Employee Spotlight: Lyn Langstaff
Travelling on land across Europe sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for most of us, but for Lyn Langstaff, it was just the beginning of countless adventures that were still to come. From the plains of Africa’s iconic Serengeti to the snow-capped mountaintops of the Himalayas, Lyn has explored them all. Intrigued? Read on to learn more about Lyn’s travels around the world.
Please tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in Vancouver and raised between Vancouver and Victoria until my father was offered an assignment with IBM Europe to work in their European Headquarters located in Paris, France. I attended and graduated from the American School of Paris, the same high school as Geoff Chutter. My career began at IBM South Africa and over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work at McDonalds Restaurants of Canada, The Banff Centre, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and lululemon athletica before joining WhiteWater in 2014.
What do you do at WhiteWater?
My current role here is the Executive Associate to the Executive Team and Leadership Coach. I have a natural aptitude for business administration and I enjoy keeping the Executive team supported and well connected while they manage the complexity of their positions.
What do you love about working at WhiteWater?
I love the global aspect of working here, and I also appreciate the opportunities that are available in an entrepreneurial organization such as this. It’s a hands-on company where I’ve had the opportunity to develop new skills and abilities that are in service of supporting the Executive Team and people within the organization.
What’s on your bucket list?
My husband and I look forward to cycling around Iceland and walking the King’s Trail in Sweden sometime soon.
Do you have a hidden talent? Tell us about it!
A few years ago, a coaching friend of mine pointed out that I have a natural ability to see the “blinding glimpse of the obvious”. It means that I can quickly see something that others cannot. I took this hidden talent and turned it into becoming a certified leadership coach here at WhiteWater. I have a strong belief that people soar when they are sitting in the right seat, on the right bus. Now, I quietly spend my free moments here offering coaching to others who are interested in stepping into their authentic greatness.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hope to be able to divide my year in a way that allows my husband and I to spend time living on the West Coast of Canada, France, and another interesting place in the world.
What do you do outside of work? What’s your favourite past time?
My passion has always been exploring with an adventurous spirit. In 1983, when I was 23 years old, I completed a 5 ½ month overland journey from London, England down to Johannesburg, South Africa. We drove through 19 countries along the way; travelling across the Sahara Desert, hiking through the dense jungle in Virunga National Park to locate Mountain Gorillas, trekking to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, camping on the Serengeti Plain where lions roamed, and paddling in a makuru (African wooden canoe) in the Okavango Delta to watch snorting hippos. In 1987, I followed this up with a solo journey across Southeast Asia that included climbing to Everest Base camp. In 1991, I competed in the Penticton Ironman Canada endurance triathlon. I travelled around the world with my husband in 2013, and more recently, returned to Africa to spend 13 weeks in Eastern and Southern Africa.
What is the most interesting place you’ve visited and why?
Upper Pisang, Nepal is a tiny Tibetan village that takes five days to get to by foot. It’s one of the most peaceful and serene places I have ever visited. While the small village is situated in Eastern Nepal, it carries a strong Tibetan influence. The beauty of the town is reflected in the Tibetan Prayer Wheels lined up in front of Annapurna II, the 16th highest mountain in the world.