A mother’s love and life lessons

One local woman, a legend in the business world, is more than just a focused go-getter to the person who knows her by another name: mom.

By Wendy Rose

Most of us think of our moms as superheroes – balancing the weight of the world on their shoulders while maintaining a life, a career, and a family.

Every mom is powerful in their own right, and local mom Anne Whelan is a perfect example – she’s even on Women’s Executive Network’s (WXN) top 100 list of Canada’s most powerful women.


Anne Whelan is the CEO and sole shareholder of Seafair Capital Inc., a  NL-based holding company that includes a number of businesses, ranging from home-care, to restaurants, and much more. And that’s not all – Anne also chairs the board of Newfoundland Power, and sits on the boards of the Business Development Bank of Canada and the CSA Group.

On top of all this, Anne is also an attentive and loving mother, well-adored by her daughter Caitlin Whelan.

When asked to chat about her mother, Cait was flattered about the interest. Speaking to The Herald via email, Cait poured out her appreciation for her mother, speaking directly from the heart. She started off by telling us a bit about her mom, who hails from Placentia Bay.

“When you meet her, it’s obvious what a great sense of humour she has, and she loves to sing, go dancing, host dinners and is generally interested in creating a positive and fun atmosphere,” Cait said.

thinking of others

“One thing that she clearly has as a personal priority is always thinking of others, and she is generally not afraid to ask anyone about issues or challenges that they’re facing.

“She’s also a fantastic cook, not to mention crafty and creative with a great eye for decorating.”

When asked about what traits she admires most, Cait struggled for an answer – there were just too many to list.

“Some of the ones I think about almost daily would have to be how she is always thinking of others, and treats everyone with respect,” she explained. “One thing she works towards is mediation. … That being said, her no-nonsense attitude really takes her places.”

The mother-daughter duo, who are close pals too, share some of these traits.

“We can both get things done. When I need to get help or to speak with people about an important topic, I can suddenly become very stern and direct,” Cait said.

lessons passed down

“We also move in a very similar fashion, everything from the way we walk, to our facial expressions, as I get older I notice it more and it definitely freaks me out,” she added.

There are lessons passed down, too.

“She has taught me is to always be a leader, never be afraid to speak to people and be direct,” Cait explained. “I was never afraid to speak up – though sometimes I might have (done so) a little too much. Ultimately though, she has taught me to be independent, and to speak to people with respect, and that this earns respect in return.”

We then discussed the pros and cons of having a busy, high-powered mother. Cait explained that while she was always supportive of her daughter’s endeavours, her mom also taught her that having a personal cheerleader isn’t always necessary.

doing great things

“Growing up, I was involved in a lot of performances, and because she was building a business she missed out on some of those, but she taught me I could do great things with or without her there to watch,” Cait recalled. “I don’t feel as though I missed out on much domestic bonding time,” she added. “As her work picked up in more recent years, the days we do get to spend together are precious,” she added, noting that Sunday dinners are still a pretty regular tradition – everyone’s gotta get their Jiggs.

Their Mother’s Day traditions have varied over the years, as their relationship grows in new directions as Cait progressed from childhood to adulthood.

“I used to stock up on trinkets at the dollar store, sparkly brooches and that sort of thing – she still has some of them. I would often make her breakfast in bed, she likes omelets and yogurt, and I was always excited to do something for her,” she said.

Nowadays, the celebrations work around their schedules, which can be a challenge.

“This year, we’ve been planning a weekend at our cabin, and have been thinking about making some pretty soaps, and cooking a nice big meal – some kind of stew. Usually, we just use it as an opportunity to spend time together … I think this year we are going to tend to the greenhouse and attempt to get that up and running for the season.”

bonding time

Sounds like a simple day filled with love, friendship, and that oh-so-important mother-child bonding time.

Here’s to inspiring, intelligent, and loving moms, and their equally amazing offspring. Happy Mother’s Day!

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