Meet Andrea Woo. A Kwantlen-schooled reporter for The Globe and Mail, she’s also a former hip hop writer who’s had work published in heavyweight publications like The Source and XXL. For real.
We met for lunch for this 500 Coffees at YEW seafood + bar at the Four Seasons Vancouver, who have graciously agreed to host this series for the next few months! Not only is this wonderful, Ocean Wise certified restaurant my new favourite but it’s just a couple blocks away from the V.I.A. office downtown and over the years it has become known as one of the places in this city where business does lunch. My friend, Bob Rennie, is there almost every day (and was seated at his regular table, right next to us on this particular day) and entrepreneurial legend/philanthropist extraordinaire Joe Segal also occupies a table here every weekday where, from what I understand, he selflessly gives his time to folks in need of sage advice and help in other ways. But enough about all of that, let’s talk about Andrea!
This was the first time we’d met in person, though she’d interviewed me over the phone for a piece in the Globe last year entitled “Metro Vancouver’s growing appetite for paid bloggers“, which featured our Olympic Village project (which was, coincidentally, a partnership with Bob’s company, Rennie Marketing Systems!). Andrea and I sometimes banter back and forth on Twitter (she’s @AndreaWoo) and in December V.I.A. cross posted a link to THIS HEARTWARMING STORY of hers to our Facebook Page. The post went viral and got almost 3,000 Likes and 700 shares, and that was just our link to her story. I can only imagine how many people read the actual piece. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s all about an elderly blind woman who stands out in front of her house every morning and waits for nice people walking by to help her walk to White Spot. And then back later on. Read it HERE.
I really enjoy meeting with journalists and gaining insight as to what they do, and the process of it. Being a lifestyle media company that shares only positive stories about things happening in our community, this thing that we do here is quite a far cry from journalism. What I learned from Andrea is that her work at the Globe, which she’s been doing for a couple of years now, breaks down into two main areas: stories she works on by her own because she thinks they’re awesome (like the blind lady story above), and stories that she’s working on that are assigned to her or which come up as important news that needs to get out there to the people. I imagine they balance each other out, and if at some point they don’t and she becomes completely miserable, she’s set up THIS RETIREMENT CLOCK as a light at the end of the tunnel.
And stay tuned for 433 more Coffees! Check out the caffeinated archive HERE.