Distilleries impact local economy
Shannan Schimmelmann - Sep 18, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

Did you know that every bottle a Canadian craft distillery produces comes from local grain or fruit producers in your area?

Moreover, Canadian craft distilleries employ dozens of local residents who support their families in their local communities. To highlight how much of a driver every community’s local distillery could potentially generate, each 200-litre barrel of Canadian whisky produced requires one ton of local grain grown by local farmers. Every bottle of gin or vodka made requires 20 pounds of locally grown Canadian apples or fruit.

Some of you might be wondering: What is craft? And what does farm-to-flask mean? In order to qualify as a craft distiller in British Columbia, you must satisfy the following:
• Only B.C. grain, fruit and produce used for fermentation;
• Only on-site fermentation and distillation using traditional methods;
• No additives, preservatives or artificial flavours;
• No neutral grain spirits used. Neutral grain spirit is bulk alcohol produced and sold by industrial distilleries that allows some distillers to bypass the craft of producing fermentable mash to create their own alcohol;
• Total annual production cannot exceed 100,000 litres, which is less than one day’s production for many larger distilleries.

Image: Contributed
This seal proves your beverage was made entirely in B.C.

The Craft Distillers Guild of BC represents the micro-distilleries in B.C. that are recognized by the provincial government as being “craft” operations. The guild formed originally to open dialogue with the government about the changes necessary to make micro-distilling in B.C. a viable industry. Today, the Craft Distillers Guild of BC has several missions. These include continued dialogue with both the provincial and federal governments, ensuring quality standards are met among members as well as public education efforts.

In 2013, the B.C. government established two categories of distilleries in the province: commercial and craft. Commercial distilleries can be of any size, and they can use anything to distill from, including neutral grain spirit.

When you support local Okanagan distillers by enjoying their 100% B.C.-made products, you are creating economic opportunities through “farm-to-flask.” There is an opportunity to help support and grow the distilling sector, the Canadian agricultural sector and the economy as a whole as recovery from the pandemic begins. We encourage everyone to visit Craft Distillers Guild of BC members to learn more about what being a true craft distillery means in B.C. You can find all members’ websites here.

Happening right now in the valley, Okanagan Spirits CEO Tyler Dyck has started a petition to call on the Canadian government to support Canadian and B.C. distilleries seeking excise parity with U.S. craft distillers south of the border. Since the U.S. reduced its excise rate for small U.S. distilleries in 2017, there have been more than 1,000 distillery starts, requiring tens of thousands of great paying local jobs and hundreds of thousands of acres of domestic local agricultural production. Talk about locals powering local products and local culture.

We can all help. Join Canadian craft distilleries, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and Canadian farmers and orchardists by calling on the government to match the U.S. small distillery reduced excise rate that has led to such a massive increase in employment and domestic agricultural development south of the border.

That petition can be found here.

Shannan Schimmelmann first fell in love with B.C. wine and spirits while studying hospitality at Camosun College in Victoria, and she has spent the past two decades exploring more than 100 wineries and distilleries in B.C. and beyond. She is a business leader and consultant skilled at partnership development, export strategy and supply chain management. She has an MBA from Royal Roads University, a wine business management certificate from Sonoma State University, a restaurant management diploma from Camosun College and Canadian Wine Scholar WSET-1 accreditation.

Faces of #OKGNtech
Accelerate Okanagan - Sep 17, 2020 - Columnists

Image: Contributed

A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable, and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.

Our community is strong and growing with record speed, and maintaining connections through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic. We’ve got a plan.

Introducing “The Faces of #OKGNtech,” a showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram at @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.

Meet Erin. Erin Athene Fisher is the managing partner of Purpose Five and CEO of Mint C.R.O. When she’s not creating gender-inclusive opportunities in tech, you’ll find Athene Fisher jamming on her bass guitar or spending time with her family.

Where do you work in the Okanagan?

I’m the managing partner at Purpose Five. We’re a team of developers who focus on gender-inclusive projects and help to support tech-minded women in their careers.

How were you first How were you first introduced to the OKGNtech community?

When I first moved to Victoria, I was broken-hearted, coming out of a divorce and a $20 million failed software company. I owe a lot to VIATEC and Rob Bennett. He invited me in to chat and, after sharing my story of massive failure, he asked me to be an entrepreneur in residence for VIATEC. From there, I started attending entrepreneur in residence summits—my first one being in Kelowna. That’s where I met a lot of Accelerate Okanagan’s entrepreneurs in residence, was introduced to the OKGNtech community and my future husband.

What made you want to start Purpose Five?

