Got the Edge
A light-hearted Q&A with the people who make the Okanagan work


Amber Whittemore
Contributed - Jun 01, 2022 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

What is your business or organization? The Nourished Collaborative

What is your role with that organization? Registered dietitian and owner

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? I would have to say how connected to nature we can be in the Okanagan, if we so choose. We’re surrounded by amazing trails for exploring year-round, tons of beautiful beaches and a growing number of wineries with some of the most stunning views of our valley.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Probably Brené Brown, because her research around wholehearted living and vulnerability have challenged our culture’s norms around emotion and human connection, which I think is so important. Her work also shapes a lot of what I do and how I communicate with my clients!

What’s your go-to happy place? Up the mountain with my dogs. It’s always a guarantee!

What are you most proud of? Following my passion and cultivating my own niche in the mental health field as a registered dietitian, and subsequently opening my business during COVID so that anybody in the province could access virtual support from the comfort of their own homes.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Travelling around Greece
2. Exploring more of the province’s multi-day hikes and camping trips
3. Writing a book sharing my experience living with and subsequently specializing in the mental health field

Latest movie or book? Atlas of the Heart, by Brene Brown

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? I don’t really know if it counts as a traditional “gift,” but I would say my dog, Benji. He has travelled all over the province with me for school, keeping me grounded and sane, and is now an emotional support animal that gets to help out at work with clients.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Definitely outside in nature and probably without any technology.

Herk Katountas
Contributed - Mar 18, 2022 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

What business or organization are you involved with? Sitara Liquor Store

What is your role with that organization? Owner/operator

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The wineries, boating, fresh fruit and the weather.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Marilyn Monroe.

What’s your go-to happy place? Anywhere that I am boating or RVing.

What are you most proud of? Opening Sitara Liquor Store in Lake Country.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Visit Rome and the Vatican.
2. Drink wine in Leon, France.
3. Go paddleboarding in Greece.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Snake and alligator. It was force fed.

Latest movie or book? James Bond 007.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Finding a permanent home for the liquor store.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Spending money.

Dustin Martin
Contributed - Feb 07, 2022 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

What business or organization are you involved with? Teresa May Agency

What is your role with that organization? Background talent management

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Lakes and mountains. You can paddleboard all summer and snowboard all winter. Incredible wine in an ultra relaxed setting.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Christoph Waltz. He’s an awesome actor. I’m sure it would be an entertaining experience.

What’s your go-to happy place? Klub Kalamalka in Oyama. Best way to cool off in the hot Okanagan heat.

What are you most proud of? My incredible wife Shanna. She makes work-life balance look easy.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Learn how to surf
2. Play 18 holes at Pebble Beach with my father-in-law
3. Learn sign language

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’ve tried lots of unusual foods in my life … mushrooms would have to be considered the weirdest.

Latest movie or book? Jay Shetty’s Think like a Monk.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My two amazing children, Preston and Cruz.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Wake up, kiss my wife and kids, and enjoy every last minute as a family!

Amit Dhand
Contributed - Jan 17, 2022 - Got the Edge

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What business or organization are you involved with? Papa Murphy’s Pizza

What is your role with that organization? Owner

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? I love the sunny, hot weather and the vineyards overlooking Okanagan Lake.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, whom would you choose and why? I would love to have lunch with Tom Hanks. I see him as a wonderful person, and the conversations would relate to his movies and social justice projects he is involved with.

What’s your go-to happy place? “Fresh made. Fresh baked. Fresh pizza” from Papa Murphy’s Pizza

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of the fact that I built my own company from the ground up. Growing up, I was surrounded by hard working family members. I wanted to be in charge. After college I started a series of small businesses and took odd jobs, finally managing to save up enough money to purchase my favourite franchise. It’s not been an easy road, but I’ve stuck with it and continued to grow and purchase more stores. It’s my desire to continue to grow and achieve that has kept me going all these years.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
• Business growth all across the globe.
• Meditate once a week.
• Contribute to the local community.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I don’t know if this counts as weird, but on a flight home, I was eating the meal they served for lunch and saw what I thought was a green bean. I don’t like green beans, but I also don’t like throwing food away, so I ate it. The green bean, as I learned almost immediately, turned out to be some sort of green chili. The inside of my mouth felt on fire, and tears streamed down my face in tiny but steady rivulets. I ate the yogurt that was provided. When that did little to ease the pain I took the yogurt from my wife’s tray on the seat behind me. That didn’t help that much either. Meanwhile, I had the window seat and the sun was beating down on my face, heightening the intensity of the experience.

