Episode #58 – Susan Clovechok – A Mission of Empowerment

“My thing wherever I’ve lived across the country, and I’ve lived in lots of different cities, has been that I support others to succeed in ways that are meaningful for them. That’s my mission statement.” – Susan Clovechok

Susan Clovechok is empowerment in action. Moving around the world for most of her life, Susan has personally experienced the power of positive choice and decision making to recognize opportunities and seize them.

Growing up, Susan developed important decision-making skills and a healthy work ethic by watching and working with her parents as they fixed up houses for resale and built homes to further the family’s financial stability. Susan feels blessed to have grown up in an environment where the word “can’t” was not in their vocabulary and they rolled up their sleeves to find necessary solutions and get the job done.

Leadership roles came early on for Susan from manager of The Brick by age 25, to providing business consulting and coaching services, operating a print shop and just prior to her elected position in government was the Executive Director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. For the past eight years Susan has called the Columbia Valley home on a full-time basis and was recently elected Director of her community in the Regional District of East Kootenay, Area F.

Susan’s mission to empower others by supporting them to succeed in ways that are meaningful for them has threaded its way through each and every facet of her life which brings Susan great purpose and fulfillment.


  • Show Notes
  • [02:03] Patrick introduces his next TEDM Guest: Susan Clovechok
  • [03:30] Susan and Patrick get underway with a little background on their 25-year friendship.
  • [04:25] Susan’s 60-second elevator pitch about where she calls home and what she’s up to out there.
  • [06:10] Susan takes us back to England where she was born, one of five children, with a quick look at the entrepreneurial path her parents took, and ultimately their immigration to Canada.
  • [07:33] Delving into Area F in the Columbia Valley, Susan talks about why she got involved in the community first with the Chamber of Commerce and most recently as an elected official, and how that fits so beautifully with her mission statement to be in support of others.
  • [10:36] Susan expands her story of growing up in Canada and the incredible work ethic, resilience and strategic thinking she learned from watching and working with her parents; both hard working entrepreneurs who among many other things bought, renovated and sold homes and consequently moved every few years!
  • [15:13] Upon reflection, Susan views her own path as deeply rooted in the values of her upbringing to always look for the solution to a problem and eliminate “can’t” from her vocabulary.
  • [18:12] At 28, Susan came to a conscious realization that empowering others to help them succeed was one of her highest values and her mission. That’s when things really started to move forward in her life.
  • [21:03] Given the inherent boundaries in her political work environment, Susan explains how she finds flow and how she views her role as an elected official while continuing to fulfill her mission.
  • [25:22] Being new to her role in politics Susan is firmly planted on the learning curve but does observe the business-like approach infused by her colleagues in managing the Regional District.
  • [28:02] Susan explains why she got into politics and how she knew in her bones that was her next step.
  • [29:30] As a natural intellect, how did Susan develop trust in her intuition to help her recognize opportunities and make decisions over the course of her life?
  • [33:23] Susan shares her view of intuition not only for women but also for men.
  • [34:37] Susan talks about her husband Doug as a person, his journey in politics and how their shared values contribute to their success as a couple.
  • [36:32] Susan discusses how cannabis related business is showing up in their community and how the same rules apply to cannabis as they do for nicotine whether it’s smoking bylaws in the community or smoking in rental properties.
  • [39:38] In the realm of real estate and particularly rental housing in the Columbia Valley, Susan describes the challenges facing a largely tourism-driven economy.
  • [42:52] The difficulties of an imbalanced residential tenancy act.
  • [43:48] Susan explains the barrier their regional district faces in implementing regulations around Airbnb type accommodations to ensure these businesses are run in a respectful way so everyone in the community wins.
  • [46:38] Although the speculation tax that the provincial government imposed is not directly impacting her community, Susan has seen some negative impacts on real estate deals and doesn’t believe the tax will solve the problems the government intended it to.
  • [48:43] Susan discusses the complex issues of economic development in a small community to attract business, good paying jobs, skilled workers and residents while having affordable housing and infrastructure to support that.
  • [52:10] Susan shares an inspiring example in the community of Canal Flats where the adversity of a 100-year old mill shutting down in a village of 760 people, had people rallying to develop innovative solutions in technology, energy and manufacturing. Crisis reveals character.
  • [54:12] What does leadership in a smaller community look like from growth plans to creating a positive infrastructure for a thriving population?
  • [58:40] Susan articulates her personal experience of leadership, what she has learned and how she has evolved to make room on the road for rules and compassion to synergize.
  • [63:05] Patrick shines a light on two learnings Susan shared: leading with compassion, without compromising your values and integrity and the importance of decision vs. indecision.
  • [65:35] Susan shares an example in her life where trust, intuition and firmly making a decision, all worked hand in hand. One decision will simply lead to the next decision.
  • [68:28] Finding herself at a fork in the road at age 19, Susan illustrates how making a decision, as unpopular as it was with her parents, allowed her to solve a personal issue on her own and gave her the confidence to move forward with her life on her terms.
  • [70:39] Susan recounts what felt like a failure in her life at the time, turn into a blessing in disguise in personal development, confidence and resilience; plus, the bonus of two solid life-long friendships!
  • [73:46] Susan and Patrick discuss how success shows up for her, and the conversation that flows from the question of defining what success looks like to different individuals.
  • [77:11] Let’s get rolling down the rapid-fire road! Favourite books to gift, a job Susan dislikes but does it because she’s good at it, favourite inspirational quote, the f-bomb continues in its popularity, message at the pearly gates, Susan’s weirdness scale, her dog Charlie is at the affect of what she’s not very good at, room-desk-car, favourite tune, favourite movie.
  • [81:52] Susan’s great gratitude with her grandchildren, stepchildren and friends.

Connect with Susan Clovechock:

Linked In



Selected Links and People Mentioned from this episode:

Game Changers by David Asprey

Regional District of East Kootenay

Fairmont Hot Springs

The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan

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