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


Landon Orr
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 22 - Got the Edge

Name: Landon Orr.

What business or organization are you involved with? Freedom 55 Financial.

What is your role with that organization? Financial advisor.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? There’s so much potential for exploring: mountains, lakes, waterfalls, climbing, big mountain ranges close by, fantastic restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries. The list goes on.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Yvon Chouinard. He’s the founder of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. He’s a 79-year-old billionaire who still runs a massive company, is active outdoors, and is very influential environmentalist.

What’s your go-to happy place? Hiking around the Monashee Mountains near Cherryville, rock climbing
in Cougar Canyon in Vernon, or hanging at the family cabin on Okanagan Lake!

What are you most proud of? My lady, Devyn. She’s currently in the midst of schooling for her Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation. It’s essentially a full time job of studying on top of working full time as an accountant at a local firm. I’ve never seen anyone with so much
stamina, it’s amazing.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Achieve financial freedom so I can conquer all of the items on my bucket list;
2. Scuba dive with sea lions of the coast of Tofino;
3. Road trip all the way down to the southern tip of South America, bouncing around to as many places as we can along the way.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I was at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand when they brought out these short white worms as an appetizer before lunch. Not much taste, very weird texture. Wouldn’t recommend but would also probably eat it again.

Latest movie or book: The Emperor series by Conn Iggulden. It’s historical fiction about Julius Caesar’s life. It’s amazing. He also has one for Genghis Khan called the Conqueror series. The things those people achieved in their lifetime is insane.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? A monetary gift from my Nana and Papa when I graduated from Okanagan College. Not for the money itself but what it did, which was allow me to go for a two-month solo backpacking trip through Southeast Asia.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Round up as many loved ones as I can, head out to the family cabin, and have one last day by the lake.

Marnie Burnett
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 21 - Got the Edge

Name: Marnie Burnett

What business or organization are you involved with? El Taquero – Taqueria and Catering

What is your role with that organization? Owner/operator

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The people. When we first moved to the Okanagan three years ago, many people “warned us” that it would take a long time to make friends in Kelowna. However, we have met so many lovely people in the area and have never found this to be the case.

There is such a humungous sense of community and support for small business in the area. We couldn’t feel more fortunate with the relationships and the friendships we have gained.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? My husband’s late father. He passed when my husband was young and Israel (my husband) has always lived his life trying to be as good of a man as his father was. I would love nothing more than to converse and convey how wonderful a father, husband and business operator his son is and to have him share his pride with my husband.

What’s your go-to happy place? Hanging out with my kid. Running a restaurant is hard work and long hours. When I get to escape and have some quality one on one time with my daughter Matea, I couldn’t be happier. Where? Anywhere really, but usually hunting for bugs, exploring the outdoors, learning something new or baking cupcakes. On the rare moments when I get to go home to Saskatchewan, it is sitting in the boat on a sunny day fishing with Dad.

What are you most proud of? Our families. All of them: brothers, sisters, inlaws, steps, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. We have such a diverse group of people in our families and I am proud every day to be connected to them all.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? That’s a tough one. So many things in the world to see do and
experience. Here goes:
-South Africa;
-Scuba Diving;
-Learn to Fly.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Anyone have toddlers? Pretty sure it was easter egg soup with cheerios, almond milk, yogurt and mini eggs, yum. Other than that, it would have to be Escamoles in Mexico City, A delicacy equivalent to caviar. What is it? Ant larvae. Uh huh! Hubby didn’t let me know until I tried, I do have to be honest through, it was quite tasty.

Latest movie or book: My short term goal is to read one or go to one. I skim the net late at night and netflix and chill when I can.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My daughter. Period.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? With as much family as I could round up, preferable in one of two places: southern Manitoba at our family farm or Israel’s family ranch outside Mexico City. It really is quite amazing how similar the two places, and our family gatherings, are considering the cultural and geographical differences. Both places are near and dear to me.

David Michaud
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 20 - Got the Edge

Name: David Michaud.

What business or organization are you involved with? Penticton Vees Junior A hockey club.

What is your role with that organization? Director of player development and corporate sales.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Without question, the scenery is my favourite part of living in the Okanagan. There are very few places that don’t offer a stunning view. The chance to get outside and experience all the valley has to offer is another huge perk. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love sipping a glass of wine on a patio with good friends and good food, starting at a beautiful lake? I hear the hockey is pretty good in Penticton, too.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose, and why? That is a tough one. There are so many people who are leaders in sports and business that I admire. If I was backed into a corner and had to choose I’d probably pick former Yankee captain Derek Jeter; he’s a winner.

