Inspired Style with Kelowna CEO Renee Wasylyk. Photography by Lia Crowe

Inspired Style with Kelowna CEO Renee Wasylyk. Photography by Lia Crowe

Inspired Style with Renee Wasylyk

Hard working mother and business woman believes in work/life integration

  • Sep. 20, 2018 9:30 a.m.

-Story and photography by Lia Crowe

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Late one afternoon on a hillside east above Kelowna, I drove down a long driveway flanked by acres and acres of cherry trees loaded with almost-ripe, pink fruit. At the end of the drive, the land opened out onto a beautiful home and sweeping lawns perched on a precipice with incredible views of the Okanagan Valley and lake — the blue-grey clouds billowing up over the hills and rays of yellow sunshine cutting through like swords.

Stepping out of my car, I felt a sudden sense of peace created both by the land and the smiling face of Renee Wasylyk, who greeted me at the door. We sat in her elegant living room, complete with a grand piano, to chat career, life, style and where they all intersect.

Renee is the CEO of Troika Developments — but what does that really mean?

“I’m the external face of the company and I have a role and responsibility to lead in terms of strategic planning. I also take a lot of responsibility for the cultural aspects of the company, our brand and reputation, the health of our employees and what we’re doing to support them as people and not just as ‘productivity measures.’ For me, that last part is a real focus. Outside of that I’m also the front face of the development arm, pushing projects forward. I’m not someone who sleeps — [I get] three to four hours per night — and I’m not tired.”

As I reflect on that (being a person who can’t function with less than eight hours of sleep), Renee admits to working 80-100 hours a week, adding that the joke around the office is, “Renee works 20 hours per week…while on vacation.”

“I don’t believe in work/life balance; I believe in work/life integration. It’s about gaining fulfillment from all the aspects of the job and not needing to have separation. I do a lot of fun things — I volunteer on boards, I get to be active, go to gala events — some might see that as work but I see it as fun. Women will continue to be overwhelmed [trying to obtain work/life balance] until we reframe it, choose another perspective.”

Within this perspective, I wonder which aspect of her work fills her cup the most. “It is two things. One, I am a huge people person — being around people really energizes me — but the real juice in what I do would be the creative process. I love looking at a new piece of land and imaging what is going to go on here. What is it going to look like? How is it going to feel? How can people connect, how can a family play in the street, or how can they garden? For me, that process of imagination, bringing vision to life is absolutely one of the most awe-inspiring things I can do.”

Moving on to the lighter side of life, style, Renee says she went through a style transformation in her early 30s.

“I wanted to stop dressing like a man, to be feminine and bring that to the boardroom. So I’m okay wearing a dress; I will always show respect by wearing a blazer when appropriate to respect the audience and to show up with a certain level of decorum. But having said that, I am very feminine. I will wear a suit with ruffles or lace details. I love when things move or flow and have a certain elegance to them.”

Outside of work, Renee says, she’s most passionate about her three children. “I’m one of those working moms that has some guilt, so I perhaps overcompensate for that by being really present in their lives. I asked my kids what do I do really well as a mother and they said … ‘you give us wings and then you let us fly.’ If I accomplish nothing more as a mother than that, I will have succeeded.”

What one quality would she like to pass down to her children?

“Passion. I always say… don’t follow your passion, follow opportunity and bring your passion. And with that you will be successful.”

Inspired Style with Renee Wasylyk. Lia Crowe photography

Fashion

Uniform: Dresses or anything black.

All time favourite piece: Anne Fontaine blouse.

Favourite pair of shoes: Jimmy Choo strappy sandals.

Favourite Daybag: Michael Kors

Favourite jewelry piece or designer: Semi-Precious Multi-Stone & 18K Yellow Gold Five-Strand Bracelet by Marco Bicego Jaipur Collection.

Beauty

Necessary indulgence: Good skin care line.

Scent: Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue or L’Imperatrice.

Must have hair product: Shine Spray by Davines.

Beauty secret: “I use coconut oil for moisturizer.”

Style Inspirations

Favourite Artist: Douglas Coupland.

Piece of art: Tearful Encounter by Thomas Barbey.

Favourite Fashion Designer: Victoria Beckham – “Beautiful and practical.”

TV show character that inspires your style: Robin Wright in House of Cards or Kerry Washington on Scandal.

Life

Favourite local restaurant: Bouchons or Quail’s Gate.

Favourite Cocktail/Wine: French 75 or an Old Fashioned.

Album on current rotation: If You Leave by Daughter.

Flower: Gerbera Daisy.

Favourite city to visit: New York or London.

Favourite Hotel: “I am a Fairmont girl.”

Favourite App: “I wish I could give my phone away!”

Favourite place in the whole world: Island of Capri: “That’s where to look if you can’t find me.”

Reading Material

Fave print magazine: Elle or Glamour.

Fave style Blog: Pink Peonies by Rach Parcell and Girl with Curves.

Coffee table Book: Humans of New York Stories by Brandon Stanton and Atlas of World Architecture by Sebastian Markus and Michelle Galindo.

Last great read: The Universe Has Your Back: Transform Fear to Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein.

Book currently reading: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.

Favourite book of all time: “Impossible for me to pick just one!”

BeautyBeauty tipsBoulevard MagazineCEOFashionInspired styleKelownaLifestyleOkanaganOkanagan BoulevardRenee WasylykStyleTroika Developments

Just Posted

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read