I’m excited to play 21 Questions this week with Roxanne Bonilla, the newest content strategist and member to the Bluetrain team. Learn about Roxanne, her love of Edmonton, and why she transitioned from fitness to communications.
SH: Where did you grow up?
RB: I was born and raised in Edmonton – West Edmonton to be exact. I now live on the south side.
SH: Does that mean you were a West Edmonton Mall ‘mallrat’?
RB: (Laughing) Yes it does! I spent time there when it didn’t look as nice as it does now.
SH: What did you like most about growing up in Edmonton?
RB: Definitely the people – my family and friends. This is why I have stayed.
I also love the variety in Edmonton – there is always something to do!
SH: Any siblings?
RB: Yes, I have one brother – a year younger.
SH: What words would your family use to describe you?
RB: Hmmmm, I think they’d say energetic and goofy!
I’m usually the one keeping the conversation flowing in my family.
SH: What is your family like?
RB: We’re pretty close. I live a few blocks away from my Mom’s and we do regular Sunday night dinners.
SH: When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
RB: Wanted to be a marine biologist (loves the water and dolphins) and nutritionist.
SH: Hmmm, I imagine tough to be a marine biologist and still live around here!
RB: (Laughs) Yes!
SH: How did you end up going into fitness?
RB: Fitness is a big part of my family’s culture – my mom and dad actually met at the gym!
I like being physically active and always enjoyed sports growing up – I played soccer, did cheerleading, skiing and snowboarding, was a lifeguard, and danced competitively.
SH: What made you leave fitness for PR and Communications?
RB: The work hours in fitness were are all over the place. I was exposed to communications doing social media for Backside Tours and liked the idea of combining the structure of an office setting with the creativity of writing.
SH: Do you have your own personal blog?
RB: I started one years ago but haven’t uploaded anything in a long time! It’s in the “positive news” category (kind of like Upworthy). My first piece was inspired by a man named Joseph who would sit on his walker at a four-way stop close to my old place and smile and wave to people driving by. His dedication to spreading positivity was adorable and I would always give him the biggest wave back! When I was moving I went to say goodbye to him and let him know that he always brightened my day with his waves.
SH: What do you think about the world of digital marketing?
RB: Fascinating, with technology these days it is one of the most effective ways of getting your message out there!
SH: What do you take away from your past work experience that you’ll apply to your current position at Bluetrain?
RB: Well, editing for sure since I’ll be working with copywriters. Persona creation, market research and understanding the target audience I’ll also use. I enjoy working on communication and marketing plans, planning and strategizing, and looking at and considering all angles.
SH: Favorite Food?
RB: Pizza! There can be so much variety to this dish! A Friday night ritual at my house is ordering a Massimo pizza from the Italian Centre and enjoying a night off from cooking.
SH: We have much debate over this next question – mushrooms or olives, which would you pick?
RB: Olives for sure! Only the black ones though.
SH: What do you do to relax?
RB: Epsom salt baths (multiple times a week!), yoga, and long walks during the summer.
SH: What is your guilty pleasure?
RB: Reality TV like The Bachelor/Bachelorette.
SH: Me too! Did you know we do a Bachelorette pool?
RB: Oh my, this is a dream job!
SH: Favourite book or movie?
RB: I can tell you both! Book is The Alchemist and movie is Out Cold (it’s a snowboarding cult classic). I know it word-for-word from watching it on bus trips home from the mountain.
SH: What bus do you take?
RB: Either Backside Tours to Revelstoke or Fernie, or the Magic Bus to Marmot. I also get rides with friends that have bigger vehicles than I do, and sometimes even fly to places like Kelowna to ride Big White and Silver Star – it’s safer than driving!
SH: Do you play volleyball or squash? This is a mandatory question from Bryan we ask everyone new.
RB: I’m terrible at volleyball, please don’t make me do it! I would let you guys down for sure! I like squash – it is fun and a good workout. I haven’t played in a while though.
SH: Great – Bryan is always happy to have someone to play squash with!
SH: Mountains or Beach?
RB: Mountains for sure!
SH: Tea or Coffee? What is your caffeine fix?
RB: BOTH – I couldn’t live without either! What I pick depends on how tired I am and if I got enough sleep.
Over the past few years I have become more of a coffee connoisseur – my boyfriend is into coffee and now I’m a coffee snob! Kicking Horse is one of my favourites!
SH: I’ll have to give it a try as I love coffee!
SH: Another important question – cupcakes or cookies?
RB: Cookies! They are probably my second favourite food. Just like pizza, there is so much variety to them! There are even breakfast cookies (laughs).
SH: You’re lucky as Confetti Sweets is close by so we have it quite a bit!
RB: Oh good I love Confetti Sweets!
SH: Speaking of cupcakes or cookies – when is your birthday?
RB: April 25th
SH: Any pet peeves we should know about?
RB: A big one for me is when people don’t wear helmets. I always harass my friends about it on the hill if they don’t have one on. It just doesn’t make sense to me why people wouldn’t protect their noggins.