To say Erin Trainer is a busy person would be an understatement.
To say she is passionate about many things would also be an understatement.
But, despite her busy schedule, Trainer, this week’s inductee into the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Top 40 under 40, always finds time for something else.
“I’m really honoured, it feels really cool,” Trainer said of the recognition.
“It feels like I’m being recognized for the work that I’ve done, and I do work really hard.
“That’s one of the things that I value in my life is hard work.
“So I really appreciate being honoured for that.”
Although honoured, Trainer turns the spotlight on the other recipients of the Top 40 recognition and debunking the notion that to move to the Okanagan Valley usually requires coming with a job.
“I think it’s really neat that I’m in a category with all of these other cool people,” said Trainer.
“I love reading their stories and seeing where they’re from and why they do what they do.
“It’s really important to feature young people who have a passion for making this area a great place to live and to come and work, and the people that have been featured so far (in Top 40 Under 40) have that mentality and energy about bringing a new life to the Okanagan.”
Trainer moved to the Okanagan from the Lower Mainland with husband Erick Thompson in 2011 to establish ET2media.
Trainer’s path to the Okanagan had a few twists and turns, beginning with studies at the University of Victoria that began as a degree in biology with the idea of becoming a medical doctor, but turned into a political science degree after enjoying an elective in political science.
Raised by a father and mother who both worked in the media, Trainer said journalism was in her blood and felt the political science degree would help her land a job in journalism.
“It was a natural progression,” said Trainer of the shift from biology to political science.
With a political science degree in her pocket Trainer then attended BCIT to obtain her broadcast journalism diploma.
Upon graduation Trainer landed a job at A News on Vancouver Island as a news writer and producer.
With four years worth of experience under her belt, Trainer and Thompson decided to act on a dream and moved to the Okanagan to establish their own company ET2media, a communications company catering to medium to small-sized businesses to help them tell their story, through videos, public presentations and press releases, explained Trainer.
Their core focus, said Trainer, is the production of videos, from a promotional video for the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, to videos for wineries, fundraising campaigns, training videos and everything in between.
“Basically whatever our client needs, we try to help them,” Trainer said.
In addition to being able to apply her media skills, Trainer said she is motivated by the desire to help her clients succeed.
For as long as she can remember, Trainer said, she has had a passion for helping people, and her work in TV nurtured her desire to tell stories, and now with ET2media, she can apply both passions.
“I really like helping them tell their story,” said Trainer.
“Business is all about relationships, yes you have to have a good product, but you have to have a good story behind you.
“People want to do business with you because of the reason you do it. Video really helps tell those stories.”
Since starting the business in 2011, Trainer said the experience has been nothing but positive, not only the interactions with clients, but also the support received from the community at large and the business community.
“You can take a chance here,” said Trainer.
In the first year ET2media had about 12 clients, which has now blossomed to about 50 to 60 clients.
“On average we have about eight to 10 projects on the go, and we’re getting many repeat clients which is really nice,” said Trainer.
Running a business can be a full-time endeavour, but Erin managed to carve out some time to take on the position of manager of the Penticton Farmers Market.
“I really enjoy doing it,” said Trainer.
“I’ve met some really great people and it’s something I really believe in.
“It’s just been a really cool experience to learn about food production in the Okanagan Valley.
“The values of the farmers’ market really align with the values in my life.”
Trainer also recently took on another contract with another not-for-profit group, the Penticton chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, as fundraising co-ordinator, a role she said that was predicted on her behalf.
At this point, Trainer admits to a once-in-a-lifetime guilty pleasure.
“I went to a psychic several years ago,” she admitted sheepishly.
“I had never been to a psychic, ever.”
The psychic told Trainer her future included applying her skills to help not-for-profit organizations, likely in Edmonton.
“They don’t get everything right,” Trainer said with a laugh.
In her spare time, Trainer established, together with her mother, the Trout Creek Community Association.
“That’s been really fun,” Trainer said of the group that performs community clean ups twice a year, holds an annual picnic and other activities.
“We just started the association to bring people together.
“My mom and dad always taught me to know your neighbour and the importance of community and helping each other out.”
Trainer rounds out her day with online courses through the University of Victoria to complete a diploma in public relations, and is training to be a fitness instructor.
With the few remaining minutes in her day, Trainer is a foster parent with the SPCA, and currently has four cats in her care.
Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union 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.