MEET VIRGINIA STONE
Q: Where were you born?
A: I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.
Q: Are you left or right?
A: Most certainly neither.
Q: Dogs or cats?
A: Dogs. My rescue dogs are the loves of my life.
Q: What do you do?
A: A lot of things. I am the CEO & Founder of Virginia Stone (an award-winning international brand). I am a serial entrepreneur. Innovator. Best-Selling Co-Author. A master formulator specializing in Green Chemistry. Conservationist. Human Rights advocate...and a Candidate for Mayor of the City of Calgary.
Q: What do you love?
A: The list is long...nature, animals, international travel, exploring, adventure, golf, red wine, cheese, coffee, camping, surfing...
A: It is pretty diverse, as I am a seeker of knowledge. I studied criminal law, financial accounting (worked towards my CGA), took engineering courses, studied naturopathic medicine, and business courses. I am trained and certified in Nutrition, Herbology, Kinesiology, and Homeopathy.
Q: Where have you traveled?
A: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Costa Rica, Belize, London, Paris, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Empty Quarter, New York, Los Angelas, Mexico, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Las Vegas to name a few.
Q: Are you involved with any Organizations?
A: Yes. I am an Ambassador for Big Blue Ocean Cleanup, and an active member of: Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society; The Calgary Chamber; 100 Women Who Care (Calgary); OneTree Planted (Reforestation Project); and Startup Grind.
Q: Greatest fear?
A: Not living to my full potential. Not leaving a big enough positive impact on the world and all life on earth.
REAL TALK WITH VIRGINIA STONE
A 'No BS' Interview:
Who inspires you?
I have a list of those I would most want to meet, unfortunately a lot of them are no longer alive, but what a great dinner party it would be! At the top of my list would be Albert Einstein, Tesla, Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela. At the top of my ‘still alive’ list would be Keanu Reeves, he is definitely an inspiration and one of the most compassionate and down-to-earth human beings I have come across. I have always been inspired by those who take the path less traveled, the visionaries, revolutionaries, leaders for change, innovators, creators, artists, and disruptors. Those who fight for truth and freedom, fearlessly with courage even when all the forces are against them. Always choosing what’s right and good before money, trends, acceptance, and fame. Your word is all you have, and your character is all you are.
What are your three greatest strengths and weaknesses?
That is a loaded question, and it really depends on the way you want to perceive it. Society has its own definition of strengths and weaknesses, but I do not buy into it. What might be a strength for you, may be a weakness for me since it is relevant to your own unique character and personality. I have always been told that my weaknesses are that I am an introvert and that I am not a morning person, I completely disagree with this statement. As a serial entrepreneur, being a night owl has greatly helped me. Silent dark nights are the best time for me to design, create and build. I have my best ideas and most enlightened moments at night. As for being an introvert, that is just who I am, but I still excel in social environments. I can be both when needed, but I absolutely need peace, privacy, and time in nature to refuel myself. I find nature and animals incredibly healing. The one weakness I have, that is a constant struggle for me is my need for perfection, which is unattainable. I can be very demanding and hard on myself, so it is a daily work-in-progress.
What’s the one major issue you plan to address?
There isn’t just one, unfortunately. There are many major issues within the City of Calgary. If I had to pick just one, it would be to ‘Stop the Bleeding’, by breaking down and rebuilding the budget with a new set of priorities. We must address taxes and substantially lower them as well.
What makes you stand out from other candidates?
I believe it is my ‘No BS’ honest and transparent approach. I will not politic, and I am definitely the ‘No Politics’ politician. I refused to work with a Government Relations team because I will not be someone’s puppet. I will not be told what to think, what to say (and how to say it) to manipulate the voters. I always speak my truth, and that can be hard to manage from a GR perspective. In my opinion, it is terrifying when someone needs an entire team to primp them to be likeable or trustworthy. I will run an honest campaign by showing Voters who I am, what I stand for, and what I will do for them. If I deserve their votes and they believe in me, then I will earn the position as the People’s Mayor.
I believe that the current (linear) political scale is dysfunctional, and it has created great polarization, pitting the left against the right. I am neither left nor right, or central for that matter. I am not on the scale at all and refuse to be placed on it. We need a new political structure that is circular, that includes and encompasses everything of importance and value. We must unify together if we want to build a brighter future. I represent the future of politics.
If there was one aspect of our government you could change, what would it be and why?
As discussed in the previous question, I would redesign and build a new political structure, removing the dysfunctional current scale. Previous councils have been dysfunctional and broken, and incapable of creating meaningful change and leadership. I cannot be bought, I will put a stop to back door deals, corrupt ‘legacy’ contracts, and red tape that creates a never-ending cycle of mediocrity, dishonesty, wasteful spending, and ego.
Do you think Calgary’s downtown is healthy and successful? If not, what would you do to change that?
Most definitely NOT. Our city is struggling and is at a critical point, and the people are suffering. I have an aggressive Social Impact Strategy that will ensure a vibrant, innovative, and sustainable future for Calgary and its downtown core. If the people vote for me to be their next Mayor, the Future of Calgary will be a modern smart city, focusing on strength in business, lower taxes, conscience innovation and renewable energy. I also have a ‘Waste to Energy’ initiative, ‘Grow Food, Save Alberta’ initiative, and a ‘Citizens without Residence’ initiative. I will support our Police and clean up this city. There is an enormous amount of work to be done, and we need a visionary to see us through. I will be releasing more on my initiatives over the next few weeks, leading up to the election.
How do you plan to involve residents of Calgary in the decision-making process?
We need transparency at City Council, and we need to give the citizens a platform to engage and let their voices be heard and incorporated into the final decision-making process. Previous city councils have ignored and smothered the voices of the citizens, instead choosing to follow their own agendas.
*Stay tuned...more to come soon