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Reflecting on the Endangered Tiger

Tue, 28 Jan by Sonia Tarabay

It’s no secret I love my animal print! It’s always been easy to “Spot Sonia” in a crowd: just look for the leopard or tiger pattern, and you’re sure to find me! However, it’s more than just my wardrobe that’s inspired by these magnificent big cats. In every business opportunity, in every real estate transaction, I remember the grace, power, and assertive nature of the tiger and do my best to put those qualities forward. When people say “with Sonia, you’ve got a tiger on your side” they mean every word of it.

I love all the big cats: leopards, cheetahs, panthers, lions, cougars, all of them. But my favourite has always been the tiger. They’re such an amazing blend of speed, strength, and agility. They’re beautiful and graceful, and yet demand instant respect: you wouldn’t want to mess with a tiger!

In addition to my involvement in the local Sherwood Park and Edmonton area organizations, I also keep an eye on tiger conservation news and am planning to make a donation this year. It breaks my heart to think of a world without these wonderful animals in it, but it seems every year there are fewer and fewer of them.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there could be as few as 3,200 wild tigers left in the world, down from over 100,000 only a hundred years ago. If this downward trend isn’t stopped soon, tigers might be extinct in only a few decades.

Tiger Extinction: The Big Threats

Illegal Trade: By far the largest threat to the tiger’s future is the poaching that goes on to fuel a massive underground trade in skins, bones, teeth and claws. I may love my animal print, but this tiger wants her prints inspired by the big cats, not made from one.

Habitat & Prey Loss: Tigers used to roam across most of Asia, but human encroachment on their habitat have reduced it by 93%. This makes tigers more susceptible to poaching, and causes a lot of human-tiger conflict that could be easily avoided if they had more space to spread out.

Tigers aren’t the only member of the big cat family that are in danger of extinction though: leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, lions, and panthers are all threatened species. If you love these animals as much as I do, consider reading more about them and donating to the effort to help save them. This tiger will thank you!

Learn more about tiger and big cat conservation:

Build Your Network – Why I Love BNI

Tue, 14 Jan by Sonia Tarabay

One thing I’ve learned in life and business: no woman is an island. No matter how good you are
at what you do, sometimes it’s as much about who you know as what you’ve got.

I’m talking about networking. Some people hate doing it (mention “networking” to some people and they shudder), but I love it! I get to meet new people, make new local business connections, and keep up with some of the best professionals and tradespeople in Sherwood Park and the Edmonton area.

Business Network International logoA couple of years ago I joined the BNI Park Power Connections chapter in Sherwood Park, and if you’re looking to make business connections this is by far one of the best places to get started. The BNI corporate philosophy is “Givers Gain”, and it’s inspired by the concept of what goes around, comes around. Our members focus on building relationships and creating a high quality referral network. Not long after I joined BNI, I also joined the leadership team, and I’ve been the President of Park Power Connections since April 2012. Through BNI I’ve made some fantastic contacts, given and received a ton of referrals, and discovered some great business opportunities I otherwise might have missed out on.

BNI is different from your typical networking group: for starters, there’s only 1 person per profession in each chapter. This may sound like a strange rule, but it makes a big difference when it comes to diversity. A lot of networking groups tend to centre around a particular career, so for example if you’re an accountant you tend to meet a lot of other accountants. BNI shakes that traditional model up, and the result is a business and referral community that is way larger and significantly more varied. Since joining, I’ve expanded my business network to include all kinds of different people: lawyers, plumbers, mortgage brokers, contractors, insurance agents, home staging professionals, car dealers, restaurant owners… the list goes on.

Need an electrician to rewire your basement? I know someone in town. Looking for an accountant to get your business accounts in order? I’ve got a name for you. Looking for some financial advice? I know just who you should speak with.

Sonia Tarabay at BNI Park Power Connections eventMy favourite thing about BNI is how passionate our members are about what they do, and that makes a big difference. Even though we meet early Tuesday mornings, everyone there is upbeat, energized, and ready to engage. I recently spoke at one of our chapter meetings about my own passion for real estate, and all around the room I saw nodding heads. My fellow members may not know the ins and outs of the real estate market, but they understand the importance of loving what you do and wanting to become even better at it. That inspires me, and I know my excitement inspires them too!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to get serious about networking, I highly recommend joining a BNI chapter. Our Park Power Connections chapter is always looking for new faces, so if you’re curious and want to hear more, visit our chapter website, or – even better – come by a meeting one Tuesday morning.

And if you’re looking for a professional service or tradesperson in Sherwood Park or the Edmonton area, send me a message and let me know what you’re looking for! Chances are I’ve got a name for you.

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