In the Moment

Get to know a Momenteer: Chenny!

Erika Bailey

Big news in the studio! We have a new Momenteer!

What better opportunity to add to our Get to Know a Momenteer series than in a welcome post about our newest member. I’m just getting to know her so the introduction comes with the proviso that I probably don’t know half of the awesome that she’ll bring to us over the long term. That being said, it wasn’t difficult to find great things to highlight.

Chenny comes to us from her own company, Journey CX through which she has developed a formidable innovation design practice and stellar reputation with her clients and peers. Among her impressive portfolio of design and innovation skills comes a special talent for prototyping, making, testing and implementing innovation ideas. She is fearless about re-making that which doesn’t work; just 2 weeks into her job here and she’s already reshaping and refining internal and client facing practices with her new team. Be careful what you wish for, eh?! (JK- We love it!).

On a more personal note, Chenny enjoys comfy shoes over heels (smart woman!), and loves to eat as much and as adventurously her Moment team mates. With Chenny comes her sweet dog, Hana, who has become a studio fixture already–sleeping on our feet, being sort of cat-like, and following us into meetings.

In my short amount of time with Chenny I have come to understand that she has amazing depth of both skill and emotional intelligence; she is incredibly heartfelt and tough at the same time; and she is going to stretch this team in ways we haven’t begun to explore. In true Moment style, Chenny is already cheerfully neck deep into some challenging and fun work. We can’t wait to see how her presence moves our practice forward. All that said, I managed to get this busy woman to sit down and answer our wee questionnaire, and in so doing, I learned some more about this intriguing new Momenteer. See Chenny’s bio on our team page to learn more.



What’s your nickname? Or what should it be? 

Chenny was a nickname actually. Like many Chinese names, mine is complicated and almost like a poem. It doesn’t translate very well. And, in China the surname comes first, which people here found confusing as Chen was a surname people recognized…thus I had a lot of people calling me Xia. Friends in school started ideating alternative names for me, including Chen-Chen, and we eventually landed on Chenny.

Later, I registered for university as Chen, but then found reconciling that having my name at school different from my legal name was problematic. Truth be told it was easier to go through the Government of Canada and get my name changed than to change my school record to be Chenny instead of Xia Chen. Now it is legally Chenny. Long story short, I don’t have a nickname. Mostly because of public service flaws. We can add this to the list of why we need public sector innovation. Ha ha!

What are you most proud of? 

Resilience. Bouncing back. The work is hard a lot of the time. There have been moments when I wanted to give up, but I never have. I’m glad to have had people in my life to help in that resilience, steering me away from giving up whenever I needed it.

What concerns you most these days? 

As I do more healthcare work, and my parents are aging, I’m realizing the healthcare system is seriously flawed. I can’t imagine them going through it as they age. Balancing the potential caregiver role also has me worried.

What compliment would really make your day?

“I learned something from our experience together.”

What word do you totally love?

Falafel. I imagine this thing that’s floffing around. It also happens to be a tasty word!

What word or words do you overuse? 

“How might we…” – “I wonder if…” – “Well…”

Dogs or cats? 

Dogs. Except my dog is like a cat. So cat-like dogs?

Tea or coffee?

Tea when I’m at work. Coffee when it’s Sunday, or when I’m travelling.

Beer or wine? 

Neither. I’m allergic. So… sparkling apple juice?

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

I always thought that curating art galleries would be fun. It has similar elements to what I do now. Drawing on the same strengths except there are none of the same risks. And the potential positive impact is so great. You can inspire someone or introduce a different way of thinking.

What profession would be at the bottom of your list? 

Restauranteur. As much as I love food, I prefer to be the customer, every time.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be? 

Cleopatra. Because she was such a female boss, especially considering it was around 50 BC.

What do you love about your work? 

It gives me a great sense of accomplishment to wrap up a great project. It’s like setting off a new fisherman with a brand new boat that is fully set up and you know they can feed themselves for a long time to come. And I can say, “I made that happen!”


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