaphones people and businesses that have an awesome social impact in the community greater than their immediate sphere of influence.
Lee-Stolz’s experience in leadership comes mostly from her involvement as a volunteer within the community; she loves joining teams of people that are doing good. She currently sits as the private sector representative on the Festivals Kelowna board of directors and has been a general member of the board since May 2015. This gives her the opportunity to be part of the governance of the society and helps inform important decisions that affect the organization. Lee-Stolz also holds the role of finance director for the Kelowna Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba Society and has done so since September 2016. Although her official KSBK title is finance, as three to five people run the organization, the hats often overlap between event organizer, finance and external relations officer. Lee-Stolz’s most recent, direct leadership role was her 2018-19 term as president of the Kelowna AM Toastmasters Club that meets at 6:45 a.m. on Thursday mornings to engage in personal and professional development in the often scarier-than-death arena of public speaking. Opening and closing all meetings and having the opportunity to develop as an effective leader was extraordinarily eye-opening and helped Lee-Stolz enhance her soft skills when it comes to people management and communication.
Lee-Stolz’s role in the community would not be complete if she did not also take leadership within the real estate industry, and therefore she sits on the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board committee that oversees the social events for all 900 or so agents within the board. Lee-Stolz holds the MLS Realtor tour liaison seat and ensures that agents can showcase their properties to other agents on a weekly or biweekly driving tour.
Lee-Stolz relishes the opportunity to give back to the community through her connector role with the Okanagan Young Professionals Connector program that matches local professionals with individuals looking for connections in the community through a one-hour coffee meeting that is intended to produce two to three more coffee meetings for the connectee.
She spends the majority of her volunteer hours giving back to the young professionals’ community associated with the Junior Chamber International Kelowna chapter (JCI Kelowna). With this group she has had the incredible opportunity to add value through participating in committees that run events and fundraisers, and the added bonus is that she receives relevant experience in marketing and sponsorship that she would not receive in other facets of her professional life.
Lee-Stolz was fortunate enough to be able to start her post-secondary education at Okanagan College and eventually transferred up to the University of British Columbia Okanagan to complete a bachelor of arts degree with a major in geography and a minor in English. As a real estate professional, she is continually engaging in ongoing education to keep up to date with relevant industry changes and standards.
Lee-Stolz’s most recent accolades include winning the National Effective Speaking Contest with JCI Canada. She has won speaking contests through Toastmasters in the past, but JCI has provided bigger growth opportunities.
Professionally, she is most recently a Masters Ruby award recipient through Century 21 Canada for accelerating to a revenue benchmark as set by the company’s corporate headquarters. Lee-Stolz was also nominated as a finalist for the Kelowna Women in Business Change-Maker Award for outstanding impact and influence within the community.
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