23 July 2021
YNX: Pooh, please tell us about your life before you joined Yannix?
Pooh: I was born in Bangkok. I have an older brother, and two older sisters. I’m the baby of the family.
When I was born we lived in the city center at Suriwong Road, but a few months later, we moved to the Ladprao area, which at the time was considered the outskirts of Bangkok. Incidentally, today I still live in my childhood home with my Mom and my sister.
I attended a private elementary school, and I went to a convent school for high school. I graduated from Rangsit University with a B.A. in Tourism and Hospitality Management, and I also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts from Sukhothai Thammathirat OpenUniversity.
After I graduated from university, I worked in the tourism industry. I enjoyed meeting lots of different kinds of people. The experience taught me patience and how to work with people. From my work in Tourism, I think I learned to be a good listener/communicator, and over the years, I’ve developed a love of travel.
YNX: You’ve been with the company for more than 18 years, and as such, you are the original, and the longest tenured Yannix Thailand employee. How did you come to join Yannix back in the day?
Pooh: Yannix founder, Xye was friends with a close friend of mine who asked me if I might be interested in a position as Executive Assistant for an American guy who was moving his business from Hollywood to Bangkok.
My friend knew that I am capable of doing a lot of things, and I guess she felt I would be a good candidate for the job of Xye’s assistant. I was offered the job, and I accepted. I’ve been working with Yannix ever since.
YNX: What do you do every day without fail?
Pooh: I always say Sawaddee Ka (hello) to everyone with whom I come in contact. You’d be surprised how many people will walk right by you without saying hello.Also, each and every morning I check on my chili pepper plants that I’ve grown from seeds. That’s my morning ritual.
YNX: Do you have a favorite book, film or tv show?
Pooh: Well, as you might guess, I’m quite fond of Pooh Bear, so I must say that I’m a fan of The House at Pooh Corner. Pooh has a way of simply solving problems in an uncomplicated way. Pooh is the kindest character in the World – like me.
I don’t know why, but I tend to like non-fiction about real people who have suffered confinement or have been imprisoned in some way. For this reason, one of my favorite books is The Diary of Anne Frank. I find it fascinating.
Aside from Winnie the Pooh, my second favorite character is “Totoro,” from Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. It’s the story of two young sisters and their interactions with friendly wood spirits. Totoro is a wood spirit, and he is a cute and warm character. I just love him.
My favorite movie franchise is the Mission Impossible franchise. The action can’t be beat.
My favorite television shows are Hawaii 5-0, (I remember watching the original series with my Dad), and Chicago Fire. These shows are very important – to me they are
“Must See TV!”
YNX: Do you have any heroes?
Pooh: My Dad is my Hero. He was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1932. He is truly a self-made man, as he only had a Grade 4 education. My Dad can speak several dialects of Chinese including Mandarin, Cantonese, Teochew, and Hokkien. He also speaks Thai and English.
For the most part, when it came to languages, my Dad was self-taught. He learned a little in school, and his sister taught him a bit. Otherwise, he’s self-taught. What’s impressive to me is that while his formal schooling may have stopped after Grade 4, his drive and his desire to learn lives on to this day.
My Dad has always been a very enterprising man. When he was around 20 yrs old, he worked in a photography service shop. He developed and printed images in the photo lab, and he also photographed weddings and others special events on the side.
Given his photography experience and his ability to speak multiple languages, my Dad got opportunities that led to a career with companies like AGFA and Kodak. He also had a side business making promo posters for the Film Industry.
My Dad left Kodak around 1985 and started his own photography business, shooting commercial products for print ads. He even provided images for a cook book.
Today my Dad consults for Pro Color Lab Co. Ltd., in the studio equipment business. He negotiates with photography equipment factories in China and he travels to trade shows in China.
Needless to say, my Dad has always inspired me. Whenever I’m feeling discouraged, I recall positive words I’ve received from my Dad. He always tells me, “the way you get along so well with people is your superpower.”
YNX: Tell us something about you that might surprise us.
Pooh: Most people who know me know that my given name is Winimai. When I was small, my Dad gave me the nickname “Poo.” When I got older, I enjoyed the character Winnie the Pooh, and I decided to add the “H” to my nickname, “Pooh.”
One time, my sister decided she wanted to legally change her name, and she asked me to change my name too. I agreed to legally change my name to Natnaweeya, which means something like, “wise girl who stays young forever.”
Even though I legally changed my name, I still love my given name, Winimai. So most people know me as either Pooh or Winimai. For the most part, I only use Natnaweeya for official purposes.
Also, I’m a Certified Rescue Diver. I’ve been Scuba (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) Diving for more than a decade.
After the December 26, 2004 Tsunami in Thailand, I was a scuba diver volunteer. For several months after the tsunami, I went to Phuket and Krabi every weekend to volunteer. On those dives, I found/recovered the personal belongings of those who had perished on that fateful day. I recovered household items, purses, luggage, clothing, cellphones, household appliances, and more….
To say it was a tragedy is an understatement.
YNX: What do you do to enjoy your free time,
Pooh: I like watching movies, reading, volunteering, driving, meditating…, but my favorite hobbies are traveling, photography, and doing outdoor activities like scuba diving.
When I travel I can explore different cultures. I love meeting new people from a various backgrounds.
When I scuba dive, I feel like I can truly see the world. Scuba diving makes me feel calm. It helps me appreciate my breathing, and demonstrates to me the importance of making my air supply last. I practice controlling my breathing so I take in oxygen slowly, while making sure that my movements are focused and deliberate. I focus on my breathing and on appreciating what I’m seeing through my mask. When I do this, I am at peace. There are no phone calls to answer, nor are there any emails to respond to when I’m under water.
YNX: Is there a project you have worked on at Yannix of which you are particularly proud?
Pooh: The work I am most proud of is the role I play in organizing Yannix’ Community and Volunteerism efforts, or as we call it, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Yannix takes its role in our community very seriously. Just over Five (5) years ago, I spearheaded the “Give It 2 Get It” Program (G2G) to organize and promote roughly ten (10) employee driven events per year where Yannix employees volunteer their time and energy into worthy causes in an effort to give back to our community.
The “Give It 2 Get It” Program is an employee-driven initiative to help make the world a better place. Yannix volunteers routinely give back to our local communities and the environment.
Throughout the year, Yannix staff dedicate their time, energy, and resources to help all creatures, big and small. Our efforts take the form of a series of events scheduled throughout the calendar year (as noted in the write-ups that follow).
Of course, with the advent of the Coronavirus, we’ve needed to suspend the program for the time being, but I look forward to the time when we can resume our G2G events.
YNX: Thank you Pooh for taking the time to answer our questions.