Tell us about yourself & your company?
Debbie: I’ve given myself the title ‘Behind the Scenes’ at Kemp Construction Management Ltd. – we’re a family owned and operated residential construction company focussed on high performance custom homes a new major renovations. As a small business owner I wear a lot of hats – from branding and company identify work to overseeing all accounting and financial to organizing strategic planning and follow up.
How did you get into the residential construction industry?
Debbie: I joined the business about 7 years ago at a time when Steve was growing and needed more back end support.
What keeps you in the industry?
Debbie: I really enjoy the customer interactions and relationships. We have made many good friends who we used to regularly share a glass of wine with – pre-Covid. And of course – I love the beautiful work we get the opportunity to do. The other part of the work I really enjoy is creative and building out the company brand. Oh and it’s in the family – so I can’t really run away!
While navigating covid-19, what new opportunities have you discovered?
Debbie: It’s ironic but our business is growing during the pandemic and as we’ve worked virtually for years, adding people to the team isn’t that challenging. We’re also building deeper client relationships as people really dig into the importance of their homes as their sanctuary.
It’s 11AM Saturday morning, what are you up to?
Debbie: Likely just back from walking the dog and getting ready for tea and a few minutes with my latest book. I’m a pretty unfocused reader and usually have several books in the go depending on the mood I’m in.
What are your hobbies?
Debbie: Right now – photography. I really enjoy taking photos – shapes, abstracts and landscapes. I have an arty side and dabble in painting from time to time too. Lately I’m reading a lot and really curious about heart intelligence.
Debbie: I’m a Mom of two 30 somethings – watching their lives and careers unfold and how they handle difficult situations – no words.
What have you done in your community in the last year?
Debbie: Our entire family has volunteered since we were teenagers – my Mom at 92 only stepped down for Covid safety reasons. Right now I’m just starting the work on a traffic calming project in our community. I’ve been captain of my tennis teams for several years and just stepped down from that one this year. Great to show up and play without the responsibility. I’m part of a group of neighbours supporting another neighbour who has a very challenging cancer diagnosis.
Favourite HAVAN moment and why?
Debbie: Seeing the Women’s Council get wings – I planted a seed a few years ago.
Best work perk at your job?
Debbie: Flexibility of work hours
Last HAVAN member you spoke to?
Debbie: Likely Kelly Penny at Exclusive Floors
What inspires you?
Debbie: Nature – colours, textures, perfection in a dahlia and people living into their gifts
What are you excited for / looking forward to right now?
Debbie: I’m planning a family Zoom Xmas party for about 40 people across the country – so Mom can see all her grandkids and great grandkids and us her
Share an interesting fact about your life?
Debbie: In 1981 I was part of a group of women who started a Women’s Network at a major Canadian corporation. There was so much excitement from the women and so much pushback from the men. Someone called me a feminist the other day – can’t wait for labels to go away.
Last piece of advice you have received?
Debbie: As we work our way through Covid – I’m reminded to breathe deeply, consciously and slowly. It really works.
Debbie: Not a Starbucks fan – but get me a good heavy cab/sav!
Song on repeat right now?
Debbie: Too funny – today Amy Winehouse – I don’t want to go to lockdown – no no no
Where were you born?
Debbie: Yep – beautiful dog Storm – Bernese/Lab/Vizsla
Favourite holiday / destination?
Debbie: Gulf Island on a boat – bobbing around in good weather
Does pineapple belong on pizza?
Debbie: Not on mine but each to their own.
Debbie: Lighthouse (who are they – right??)
Last book read?
Debbie: Intimate Conversations with the Divine – Caroline Myss, I’m exploring faith and why people are drawn to it
Fun fact about you?
Debbie: level 1 Kayak assisted rescue – but seriously hanging upside down under water!
What do you collect?
Debbie: Bugs for my grandkids
Netflix guilty pleasure?
Debbie: Frankie and Grace – can’t wait for more
Anything else you’d like to add?
Debbie: Thanks for the opportunity to help out – people love to be asked!