Five-year-old twin Natalia wants to grow up to be a doctor who fixes babies and a mommy. The other twin, Adrianna, is aiming for teacher and mommy.
“That makes me extremely proud,” said their mother, Vanessa DeDominicis. “The girls already know they can grow up and have a profession and have children too, just like their mom.”
DeDominicis, 36, is a laywer and partner at Pushor Mitchell in Kelowna and one heck of a role model.
“I want young women everywhere to feel they can have children and hold down a professional career at the same time,” she said. “I ask the girls about their day at school and they ask me about my day at work. We all understand what we do and why it’s important.”
That said, it isn’t easy, said DeDominicis.
“It’s a constant balance. It’s that old adage of thinking you’re missing something at home when you’re at work and vice versa.”
But she has found what works for her and her family.
“I need time for myself and I get that to go to spin class and boot camp. Exercise is important,” she said. “But I also need time for my family and my work. Luckily, I also have an understanding husband and understanding employer.”
Vanessa’s husband is ReMax realtor Gil DeDominicis, a modern husband and dad who shares child-rearing and home duties.
Her employer is Pushor Mitchell Lawyers, which champions work-life balance.
“I can pick up my kids from school and take them to taekwondo at 3:30 p.m.,” said De-Dominicis. “But then at home after they’ve gone to bed at 7 p.m., I’ll pick up work files and work on them for a couple of hours. It’s the kind of flexibility that makes it all possible. And I think Kelowna is more accommodating that way because people here appreciate the work-life balance. I couldn’t do this in Vancouver.”
Rather than seeing working moms as a liability, Pushor Mitchell sees them as an incredible asset.
“I made partner last year and I’m the youngest female partner at the firm,” she said.
DeDominicis has a solicitor practice focusing on the business law areas of wills, estate planning, real estate, intellectual property, copyrights and patents.
“We need to let people know it’s not scary to go and see a lawyer,” she said. “I often have a good laugh with my clients. I try to make the process memorable and easy for them.”
DeDominicis doesn’t believe in legal jargon, so she makes an effort to draft legal documents in plain language for clients, so they actually understand them.
When speaking with DeDominicis, you can’t help but notice her English accent. She grew up in Ascot, just outside of London and went to law school in England. Upon graduation, she travelled the world for a year and met the man from Canada who would eventually become her husband in Australia.
They moved to his hometown of Winnipeg and stuck it out for four years of cold winters while DeDominicis transferred her credentials and worked at a law firm. After visiting friends in Kelowna and seeing how desirable it is here, they moved her in 2006 and DeDominicis landed a job at Pushor Mitchell.
Editor’s note: This is the 24th of 40 profiles for the second year of the Kelowna Top Forty Under 40 program presented by BDO Accountants and Consultants, Junior Chamber International (Okanagan branch), Kelowna Chamber of Commerce and The Daily Courier. Every week in this space, we feature someone under the age of 40 who is making an impact through business, innovation and community involvement. Nominations are still being accepted at TopForty@KelownaChamber.org until March 1. A special event honouring all 40 nominees will be held in June.