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. 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 Kathleen. Kathleen Reid is the Founder and the Managing Director at Switchboard, a tech-focused PR agency with headquarters in Vancouver. When Kathleen isn’t connecting and sharing everything #BCtech, you can find her hiking with her dog Hogan, drinking wine on her deck, or on Salt Spring Island with her family. We recently caught up with Kathleen to learn more about Switchboard and what she loves about technology.
[Editor’s note: But let’s be honest…Tech PR…when is Kathleen not working…?]
What’s your favourite thing about your job?
“Even if we can’t take on a project I want Switchboard to be able to connect people all around the world. So I think when I am able to make those little connections and they work out really well, that’s probably one of my favourite things about my job.”
“I joke that I have ADHD… but I really do. I found that doing the same thing every day was hard, I’d rather do a little bit of everything! So I’ve really enjoyed helping different people, and having to tackle different problems and I think that’s what has really made Switchboard a brand.”
What do you love about #OKGNtech?
”What I love most about #OKGNtech is the community. When I first saw that and actually got to physically be part of it was at NYKO 2018. The energy that you could feel there and the connections that people were making was incredible. I just think that’s so exciting! And you know – you don’t have that in other places. The Okanagan is a nice intersection of geography, and industry…it’s everything.”
Do you have a piece of advice you can share with us?
“One thing that I try to keep in mind with my team and with clients is that everyone wants to be seen, heard, and loved at the end of the day. If you can sit and listen and I mean… really actively listen, you’ll learn so much about someone. Everyone likes to talk but it is rare to find someone who is really good at listening. That has been a big learning for me recently.”
[Editor’s note: P R E A C H]
“The best piece of advice that I can share with entrepreneurs is to hire really… really fucking slowly. Make it a process and have systems, but also when you know someone is polluting your company and you have that gut feeling, you need to get them out. So yeah, I think that hire slow and fire fast is a really good thing to remember.”
Can you tell us about Switchboard?
“When you think about what Switchboard does and what it means to work at Switchboard…We are storytellers, we are idea generators, we are connectors, and we are problem solvers. Clients come to us with problems and we find solutions.”
Who inspires you?
“I really like politics and I would like to get involved, but I do think that as soon as you label yourself, you’re really dividing yourself. Michelle Obama says she is not going to go into politics and she feels that by not aligning herself to one cause, she’s able to bring more people together. Michelle Obama truly inspires me. She is a badass.”
What do you like most about technology?
“I like tech because I really do think it’s changing the world for the better. I have astigmatism, so I can’t see certain colours. With technology, I am able to invert them on my phone so I can read certain things. Without this function on my phone, my day to day life would be so different.”
Have you seen the rest of the OKGNtech faces?
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