Christine (Wong) Applegarth '92
Christine is President of the Alumnae Association.
Lana Sutherland '86
Crofton Alum | Entrepreneur | CEO | Former Top 40 Under 40
In 1994, Lana Sutherland ‘86 sat down with six partners and hashed out a plan to start a business. Nine years later, she is the CEO of a gold standard teahouse. Tealeaves, a multi-million dollar company, supplies high-end hotels throughout North America, Europe and Asia with premium loose-leaf blends.
Lana, who was a featured guest in the Let’s Talk About … series, recently sat down with the Senior School girls to tell her inspirational tale and share her thoughts on success and running her own business.
1898: What are some of your favourite memories of being a student at Crofton House School?
L: Being challenged everyday in every class.
1898: How did your CHS education prepare you for your career as an entrepreneur?
L: I learned that the being smart alone does not guarantee success. Success instead is attributed to your resourcefulness, work ethic, drive, persistence, talent, focus, and your guts. Having said all of that, I would say that one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur is the ability to do whatever it takes to reach your goal. An “it’s not my job” attitude will definitely hinder anyone considering entrepreneurship as a possible career choice.
1898: What has turned out to be the most valuable lesson you learned at Crofton House School?
L: To do the “right” thing, not necessarily the “popular” thing.
1898: What is the best part of being an entrepreneur? The most difficult?
L: The best part of being an entrepreneur is being my own boss and directly seeing the impact of my own decisions and ideas. The rewards are great but so too are the risks.
The most difficult part of being an entrepreneur is being my own boss. The job can also be isolating; it’s a different type of demand on your life that not everyone in your sphere will understand. To be honest, “work life balance” does not exist in my world but then we are competing on an international level so perhaps it is different for other types of companies with different goals.
1898: Do you have any words of advice for the Crofton House girls?
L: Perhaps just this, our business was started by me and six others. I was the only woman. The six consisted of very opinionated, culturally diverse guys. Today, our company is predominantly women and I love the fact that when someone such as Disney asks us to answer a contract question such as “what percentage of minorities work in your company?” I have the pleasure of filling in “100%”. It has been great to give people, especially women, opportunities where they might not otherwise have one.
Lauren Wilkinson '07
Crofton House alum shines on the London 2012 podium
Back in 2007, Lauren Wilkinson wore her Gordon tartan skirt as the Assistant Head Girl at Crofton House School. Today she wears a silver medal for Canada, standing on the podium following her race in the women's eight rowing event at London 2012. This was Wilkinson's first time in the Olympic Games, but this North Vancouver native is no stranger to competitions.
As a member of the Under-23 World Championships eight crew, she won gold in 2011 and bronze in 2010 (finishing 4th in 2009). Competing at the World Junior Championships, she was 6th in 2007 in the single sculls, and 10th in 2006 in the coxless fours. She also graduated from Princeton University in 2011 with a degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, where she rowed on the varsity team winning the 2011 NCAA Championship in the eight.
Wilkinson's Olympic journey began at the Burnaby Lake Rowing Club, where she started rowing as a way to follow her older brothers. Her brother, Michael, also competed for Team Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in the men’s coxless fours.
Congratulations Lauren, the Crofton House community is extremely proud of you! (Photo below from TheStar.com)
Interesting facts about Lauren
- Her grandmother Beatrice Wilkinson, Class of 1939 and Great Grandmother Ethel Worley, Class of 1910 are both CHS alumnae.
- She earned the medal her father was denied when Canada joined the boycott of the Moscow Games in 1980. (From the Vancouver Sun)