Rewarding journey

What started as an overseas adventure has become an award-winning venture for a Red Deer woman and her husband, now working in Seoul, South Korea.

What started as an overseas adventure has become an award-winning venture for a Red Deer woman and her husband, now working in Seoul, South Korea.

Noreen Jaden, a graduate of Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School, went on to study psychology, earning a bachelor of science degree at the University of Alberta and then a masters from Loma Linda University in Southern California.

She first met fellow psychology student Zane Webber while still studying in Edmonton, and then again while they were at the same university in California working on their masters degrees.

They married in 2001, just before choosing South Korea as the starting point for what was supposed to be a working vacation.

“I wanted to travel, travel, travel,” Jaden said this week while at home with Webber, visiting her parents David and Mary Muddle.

The plan had been to teach English in Seoul for a while and then start building a practice.

Eight years later, Jaden has been named an Honourary Citizen of Seoul for her work in helping foreign visitors build business and political relationships with Korean companies and institutions.

Jaden and Webber expanded on their experience as language coaches to form Adaptable Human Solutions, which provides consulting and counselling services for expatriates working in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

People come to South Korea expecting to experience cultural clashes, said Jaden. She and Webber learned through experience that the differences are subtle, but significant.

Koreans never say “No” directly, she said, and “Yes” might not really mean “I agree.” In some instances, Koreans say “Yes” when they mean “I understand,” she said.

Helping people to learn and work with those subtleties, along with their expertise in social sciences, enabled the pair to establish a reputation as expatriates working on behalf of fellow expatriates.

Jaden explained that there are two reasons the Citizen of Seoul award was given to her and not to her husband. First of all, she is the CEO of the company. More significantly, while women’s rights are evolving in Korea, it is still very unusual to encounter women who play lead roles in business.

She is almost always the only woman in attendance at business meetings and she usually arrives to find a name plate reserving her seat for Mr. Jaden.

Being thrust into such a unique position has made Jaden a powerful force in helping the continued evolution in women’s rights, including co-chairing the professional women’s committee for the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea.

She and the committee have been instrumental in bringing such high-profile speakers as Kathleen Stephens, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, to chamber functions.

Jaden and Webber said they had never planned to stay in Korea for as long as they have, but are now thinking about expanding the business.

Just Posted

Rural transit service rolled out

2A South Regional Transit will link Innisfail and Penhold with Red Deer

Some Red Deer waste collection schedules change due to holiday season

Tuesday collections will be moved for two weeks

Red Deer ‘champion’ helps hospital by sharing ongoing petition

It’s been about three years since many physicians at Red Deer Regional… Continue reading

Red Deer Airport’s prospects are looking up for 2019

Ultra-low-cost passenger service is on the horizon

Funding down for Red Deer Christmas charities

Food hampers and toys for children going out to those in need

Alberta’s Sundial starts shipping to AGLC this week

Sundial’s Rocky View facility has received the green light from Health Canada… Continue reading

Penny Marshall dead at 75, best known as TV’s Laverne and director of ‘Big,’ ‘A League of Their Own’

Bronx-born Penny Marshall, who found ’70s sitcom success on “Laverne and Shirley”… Continue reading

Chabot scores overtime winner to lift Senators over Predators 4-3

OTTAWA — Thomas Chabot saw an opening and he took it. And… Continue reading

Canadian Marielle Thompson earns World Cup ski cross bronze in season opener

AROSA, Switzerland — Canada’s Marielle Thompson captured bronze at the opening World… Continue reading

Canada doesn’t make Oscars short list for best foreign language film

LOS ANGELES — Canada is no longer in the running for best… Continue reading

Warrant issued for arrest of ‘Schwimmer lookalike’ suspect

LONDON — A British judge has issued an arrest warrant for an… Continue reading

Moneywise: Canadian workers unhappy with pay, want pension plans

Many working Canadians are feeling underpaid and are so worried about their… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Most Read