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Category Archives: LGBT2Q+ Profiles

Rainbow Women in Business – Volume 6


Sherry Yeoman realized quite by accident that she wanted to be a landlord soon after she bought her first home 40 years ago. It started with a frantic phone call from a friend who was searching for accommodation for a mutual friend in dire need of a place to stay. Upon hearing this, Sherry quickly revamped her basement and her friend moved in the next day. She ended up renting from Sherry for over 6 months. After that positive experience, she has renovated every home she bought since then and added a suite to each one.

Sherry’s favourite thing about running her own business is being her own boss. In particular, taking houses that need her tender, loving care and her creativity to become the beautiful, renovated, well-maintained homes they were meant to be. Every home Sherry has offered for rent is a home she would be happy to live in.

Sherry’s advice on starting your own business. “When opening your own business be prepared to work long, hard hours and have enough money already saved to take you through the tough times.  If you are interested in being a landlord make sure you know the “Residential Tenancy Regulations” and talk to a landlord who has been in this profession for a few years because being a landlord is not as easy as many believe it to be.”

No Limitations

Indigenous transgender storyteller Kiley May shapes her life as a kaleidoscope

June is National Indigenous History Month. It is a time for all Canadians — Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers — to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. Throughout the month of June, we will profile Indigenous people, and share their stories and voices, so that we can celebrate the difference they have made in their communities and to our country.

“Diversity, inclusion and representation are so important. Representation saves lives. Seeing ourselves reflected at us in positive ways on screens, in books and popular culture, is so vital. Being able to relate to and identify with a role model or someone like us validates and affirms us in who we are. It tells us that we exist. Tells us we are real, we are normal, we belong. It’s encouraging, uplifting, and hopeful. I make sure to shine bright like a beacon to light the way for others.”

Head to City News for the rest of this story.

Loyal to Diversity

A CITY COUNCILLOR’S TAKE ON WHAT MAKES KELOWNA AWESOME

Loyal Wooldridge is a successful entrepreneur – operating Loyal Hair, a full-service luxury hair salon since 2006 – and in fall 2018, he was elected to Kelowna City Council. Loyal was the only newcomer elected, as all of the other councillors that were voted in were incumbents.

So, how does a business owner and recently-elected politician capitalize on all Kelowna has to offer? Luckily for us, Loyal is here to share his thoughts on what makes Kelowna awesome!

Go to Tourism Kelowna to read more…

Rainbow Women in Business – Volume 5

Ivy Thomas has always felt a connection to God and was actively involved in her worshiping congregation. However, when she was in her early 40s, married with two children in their early teens, and considering what she might do with the rest of her life, she felt a strong call to ministry.

It took another three years of what she called “Holy 2 x 4s” before she dared take the leap of faith to go back to school and pursue her Master of Divinity.

The challenges Ivy faced were not so much within the profession, as in the journey to get there. Her decision to follow her call led to the ending of her marriage and a difficult time of adjustment for her family.  It also took her into a time of personal discernment, as she searched to understand who she was as an independent person, no longer attached to her husband.

Shortly after her marriage ended she fell in love with another woman, a fellow student in Seminary. Both of their long-term relationships were ending or had recently ended and they found with each other, a deeply spiritual connection that has continued to grow over the last 19 years.

However, the denomination Ivy grew up in was not accepting of LGBTQ2+ people and so she had to make a decision, and it was an easy one. She turned to the United Church of Canada, which has, since 1988, ordained LGBTQ2+ people.  It was a natural fit not only because of her orientation but because of the social justice perspective to the gospel that is lived out in the denomination.

As an out lesbian clergy, Ivy has been warmly and respectfully welcomed by every member of her congregation. They are a welcoming community on a continual learning curve. They are willing to ask questions, hear explanations, and explore ongoing and expanding ways to be inclusive.

Ivy says, “It’s difficult to choose one favourite thing about ministry. There’s the opportunity to help people develop an awareness of the movement of the Spirit in their lives, and encourage them to open up to and welcome the fullness of the experience, finding meaningful and creative ways to remind people how much they are loved and how important it is to share that love through our everyday living.

“But perhaps the most important thing for me is inviting people to understand God in a way that is meaningful to them.  This often means letting go of the traditional perception of an all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, vengeful, white-bearded guy in the sky, and learning to read the Bible in a way that makes sense for us, today.”

Some advice from Ivy about deciding to enter Ministry:

Discernment, both personal and communal, is essential. Pray, think it through, and talk with others, including those in the field, about your sense of call.  Listen carefully to what people are saying, or perhaps not saying to you.

Never forget that there are many forms of ministry, some are clergy roles, some are not.  It’s hard to say which are the most important! Ministry is about teamwork.

Know too that the church is an organization filled with real people who are as far from perfect as you are. There are challenges to deal with and much patience required, but underneath it all, as in the rest of our lives, is a group of amazing, beautiful people trying to do the best they can with what they have at the moment.

The church Ivy currently serves is St. Paul’s United, a congregation within the United Church of Canada. They are currently leasing space from the Kelowna Seventh Day Adventist Church at 1130 Springfield Road in Kelowna.

St. Paul’s is a joy-filled congregation that believes in the respect and honouring of all people. No matter who you are, where your life has taken you in the past or where it may lead you in the future.

Okanagan Lifestyle Specialist

Sarah Sucloy is a REALTOR® with Royal LePage Kelowna, helping people buy and sell their homes throughout the Central Okanagan. Her mission statement is easy. She strives to offer reliable and trusted Real Estate Services while saving you time, money, and stress.

Real Estate has always been one of those careers in the back of Sarah’s mind. She originally thought she would become a police officer and studied Criminology in order to do so, but then opportunity came knocking—and the next thing she knew, Sarah and her wife, Amanda, were on a plane to London, England. It was there, while living in England, that Sarah’s real estate career took off.

Sarah ended up scoring a great job with London’s top Real Estate Firm (Foxtons) and flourished; being promoted three times within her first year plus winning awards, she realized this was it! This was her calling.

After moving back to Canada, Sarah knew Real Estate was the career she wanted to continue with.

Royal LePage Kelowna was the right fit for her and continues to be the greatest decision.

Sarah says, “Meeting new people and helping them throughout one of the largest transactions of their lives is absolutely thrilling as well as heartwarming. Becoming a part of that person’s story and sharing new experiences with them is very meaningful. I love it.”

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the real estate business is still happening. People still need to buy or sell their homes. Technology has come such a long way and has allowed her to connect from the comfort of her own home where she is able to set up virtual tours and even host online open houses.

While on the road, amongst other precautions, Sarah’s car is stocked with gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes. She is taking all reasonable measures to protect everyone’s safety when viewing homes and doing deals.

The best way to support Sarah right now is through referrals and reaching out! Following her business page – Sarah Sucloy Real Estate on Facebook and Instagram are an added bonus. Sarah’s Royal LePage office can be found at 1890 Cooper Rd #1, Kelowna, BC

Sarah’s advice on starting your own business. “Do it! It is scary at first but if you believe in yourself, it will be worth it.”

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