I started to come across a lot of women who were falling out of tech because it wasn’t a good environment for them. I wanted to focus on helping women when they are deep in their careers, creating a space where we could support them at a leadership level and build environments that can sustain women in the tech workplace.

How did you get into this kind of work?

I started to learn to code because I wanted to get more self-sufficient in the tech space. I found Ladies Learning Code, a Canadian-non-profit that taught women beginner-level coding skills. From there, I developed an interest in helping women pursue a career in tech. I also brought Lighthouse Labs to Victoria. They put on an eight-week boot camp and trained participants in becoming a junior developer. To round off the training, the next step was to create a junior developer accelerator that allowed those individuals to work on real projects. This was called Purpose Social. That accelerator eventually transformed into Purpose Five.

What allowed you to successfully launch so many programs?

Customer discovery and market validation. The exact thing that we train our CEOs on, it’s the best of the best practices. It’s how Ladies Learning Code became the fastest-growing chapter in Canada for its first year. It started with a little booth at a VIATEC event where I could collect a list of contact information of those interested in participating in the workshop. I had lots of people sign up, but I also had people willing to donate money to put on the event.

How do you like to give back or add value to the community?

When I started Ladies Learning Code, a lot of women told me that they weren’t good with computers. By the end of one of our workshops, they would have built their own website from scratch. They couldn’t leave that event with the same mindset of not being good with computers. From Ladies Learning Code to Lighthouse Labs, Purpose Social to Purpose Five, I’ve dedicated a lot to helping women get more comfortable and confident working in tech.

What’s the best piece of advice you like to share?

If you don’t have a tight, good team, then all of your work will be for naught. Through mentoring and research into investing, I’ve learned that entrepreneurs often put a lot of emphasis on the product, the IP, the thing that they’re passionate about. That doesn’t guarantee a successful business. You can have an amazing product, do all the market research and validation, and have a product that is in demand, but if you don’t have a team that can actually be collaborative, the company will fail.

Is there something you want to be remembered for?

To me, tech is about changing lives. It’s a big deal. Technology creates the future. And who is at the wheel of creating the future has a big impact on how the future goes. I want to contribute, in some small way, to lowering anxiety girls and women have in tech. I want to shift their whole paradigm of what digital and tech is, have it be way more accessible and empowering for them.

What colour are you at work?
Myrna Selzler Park - Sep 15, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Ryunosuke Kikuno, Unsplash

A cool-looking office lacks the cool vibe if the colours clash.

Just like this one. Sun streamed through the high, square industrial windows. Exposed brick walls and high beamed ceilings created an edgy look.

The open-space concept contained about 20 people.

My forehead creased as I looked around. Cool space. Cool people. But why did it have a “Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt” vibe?

At the recommendation of a former client of mine and business associate of the owners, I was asked to see if I could adjust the vibe, help them change the culture.

As soon as I walked into his office, the owner dumped his biggest complaint on me.

“First thing Monday morning, my lead marketing guy strolls in all smiles and chuckles and proceeds to give a play by play of his entire weekend. Because he had the most exciting weekend, he thinks we all need to know about it. I just want him to get to work. And stop talking long enough for everyone else to get to work. “

Then, I met with the co-owner, the spouse, who had a different grievance.

“I need information,” she said as she showed me the spreadsheet, running her hands over the numbers. “I need detail printouts from all our sales. I need to know how much time each stage of production is taking. I don’t know where we are at.”

The No. 3 person was next. Another perspective.

“He just demands that stuff get done without enough time,” he grumbled about the husband-boss. “And she just wants everything perfect, and, again, without enough time, it is impossible to do perfect.

His related, but different, criticism shed light on the situation for me.

It was time for the Chameleon Communicator.

My Chameleon Communicator program is based on behavioural psychology and explains the how and why of people’s actions. The complaints this group had about each other were about behaviour—not integrity, not values—and about how they did things.

I instantly knew what was going on with the “How was your weekend?” conversation.

It was all about behavioural psychology—how we walk, how we talk, how we behave. It describes normal, observable behaviour.

Behavioural psychology, in its most recent rendition, was advanced by William Moulton Marston, who created the original systolic blood pressure test and noted the difference in blood pressure when people were agitated. That led him to develop an early prototype of the lie detector.

And in his spare time, he created the Wonder Woman comic character.

DISC, as behavioural psychology is commonly known, describes:

• Dominance, which is how we respond to problems and challenges. Do we attack problems with immediate vigour, or do we hope and pray they will just go away? Or do we think about them and act in a more reasoned approach?

• Influencing describes how we try to change someone else’s behaviour. Do we try to get them to change their mind by an emotional appeal to our ideas, or do we present facts and logic? Or do we try a bit of both?

