Today’s Notable Young Entrepreneur is boxing professional and charity director Jennifer Huggins, who’s currently prepping athletes for the 2016 Olympics in Rio while simultaneously organizing her annual gala fundraising gala, the Fight To End Cancer. We caught up with her to find out what inspires her career and what advice she would share with other young professionals…
1. Describe what you do in less than 140 characters. Go.
CEO, Founder and Serial Entrepreneur. Gym Owner, Boxing Referee, Director. All titles help describe what I do for work – barely touching on what I hope to achieve.
2. What was the inspiration for your career route?
My peers, community and mentors are constantly inspiring me. My career has been heavily influenced by my life in the sport of Olympic boxing. However, it was where I started as a competitive figure skater that inspired me the most and developed my competitive drive.
3. What is the most memorable milestone in your career so far?
The most memorable milestone in my career to date happened only last month. I was selected to work two back-to-back Olympic boxing tournaments – the European Championships in Bulgaria and the American Continental Championships in Venezuela. Both of these tournaments served as qualifiers for the World Championships, which are the qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Another memorable milestone that ties in very closely to these tournaments was the accomplishment of working in Taipei earlier this year at the Women’s World Championships. What made this milestone so special was the fact that I managed to be halfway across the world while my team was home in Toronto executing the official media day for my annual fundraiser, Fight To End Cancer. This was the first time in my career that I was able to plan and delegate successfully with the outcome being such a positive experience for all who were involved.
4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
Somewhere… Anywhere… Everywhere – hopefully in that order! Many entrepreneurs would agree that a question like this is very difficult to answer. Our success, ambitions and, sometimes, happiness is heavily hinged on the ever-changing world around us. Five years can be a generation – 10 years a lifetime – 20 years a blessing. I guess if I had to make a prediction, or even just a wish, I will hopefully be working with the youth of the community inspiring change, encouraging community involvement, and trying to have a positive impact on the world we leave for future generations to come.
5. Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Focus on achieving your goals, but don’t put on the blinders. Personal success is defined by your ability to appreciate the impact of your accomplishments. It is important to take a step back to be inspired by yourself more than the approval of those around you. This has always been my recipe to muster up the energy when things get tough… and things will get tough at times!
6. Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is it (or they) important to you?
I support the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation through my annual gala fundraiser, Fight To End Cancer. This foundation means so much to me personally, to my close friends and family, and to the future of the world we live in. It is important to support those who help make an impact, not only in the present but also for the future. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is making a difference now and has made it their mission to create a brighter, cancer-free future.
7. What does the word notable mean to you?
Interesting to someone – maybe many people. Worth taking note of.
1. Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
“Mom and Pop” diners anywhere around the city. I love feeling nostalgic while taking in the warm company of people who live, breath and literally eat what they believe in.
2. What’s the most visited website on your Internet browser?
3. Who’s one person you think everyone should be following on social media?
4. What’s your favourite cocktail?
Rye and Ginger.
5. What gives you the greatest FOMO?
My greatest FOMO comes from good weather. Looking out the window on a beautiful day from my office can be a harsh reminder of other important things in life that I may be missing out on. Sacrifice, many times, includes things that are within reach.
6. What would be your last meal? And don’t hold back…
A starter of curry butternut squash soup with sour cream mixed on top with green onion garnish; lamb chops, medium rare, with gnocchi and some sort of gravy with a red wine base; finishing with the biggest ice cream sundae that has every topping (except for nuts because I’m allergic and that would definitely make it my last meal!)
7. What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
eBay Junky – when I can’t sleep, or sometimes it’s the catalyst to my insomnia, I like to buy ridiculously awesome items that cost less than $2 with free shipping from eBay!
Cover photo by Dan Lim; article photo by Vincent Dayrit.