What is your go-to happy place? A long stroll on the KVR Trail always get my mind right.

What are yo most proud of? Building a team that went to the National Midget Championships in 2013-2014. The process of building a team and making it all the way to the end is a tremendous feeling. Hopefully this Vees squad can get me to my second national championships this year.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

-Win a national championship;

-A couple of weeks in Santorini, Greece would be nice;

-A quiet cabin somewhere.

What the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I went to a Spanish restaurant in Philadelphia during the NHL draft with a group of people from Sweden. There were a couple of things I ate that I was unsure of. Thankfully their English wasn’t strong enough to explain what I was eating.

Latest movie or book? Relentless, a book about Ted Rogers. It’s been a while since I watched a good flick.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Easy. My first hockey net was I was seven years old. Every young Canadian boy should be able to shoot pucks in a net.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I’d be at that cabin on the wish list with my puppy Murphy.

Alison Yesilcimen
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 19 - Got the Edge

Name: Alison Yesilcimen

Employer: AY Enterprise

City: Kelowna

Occupation: CEO with a passion for growing companies, developing people and driving results.

Tell us about your job: I’m so lucky! I conduct results-based advisory services to a diverse portfolio of SME clients ranging from technology to manufacturing for the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust. I’m also an Executive in Residence (EiR) at Accelerate Okanagan providing proven methodologies that help commercialize early-stage tech companies.

Tell us about yourself: I’m a motivational leader who loves to set goals, work hard, and celebrate the success with a round of high fives. I’ve learned over the years that “failure” is not even trying something so I constantly push myself to have the courage to dare greatly!

What do you do for fun? I enjoy writing children’s books and have recently published Pretty Kitty in the City. It’s a fun rhyming book that has a tendency to cause both adults and children to giggle.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? I put the Grrrrr in Tigger!

Latest movie or book: The force was with me when I went to see Rogue One.

What’s your go-to happy place? Clinking wine glasses at home with my best friend in the whole wide world…my husband Kenan.

Lauren Zucchiatti
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 16 - Got the Edge

Name: Lauren Zucchiatti.

What business or organization are you involved with? Cascades Casino.

What is your role with that organization? Guest services manager.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The beautiful landscape. I love waking up each day and seeing such picturesque views, from the mountains to the lakes to the vineyards. It’s all so beautiful.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? I would want to have lunch with Richard Branson because he is such an inspiration, from his incredible business sense to his humanitarian efforts, but most of all for his ability to keep his employees happy by listening to them and keeping their jobs fun.

What’s your go-to happy place? My go-to happy place is Sparkling Hill, but since I can’t go there as often as I’d like, I would have to say this quiet part of the beach near Okanagan Lake Marina.

What are you most proud of? The fact that I never give up. I have been through a lot of things in my life, but I always found a way to see the silver lining in everything.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

-Travel to the Maldives;
-Learn to scuba dive, then dive the “Blue Hole” in Belize;
-Backpack through Europe, especially Rome.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I think the weirdest thing I’ve eaten would be bear, but living in the Okanagan that’s not such a strange thing to eat.

Latest movie or book? You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Time: when someone I love or care about spends time with me. I have everything I need, so there really isn’t anything I would want from someone, other than sharing a moment with them.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I would go see my family. They all live in Ontario so I would go visit them, since I only get to see them once a year.

 

Cameron Betts
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 15 - Got the Edge

Name: Cameron Betts.

What business or organization are you involved with? Betts Electric Ltd.

What is your role with that organization? President.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The mountain and the lakes. There’s endless options, in any direction, any time of the year. It’s an incredible place to call home.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be, and why? I would have lunch with my grandfather, Dave. He passed away several years ago and I would love nothing more than to see and talk with him one more time.

What’s your go-to happy place? Apex Mountain. Taking my dog Bailey for a hike or snowshoe always puts a smile on my face and clears my mind.

What are you most proud of? My family.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? Go heli skiing, fly in a fighter jet and see a Cowboys game.

Latest movie or book? Under New Management by David Burkus.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Have a big dinner with friends and family.

Nicky Scott
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 14 - Got the Edge

Name: Nicky Scott.

What business or organization are you involved with? Canadian Family Financial.

What is your role with that organization? Family enterprise advisor.

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Two lakes! My morning drive along Skaha lake when the water is like glass is simply amazing.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? My grandmother, she passed away a few months ago. I would insist that she make a batch of her homemade buns.

