Women Who Dare

For this year’s Women’s Day, we took part in a feature with Saanich News! “Women Who Dare” celebrates female leaders and business owners in our communities. Read the interview with our CEO, Caitlin McKenzie, below.

What, according to you, makes a great team?

Trust, humility, respect, candor, unity, and perspective. It can be challenging being a part of a team – all those personalities, opinions, and competing priorities. But in my mind, those three things can also remove the challenge and instead build the strength; I think that’s where unity and respect come into play. When a team can all work towards the same end goal and at the same pace – watch out!

What made you join this company?

As Monk Office is my family’s business, one might assume that’s the reason. I suppose it is one reason…  but it’s not the one. I joined because I wanted to. I joined because of what Monk Office stands for and how it makes an impact in lives, businesses, and communities. I’ve always wanted to make a difference and being here at Monk, I get to do just that.

What does it take to be successful in your role?

Modesty, bravery, compartmentalization, self-confidence, support, and the ability to set and keep boundaries. I may only have one title – but I’m many things to many people! Personally, that can be hard to manage. Staying focused on my path, keeping my intentions pure, staying consistent with my Team and putting my hand up when I need help helps me to succeed. Also, regularly defining for myself what success looks like – it can change!

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done in your career and how did it pay off?

I would say remortgaging my home to buy ownership of Monk from my dad, James. It was a non-negotiable when I became CEO, and I’m glad that was the case. There is something to be said when you have “skin in the game” and I’ve experienced it firsthand now. Not only am I mentally and physically invested in my business, but also financially.

What is the biggest challenge you are currently tackling?

I would say ensuring people feel focused, motivated, inspired, and supported during a lot of change. We’re going through significant, purposeful, and exciting change right now; everyone handles it differently. There is a big responsibility when you lead a company – people look to you for answers and put their trust into your decision-making capabilities.

What makes you feel the proudest?

When anyone compliments me on anything to do with Monk – be it how a store looks, their customer experience, a specific product, or a Team Member. It feels wonderful to be seen and supported. I take a lot of pride in being able to share complimentary feedback with my Team Members.

If you could have lunch with anyone in history, who would it be and why?

My grandfather, Ron. He passed away before I became CEO and that makes me sad. I would give anything to have the chance to ask him for advice, hear his stories, and soak in his words of encouragement. I’m fortunate to have had him in my life for as long as I did – but now being in the position he once had, it’s added a new level of wishing he was still with us.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m a homebody and live a simple and low-key life outside of work. I love to spend time and go on adventures with my boyfriend, Matt, my two beautiful bonus littles, Hayden, and Harper, and my dog, Eames. Spending time on my own and staying connected with friends and family is also very important to me. I’m extremely protective of my personal time so I make every possible effort to be deliberate about what I do and who I’m with.