• Steadiness behaviour is about how we respond to the pace of our environment. Do we prefer to start something and finish it without interruption, or are we the consummate juggler? Or is the perfect world starting and finishing, but we can sigh and handle the juggling if necessary?

• Compliance behaviours refer to knowing the rules, wanting to follow them and expecting everyone else to do the same. Do we get frustrated and silently stew when people don’t follow the rules? Or do we think that the rules were made for everyone else? Or the middle ground where people who are good with following any rule that seems reasonable to them.

The combinations and permutations of these four dimensions are what makes us unique. And challenging for others to understand.

Sometime between Marston and present day, DISC became associated with colours, and I decided I would talk in the language of colour, identifying the styles as red, yellow, green and blue.

Image: Contributed

Back to “How was your weekend.”

The owner-husband was a high red. He cared about results. Big picture, bottom line. If he were asked, “How was your weekend?” he would simply say “Great.”

Since the weekend was done, he might just shake his head and move on, appearing quite rude to some of his team.

The weekend play-by-play guy was a high yellow. He was optimistic, cared about engaging with his office family. Hearing his footsteps, some people would duck and hide because they could not take the incessant talking.

The No. 3 guy was high green. He cared about starting and finishing his work, preferably without interruptions. He didn’t like conflict, so he was reluctant to ask for more time from the owners. Because he did not speak his mind, more and more work piled on him.

If you were to ask him about his weekend, he would simply say, “Fine, spent it with the family.”

“You will know her by her spreadsheets” could easily describe the owner-wife. She was high blue. She wanted facts and detail. She knew her stuff, so don’t argue with her about numbers or inventory.

Her method created analysis paralysis and stopped much of the forward motion of the company.

And an “It’s none of your #[email protected]% business” look would cross her face if you asked about her weekend.

The vibe of “Nobody moves, nobody gets hurt” was created because people were afraid to be themselves; they couldn’t see how other team members viewed challenges differently than they did.

They saw the world through their behavioural lens.

The language of colour is a neutral language. “Could you turn down the red a bit?” is an easier ask than “Could you quit trying to dominate the conversation?”

Now, if I could just get this group to understand themselves and recognize that most people weren’t like them, we could change the work environment. We could get them to work to their strengths and natural tendencies.

And if they could be aware of how small changes in their interactions, small adaptations, could improve their relationships, the company would become strong and agile.

And people would move. And nobody would get hurt.

Over the next several columns, I will go into more detail on behavioural psychology, relaying actual examples from our consulting practice.

 Myrna Selzler Park is a lifelong entrepreneur who works with organizations and individuals to turn their passion into impact. As former owner of Century 21 Assurance in Kelowna, Myrna uses her experience to build value in organizations. She is certified in behaviour and motivation analysis, emotional intelligence, as well as being a growth curve strategist and a certified value builder advisor. As a wannabe athlete, Myrna has run several half-marathons, deadlifted 215 pounds and has now put her mind to becoming proficient in Muay Thai kickboxing. She can be reached at [email protected]

Don’t lead by fear or praise
Myrna Selzler Park - Sep 10, 2020 - Columnists

Photos: Contributed

I stand, frozen. A statue. I forget the noise and the bustle of the tourists in the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

I am lost in the rapture, one of millions who have stared in frozen awe since 1504, when David was completed.

He is awe-inspiring. Beautiful. Sublime.

My chest tightens, but my heart soars, as I stare up at the 17-foot, 12,000-pound statue of the biblical shepherd who would become king of Israel after defeating the giant Goliath with a slingshot.

“The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there. I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.”

I’d heard Michelangelo’s famous quote before. But another quote resonated almost as much, stopped the wine glass halfway to my mouth.

“What I really found fascinating, though, was seeing all of his unfinished statues,” my well travelled friend said as he shut his eyes and remembered his encounter with one of the greatest works of art created by the equally sublime artist.

“Carvings of images of people emerging from the stone, but trapped mid-step, mid-life forever. That was far more moving than the perfection of David.”

I let the words settle. I visualized the unlived lives. The unsaid goodbyes. Talent emerging, but never flourishing. That’s what Michelangelo left behind.

Dozens of his incomplete works, but still mesmerizing masterpieces, are on display in Florence.

How many incomplete potential masterpieces have I left in my wake as a leader?

Am I trapped in an outdated view of what it means to be a leader?

Has that trapped my people in stone?

Do I lead by fear, or do I lead by praise?

Or is there a third way?

What would happen if, instead of leading by fear or praise, I led by encouragement, showing my people I value them and I care about their future?

If I remind them that their past accomplishments are a predictor of their future successes?

I recalled a time when I believed the proverbial carrot or the stick, praise or fear, were the only two ways to lead.