Latest movie or book? Spider-Man: No Way Home.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? A handmade crib for my first-born, made by my big brother.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Spend quality time with family and friends. Register to become an organ donor. Forgive the people who have wronged you and apologize, so that me and those around me can all feel at ease. Help out a charity.

Christine May
Contributed - Oct 08, 2021 - Got the Edge

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With what business or organization are you involved? Kelowna Art Gallery

What is your role with that organization? Curator

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The stunning landscape. Every morning on my drive to work I can’t help but think about how lucky I am to call this home.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? The iconic drag queen Trixie Mattel. I could listen to her talk for hours!

What’s your go-to happy place? Emma Lake, Saskatchewan.

What are you most proud of? Watching my daughters become vibrant and curious little creatures.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

1) Skiing at Big White
2) Okanagan winery tour
3) Attending a Kelowna Ballet performance

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Not weird on its own, but does regularly eating poutine for breakfast count?

Latest movie or book? Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage, by Haruki Murakami.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? A collection of vintage handbags from beloved friend and creative powerhouse, Cyndy Swanson.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Cuddled up on the couch with my family and a big bag of salt and vinegar chips.

Cindy White
Contributed - Aug 19, 2021 - Got the Edge

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What business or organization are you involved with? Castanet Kelowna

What is your role with that organization? News reporter

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Just one? Lakes and wine?

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? My son who lives in Alberta. I miss him!

What’s your go-to happy place? The lake!

What are you most proud of? Being one of the founder of the Legacy Walk fundraiser during my time in Alberta. We have raised more than $40,000 for cancer research. This year I’ll be walking from Canmore to Banff and back—54 kilometres.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

1. Go to Scotland
2. Get a paddleboard
3. Cook with Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Prairie oysters

Latest movie or book? Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? I got a horse when I was 11 or 12. Her name was Princess and I think I fell off half a dozen times the first year, but eventually got the hang of riding.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Eating all my favourite foods!

Shera-Lynn Gobeil
Contributed - Jul 15, 2021 - Got the Edge

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What business or organization are you involved with? Bank of Montreal

What is your role with that organization? Mortgage specialist

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The stunning scenery! There is so much beauty everywhere you look in the Okanagan, from our gorgeous lakes to our rolling vineyards. The wine from our region is pretty tasty too. Haha!

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? One of my uncles, they are like father figures to me. This last year has been difficult with all the restrictions. I’m so happy they’re starting to lift a bit so I can get back to annoying them.

What’s your go-to happy place? A quiet place with a good book. I love reading and usually have a couple on the go so I have something to jump into depending on the mood I’m in.

What are you most proud of? Working with such an amazing financial institution in BMO. The culture and leadership is absolutely incredible and very community driven. It is such a fun team to be part of.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Sky dive. I’m still figuring out how to work up the nerve.
2. Get my motorcycle licence.
3. Write a book.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I remember being three years old and sneaking the cat’s dry food. The worst of it is I really liked it. Blech! I’m pretty sure that takes the cake since as I meow keep to human food.

Latest movie or book? I’m currently reading Velocity by Dean Koontz, The Search by Nora Roberts, and have recently decided to try and read the Bible from front to back.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? As my name isn’t very common, I grew up not getting to have the fun name pencils and stickers etc. While it seems silly, it was something I complained about when I was younger. This person went and had pencils and stickers and other treasures made up for me with my name on it. I know it sounds small, but that simple act of kindness has always stayed with me.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? A big campout with as many of my loved ones as possible.

