Merideth Schutter ’95 – Passion and Drive: Keys to Success
Merideth Schutter '95 believes in pursing one’s personal passion…and in hard work. Qualities that were instilled in her early, by both her parents and CHS.
When reflecting on how CHS prepared her for life beyond the ivy walls and challenges of starting a business, she comes back to the idea of working hard at something you believe in and are passionate about. “A big piece of what CHS did for me was help me with my work ethic and my drive. You do work, you put in the time, but you know the results will come eventually.”
Equally as important as working hard is enjoying what you do. "It is important to find your passion. If you love what you do, enjoy your day-to-day, and get satisfaction from that, you will be successful.”
Merideth came to CHS in Grade 1 and - having left for a short time in grade 10 (she returned only after having to complete an application interview with Miss Addison!) - stayed until graduation.
Following her passions, she studied theatre at Capilano College before going on to Vancouver Film School, and then to the Real Estate Division of UBC’s Sauder School of Business. Merideth’s next move took her to the Kootenay region for six years while her husband pursued his education. There, she earned an online marketing degree from Athabasca University and had her first child.
After returning to Vancouver, Merideth again followed her passion and started her career in real estate. Merideth says that despite living in the same house the whole time she was growing up, “she was always interested in real estate. When I was young, I would circle open house ads in the newspaper of houses I wanted to go see”.
In addition to the fun of getting to work with people to find their perfect homes, there are many things Merideth appreciates about real estate, including the flexibility it allows, which is invaluable with three children, and seeing results come from her effort.
Merideth is now pursuing another passion, one that was born out of her real estate career, empowering personal safety.
Following an unsettling incident at an open house, she realized how easy it is for people to track other’s whereabouts – including real estate agents – on social media. After doing market research and realizing that personal safety was a very small part of the security industry, she felt there was a need for more. “I invented a technology that is based on empowerment and confidence. It’s all about positivity and enlisting your friends and family to have your back. Go out and enjoy the world, explore, have fun but just know that you have people there in case you need them.”
PROtect is an app that includes many features to ensure personal safety. At its centre is the ability to invite your friends and family to participate in your personal safety. As Merideth says by doing this, “You realize people do want to help. They want to be there for you”.
Within the app, you can assign those who have accepted your request into a first, second or third circle. This becomes your community – the people looking out for you. The app allows you to set a timer for an event: for example, an hour when you go for a run alone. Once the timer expires, if you don’t cancel the alert within a 15-second window, your first circle will be contacted by text or email, with a link to your location, then your second and third circle if you do not log out.
Early on in the process, it was evident that the usefulness of this went far beyond the real estate industry. With the recent launch in August, Merideth says that, so far, the main users include professional women, parents who want it for their children who are starting to gain more independence, and businesses that want to protect employees’ safety. This technology “is not about being afraid – this is about doing what you want, when you want, and feeling safe and confident” says Merideth.
Wednesday November, 8, 2017 at 02:25PM
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