As an inexperienced leader, I didn’t think to ask why. I just knew they weren’t doing what I had asked them to do.

My frustration mounted. I made the unconscious decision to lead by fear.

My irritation grew every time I saw the boxes of brochures. Boxes, as tall as David, were collecting dust at the front desk. My team had committed to distributing the contents. And they hadn’t. I had no idea why.

“Oh, I thought Bill and his team had committed to getting the brochures out,” one of my people told me as I dug my fingernails into my palms and walked into my office, slamming the door.

To ensure they understood my frustration, I stood on the boardroom table at our weekly meeting and tossed dollar bills into the air. They scattered like leaves falling from a tree in a windstorm.

Like the dollars spent on the brochures.

They hung their heads in embarrassment and shame, refusing to meet my eyes, or my anger.

Rather than teaching them to live up to their commitments, my behaviour taught them to hide.

And the fear trapped them in figurative stone. Given my action, and my anger, they were not going to ask for clarification about how they should pass out the brochures.

Leading by fear stifles initiative and creativity.

Leading by fear fosters blaming behaviour.

Fear causes people to hide, not tell the complete story. They don’t tell you what they really think.

They just go through the motions without buy-in. And in this case, they weren’t even going through the motions.

Team members led by fear duck into the bathroom or put their heads down as they hear familiar chill-inducing footsteps echo down the hall, like the solid ping of the carver’s hammer.

Leading by praise sounds nice, but it, too, is a damaging leadership strategy.

Leading by praise is hierarchical. The praiser holds the knowledge, the power; they are the benevolent one.

The person receiving praise is the grateful recipient, hungry for a positive word. Praise can become an addiction.

Behaviours change to get that rush of dopamine.

Carved into my memory from early in my career, praise given to me completely missed the mark.

Breezing into the office one afternoon, I was proud as could be. I’d made a big sale.

As I cruised by my sales manager’s office, he looked up and nodded approvingly, “My, you look nice today.”

I look nice? My success high crashed. I dressed professionally because it got me in the door and I made sales.

Did you forget I made a big sale? My biggest ever. How about praising me for that?

The trite acknowledgement of my appearance felt like a marble fist to my solar plexus.

The lack of acknowledgement of my sales success crumbled my enthusiasm like marble flakes on the chisel.

My manager didn’t know it, but I left my job that day.

Praise for what I considered expected behaviour did not create a desire for extraordinary behaviour. It reinforced and even seemed to value mediocrity.

What I needed after that big sale was encouragement.

I needed to hear something affirming and forward-looking from my leader.

“OK, now you know what to do. What did you learn from this? What did you do well? How can you do it better next time?” Encouragement like this from my manager would have changed everything.

Fear and praise are the blocks of stone trapping our people from realizing their potential.

Words of encouragement gently chisel the superfluous stone away so our people emerge more confident, more fulfilled, more capable.

“People go further than they thought they could when someone else thinks they can,” said leadership guru John Maxwell, who believes leadership is 51% encouragement.

Let encouragement be your chisel that allows potential to emerge.

Create more Davids.

 Myrna Selzler Park is a lifelong entrepreneur who works with organizations and individuals to turn their passion into impact. As former owner of Century 21 Assurance in Kelowna, Myrna uses her experience to build value in organizations. She is certified in behaviour and motivation analysis, emotional intelligence, as well as being a growth curve strategist and a certified value builder advisor. As a wannabe athlete, Myrna has run several half-marathons, deadlifted 215 pounds and has now put her mind to becoming proficient in Muay Thai kickboxing. She can be reached at [email protected]

Better understand VQA wines
Shannan Schimmelmann - Sep 04, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

Wineries are working landscapes, and many communities in Canada are dependent on wine production for their survival. The wine industry covers three sectors of the economy: agriculture, manufacturing and trade.

Vintners Quality Alliance is a regulatory system which guarantees the high quality and authenticity of origin for Canadian wines. Only two Canadian provinces have adopted the VQA system: Ontario in 1988 and B.C. in 1990.

VQA is similar to regulatory systems in France (AOC), Spain (DO), Italy (DOC) and Germany (QmP). The VQA system allows for sub-appellations, from which the grapes for wines are sourced from extremely specific geographical locations with different soil and climate characteristics. This is in accordance with the concept of terroir.

There are other classifications of wine in Canada. B.C. has a category known as “Wines of Distinction,” Nova Scotia has “Wines of Nova Scotia,” and Quebec has “Vins du Québec.” They must be 100% made from grapes grown in B.C., Nova Scotia or Quebec. Cellared in Canada is a completely separate category.

