Halifax lucked out when Kim Morvan decided to pack her bags and move across country.
As the Senior Director of Development at Phoenix Youth Programs, Kim has made her career a family affair. Her husband, Brian, has worked on almost every event since she started over six years ago. Her daughter, Minah, doesn’t know life without Phoenix as she’s attended events since the day she was born.
“I’m so lucky to lead THE BEST fundraising team! They are great at what they do and are so passionate about helping youth, their families and making our community a better place. Together, we take on the daunting task of raising over a million dollars a year and this year, we’re celebrating Phoenix’s 30th! While a lot of people know us as Phoenix House, we’ve grown over the years to include 12 programs in 10 locations that focus on prevention/early intervention, crisis management and life skills development, education and employment. The best parts of my work are the people who make up Phoenix – the staff, the community and most importantly the youth. Once you witness the impact first-hand, see the look of uncertainty turn into joy on a kid’s face – that moment finds a place in your heart and stays put. You know you’re part of something bigger.”
Kim surrounds herself with family and friends. Growing up with 11 siblings in Alberta (10 who were adopted from South Korea, Brazil and the US), Kim’s childhood was filled with great adventure…where there was never enough time to be bored!
In 2000, Kim headed to Banff “for the summer” and ten years after her arrival…happily married to her best friend, deeply rooted in the Bow Valley and surrounded by mountains and fabulous friends…Kim felt it was time for a change. She approached Brian with an idea:
“He was very quiet when I suggested we move across the country but his family is here and real estate was more affordable. Although we miss family, friends and the mountains (so much sometimes it hurts), we’re grateful for everything the Maritimes have afforded us. Brian went back to school, graduated, started working for an engineering firm and took a stab at running a business on the side. I’m grateful for a career that is both personally and professionally fulfilling. We bought and renovated 2 houses while living in them and contrary to the warnings, we didn’t kill each other and actually enjoyed it! But the best thing to happen…is our little girl Minah.”
At two and a half, Minah is the light of her parents eyes. She’s the definition of small but mighty. Independent and feisty. Cautious and timid. She’s silly and happy-go-lucky but sometimes bossy and strong-willed.
When asked about how their lives have changed with a little one in the mix, Kim explained:
We try to listen and respond to Minah’s needs, give her a routine that she can rely on with room to explore, be spontaneous and most importantly, make sure she knows that she is loved unconditionally. In the beginning you’re bombarded with information and opinions on everything but it got a lot easier when we shut it all out and followed her lead and our instincts. It seems to be working although I know it’s mostly luck. We have a happy, healthy child who loves to eat and sleeps like a boss. If it’s eerily quiet, she’s most likely reading books in her fort.
Kim’s work week is busy beginning each day with a flurry of breakfasts and lunch prep where at some point, Jimmy, their terrier mutt, saunters into the kitchen to join the chaos. During the week, Brian bikes to work and daycare with Minah while Kim heads to the office. On off-weather days, she loops through the peninsula for drop offs, but living in the city means they’re never in the car for too long. However, when they are, their KIA Sedona is the perfect spot to catch up on Minah’s day…hear what went on at A Tiny Lab daycare and listen to new songs she’s learned. The family unit of three is a powerhouse of energy…where weekends are filled with downtime spent together…visiting the Farmer’s Market, hiking, biking, camping or just playing in the backyard.
Some evenings, Kim sits down with a cup of tea and a design magazine to sketch out plans for their next project. Other evenings, she’s tiling the bathroom, installing a vanity, or winding down with a little Netflix. From time to time, she’s planning a getaway with girlfriends, a trip home to visit family, or connecting with her sister, Caleigh…the one that knows it all!
Travelling and seeing the world is part of Kim’s overall plan with Portugal next on her radar.
She’s busy but feels she’s never doing enough…and nowhere near fast enough. She’s afraid of wasting time but also dreads the details. She feels a need to jump ahead to the exciting stuff but knows that in order to be successful, she needs to work her plan. She surrounds herself with people who balance her…while at the same time challenging her.
Kim depends on Brian. Not knowing what she’d do without him, he’s the person she counts on for anything…figuring out day-to-day life together, this twosome has found a groove that’s working well. They dream together…he keeps her grounded when her ideas get a little “out there”…she pushes him to “think big.”
Is Kim doing what she thought she’d be doing at this stage of her life?
If you’d asked me 15 years ago where I’d be today, I probably would have looked at you all dreamy-eyed and said something like travelling the world as a corporate exec, married to my soul mate and maybe kids one day. Back then, I didn’t know about a career in fundraising and that work could be meaningful in the way that I’ve found. As for being a mom…I can’t imagine a life without our Minah Moo. I’ve learned that even though everything happens for a reason you are in control of your own life. So yes, I’m doing all the things I thought I’d be doing…but it’s so much better than I could have ever imagined.
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