Top of the stairs, to the left and at the end of the hall – that’s where you’ll find CEO Yvonne Anderson’s office. Except that’s not where you’ll find her most days; When she’s not in and out of the office at meetings, she’s around the building, encouraging staff members and helping them accomplish goals. With a Master’s degree in Leadership, Yvonne’s passionate about building team and developing people. “It inspires me to see people grow and develop, [seeing them] learn to be healthy and productive.” Although her business is important to her, her main goal is to inspire people to be healthy. “I see myself as a health advocate, helping to educate people.”
“I see myself as a health advocate, helping to educate people.”
Not only is she the co-founder of Santevia Water Systems, Yvonne is also a working mom; faced with the difficult task of balancing health, work and family. “It’s always a challenge, so I focus on getting my fitness done first. It’s really hard to balance it all, so I get up early and get my exercise done. So then I can focus on my work and leave my evenings free for my family.” With all of her children out of the house now, she hopes that she will have more time to do some of the things she loves. “I want to spend more of my time in the future promoting health, spreading the word about healthy living.”
Just because she owns a business and has three children to take care of doesn’t mean that she hasn’t already carved out time for the things that she loves. “I feel really relaxed when I’m out in nature, especially at Whistler or on my kayaking trip [in the Discovery Islands].” She’s put a lot of effort into making sure that her life remains balanced. “I run, I practice yoga, I bike, I kayak, I hike, I swim – gosh that’s just this weekend, did I mention biking?”
On a recent trip up the coast of BC, she had a lot of time to do all of her favourite activities. Spending upwards of five hours a day kayaking, she was able to work on her physical fitness as well as clear her mind from all of the stress of the city. A firm believer that relaxation, nutrition, and hydration can be the prevention for any illness, Yvonne spends a significant portion of her life trying to practice what she preaches. “I manage my stress with deep breathing, relaxation, yoga, even walks.” It’s a humbling experience, to be in the room with a CEO who has just spent a week pitching tents in a forest and cooking meals over a small fire. “We hiked up to mountain lake, and there was not a soul there. It was really inspiring.”
After David, her husband and co-founder of Santevia Water Systems, was diagnosed with chronic acid reflux in 2007, she searched relentlessly for a solution that didn’t include prescriptions. “When the doctor told us he would be on medication for life, I thought ‘There has to be another solution.’” The treatment that she discovered was much simpler, and significantly healthier than the one he was prescribed. “To stay healthy [we] hydrate and eat a balanced diet that focuses on green, alkaline foods. We constantly strive to maintain alkalinity.”
“We constantly strive to maintain alkalinity”
Their lifestyle change has been extremely effective over the past eight years, not only for David, but for her as well. “I used to get joint pain in my knees and hips, which I don’t get anymore.” She attributes her wellness to the alkaline lifestyle she has since adopted. By eating alkaline foods and drinking alkaline water she has helped her body neutralize acidity, which has kept sickness at bay.
Nine years since the conception of her company, her biggest accomplishment is still Santevia Gives Back, “Developing a philanthropy program that supports two orphanages in Thailand, a school in Bangladesh and water projects throughout the world.” Santevia Gives Back was created synonymously with the company. After travelling to Thailand in 2007 for a convention, Yvonne learned about the obstacles that residents of the developing country were facing to acquire clean water. She wanted families like hers to have access to water that was safe to drink, and good for their health as well. “It was interesting how the two worked together; we couldn’t support the orphanages without Santevia, and we suddenly became aware that alkaline water wasn’t available in the market place. To do one, we needed to do the other.”
She attributes her success to a balance between health, work, family, and friends. “Without one of them, the rest come tumbling down.”
Visit the Santevia website to browse products that will keep you hydrated. Yvonne loves to take her Tritan bottle and POWER Water Stick with her when she’s spending time outside, and she couldn’t live without her Gravity Water System in her house.
This post was written by Makena Anderson