Evonne’s story: Cultivating community
If you're a VCC hospitality management student with a question about anything, you go to Evonne Strohwald. As department assistant, Evonne knows as much about the program as any instructor, and thanks to her unique blend of kindness and efficiency, she'll always find an answer.
When Evonne first came to VCC as a student, however, she says she was a different person. Looking for a better job to support her young child, she enrolled in the administrative assistant program, not even knowing how to type. The initial encouragement she received from a VCC advisor has remained with her to this day. "I still remember his face and leaving VCC feeling like I had a hope," she says.
After graduating, Evonne got a job in VCC's Continuing Studies department, then worked for the School of Instructor Education (SIE) before moving on to hospitality management. Over the past 24 years, she's not only become a major asset to VCC but also a champion in her community.
Part of the Klub
With a passion for protecting urban green spaces, Evonne has volunteered extensively for sustainability and environmental organizations including Evergreen and the Edible Garden Project. In her North Vancouver community, she leads by example, having raised chickens as part of the Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub (CLUCK) and converted her own front lawn into a neighbourhood flower garden.
Most recently, Evonne has developed her own eco-tourism destination on the Sunshine Coast featuring sleeping cabins, a flower farm, a goat pasture, and, of course, chickens. She also plans to open the land this summer to campers via the website campertunity.com.
Evonne says just being a part of VCC’s hospitality management department has given her the knowledge and confidence to pursue these projects. "It's endless what I've learned, even as an employee," says Evonne. "They want to see you succeed here. That's what makes the difference at VCC."
Get to know VCC's outstanding faculty and staff at our next open house. Register now for Experience VCC at the Downtown campus on April 24.