Teresa Teschner
Contributed - Jun 16, 2021 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

What business or organization are you involved with? The film industry.

What is your role with that organization? Executive producer.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? My favourite things about living in the Okanagan is the lifestyle, the lakes, the recreation and the people. It offers such a variety of fun things to do, with the nicest sceneries and great climate. I have lived from the East Coast to the West Coast and spent five years living in California. I have travelled to different countries and have seen many places, but truly the best place to live is right here in the Okanagan, and that is why I made this place home since 2005.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? If I could have lunch with anyone in the world I think it would be with George Lucas to learn everything about being a great executive producer. “Best known as an executive producer based on credits in that role in 15 films, with $5,791,530,210 worldwide aggregate box office (rank No. 21). Now retired and sold his company, George Lucas continues to be a philanthropist with all the money he made.” I would enjoy talking to someone who is so successful yet so giving.

What’s your go-to happy place? Believe it or not, I wish it was somewhere in the Okanagan. But for now it is Boston, as that is where my daughter, her husband and my grandbaby live. She just turned one year old, and it is so difficult to see them often. Watching her grow so quickly over Facetime is just not ideal.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my children. Alisha is 33, and Trevor is 25. They have both become such authentic, compassionate, intelligent individuals who understand the true meaning of giving and random gifts of kindness. I am very proud of whom they have become.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? I have done so much already that there is not much that I can think of as a bucket list. Why do something before you kick the bucket? Rather, check off some things to do on your life list.
1. Move my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to Kelowna.
2. Help build a home for at-risk teens in our community.
3. Go tour Shanghai and Beijing in China.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I will try anything once, but as a child my best friend ate the same kind of sandwich every single day. It is still by far the weirdest thing—peanut butter and mustard sandwich. There are a lot of great foods peanut butter goes well with, but certainly not mustard.

Latest movie or book? It’s a movie: On the Basis of Sex. It’s the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice. Totally inspiring!

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? The best I have received was the honeymoon gift from my husband, Peter, when we went to Maui and spent a week there chasing sunsets, doing helicopter touring, sailing, whale watching, art shopping in art galleries and coming home with two amazing pieces—one by Sir Anthony Hopkins and one by Bill Mack.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? If today was my last day on Earth, I would spend it with my family and close friends. I would party it up and celebrate life for living a life worthwhile!

Jayden Wasney
Contributed - May 28, 2021 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

What business or organization are you involved with? Castanet

What is your role with that organization? News reporter

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The people.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Jarome Iginla, because I spent my childhood wishing I was as good at hockey as he was.

What’s your go-to happy place? Anywhere there is a body of water, so being here is my happy place!

What are you most proud of? Going to school to get my diploma in broadcast news.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
• Broadcast a big sporting event
• Live in a different country
• Own a boat

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Turkey neck (my dad said it was good.)

Latest movie or book? If These Walls Could Talk, by Peter Maher.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Life.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? With my family, in Mexico.

Madison Erhardt
Madison Erhardt - Apr 13, 2021 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With what business or organization are you involved? Castanet

What is your role with that organization? Reporter

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? My favourite thing about living in the Okanagan is going hiking with my pup, and boating with my family in the summer.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? I would love to have lunch with my grandfather (Grandpy). He passed before I was born. My family shares some great stories of him about his work ethic and compassion for others.

What’s your go-to happy place? My go-to-happy place in on top of Knox Mountain

What are you most proud of? Today, I would say I’m most proud of my mom. She is a nurse working on the front lines in the intensive care unit in Toronto. She continuously puts her health on the line for others. She is fearless.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Visit Greece
2. See the Leafs win the Cup
3. Go horseback riding along a Hawaiian beach

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? A candle. I thought I removed my birthday candle from my cake, but sadly not.

Latest movie or book? Seven Yards on Netflix. It’s very inspirational. I highly recommend it.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Front-row seats to a Leafs game. Go Leafs go!

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I would spend my last day soaking up the sun, hopefully near some sort of body of water with my family and dog Hogan.

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