Vanessa, A Small Town Farm Gal

  • Mara
  • 2018-01-01



With the constant commotion of startups bustlin' about, Planet Hatch is known to see a lot of activity on a daily basis. Drones flying overhead and sticky note covered walls; the hatch is a busy beehive of entrepreneurial nectar constantly attracting top talent! Now, we all know that every beehive needs a queen bee to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that no bee gets left behind. Well, consider Vanessa that powerhouse bee and the new face of Planet Hatch! We sat down with Vanessa and asked her to introduce herself, officially, to the Fredericton community:

What’s your story?
I was born the daughter of a farmer and Registered Nurse. Growing up on a farm in Hopewell, Nova Scotia, I spent most of my childhood building hay forts with my brother and sister, taking care of our varying collection of livestock, studying piano, violin and voice, or competing in 4-H competitions. I never saw the day I’d leave the farm, let alone move to the city. Graduating high school (homeschooled) at 16, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Should I be a lawyer? A doctor? A nurse like my mom? Not knowing where my path was meant to take me, I put off going to university, choosing to work for a few years.

By the time I was 21, having surrounded myself with varying sectors of business, I decided that it was time to go back to school. I enrolled at Mount Saint Vincent University, studying Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. Early into my first semester, I realized two things: I love the business classes I was taking, and I am REALLY bad at chemistry. I switched degree programs by the end of that semester and began to pursue business full-time. During the end of my first year, I was granted the opportunity to study at the University of New Brunswick. So, I packed my car and off I went.

While at UNB, I pursued a double major in Honors Human Resources Management and Finance. Many have asked me why I chose two completely opposite business specialities, to which I reply, “I hate limitation; I will never limit myself to just one path.” In addition to my studies, I also served as a member of the UNB Finance Club and as a Business Faculty Representative for mature students, like myself.

Coming to the end of my studies, I was presented with the opportunity to put my skills to the test. I accepted a contract, working as Managing Director and CEO of a Fredericton sales firm. As a side note, my goal was to be CEO of a company by the time I was 30. So, here I was, 26, CEO of a company; my goal was accomplished. While this opportunity gave me a taste of the real world of business, it was just that, a taste.

Having accomplished my career goal, I found myself seeking a new goal to work toward. Maybe I should start my own business? While many that know me encouraged me to do just that, I did not feel that I was ready. That being said, the next best thing to starting my own business, in my mind, would be helping others start their businesses. So here I am, now 27, accomplishing yet another career goal, helping others pursue their business dreams.

What brought you to us?
There are two things I thrive on...innovation and a good challenge. Planet Hatch is unlike anywhere I’ve worked throughout my career; it is a brand that carries with it, an ability to transform minds, coupled with a unique energy. I’ve always had a strong desire to help others. That being said, my role at Planet Hatch has not only enabled me to help others, but also to help myself, by broadening my own knowledge of what entrepreneurship has to offer. Every day at Planet Hatch is different, which can create challenge in itself. For that, I look forward to coming to work every day, knowing that each day will be filled with new opportunities.

Why Planet Hatch...Why Fredericton?
After graduating from the UNB Faculty of Business Administration, I debated on whether I would return to Nova Scotia, or if I would remain in New Brunswick. As I didn’t see myself leaving behind my maritime roots to move abroad, or leaving behind my fiance, who was growing The Town Chiropractor-Fredericton, I decided that Fredericton was meant to be the city I would call home.

I chose Planet Hatch because, as those familiar with Planet Hatch know, it is more than just a brand. We aim to be a community in our PH office, a goal that not only creates a welcoming environment, but also, creates a sense of belonging. At PH, you’re not just an entrepreneur or a member, you’re also a friend.

What are a few things that make you unique?
As my father would say, “she’s not stubborn, she’s determined.” While that might not make me unique, it certainly helps me to stand out among the crowd. From a young age, I was taught the value of hard work and dedication, which has led me to some of the strangest accomplishments, such as Nova Scotia Baking Champion 2003-2005, and Nova Scotia Champion Goat Showman, 2006. While my life has since led me down a path filled with more business meetings, and less goats, I am proud of my unique accomplishments, as they make for great conversation!

What are your goals as the new Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator?
My goals as Entrepreneurial Services Coordinator at Planet Hatch are many. A wise person once told me that the day you check off everything on your to-do list is the day your job is done. At Planet Hatch, there is always a new hurdle to overcome, a new mountain to climb, whether it relates to making Planet Hatch more engaging for members, or creating innovative programming for our entrepreneurs, both current and aspiring. The day my calendar is empty is the day my job is done. Until then, I aim to be an asset to everyone that walks through the doors at Planet Hatch.

What do you envision for Planet Hatch?
I am forecasting 2018 to be a great year for Planet Hatch. In addition to focusing on delivering more innovative programming, I aim to grow Planet Hatch through heightened brand recognition and sponsorship. As a hub for economical development, I envision Planet Hatch to not only reach our goals for growth, but to surpass them. I want to build a better tomorrow for the city I call home, and I know, without a doubt, that through collaboration with Knowledge Park and Ignite Fredericton, Planet Hatch will do just that!