Tasha HollandWhere did you grow up? 

Chatham, ON

What was your first job? 

My very first job was the little breakfast diner on Bloomfield Rd. I was in grade seven, and the only one of my friends that had a job. My dad wanted me to have to work for my money, learn what independence was all about. At the time I was not a happy camper for the fact I was working while my friends were out having a good time. Although now looking back on it, I appreciate him for it.

What is your favourite Chatham-Kent pastime? 

I would have to say my favourite pastime would have to be camping out at Mitchell’s Bay. My family pretty much lived out there in the summer as a kid. Campfires, spider dogs and a fun game of UNO, those were the days!

What is your favourite season?

Summer for sure! My boyfriend Steve and I are die hard boaters. If it wasn’t for our fur babies at home, Steve and I would live out on the water. No better feeling then that!

Name an experience that has positively motivated you. 

It would have to be getting my Opticianry diploma. In the beginning I had over 90 classmates to start out with, although got through the national exam with only 20 colleagues by my side. It was in that moment I realized I was meant to do this.

What did you do after high school? 

During my last semester of high school I was busy getting everything in place for Holland Optical. My parents were still working elsewhere full-time, which had them lean on me to get a lot of the leg work rolling. I spent a year working alongside my dad at our exciting new store before taking off to school. I then went to Georgian College in Barrie to receive my diploma with honours in Opticianry. It was a beautiful city, knowledgeable school and an amazing experience. Having the background my dad passed on to me was beyond helpful. Professors would constantly tease saying my old school knowledge will always over power my new school. My next stage was to pass my national exams with the College of Opticians of Ontario. It was a stressful time, but rewarding all at the same. In the end, I ended up where I was always meant to be!

What are you doing now? 

I operate my family business Holland Optical, as well take on the role as our licensed Optician. It is a very rewarding career. My job consists from making decisions on which sunglasses to have in our dispensary to helping individuals decide which products will be beneficial in their eyewear needs. All over the map with responsibilities but I would not have it any other way. As well my co-workers, which includes my dad makes it a pretty amazing work environment.

Why live in Chatham-Kent? 

We all have such a great sense of community; it’s as if we are all one great big family. Everyone is there to help each other, whether it be holding a door open or cutting the neighbours grass when they are gone on vacation. As well as location, we are surrounded by beautiful lakes. Boating in the summer, ice fishing in the winter, can’t get much better.