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 8:30 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

Details will be made available in the next few days. (File photo)
UPDATED: Community vaccine program to open in Golden

The clinic will be held from Saturday, May 8 until Sunday, May 16.

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton, the historians behind popular Facebook page Lost Kootenays, are set to release a book of the same name and have just unveiled its cover showing the ghostly Hotel in Slocan City shortly before its 1953 demolition. Photo courtesy of Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton.
Popular historical Facebook page Lost Kootenays set to release book

128-page hard copy documenting history of East and West Kootenays coming this fall

Al Kowalko shows off the province's first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Okanagan schools shifting gears to electric buses

Vernon, Central Okanagan, Rocky Mountain and Okanagan-Skaha on board

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Memorials have been set up to honour those who died during the Second World War. (Pixabay.com)
COLUMN: It’s time to stop making comparisons to Hitler

The deadliest, most destructive war in human history should not become a metaphor

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Kelowna seen from the top of Knox Mountain. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press Media file)
Accessibility concerns raised as Kelowna ponders banning vehicles from Knox Mountain

Knox Mountain Drive, which leads to two lookouts, has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Cops for Kids riders will be spinning 30 feet in the air on scissor lifts at SaveOn Foods locations in Kelowna, Lake Country and West Kelowna Saturday, May 8, 2021. (File photo)
Cops reach new heights for Okanagan kids

Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting Saturday in Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News file)
People aged 30+ in Summerland, Rutland offered vaccine amid high transmission risk

Interior Health offers residents of Rutland and Summerland aged 30 and up chance at vaccine

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read