There is one thing that Arnice Asquin knows well and that is the ins and outs of the business world. Her interest and subsequent knowledge began at a very young age and today, it continues to be her passion.
Arnice was born in Edmonton and lived there for a time while her father trained chefs at both NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) and at a comprehensive high school. Her mother worked outside the home in the retail sector.
Her aunt and uncle owned the Pointa Vista Café and General Store on Chilliwack Lake Road. Then one day, they decided to move to Australia for a year and asked her parents to look after the business. “My parents decided to leave Edmonton and moved out to Chilliwack so that we could look after things for them. The Pointa Vista was really the hub of the community. We sold groceries, gas, logging and fishing equipment; we even had a café. Whatever the community needed, we sold it. The business still exists today,” she said. From the age of nine, Arnice was expected to work. “Hard work helps you develop a certain work ethic. It was a good thing,” she admitted. After her aunt and uncle returned, her family continued to run the café but they eventually moved to Hope and purchased a restaurant in that community.
As she was growing up, there was always music in the family home which perhaps influenced her to learn to play eight instruments. “I took lessons for guitar and the piano but taught myself to play the clarinet, bass clarinet, the bass, flute, obo and percussion,” she said rather nonchalantly. She was rather bored in school but excelled in math. “I just blew through it and they gave me college courses to keep me engaged. I worked hard at school but if I enjoyed the course, it was pretty easy,” she said.
By the time that Arnice graduated from Hope Secondary School, she had an idea of possible career choices. “I either wanted to go into accounting, own my own business or go into music,” she said. She ended up receiving dual degrees from Simon Fraser University; one in Business Administration Management and the other in Computer Science Programming. “I articled with Edmondson Roper Chartered Accountants and wound up working there for fifteen years. By the time that I left, I was the manager of their computer services division.” Arnice then started up her own company providing consultation in both accounting and computer systems.
She started with Chilliwack Employment Services eleven years ago and six years later, along with her husband, purchased the business. “Essentially our agency helps people look for work and it also helps employers find employees,” she said.
About nineteen years ago, Arnice was introduced to the Valley Women’s Network. The group was formed thirty years ago by a group of women from Chilliwack, Mission and Abbotsford as a way to connect women in the community. “I was introduced to the VWN by Peggy Allen who worked at Valley Toyota at the time. The organization helps to promote the interests of women through networking, education and friendship. We meet monthly at the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn, the fourth Tuesday of each month, and at our luncheons, the members enjoy warm conversation and we also have guest speakers that inspire and inform our members. Our members vary but we always have anywhere between 75 and 150 members and the Chilliwack Chapter is currently one of ten in the province,” she explained.
Arnice has been immersed in the world of business since she was a young girl and her keen business acumen is something that has never left her, it’s simply been refined over time. “I have a cat and a dog, I enjoy golfing, I collect antiques and antique vehicles. Aside from that, I run our businesses. We have three and it’s want I enjoy,” she chuckled.