BC VQA certified wines must meet standards with respect to their origin, vintage and varietals. These wines are assessed by a qualified panel and must meet the criteria for quality characteristics before they can be designated as BC VQA. To put it simply, when you see BC VQA on a bottle, it is your guarantee that you’re sipping a wine that is 100% grown and made in British Columbia. The BC VQA regulations is governed by the BC Wine Authority.

British Columbia VQA Wine Standards

100% British Columbia grown grapes. No concentrates are permitted. Grapes used must meet a quality standard for each variety, which is measured by natural sugar content in the ripe grapes
• There are nine geographical indications (GI)

Image: Contributed

• There are four sub-geographical indications: Golden Mile Bench, Okanagan Falls, Skaha Bench and Naramata Bench
• 95% of grapes must come from specific region mentioned on the label
• 85% of grapes must come from the vintage stated on the label
• 85% of grapes must be the stated varietal
• Labels must be truthful and accurately represent the wine in the bottle

How to Read a VQA Wine Label

The label on a VQA wine can tell you a lot about what is in the bottle. VQA sets standards for label claims about origin, grape variety content and vintage along with other things, such as the accuracy of alcohol content. Every label is reviewed to ensure it matches the wine in the bottle and is compliant with VQA standards. This is what appears on a BC VQA wine label:
• Name of winery
• Vintage year
• Name of wine or varietal
• VQA BC appellation of origin, or where the grapes were grown
• Vineyard designation, which is optional if 100% of the wine came from one vineyard
• Assurance of quality origin


Shannan Schimmelmann first fell in love with B.C. wine and spirits while studying hospitality at Camosun College in Victoria, and she has spent the past two decades exploring more than 100 wineries and distilleries in B.C. and beyond. She is a business leader and consultant skilled at partnership development, export strategy and supply chain management. She has an MBA from Royal Roads University, a wine business management certificate from Sonoma State University, a restaurant management diploma from Camosun College and Canadian Wine Scholar WSET-1 accreditation.

Faces of #OKGNtech
Accelerate Okanagan - Sep 03, 2020 - Columnists

Image: Contributed

A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable, and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.

Our community is strong and growing with record speed, and maintaining connections through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic. We’ve got a plan.

Introducing “The Faces of #OKGNtech,” a showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth and more excitement. Follow along on the blog and on Instagram at @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.

Meet Luke. Luke Turri is the executive vice-president of Mission Group. When he’s not reimagining Kelowna’s skyline, you’ll find Turri engaging with the community or at the disposal of his children.

Where are you from?

I’m born and raised in beautiful Kelowna. The Turri family has been here for 108 years and counting. We have very strong and deep roots in the community. I was fortunate enough to stay in Kelowna and do what I’m doing. I can’t honestly think of a better place in the world to live and raise our family. A lot of people spend a lot of time and effort working to move here, so I’m happy to be able to stay here.

Where do you work in the Okanagan?

I work for Mission Group, a Kelowna-based commercial real estate developer and residential home builder. Most of our work has been focused on the urban environments in downtown, helping to shape the skyline here in Kelowna. Over the last five years, in particular, that urban story has really started to be told for Kelowna. It’s becoming less of a recreational place to visit and more of an urban hub that attracts people for a variety of reasons.

What is your role at Mission Group?

I’m the executive vice-president. I lead our operational teams in delivering new real estate projects. We’re a vertically integrated company, and so we are a part of the whole development cycle. I lead our teams in acquisitions, developments, sales, marketing and construction of our projects.

How did you get into this kind of work?

I’ve always been interested in city development. I got my undergraduate degree from UBCO in urban geography and started working for the City of Kelowna in their urban planning department. From there, I moved into Mission Group, which is on the other side of the development table. Walking by a building you’ve built, knowing all of the hours your team has put into every finite detail, is very gratifying

What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?

You can get into real estate development from a number of different ways—architecture, urban planning, engineering or business. There are certain educational programs that are a bit more vocational or specific, but there isn’t one tried and true path. The thing about the real estate sector is that you need to have that entrepreneurial spirit. You need to be an optimist. You need to be able to balance the dream against practical reality and be able to take risks.

Do you think there is anything missing from the community here?

Without our involvement, the tech community has been on a very strong trajectory. What may be missing, that we can add more to, is spaces. We’re very invested in downtown—building more homes and office spaces that are in keeping with the community. When you’re bringing new talent to the region, they need housing and spaces for the business to grow.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Or can share?

One thing I think that’s good to remember is that everyone has a story. Taking the time to learn that story is important. It’s easy these days, with all the noise and polarization, to characterize things in buckets and make quick judgments. But getting to know people, getting to a level of understanding, you’ll oftentimes find some semblance of common ground.

