A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
Introducing, The Faces of #OKGNtech (@OKGNtech). A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along (on the blog and on Instagram @okgntech) to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Justin Veenema. This Ontario native lives in Kelowna and is the voice of the tech company BlockCAT. You can find Justin on just about every social media outlet there is (seriously, Twitter, Instagram, Unsplash, Flicker, Facebook, Snapchat… he’s got them all covered.) We recently caught up with Justin to learn more about his first few months in Kelowna and why he loves being part of #OKGNtech.
What’s your favourite thing about the Okanagan?
“I’ve only been here for 3 months and I have felt very welcomed by the tech community. In other places I’ve worked I noticed that there’s always segmentation between the various areas of tech. The Okanagan tech scene is refreshingly integrated.”
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“I’ll always remember my old boss at Coastal.com (and former Director of Marketing at Zappos) telling me that everyone’s replaceable. He challenged me to be motivated and not defeated by this fact. You know, give it 110% while you can and make it a little bit more difficult.”
Who inspires you?
“I am really inspired by people like Elon Musk. He built a company, made cars and then sent that car into space. I mean, isn’t that basically what every kid wants to be when they grow up?!”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
“I’m actually quite introverted. There is really nothing else I’d rather do than hang out with my dog all day.” [Editor’s note: P R E A C H]
What’s one word you would use to describe yourself?
“Curiosity is really what fuels my passion for things like technology, relationships, and development. How can I be a better person? How does it work? Why does it matter? For me, life is about finding the answers to the most interesting and perplexing questions I can think of.”
Who is your biggest cheerleader?
“My dad is maybe a bit too proud of me sometimes. He takes everything I tell him and amplifies it to his network with his own personal spin.” #justinforpresident
Who helped you get to where you are today?
“I really believe that we are the sum of all of our parts. I have worked with so many talented and amazing people with a range of different ideas and every single one of these people has helped me get to where I am today.”