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


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

Photo: Contributed

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.

Amandalina Letterio
Contributed - Mar 01, 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? Being surrounded by mountains, and the active and healthy lifestyle.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Oprah, because she overcame odds and adversity to get where she is today.

What’s your go-to happy place? Anywhere with my family. Or simply going for a long, quiet walk.

What are you most proud of? The fact that I am always willing to try new things and my ability to have a conversation with anyone.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? You’ll see 🙂

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Alligator. It was rubbery and it tasted like chicken. I hate chicken—maybe more than I hate alligator.

Latest movie or book? Book: Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I’m going through a ‘classics’ phase. Movie: Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. I watch it annually.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? I just love when people spend time with me (Cheesy, I know).

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? With loved ones, celebrating.

Kerri Anne Kedziora
Contributed - Jan 08, 2021 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With what business or organization are you involved? KAP Cleaners

What is your role with that organization? Manager of operations

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The friendly atmosphere!

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Ellen Degeneres, because she serves and helps those in need. It is my dream to do the same.

What’s your go-to happy place? Home, with my family.

What are you most proud of? Overcoming alcoholism.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Grow my business
2. Work on my dream of having a resort for families of people with disabilities.
3. Have every member of my family happy and healthy

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Pigeon.

Latest movie or book? I’m a Freaking Genius, by Mike Campion.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Recently, my daughter and uncle gave me a henkle knife block set. I have always wanted this but would never buy it for myself.

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

Mangla Bansal
Contributed - Nov 10, 2020 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With what business or organization are you involved? Sustainable Life App

What is your role with that organization? Founder and CEO

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Every. Single. Thing. I have lived in Vancouver or Burnaby for the majority of my life. The last five years or so, I just knew I wasn’t meant to be there anymore. I knew home was elsewhere, but I didn’t know where that elsewhere was. I got a job working with Shaw as their community producer, creating local documentaries, in 2019. I came to Kelowna one weekend and … I just knew. There was a frequency here and every bit of uncertainty I felt all of a sudden shifted to excitement. I am so grateful to call Kelowna home and wouldn’t have it any other way. I miss my family, but there’s Facetime and the holidays, so we’re good.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? That is such a hard question. On the one hand, I would love to have lunch with Oprah and Gayle and be their honourary third musketeer for a shared meal. But then there’s also Michelle Obama. Maybe she can teach me how to do one-handed pushups. And, of course, Beyonce! I want to share with her how hard I have been working learning the dance moves for Mi Gente and Power. Can I say all of the above? And if we take a group picture, can I be in the middle?

What’s your go-to happy place? The Kelowna Farmers’ Market and riding my bike. Nature is my happy place.

What are you most proud of? Building Sustainable Life App. It truly is my purpose in life. It’s a free app on Apple and Android that connects eco-conscious consumers with sustainable brands and businesses in their area. I created it to inspire #SupportSustainable in addition to the #ShopLocal movement. The app features green businesses, eco-products and services from many industries, including: eco travel options (hotels and tours), event venues, retail shops, grocery stores, local farms, cafés, restaurants, hair salons, spas and so much more! Our mission is simple: Sustainable Living Made Easy! I want to keep building it, even 10 years from now. I don’t want to stop until we reach a point in our human existence in which sustainable consumption becomes the forever norm. I know it’s a big, hairy, audacious goal, but I like to dream big.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?

1. Finally get to interview the Dalai Lama. The last time I had an interview scheduled his press officer called me to cancel the interview the night before because—and I later found this out—one of the high ranking monks in his monastery was discovered to be a Chinese spy. So yeah, that’s a big one for me.

2. Be able to do a yoga headstand called shirshasana and really OWN it.

3. Raise a beautiful child and work hard to make sure he or she has a safe future with a healthy and sustainable earth/life.

Latest movie or book? I watched the Social Dilemma recently on Netflix … sigh. I am reading a book called Our Peaceful Planet. I’m going to be interviewing the author Yasmin Davar on the Sustainable Life Podcast. So far it’s very insightful on the kind of internal and external healing we all need to do in order to live a sustainable life.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? Being born into a family that had the best grandmother ever. She was my everything, and I give her a lot of credit for the person that I am today. Great grandparents are the best gifts.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? LOL. I will never tell!

