I'm a City Councillor, I own an outdoor store (Mt. Waddington's Outdoors) and I’m actively involved in outdoor recreation, in trails and parks and the promotion of active lifestyles, plus a bunch of other hats that I can't always keep straight.
If you look back at your life, is there one moment that stands out to you as a memorable moment (good or bad)?
If I’m thinking about memorable moments, it was those first moments in the mountains as an autonomous person. As an adult on my own. Discovering that beautiful balance between adrenaline and experience. That feeling of being exposed, but feeling that I could deal with it and handle the situation. My first mountaineering experiences were in the Chilliwack River Valley; feeling that exposure, knowing that there is risk...that’s the rush of life. The joy of it.
What do you draw inspiration from?
I had the chance to grow up in a unique childhood setting. My parents sailed with us, they quit their jobs and bought a sailboat and we sailed half way around the world for 2.5 years and so a lot of my good friends are men and women that are 2x-3x my age and they have walked these amazing walks. They’ve lived interesting lives all around the world and they never took status quo as an expectation and that’s what I draw inspiration from.
What motivates you on a day to day basis?
What motivates me is the idea that I can be a change agent. The idea that through my words and my actions and where they are placed, that I can effect real lasting change. Meaningful change in the lives of people. That’s what drives my agenda.
If we accept status quo we’ve missed the whole point. It’s not to say you can’t be content with where you are. I love my life, the day to day. I’m not unsatisfied with it. I also understand we exist in a changing world. If we’re not adapting to that as individuals, as corporations, as political entities, as governance bodies, we are going to fail to live life to the fullest.
What are you passionate about?
There’s a beautiful saying, or life mantra, in our first nations populations here on the coast. They say that every decision you make should be looking 7 generations into the past and 7 generations into the future. That to me is the motivation. It’s the piece that ties it all together. I look at decisions that I’m making and I don’t mean to offend the people that have elected me, but if their grandchildren look on the decisions I’ve made fondly, then we’ve done a good thing.
What makes you angry?
Haha. Well, technology. Excel spreadsheets mostly.
In all seriousness, small mindedness doesn't sit well with me. It’s a frustration more than an anger, but one of the things that gets under my skin the most is when you’ve asked someone if they’ve been out on the trails or in the new park spaces and they say ‘No, I’m in my 40s, I’m too old for that.’ I hear sentiments like that and it makes me upset for their lives, that people have put glass ceilings on themselves that they now can’t get away from.
It makes me upset when people stop dreaming. I’m an idealist. I’m an unabashed one. Idealism is whats given people a bright future all around the world. As history has progressed, it’s those that have visioned for the future that have changed the game.
In public policy, when I see people in positions of very real power and influence, that have fallen in those ways of thinking and have stopped being on the cutting edge. It’s when power and influence falls into the hands of those that don’t deserve it the most. That makes me upset.
How often do you come to Old Yale, and why do you like coming here?
I make the pilgrimage probably to the tasting room once every 10 days or 2 weeks. With the new beers I would say its changing the frequency that I drink it outside of the tasting room for sure.
How’d you hear about Old Yale?
My parents used to get the pigs of Old Yale, the giant tapped growler in the 90’s. So it was always at the house parties. My first sip of beer would have been from Old Yale, after a party that I would have snuck from my parents.
I watched it (OYB) go through its different stages and maturities and watch it become what it is today. Which is kind of wild because it’s definitely grown up in Chilliwack.
With my business side of things, I have collaborated with the owners here and we’ve kind of recognized that tie between the craft beer and outdoor recreation industry. I think a lot of people who live active outdoor lifestyles are looking for a different beer product and are drawn to the craft beer culture.
Why Chilliwack? You seem like you are here for the long haul.
I think like a lot of people, you don’t assume you’re going to stay in the town you were raised in. Chilliwack is where I was raised, but I went and wandered around a lot after high school and worked odd jobs and travelled all over the world. Every time I came home it sort of resonated with me in a different way and over time I fell in love with different aspects of Chilliwack. I came to love its proximity to everything, but especially its immediacy to the outdoors that you can easily access before and after work. Trails that are easily accessible, lakes, rivers, mountains, the climate is amazing and an awesome agriculture industry; it’s a big enough city to have what I want. That’s why Chilliwack resonated for me.
I saw the untapped potential of the outdoor industry and had the desire to open my store and start guiding and promoting the outdoors. Seeing the city and it’s unrealized potential is what drew me to politics; to see if I could drive a new agenda.
How often do drink craft beer?
I drink craft beer every couple days at least. I have a keg fridge in my house, so I always have a keg on the go. It’s always a keg of craft beer. Sometimes I shuffle through a few different craft breweries to try different products.
More often than not, there’s an OYB tap set on the top of my keg fridge and right now there’s a 50L keg of Pale Ale in there.
Your favourite OYB beer?
I am a fan of hoppy beers, and Chilliwack is known for its hops. The wet hop beers in the IPA category are my favourite. From any craft brewery, it’s the new stuff that I love. They are trying some different things, most of the times in the wet hop IPA category. That’s my go to.
My favourite OYB beer is the West Coast IPA. This last year they had a good trial seasonal wet hop IPA; that was my go to while it was in stock.