Jennifer Thorne used the word champion twice on her Top Forty Under 40 nomination form.
“It’s always an interesting exercise when you are asked to describe yourself,” said Thorne with a laugh.
“I champion my family, my clients and my community. I have a big, outspoken personality, so I’ve always been a fighter and driven.”
That drive led her to become a litigation lawyer for nine years, first with Doak Shirreff and then with her own firm.
A career switch two years ago led her to Odlum Brown Limited, where she’s an investment adviser.
“In both careers, I have been a tireless champion for my clients’ interests,” she said.
As a lititagion lawyer, Thorne had to be thick-skinned while representing clients, who were often the disadvantaged, charged with drug or violent crimes.
“Sometimes fighting for my clients was an issue of guilt or innocence. But, sometimes it was also fighting to get them the treatment for drug addiction or support for mental health problems that they need.”
It’s different in the investments realm.
“I’m still championing my clients’ best interests,” she said.
“But, it’s in more positive circumstances. I’m helping make them make the right investments.”
Thorne decided to leave law after almost a decade because grappling in the criminal law world is exhausting and not conducive to raising a family.
At first, she didn’t have a plan for her next act.
“However, when you’ve made a name for yourself, people come to you with offers,” said Thorne.
“The manager at Odlum Brown, Doug Chambers, gave me a call and asked if I’d be interesting in a career as an investment adviser.”
She has found the listening, problem- solving and risk management skills she used as a litigation lawyer are transferable to her new job.
Thorne and her husband, custom-home builder Andrew Thorne, have two children, Anabelle, 7, and Julia, 4.
Thorne serves on the board of private school Aberdeen Hall, where Anabelle is in Grade 2, and also on the board of Elevation Outdoors, the non-profit that provides access to recreation for at-risk or disadvantaged youth.
Thorne describes herself as a fitness nut, who loves high-intensity fitness classes and still trains in Muai Thai kick-boxing, although her competitive days in the sport are over.
She’s also a wine enthusiast who has embraced the Okanagan industry and prefers to tour wineries on her own so she can ask tasting room staffers and winemakers geeky questions.