Who inspires you?

People that inspire me are those who take risks. Whether you are succeeding or failing, you’re still in the arena, you’re still putting your skin in the game. Without risk takers, we are not evolving as a community. Taking risks, not just financially, but risks of reputation, of personal safety, to make positive change is what inspires me.

How to stay cool holistically
Contributed - Sep 02, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

By Odette Baumgartner

The sun is in the sky and summer activities are still filling your calendar even though we have arrived in September. Pack your bag, sport your best bling and rock summer in the Okanagan. “Yeah, shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun.”

Tempting food and scorching weather are bound to be responsible for some stomach aches and sunburns. I am sure there will be a few beverages and burgers consumed in the sun.

As I am trying to morph my family and teach our clients to stay away from over-the-counter solutions to our daily discomforts, I have discovered many natural resources. Here are a few natural tips and alternatives to keep you from going over the edge and a few more if you happen to forget that there is an edge, finding yourself wallowing in remorse.

Did you know?

1. Sun exposure collapses your collagen?

Ingesting coconut oil on a regular basis stops this enzymatic reaction. This will give your body more internal protection from burning in the sun.

For extra-painful spots of sunburn, rub the area gently with sliced cucumber or potato. They contain compounds that cool the burn and help reduce swelling.

Vinegar contains acetic acid—one of the components of medications such as Aspirin. It can help ease sunburn pain, itching and inflammation. Soak a few sheets of paper towels in white vinegar, and apply them to the sunburned areas. Leave them on until the towels are dry. Repeat as needed. You can also take a vinegar bath. To a cool bath, add two cups of vinegar before you get in.

Mix baking soda and vinegar to make a thick paste, and slather it over the sunburned areas. Apply the salve before bedtime, and leave it on overnight.

Really bad burn? Sprinkle your sheets with cornstarch to minimize painful chafing.

2. Turmeric may prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide?!

Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help with pain associated with arthritis and sprains etc. It can be used as an antiseptic on cuts. As far as melanoma and other cancers, curcumin has been known to inhibit certain enzymes associated with cancer. It is also great support for good gut bacteria and intestinal health. These are just the benefits relative to this article; there are many more reasons to add turmeric to your day.

3. Raw apple cider vinegar can prevent a hangover if you take a tablespoon before bed?

Help dissolve foreign substances in the body with apple cider vinegar, which will also balance pH levels (junk food and alcohol are acidic) and increase deficient minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium and iron.

Like turmeric, apple cider vinegar can help prevent cancer. It aids in digestion and stomach pain after overeating. Need some energy? Take apple cider vinegar to beat exhaustion. Best of all it helps to whiten teeth for a glistening smile when meeting a hottie out on the town or asking hubby to get to his honey-do list.

4. Ginger stops the toots?

Stomach aches from overeating and excess consummation of sugar and alcohol can also be treated with raw or dried ginger. Ginger prevents gas and bloating. It has anti-cancer properties and is another natural anti-inflammatory. Car sickness can also be eased with ginger.

5. Some medications and supplements cause you to burn more quickly?

Specific medications cause you to burn more easily or break out into a rash, because some drugs are photo-sensitizers. This means they are very effective at absorbing ultraviolet light, which the sun provides in abundance, and then transferring that energy to your skin. Sun spots can be accelerated without you even knowing it if you are taking St. John’s Wort and many other seemingly innocent supplements and meds. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation or have randomly burned recently, be sure to research whatever you are taking to ensure your safety. Check Google for a list of these.

6. Dehydration is the number one cause of headaches and migraines?

Remember to drink water. Here’s how much: take your body weight in pounds, divide that by two. This equals the number of ounces of water that your body requires for its optimal function. Try adding a slice of raw ginger and lemon, which are detoxifying, to your water for the health benefits of both.

It’s important to wear a hat! Apply sun screen every few hours. Don’t be in the direct sun from noon to 2 p.m. Call that time for a cool beverage, an ice cream in the shade while flashing that glimmering smile and non bloated belly to passing-by hotties.

As much as I’d love to take your money lifting your saggy, sun ripened face, zapping your sun spots with my laser, and counselling you through diet related health conditions, I would prefer to see you taking care of yourself.

“So shine on, you crazy diamond.” Although you bling, you are not the strongest gem in town. Remember to be kind to yourself, because you are precious.

Odette Baumgartner operates Odette’s Skincare & Medi Spa and is a certified holistic health counsellor and live blood analysis practitioner and licensed aesthetician

This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.
Private investment only solution
Troy Media - Sep 02, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Garth Lenz

By Gwyn Morgan

After five years of suffering in eco-zealot purgatory under the Liberals led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the half million or so Canadians whose livelihood depends on the oil and gas industry finally got some good news: The oil sands are now part of the government’s green energy agenda!

