For Graham Lyle, a graduate of Summerland Secondary School, being an entrepreneur has allowed him to help others, both his clients and the community.
Lyle, 31, who once expected to have a career in the golf industry, is this week’s Top 40 Under 40 inductee.
Active in sports since his youth, Lyle currently enjoys recreational hockey and slo-pitch, and is a member of the Summerland Curling Club as well as the Summerland Golf Club.
“Golf is one of my biggest passions,” said Lyle.
After graduating high school, Lyle who has a +5 handicap, attended Okanagan University College in Kelowna for a couple of years before enrolling in the Turf Grass Management program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
When he completed the program in 2005 he landed a job as assistant superintendent at the Summerland Golf Club.
“I thought I was going to be working on golf courses my whole life,” said Lyle.
But after three years, Lyle left the golf course behind to nurture his entrepreneurial spirit and took a sales position with Evergro in Kelowna, a company that, among other things, sells fertilizers to golf courses.
Looking for a better opportunity, Lyle then teed off another career in the fall of 2009 as a consultant with Investors Group in Penticton.
The job, explained Lyle, allowed him to tap into his entrepreneurial spirit.
“I was looking for something where I could control my own destiny, my own income,” said Lyle.
“Something where I could build a business and build something that was successful.
“How hard I work is how high I get rewarded.”
The hard work has certainly paid off for the young entrepreneur.
Today, not quite five years after first stepping into the Investors Group office, Lyle is the division director and branch manager.
“It’s been good,” said Lyle of his time with Investors Group thus far. “It’s worked out well.”
In addition to feeding into his entrepreneurial spirit, tending to his clients and their financial well-being is what most captivates Lyle’s interest.
“The most rewarding is helping people change their financial lives,” said Lyle.
“As you take people through the transition, take them on as clients, you can sometimes see the financial weight lifted off their shoulders. “You’re changing their financial world and consequently their lives.
“It’s very rewarding on that aspect.”
That success, in part, Lyle said comes from his commitment to his clients.
“What sets me apart from everybody else is the service side, the trust factor, and doing the complete planning, working with my clients and truly caring about their success,” he said.
Also, Lyle knows his clients have many other options for financial advice in Penticton, and he underpins the service he provides his clients with one key understanding.
“I can’t control the stock market, I don’t have a crystal ball to tell me where the world is going,” he said. “I control what I can control and I think my clients like that.”
When not in the office, or spending time with his family, partner Jodie and three-year-old daughter, Hanna, Lyle spends time helping several community organizations.
Chief among them is the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen where he sits on the board of directors.
“I truly enjoy it,” said Lyle.
“It was my first experience joining a board and it’s nice to give back to the community in which I work and which feeds my family.”
As a member of the board, Lyle sits on the investment committee, and is also the chair for the annual comedy festival which raises between $20 and $30,000 a year.
One of his duties with the comedy festival is to serve as the master of ceremonies.
In fact, Lyle admits serving as an MC and holding a microphone, is one of his favourite things to do.
“I do lots of MC-ing, I do love the microphone,” he said with a chuckle.
For example, at the recent Giants Head Grind, which raises funds and awareness for colon cancer research, Lyle not only completed the trek, he also chipped in as master of ceremonies.
His next gig as an MC comes July 12 when the Agur Lake Camp Society hosts their Swing for Kids golf tournament at the Summerland Golf Club.
Reflecting on his selection to the Top 40 Under 40, Lyle first points to the individuals selected in previous weeks.
“There’s a lot of people under 40 doing excellent entrepreneurial and philanthropic things,” said Lyle. “It’s an honour to even be considered for the Top 40. I do appreciate the honour. I do work very hard to balance a very heavy work schedule, trying to do what I can in the community and also spend time with my family.
“It’s nice to know the long hours and the hard work I’m putting in are starting to pay off.”
Looking to the future, Lyle said he wants to grow his practice and to become even more involved in the community.
“I am a very proud member of the Summerland community, I do like it there,” said Lyle. “It’s a great place to live and have a family.”
As for living and working in the Okanagan Valley, Lyle said it is a matter of choice.
“The biggest thing for me is that I love the people and I love the area, the weather, everything is wonderful.
“I just love the fact that I found something that allows me to live in the most beautiful place in the world and raise my family.”
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union and White Kennedy LLP Chartered Accountants in partnership with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, JCI Penticton with support from Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen. Nominations should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination.
Please include nominees contact info and a brief reason for nomination.