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 7:30 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

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Strathcona Gardens is one of many recreation opportunities that could be investigated during a feasibility study. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Strathcona rural and municipal directors disagree on recreation study

Rural directors say study would not affect them, don’t want to pay for it

Red dresses hang on the Longhouse at Campbell River’s Robert Ostler Park on May 5, which is designated as Red Dress Day to commemorate murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. A gathering at the Longhouse was held to mark the day and the MMWIG. Photo by Alistair Taylor/Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Campbell River gathering commemorates murdered and missing women and girls

Red Dress Day marked by ceremony at Robert Ostler Park

City of Campbell River crews work to repair a four-inch water main near Carihi Secondary School. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Main break leaves Campbell River neighbourhood without water

Students sent home early from Carihi Secondary, businesses closed

The arena at Strathcona Gardens could be in the running for the 2022 Kraft Hockeyville competition. File photo – Campbell River Mirror
Strathcona Gardens eyes 2022 Kraft Hockeyville competition

Winner gets to host a pre-season NHL game and $250,000 to help fix their arena

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

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)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Louis S. St-Laurent sails past a iceberg in Lancaster Sound, Friday, July 11, 2008. The federal government is expected to end nearly two years of mystery today and reveal its plan to build a new, long overdue heavy icebreaker for the Canadian Coast Guard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Vancouver, Quebec shipyards to each get new heavy icebreaker, cost remains a mystery

Vancouver’s Seaspan Shipyards and Quebec-based Chantier Davie will each build an icebreaker for the coast guard

Findings indicate a culture of racism, misogyny and bullying has gripped the game with 64 per cent of people involved saying players bully others outside of the rink. (Pixabay)
Misogyny, racism and bullying prevalent across Canadian youth hockey, survey finds

56% of youth hockey players and coaches say disrespect to women is a problem in Canada’s sport

Most Read