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Building a working community gets Top 40 nod
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from Canadian Youth Business Foundation BC-Yukon.
Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination’. Please include nominee’s contact info and a brief reason for nomination.
Jennifer Vincent is described as incredibly positive with an ability to network and put things together.
She receives that praise from Kindrie Grove of Kindrie Grove Studios. Grove said Vincent’s ability to blend things within the community can bring fantastic synergy.
“She’s really good at seeing potentials and connecting the dots,” said Grove. “Also a mover and shaker. She’s good at getting things done and organized.”
This week, the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with JCI International, announced Vincent as their second nominee in the Top 40 under 40 event, sponsored by Prospera Credit Union.
Vincent is the co-owner of Cowork Penticton with her husband, Nicholas, and is involved with the Farm Bag Fundraiser.
Vincent said that Cowork Penticton has been a wonderful adventure.
“Coworking is movement that is happening around the world. It’s reasonably new,” said Vincent, who has a public relations and marketing background.
At Cowork Penticton, people rent spaces to get their work done or meet with people to discuss their project. People can pay per day or for the month.
“It’s really a unique group of people who decide that coworking space is something they want to do.
“Coworking is about community building. A comfortable space for people to be successful in.”
Since opening May of 2012, they are still learning about Penticton, but one thing is happening.
“We’re starting to develop a sense of identity and strong bonds in the community,” said Vincent, who is part of the Downtown Penticton Association. “Seeing new ideas being developed and friendships made.”
Typically, Cowork Penticton has eight to 10 people each day and the setup is flexible to each person’s needs.
“I would love to see double the number of people we have here,” she said.
Vincent thrives on connectivity and witnessing relationships built between people. She wants to brainstorm ways to make Cowork Penticton better and more effective.
“That’s what I enjoy out of it,” she said smiling. “Every Friday we have a casual end of the week celebration. People drop in from all over.”
Grove, who has worked with Vincent on art projects, said Vincent is a true people-person.
“That is why she is good at networking,” she said.
Andrew Greer, business development manager for Accelerate Okanagan, said Vincent is the ultimate community builder.
“She’s a big believer in Penticton, the young professional entrepreneurial spirit,” said Greer, who works with Vincent on building a community around technology and small business.
In 2011, Vincent and her husband, were approached by local farmer Thomas Tumbach of Localmotive to help with the Farm Bag Fundraiser.
Tumbach, who had been delivering fresh fruit and produce in the region for seven years, was looking for a new way to package the home delivery system.
Vincent, who grew up on a small-scale sheep farm near Maple Ridge, loved Tumbach’s idea of connecting fresh fruit and produce with schools needing to raise money.
“It’s a win-win for everyone,” she said. “It’s really growing well.”
Last season finished with 550 families purchasing from the Farm Bag Fundraiser and Vincent hopes to maintain that number.
Known for bringing people together, one of the ways Vincent does that is through the Penticton Social Club. Vincent has hosted three in Penticton, the most recent a nautical theme called Ahoy, attracting 110 people. The 35-year-old admits she likes a good party but it comes back to networking and connecting people.
“All my life I have enjoyed holding events which would push unlikely candidates together in a space,” she said. “See what comes out of it. It’s also an ice-breaker.
“It generates conversation among people who otherwise wouldn’t meet in other situations.
“In a small town, it’s kind of neat to see people you see in a professional context in a social context like this.”
Asked what it’s like to be nominated for the Top 40 under 40, Vincent said it’s an incredible honor.
“This is a community full of dynamic people,” said Vincent, who lived in Australia for 11 years. “I’m really excited about the top 40 under 40 concept.
“I think it’s a great idea to celebrate people in the community who are trying to progress their visions and support a more vibrant region.”