Before she worked at Goldman Sachs and was the CEO of a global non-profit, Jacki Zehner's introduction to the world of business started from a more humble beginning.
"My father managed the Cooper's grocery store in Rutland, so I guess that's where my interest in business started from," said Zehner.
Now, Zehner, who was born and raised in Kelowna, will be receiving the The Global Fund For Women's Philanthropy award, alongside Jennifer Buffet on April 17 in New York City.
"I never imagined where the road could have ended up taking me. I lived in Rutland, went to Okanagan College and then UBC. You can grow up in Kelowna and end up on Wall Street," she said.
In 1996, Jacki became the youngest woman and first female trader to be invited into the partnership of Goldman Sachs. She spent most of her career at Goldman doing mortgage-backed trading before leaving in 2002.
More recently, Zehner has become the CEO of Women Moving Millions, a global non-profit that mobilizes unprecedented resources for women and girls. Members need to pledge a million dollars or more to join the non-profit.
"We have 190 members around the world, including seven from Canada. Never in history have women come together to fund women and girls this big and bold at the million dollar level," she said.
She's also an advocate for gender equality and gave a TEDxWomen talk in November about why gender equality is important in the workplace.
Zehner considers Gloria Steinham to be one of her inspirations.
"She was at the forefront of the feminist movement. She's brilliant and charming and articulate. She inspires me constantly," she said.
Although she lives in Park City, Utah, now with her husband and two children, Zehner still considers Kelowna to be her home.
"Every summer, I'm still selling fruit with my family on our farm. There are some fabulous women leaders in the community. I've never lost that connection to Kelowna. I've lived away for 25 years and Kelowna is still my home and I love it."