Marnie Naka . Photography by Darren Hull

Secrets and Lives Interview with Marnie Naka

Calgary transplant enjoys the Okanagan outdoor lifestyle on her mountain bike

  • Apr. 9, 2021 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Angela Cowan Photography by Darren Hull

While Marnie Naka has come to know and love much about Kelowna and the Okanagan in the 17 years she’s lived here, it wasn’t the lake or the climate or the wineries that prompted her to make the move. It was love.

Marnie is operations supervisor for the Kelowna office of Wolseley Canada, the country’s leading wholesale distributor for plumbing, HVAC/R, waterworks and industrial markets. Calgary-born, she lived in Airdrie and area growing up, and started at Wolseley’s Calgary offices more than 20 years ago, until a business merger changed the trajectory of her life.

“Brad’s dad sold his company to Wolseley,” Marnie says of her husband, “and Brad was a manager there, so he stayed on with Wolseley for a few years.”

Based in Kelowna, Brad Naka would fly out to Calgary occasionally for meetings.

“I would do meeting set-ups and lunches,” she explains. “That’s actually how we met.”

The pair ended up having one of their first dates in the airport during one of Brad’s layovers, and “I moved out here six months later,” says Marnie with a laugh.

The couple, who just celebrated their 16-year anniversary, embraced the outdoor Okanagan lifestyle with enthusiasm.

“I love the outdoors here,” enthuses Marnie. “We’re big campers. We’ll take the trailers and the bikes and just go out. And I mountain bike with my husband. When we first moved here, I took up dirt biking instead, and then we ended up selling them and got the mountain bikes.”

The two go out a couple times a week, even through the winter, and Marnie also gets out snowshoeing with friends, and practices yoga regularly.

“I only started mountain biking a few years ago, and I love it,” she says. “I love to be active.”

The 7 Sins

Envy:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

I never really thought about this before, but since watching The Crown recently, I’d have to say that I would love to walk in Princess Diana’s shoes. She was down to earth and known for her humanitarian efforts; she was compassionate, and her love of children showed what an amazing person she was.

Gluttony:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

I love any sort of ethnic dish, but if I had to choose, I would choose Thai food. I love green curry and pad Thai. I can eat it anytime. For a treat though, I also love black licorice.

Greed:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend

selfishly. What would you spend it on?

I would buy a little vacation home on a tropical island, bring the family and spend as much time there as possible.

Wrath:

Pet peeves?

When marine life is harmed because of deliberate human carelessness. I really hate it when I see people throwing away plastic six-pack rings without cutting them up. And now, I also hate seeing surgical masks littered or thrown away carelessly.

Sloth:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

On a hot white sandy beach, with a good book and an ice-cold tropical slushy drink.

Pride:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?

I am secretly proud of myself for my progression in mountain biking. In just the past four years, my skills riding technical downhill trails have allowed me to travel many places with my husband and ride in some of the most beautiful places in North America!

Lust:

What makes your heart beat faster?

I would have to say my hubby! I love secretly watching him when he doesn’t know I am, and thinking to myself how lucky I am to have such a great husband. It’s been 16 years since we were married on a beach in Mexico, and he still makes my heart beat as fast as if it was yesterday.

BusinessLifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools’ superintendent Scott Saywell at a May 6 press event for two new electric school buses. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district shows off electric buses

New buses anticipated to reduce 17 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from SD68 buses

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts trending down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Nanaimo city council has voted to deploy speed-reduction measures for the summer along Departure Bay Road and to consult with area residents and road users to explore ways to further reduce vehicle speeds in the Departure Bay Beach area. (News Bulletin file photo)
City will again lower speed limit on Departure Bay Road to 40km/h

City of Nanaimo will consult with stakeholders for ideas to reduce speeds past the beach

Reforming food systems will require taking a long view, and determined people organizing at tipping points, says columnist. (Stock photo)
OPINION: Food system reform can change world for the better

‘Long food movement’ could be a road map to curb our current global follies, says columnist

Traffic service worker Warren Van Sickle installs street banners bearing cedar bough designs by artist Becky Thiessen outside the Nanaimo Ice Centre on May 5. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo installs new street banners envisioning ecological survival

Artist Becky Thiessen’s designs depict cedar boughs and the Nanaimo estuary

Beef to the woman focused on her phone, driving a dark-coloured sedan through the Cilaire school zone. Perhaps you could use that same device to research some of the accidents and injuries caused by drivers who can’t seem to stay off their phones whilst behind the wheel.
Beefs & Bouquets, May 5

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Two semi trucks collided on the Nanaimo Parkway just north of Northfield Road on Wednesday morning, May 5. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: Nanaimo Parkway reopens after crash involving semi trucks

35-year-old driver was taken to hospital with serious injuries

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

People line up outside an immunization clinic to get their Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Edmonton, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Hospital investigating whether Alberta woman who died after AstraZeneca shot was turned away

Woman was taken off life support 12 days after getting vaccine

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread continues with 694 new cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Vancouver Island 12 year old speaks to lack of supports

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Most Read