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times a year. “When I came home and told Lily about it, she said, ‘Why can’t we do girls?’” Since most girls can’t give away $100, Lily and her friend Ella Stanger came up with a plan for members to donate $1 to $10. The girls, between eight and 13 years old, meet three times a year and have so far given over $1,200 to three local charities. Their goal is to get 100 girls to one meeting (the next is in October). “It’s so neat to see the girls inspiring other girls to get involved in philanthropy,” Coté says. “They’re learning about local causes in the community and that by coming together, they are stronger and can have a greater impact.” But amid Coté’s busy life a few years ago, she found herself “getting restless and ready for a new challenge.” She hired a professional coach —“best money I ever spent” — and after about 18 months of soul searching and exploring different avenues, she realized she had a unique skill set in franchise development. “It became apparent that other than franchise lawyers, there aren’t many franchise specialists on the island.” Calling herself a “franchise and business growth specialist,” she works with business owners who want to explore franchising

as a growth strategy, as well as established franchisors, who need help operationally. “I am selective about who I work with,” she adds. “I love to work with progressive, open-minded local business owners who are prepared to listen and learn. If you ask my father what he did right in the early days of M&M Meat Shops, one thing he would say is he understood the importance of soliciting help from the experts — and really listening.” All the networking she did while distributing her dad’s money has also helped build her business. And although the two of us chat about myriad things sitting at that brightly lit table in The Atrium, she keeps coming back to this experience, something that was most assuredly a life-changing event. “It was an amazing opportunity to be able to learn more about such amazing people in our community, many of them volunteers, many of them settling for less pay but a greater sense of purpose.” She adds: “It was inspiring and enriching … and now I’m more inspired to be successful so I can give away my own money.” It’s an appropriate comment from this “can-do” bundle of energy.

“It was an amazing experience to be able to learn more about such amazing people in our community, many of them volunteers, many of them settling for less pay but a greater sense of purpose.”

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Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine - August / September 2016 Issue  

Boulevard Magazine is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Vancouver Island by focusing on the Arts, People, Tr...

Boulevard Magazine - August / September 2016 Issue  

Boulevard Magazine is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Vancouver Island by focusing on the Arts, People, Tr...

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