In an Aug. 12 interview, Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan told the National Post’s Derek Brower, “there’s no way we are reaching net-zero (Canada’s 2050 emissions target) without Alberta.”

Gwyn Morgan

O’Regan went on to express support for new pipelines that would allow output to grow by over a million barrels a day next year and continue to rise after that.

In stark contrast to the Liberal government’s previous vilification of the industry, O’Regan lauded the ingenuity of Albertans in finding ways to “draw oil out of sand.”

This stunning reversal couldn’t have been imagined prior to the COVID-19 crisis. Why now?

The answer came in the minister’s own words: “our prosperity and our economy are still highly dependent on it.”

How dependent?

The industry is by far the largest contributor to both gross domestic product and net export revenue, each over $100 billion per year. And Alberta has long been the largest net (money sent versus received) contributor to Ottawa’s coffers, amounting to $95 billion from 2014 to 2018, more than all other provinces put together.

The $83-billion revenue drop in former finance minister Bill Morneau’s July 8 “fiscal snapshot” shows why growing Ottawa’s most important revenue source is so critical. The snapshot projected an astonishing $343 billion deficit. Two days later, the government announced employment insurance system changes that will cost $37 billion, taking the deficit to $380 billion.

Further spending escalation is a certainty, including help for stretched provincial health-care budgets, cities unable to fund public transportation and hard-hit business sectors. It’s now clear that our national debt will exceed $1.2 trillion, twice what it was when the Liberals came to power in 2015.

The last time Canada faced such an enormous financial challenge was after the Second World War. Back then, demographics came to the rescue: the post-war baby boom, combined with soldiers returning home to help produce desperately needed consumer goods, transformed the economic picture.

Now we have the complete reverse. Decades of collapsing birth rates have created a baby bust, and those same baby-boomers are leaving the workforce and driving higher public spending for old age security payments and elder care.

And yet, as the saying goes, “we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

COVID-19 is causing a massive restructuring of vital business sectors.

Retail, which employs millions of Canadians and occupies vast amounts of real estate from street-side shops to malls, faces profound uncertainty from the pandemic-driven shift to online shopping.

Lockdowns facilitated an array of new communication tools that allow many of us to work remotely, emptying office towers. The potential impacts are staggering, including mass unemployment and devaluation of the commercial real estate that underlies both public and private pension funds.

The full impact of these and other post-COVID structural shifts, especially in transportation and accommodation, are yet to be known. But it’s clear they will be profound. Government tax revenues will fall, while the need for support and training of displaced workers will increase.

In the face of such alarming prospects, it seems COVID-19 has fostered an escape-to-fantasy state where reality is magically replaced by an imagined world that is whatever one wishes it to be.

It’s baffling to hear our government declare the pandemic has created an “opportunity for public investment in green restructuring of the economy,” which translates into subsidizing windmill and solar-power companies.

How will that work out?

Ask Ontarians, who’ve seen home and business electricity rates skyrocket to produce very expensive and completely unreliable power.

Navigating these shoals would be difficult enough if our economic outlook had been strong before the crisis. But alas, that wasn’t the case. Statistics Canada data shows that, since election of the Liberal government in 2015, investment in 10 of our 15 major business sectors has dropped by 17%, as both Canadian and foreign investors have fled. More than $185 billion left the country.

This exodus mirrored sharp drops in our performance in both the World Bank ease of doing business ranking and the World Economic Forum competitiveness index.

Canada’s strong employment rate over this period was driven by unsustainable deficit spending, not private sector investment.

Reigniting private-sector investment that will generate, rather than consume, government revenues will require a clear and profound reversal of both attitude and action by the current government.

O’Regan’s comments about the oil and gas industry must be followed by clear, early government action. Similar encouragement and action are needed for other resource sectors, including mining, where an Alberta mine expansion proposal has recently seen federal action to stop it.

Here’s a note to new Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland: Achieving private sector investment and job creation is the only hope for keeping the good ship Canada from smashing onto the post-COVID-19 rocks, sinking a nation that held such great potential.

Gwyn Morgan is a retired business leader who has been a director of five global corporations.

Bosses should ask ‘What if …?’
Myrna Selzler Park - Aug 31, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

The golfer stood at the tee and lined up his drive; he took a few practice swings and, wham.

He shaded his eyes and watched the ball arc into the sun and land far from where he intended.

Just off my walking path, his slice started my side hustle: collecting golf balls.

Most mornings, I walk in the woods near a golf course. This morning, as I headed out, I pretended I was Wilson, the neighbour behind the fence in the ’90s show, Home Improvement.