What’s your go-to happy place? Being on the water, my feet dangling off the back of the boat, or jumping into the lake.

What are you most proud of? My relationships with my family. Working in a family business is often challenging, and being married is a journey. I’m invested.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
-Build a house;
-See more of the world;
-Raise kids that are compassionate and capable.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I generally don’t eat weird things, or most things I can’t pronounce.

Latest movie or book: Book: Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin. Movie: I love The Queen of Katwe, it’s a great story of overcoming odds, and my friend’s son is in it.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Anything from my kids that says “I love you mommy.” Once my husband made an outdoor movie theatre in our yard for my birthday, it was great.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Maybe a picnic, swimming, a movie under the stars with real theatre popcorn, all with my boys.

Patrice Raven
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 12 - Got the Edge

Name: Patrice Raven

Employer: Impression Floors

City: Kelowna

Occupation: Business development

Tell us about your job: I’m a Co-owner of Impression Floors in Kelowna, located behind Costco on Baron Road. I love to work with customers to find the ideal flooring product for their style and budget.

Tell us about yourself: I have co-owned our family-run flooring business for 25 years. I have the privilege of being a mother and a professional business woman. I have legal secretarial and human resource management experience. I also loved my working experience at the EU Delegation in Tokyo, Japan.

What do you do for fun? Exercise routine in the gym, Moy Tai Chi, walking our two dogs to the lake and reading.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Christopher Robin.

Latest movie or book: The A Discovery of Witches trilogy by Deborah Harkness. It’s about a time-travelling academic who discovers her historical heritage.

What’s your go-to happy place? Our home.

Redhead Mare
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 09 - Got the Edge

Name: Redhead Mare

Employer: Redhead Mare Media

City: Penticton

Occupation: YouTuber, Blogger, Social Media Marketing Maven

Tell us about your job: Every day is different and I love that about my self-made job. I help local businesses with their social media and traditional media needs, using my background as a radio host. I have a growing YouTube channel where I focus on self-care. I have a bi-weekly, half-hour show on Shaw TV called “The Mareathon” and you can hear me weekends on New Country 100.7.

Tell us about yourself: I was raised in Summerland and left to attend BCIT for Broadcast Journalism. I quickly realized “why would you want to live anywhere but the Okanagan?!” The beauty of our area takes my breath away on a regular basis.

What do you do for fun? Spend time with my girlfriends, usually with a glass of wine and tears of laughter

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? Kanga because she is a protective mother. And she likes things tidy.

Latest movie or book: Hidden Figures was one of the best movies I have seen in a long time, perhaps ever. I think everyone needs to see it and learn the story. I’m Currently reading 10% Happier by Dan Harris.

What’s your go-to happy place? The couch of a dear friend’s house or a quiet area of the beach with a strong coffee in one hand and my journal in the other.

Chelsea Perretta
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jun 07 - Got the Edge

Name: Chelsea Perretta

Employer: Barreroom

City: Kelowna

Occupation: Studio owner and manager of operations

Tell us about your job: Our studio offers a fast-growing workout called Barre. My roles here at Barreroom, on top of being the owner, are running the efay-to-day operations of the studio and working as the program director. My job is a lot of fun: I train instructors and take care of the ins and outs of the studio from payroll and inventory control to recruitment and marketing.

Tell us about yourself: I am a fitness obsessed, coffee-loving Kelowna Girl. I was actually in banking for more than 10 years before opening Barreroom.

What do you do for fun? Barre and spin definitely top my hobby list, but I can also be found cooking in the kitchen, enjoying sushi and wine dates or just relaxing at home with my family.

What Winnie the Pooh character do you most relate to? dDefinitely Kanga. I’m calm and motherly by nature and quite protective. I tend to keep people organized and I write massive to-do lists. I’m a major planner. I also have a unexpected sense of humour ( I may have Googled the characters and this unknown trait about Kanga is what confirmed it for me). I love to make people laugh and feel at ease.

Latest movie or book: One thing I am always embarrassed about is my lack of reading. As a business owner and mom I just can’t find the time. I’m a TV person and I like a quick hour-long show that I can get into and watch on a regular basis. I’m a bit of a reality TV junkie. I have a hard time with really dramatic heavy stuff at night so crazy reality drama does the trick.

What’s your go-to happy place? Home for sure. The second I walk in the door at the end of the day, whether it’s 2 p.m. or 9p.m., if I’m home for the night I’ll get straight into my pajamas and just cook or hang with the fam. It’s the best.

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