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Some personal notes from our founders.

Stephen Van Deventer

Where are you from and where do call home now?
I was born and raised in South Africa and immigrated to Canada, December of 1986. I have two brothers and two sisters, one sister is my fraternal twin, and also two half-brothers and two half-sisters.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
In 2003 I physically collapsed from years of stress. It took me ten months to be able to drive and live a normal life.

What inspires you?
Family, it is most important to me.

What is your funniest quirk?
I love memes; they’re a source of joy and laughter.

The last moment that moved you?
This might sound silly but seeing my dog. I adore her.

Favourite pastime?
Relaxing with my wife Kim at our home in West Vancouver and, of course travelling.

The most indulgent thing you do for you?
A love of cars, motorcycles, planes, choppers and anything with an engine feeds my passion for travel and adventure.

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
Leading a healthier life and creating a healthier lifestyle for others through prevention.

Kimberly Van Deventer

Where are you from and where do call home now?
I’m originally from Lakewood, Ohio in the U.S.A. West Vancouver is home now.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
My immune system was drastically depleted due to over prescribed antibiotics. It took some time to build it back up.

What inspires you?
People do.

What is your funniest quirk?
Always needing to do multiple things at one time.

The last moment that moved you?
I’m moved every day. Music moves me and movies, but I’m sucker for a good story.

Favourite pastime?
Travelling, working, and spending time with my family.

Most indulgent thing you do for you?
Taking baths and watching documentaries, often at the same time.

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
Leave people to be the way they are; my way isn’t necessarily the only way. Help more comment less.

Shabira Rajan

Where are you from and where do call home now?
I was born in Tanzania, studied in Tanzania, Kenya, England and Canada. I have lived most of my life in Canada which is my home.

What inspires you?
My mother’s strength has always been my inspiration.  She was very smart and independent.  She worked hard, was non-judgmental, giving and always had a smile and she, of course, had my dad’s support in all she did.

The last moment that moved you?
People’s stories of achievements and positive thinking are very motivating.  It saddens me to see the suffering of people.  This includes young people out in the streets without a home.  Each person has a story of what brings them there. 

Favourite pastime?
I love reading and like going for walks.

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
I am currently a board member of the Hastings Sunrise Community Policing Centre (east side) hoping to make a little bit of difference.

Mak Jawadekar

Where are you from and where do call home now?
Born in India and since my teenage years always wanted to immigrate to the United States and the dream came true in 1976. I now call Connecticut my home.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
When I was only 14, my father was in a serious car accident, luckily someone stopped and saved him by bringing him to a nearby hospital. It was late at night. I was so young and didn’t know what had happened until two days later. He was very fortunate. So, I survived the drama and the shock of that in the 9th grade. My father has been a significant influence in my life. My mother instilled in me, the value of focus and hard work.

What inspires you?
Anything that creates value in the long term, long range impact on humanity as a whole and giving back. Getting an opportunity to work on projects like that is what inspires me. A very few get to work on things that can save lives or improve the quality of life. When a human-being gets to set foot on the moon, so many people are involved to make that huge thing happen, and that is what inspires me. Being a part of such a successful team!!

What is your funniest quirk?
People tell me that laughter comes easily to me. I don’t need deep jokes to get the laughter. My youngest sister, Nandini, is the same way. I’m very quick to laugh. Laughter is ingrained in me.

The last moment that moved you?
My middle sister, Nalini went through a major breast cancer scare 15 years ago. We are very close. I dropped everything to attend to her illness. She came though the scare bravely. She is doing excellent, health-wise now. You realize in these critical moments nothing else really matters. I had all of this schooling and pharma R & D experience at the biggest and best pharma company in the world, and I realized that I would do anything and everything possible in my scope to help her.

Favourite pastime?
Tennis. I love tennis. In 2004, travelled with India's Davis Cup team led by Ramesh Krishnan to New Zealand, where India won the Davis Tie Vs New Zealand.

Most indulgent thing you do for you?
After lots of hard work, I like to take a nice relaxing vacation. Something serene and on ocean front with no distractions.