I walked with my chin tilted up ever so slightly, so I would change my view of the world. I saw the landscape just beyond my usual sightlines.

The perfectly rounded balls golf balls were easy to spot among the pine cones. From a distance, their whiteness glowed.

This took concentration. But suddenly, in an area I had not noticed before, I saw a golf ball. And then another. A little further, another two. I was delighted. It felt as though I had nailed a hole-in-one.

I strolled down the deer-worn path, stepping over downed trees and ducking under branches, my head high. Two more golf balls jumped into view. And then another. No. It was one of God’s little green apples that had fallen from a tree I had never noticed.

I looked down; there was another golf ball.

Mmmm. This is what happens when I change my awareness, my view of the world. A new perspective, another dimension, a new reality.

When I started my business and we were building new office space, I wanted to hear ideas about what was important to my people.

Did they like working in a private office, a shared one? Or would they like a coffee shop-like vibe, with high counters, stools? Tables where they could have a group think?

“We need to ensure clients feel welcomed, safe and comfortable,” they told me.

How do we do that?

“Let’s have a comfortable seating space, close to the kitchen so the receptionist can easily give them a coffee. We need a receptionist who makes them feel at home.”

What else?

“We need a space where we can gather, eat pizza and do training.”

And so it went. A space was designed to suit both the staff and our clients.

As I was seeking others’ points of view from the people in my office, I was given another one, but this one cost me money.

Like most business people, I was always in a hurry to get from here to there and had the speeding tickets to prove it. As the police officer handed me my third ticket in a week, I had an a-ha moment: I needed to think like her, like a police officer.

As I analyzed the situation, I thought about my line of vision. It was as if the police knew where I knew where to look as I rounded the corner. They set up their radar just beyond that. And I got tickets.

As I learned to look beyond the obvious (and slow down), I got fewer tickets.

In business, I have used these two strategies countless times. Enlisting the insight of others to gain new perspective has given me ideas to make better decisions.

Looking beyond my usual patterns has changed the way I think and I am less fearful of trying new ideas and taking calculated risks.

As a business coach, one of my biggest frustrations working with a struggling business was an inability, a reluctance, a resistance from the owner to think outside his circumstances.

What if …? I would say:

Just think about this idea, work it through in your mind. If it has merit, let’s explore it. If it doesn’t, let’s come back to your present scenario and think of another idea.

We would do this until something clicked.

Some business owners did that. The other ones never made it.

What if you tilted your head and looked beyond your present circumstances?

What if you tilted your head and listened with curiosity to the ideas of those around you?

What if these actions opened your eyes to a new opportunity?

Being a great business leader is far from a side hustle, and it comes with more reward that collecting stray golf balls.

What if …?

Myrna Selzler Park is a lifelong entrepreneur who works with organizations and individuals to turn their passion into impact. As former owner of Century 21 Assurance in Kelowna, Myrna uses her experience to build value in organizations. She is certified in behaviour and motivation analysis, emotional intelligence, as well as being a growth curve strategist and a certified value builder advisor. As a wannabe athlete, Myrna has run several half-marathons, deadlifted 215 pounds and has now put her mind to becoming proficient in Muay Thai kickboxing. She can be reached at [email protected]

In business to bring peace
Contributed - Aug 19, 2020 - Columnists

Photo: Contributed

By Tara Pilling

Are you seeking calmness, peace of mind, joy, vibrant health, greater energy, positive relationships and fulfilment in life?

You can enjoy all these benefits and much more with a regular meditation practice. Meditation offers innumerable benefits for your body, mind and spirit. To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day. Meditation is like a seed. When you cultivate a seed with love and peace, the more it blossoms.

Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that benefits both your emotional well-being and your overall health. And these benefits don’t end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may improve certain medical conditions.

Physical Benefits of Meditation

With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (life force energy). This results in joy, peace and enthusiasm, as the level of prana in the body increases.

On a physical level, meditation:
• Lowers high blood pressure
• Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
• Decreases any tension-related pain, such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
• Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behaviour
• Improves the immune system
• Increases the energy level
• Slows the aging process. I personally LOVE this one.

Mental Benefits of Meditation

Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. Regular practise of meditation:
• Increases relaxation
• Decreases anxiety
• Increases creativity
• Supports intuition
• Improves clarity and peace of mind
• Helps you handle life’s stressors with greater ease
• Sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
• Supports brain health (greater memory, concentration, emotional regulation, positive emotions, self control, and better introspection and attention)
• Creates greater awareness that your inner attitude determines your happiness.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Tara Pilling is a Kelowna-based lifestyle coach who runs her own business.

This column was submitted as part of BWB Wednesdays.

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