#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays: Kate Ming-Sun

When I began work on The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference with Stacey, I thought we’d have a difficult time finding speakers for the event. Although, there was no doubt in my mind we’d have an audience interested in the subject matter, I wondered if there were really people out there who had pulled off a successful career change, or found a way to incorporate purposeful work into their lives. Now, not only have we lined up an inspiring and accomplished group of Speakers from a variety of backgrounds, but I continue to come across individuals whose journeys can be examples for all of us.

#WhenIGrowUp Wednesdays features stories of people who reinvented themselves, or who came to a crossroads and chose a different path, or who rediscovered, or returned to the pursuit of their youthful passion.

ACCOUNTANT | CFO | OUTDOOR ADVENTURE PROFESSIONAL

At first I found thinking about change hard. I didn’t know what the drum beat called me towards. I had gotten out of the habit of paying attention to what my intuition told me. – Kate Ming-Sun

Kate Ming-SunKate Ming-Sun, Founder of KMS Outdoors, writer, and photographer, spent a good portion of her childhood playing outdoors, swimming at the lake, and on camping adventures with the Girl Scouts. As a college student, hiking with friends became a regular activity, and once Kate began working, weekends were filled with rock-climbing, snowshoeing, kayaking, etc. with a multi-sport adventure group. Outdoor activities were a large part of Kate’s life… until they weren’t.

With undergraduate degrees in Finance and French, and a Masters of Accounting, Kate easily moved up the corporate ladder. Her financial career, which began in audit and accounting, eventually led to a plum position as Chief Financial Officer for a company in Toronto. Kate’s student loans were paid off; she and her husband enjoyed vacationing around the world, her partner even had dreams of becoming a house-husband but… Kate was putting in 50-hour work weeks, and was bothered by a niggling feeling of dissatisfaction that wouldn’t go away.

Kate’s company agreed to let her take a 5-month hiatus to figure things out, but that didn’t work. So, she hired a career counselor, which did. At the end of their sessions, Kate quit her job to register in the Outdoor Adventure Naturalist program at Algonquin College. Now, a few years later, she is “the chief adventurer and owner of KMS Outdoors,” a business that is bent on inspiring individuals to spend time outside. In addition to guiding, Kate is a writer, a photographer, and an entrepreneur. Through her website, she blogs, markets her consulting services, her photographs, as well as a line of branded products.

Five years into her new life, Kate’s resolution is this:

This year I’d like to… explore more consciously what my contribution will be to the world around me. How can I offer my time, skills, and strengths to my community or community organizations that will line up with my values and create value for all involved? – Kate Ming-Sun

Sources: KMS Outdoors, LinkedIn.

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

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