|Name: Santina Punis
Position/company: Co-owner of Lino's Sales and Service Ltd.—started on June 1, 1972—in Burns Lake, B.C.
Products and services: We sell Arctic Cat snowmobiles and ATVs in the winter, and in the summer, we sell boats and boat motors. We are a Honda Power and Mecury marine dealer. We also sell Husqvarna saws and lawnmowers—you name it, we've got it.
Past lives: My husband worked for Northwood Inc. in Houston, B.C., as a supervisor. He's actually a marine mechanic by trade. We were both born in Italy. Lino's from northern Italy and I was born in central Italy. He immigrated in 1957 when he was 20 and I was nine when I immigrated with my mother and younger brothers. I have lived in Burns Lake since 1954. My parents lived here for a while, then they moved away and I came back, met Lino and got married. This winter, my husband and I will have been married for 44 years and we have been working together for 35 of those years! We've raised two children—Marco and Gina—in Burns Lake and now we have three grandchildren here. Marco does all the small-engine work at the dealership and my daughter, Gina, and I share all the bookkeeping duties as well as sales.
What is the shop like? The property is about 2 1/2 acres. We have two main buildings and two others in the back for storage. The quonset is where they do repairs and the main building houses the showroom and the retail products. I have one full-time mechanic—Alan—and he's been with us since 1988.
How did you get started? Lino just wanted a different venture. So instead of working for somebody, he went into business for himself.
What do you like to do away from work? We enjoy Burns Lake—it's very friendly. And since 1992 we have gone to Maui every year in March. We also enjoy the outdoors. My husband, son, son-in-law and grandson like to snowmobile, go fishing and the whole nine yards.
What is your greatest achievement? Having a business in Burns Lake for 35 years. I think we are the second oldest one here.