Shannan Schimmelmann
Contributed - Oct 13, 2020 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With what business or organization are you involved? Liquid Kudos

What is your role with that organization? Managing partner

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? I love living in a playground in nature. Our family loves every season, and some favourite activities are to hike, cycle, kayak, stand-up paddle board, downhill ski, snowshoe, golf and so much more.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Brené Brown as the author of Dare to Lead and many other amazing books is very inspiring. Elon Musk, I would like to learn more about his leadership style and innovation.

What’s your go-to happy place? Unlimited Okanagan trails. Some favourites are Mission Creek Greenway, Lebanon Creek Regional Park and trails, Mt. Boucherie trails, Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park and trails.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my children, and my accomplishment being co-founder of a leadership camp for youth.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? I would like to visit and have adventures:
1. Hiking in Peru and Machu Picchu
2. Climb the Great Wall of China
3. Beach, Wine, Port and Gastronomy Tour in Portgual

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Sushi with spam

Latest movie or book? Orange Socks by Valerie Simonson is my latest book.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? A photo book of amazing memories.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I would be surrounded by loved ones, and enjoy an adventure in nature with gourmet food and wine.

Spencer Brown
Contributed - Sep 04, 2020 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With which business or organization are you involved? Brown Benefits Agency Ltd.

What is your role with that organization? Group Benefits & Financial Services Broker

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The proximity to mountains and the lake. On any given day you can go for a walk or hike near either while enjoying tremendous views. The Okanagan doesn’t feel too big but has all you need resource-wise. I enjoy the array of recreational activities available and the diverse range of local businesses.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Barack Obama. I would try to avoid asking him about the presidency, though. I’d love to pick his brain on the law, writing books, Hawaii and how he became such an impressive orator.

What’s your go-to happy place? Early morning or evening, air brisk, view of or walking alongside Okanagan Lake, walking our dog while listening to a podcast.

What are you most proud of? I’m proud of the family my spouse and I are building. I’m proud to work in a family business with a positive dynamic. I’m thankful to live in Canada.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Return to London, England, where my spouse and I lived for a year (not now, of course)
2. Confidently emcee or give a speech at a wedding
3. Write a book

Latest movie or book? Business book: Adam Grant’s Give and Take. Non-fiction: Jeffrey Toobin’s The Run of His Life. Movie: Palm Springs.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? When one of my grandfathers passed away, I was given a sapphire ring of his. It’s a neat memento as well as my birth stone. I’ve probably worn it only a couple of times. On a lighter note, I was given AirPods a couple of Christmases ago. Life changing convenience!

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I’d spend as much time with my family as I could. I’d try and squeeze in a round of golf with my dad. I’d drink a lot of coffee. I’d have some sort of open house and invite all the important people in my life. Our dog would get endless treats.

Shae Ryga
Contributed - Aug 19, 2020 - Got the Edge

With what business or organization are you involved? Willow Studios

What is your role with that organization? Songwriter, musician, producer

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? My songwriting idea come from the wonderful people I meet in the Okanagan, and my inspiration to turn them into full blown productions comes from the beauty of the Okanagan nature around me. I wouldn’t have achieved what I have with music without the beautiful views in this valley.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, whom would you choose and why? Amos Lee, as he is an incredible inspiration and role model for me as a songwriter and singer. I aspire to create works of art as perfect as his.

What’s your go-to happy place? My music studio. Nothing feels better than sitting in the studio with a guitar on my lap, a microphone in front of me and a world of possibility waiting to be uncovered. I lose track of time and dedicate myself to creation.

What are you most proud of? Willow, my debut album. I have spent six months on it, doing almost all the writing, instruments and recording/production myself. I taught myself to record just for the album, and I worked hard to do the drums, guitar, bass and vocals independently.

What are the top three things on your bucket list? I have already accomplished my number one thing, and that is to make somebody feel an emotion while listening to my songs that I felt when I wrote them. My only goal in music is to describe the feelings everybody has and make an art piece that reminds somebody of exactly that.

Secondly, I’d love to get my car on the road, as I’ve been working on it a long time and want to see it finally one day driving around.

Lastly, I’d like to pay back my family and friends for all the things they’re ever done for me. I want to work hard and show them that all the belief, funding, support and love was not for nothing.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Probably a Welch’s candy wrapper. Definitely not a great idea, but I was bored.

Latest movie or book? House of The Scorpion

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? My first guitar was a gift from my mother and has changed my life more than anything in the world. Music has become my way to channel emotions and express myself. It has given me direction in life, and there are few things I would give that up for.

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I’d seclude myself in the studio and lose myself in creation. I’d pay no attention to time, only to fully committing myself to making art.

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