Lori Aitken: Bookkeeper to the Rescue!
At Growing Chefs!, we know math. Adding, subtracting, multiplying, fractions…it's all important in creating any given recipe! Knowing numbers is also a key component in running any successful business or nonprofit, and just like a recipe needs to be balanced, so do our books! But there are some numbers that require more than some quick math and measuring spoons…
Lucky for us, we’ve recently had the very talented and clever Lori Aitken join our team as our Bookkeeper Extraordinaire!
Lori was born and raised here in London, where she now lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband, Paul (read CBC's article about their love story!). In grade 8, Lori received the math award instead of Paul (who still carries a small grudge). The award now sits on her desk in her home office and the two joke that “since we reunited, at least he gets to live with the award under his roof now!” The couple live with their two miniature dachshunds, Hunter and Daisy, and a short walk away from her “sassy and super cool” daughter.
Outside their day jobs, Paul and Lori are both musicians; he’s a professional guitarist and she is a developing bass player. In their home, Paul cooks 98% of all of the meals and Lori is the resident baker. Lori has often said “I’m fairly certain that cheesecake can get me through any crisis in life.” She is currently experimenting on perfecting the Cruffin (inspired by Black Walnut Bakery) and the Cronut (which she discovered in Old Montreal last summer).
Lori began applying smart financial skills at a young age. She got her first babysitting job at age 12, and was taught by her uncle Gerry to divide her earnings into 3 jars: long term savings, short term savings and disposable income. Through high school, Lori’s Mom taught her how she operated the household budget by divvying out cash from each paycheque into envelopes for each of their household bills to ensure everything was paid on time and then some. Using these money management lessons, Lori was able to buy a piano and pay for her own music lessons with her income from her first real job at McDonald's while she was still in high school. By the time she was married at 20 years old, she had enough money saved for the down payment on her first house.
Through her adult life, Lori has worked as a bank teller, credit analyst, scheduling/payroll analyst, productivity analyst and administrative assistant to two busy and well established financial planners. She hopes to help small businesses by giving them the knowledge and resources they need to reach their goals and turn a task they dislike into an achievable one that provides them with the information they need to make decisions that will help them further develop their business.
“The one thing that has always been consistent is that I love to help people learn how to make their money work to their advantage, especially when they don't have a lot of it.”
Executive Director Andrew Fleet has been a long time friend of Lori's and says "She has a keen eye for efficiency. No one works harder, or is more committed. She is fiercely loyal, fun, and she always has a pen. Lori is simply wonderful - and we are lucky to have her on our team."
Article and photos by Phoebe Say