Troika is synonymous with corporate success and the design and development of sustainable communities. But, what do we know about the Okanagan woman who founded and leads Troika, the woman who came to Kelowna in 1997, loved it and stayed?
Renee Wasylyk is inspirational and a trend setter. She says: "Young women need to find their inner passion and allow it to drive them to succeed." Her recommended reading is by Brigid Schulte: "Overwhelmed: Work, love and play when no one has the time."
Now in her early forties, Renee Wasylyk is welcoming and elegant, exuding warmth and confidence. Seated in her board room surrounded by trophies including the 2015 BC Influential Women in Business Award and Entrepreneur of the Year Award, we enjoyed a relaxed chat about life, love, relationships, raising kids, spirituality, finding one's inner passion to succeed … and making cupcakes at 3 am for a school!
Renee found her passion at a young age. With vision and a plan, she entered the male dominated industry of property development. Back then, being a woman, she was once asked to find a co-signer for a loan and although “Women have made progress, we must change the social norms." Women executives still do 80% of housework and child-rearing. So, why do women side-step themselves? There is incongruence between ambition and their choices. Renee encourages young women she mentors to go beyond where they are at, to find and use their inner passion. "And overlook your gender! In the board room, I forget I have boobs; I am there because I have brains and I earned my seat at the table. Sometimes, I do look through a different lens and think how a decision might affect my relationships. Sometimes this makes the men uncomfortable. My decisions are based on my values."
Renee wants an egalitarian society in which being partners at home means an equal sharing of household and family responsibilities. In practice, she supports true equality at work and has instilled corporate values: Team-based, Reputable, Innovative, Bold and Excellent (TRIBE). All employees benefit from options like flexible work hours and the ability to take parental leave. She is convinced that relationship building is a major key to success.
Renee plans to incorporate her values into her new political career as she has decided to run for the Conservative Nomination for