Harry Parekh

Where are you from and where do you call home now?
I was born in England, to Indian(-African) immigrant parents, growing up as a British Asian, in a country that I called home for 26 years. I moved to ‘brighter’ shores down under soon after marrying, making Australia my home with my wife, Jasmeena, and two boys, Ajay and Aarav who are Aussies through and through.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
After graduating from university, I decided to embark on an African adventure, visiting university friends and family along the way. The journey started in Kenya, and I eventually made my way down to Zambia, and then Zimbabwe…En-route to Zimbabwe from Zambia I took a canoe trip along with a few other ‘tourists’ down the Zambezi river. I decided to break away from the pack and go exploring, however, I ventured into hippo territory, and was oblivious to the imminent danger until I heard shouts and screams from the guide instructing me to stop paddling and remain silent...I sat anxiously and waited as the guide weaved his way to me, and when he was a few metres away he threw me a line, which I tethered to my canoe, and he navigated me out of harm’s way!

What inspires you?
My wife and children inspire me, they are my foundation, giving purpose and meaning to everything I do and stand for. They motivate and energise me, and collectively we strive to live every day to the absolute fullest, with a positive outlook and living life without regrets.

What is your funniest quirk?
Apparently, I have what my wife calls ‘reverse logic’, that is, ways of assessing situations and problem solving in a manner that could be regarded by most as a little ‘unconventional’!

The last moment that moved you?
My youngest son taking his first steps, unaided.

Favourite pastime?
I love sleeping! I just don’t get enough these days, but that is also when I do quite a bit of thinking, and have ‘brain fart’ moments – radical ideas or concepts that I turn into hypotheses and experiments in the lab!

Most indulgent thing you do for you?
A remedial massage once a month, to ease away all the knots, aches and pains from having a poor posture and not making time for the gym!

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
Trying to be proactive in delegating ‘certain’ tasks, instead of trying to do everything myself, which leaves me under constant time pressures.

Sydney Cole

Where are you from and where do call home now?
I am from and currently reside in Vancouver, BC, after three years of living in southern Ontario.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
I am still relatively young and have not had to survive much. I am very proud of my ability to keep a cool head when under pressure and being able to think several steps ahead in most situations.

What inspires you?
I gather inspiration from those around me, such as my mother, who has shown herself capable of surviving just about anything.

What is your funniest quirk?
Out of all my quirks, and there are many, I would have to say my oddest one is my tendency to wander around in circles when I’m thinking, something my family loves to tease me about.

Favourite pastime?
My favourite pastimes are baking, especially cookies, as well as reading, mostly historical facts and fiction.

Most indulgent thing you do for you?
These two things, above, of course, lead to me spending far too much money on books and eating an excess of baked goods.

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
I am always attempting to improve myself, a task that I feel is never truly complete.  I especially feel this when it comes to being aware of the needs of those around me, especially when it comes to being better at helping then rather than hindering them.

Michael Möller

Where are you from and where do call home now?
My family and I live in a small village in Germany, in the so-called "Vogelsberg" region, about 100km from Frankfurt. It´s on top of an extinct volcano which, 10 million years ago, was the largest active one in middle Europe.

Tell us about something you survived or overcame?
After studying business administration and founding my trading company, I had to deal with severe panic attacks, anxiety and massive burnout. It took me several years to get used to it and, at the same time to build up my wine trade with my wife.

What inspires you?
Time with my family and long walks in the German valleys and mountains with my dear and faithful Australian Shepherd dog.

The last moment that moved you?
My daughter's school enrollment, she's growing up so quickly.

Favourite pastime?
Around the turn of the millennium, I was having a great time with friends on our baseball team, the so called "Heblos Rabbits".†It was a lot of fun!

Most indulgent thing you do for you?
I had a golf simulator installed so I can quickly play 18 holes in Pebble Beach, Bethpage Black or the Old Course in Saint Andrews. It is unbelievably real!

Something you’re working on to be a better version of you?
I try to understand the polarity of all things and to unite them as much as possible in order to get back to unity at some point.

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