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 a connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
We are #OKGNtech is 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 Brittany. Brittany Arbutina is a Project Manager at Twirling Umbrellas. When she’s not exuberantly bringing her client’s websites dreams to life, you’ll find Brittany spending time with her boyfriend and their dog, out on a hike, or finding her next favourite winery.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Kitchener, Ontario and had only lived there until I moved to Kelowna in October of 2019. I had visited the Okanagan before and sincerely believe it’s one of the most beautiful places in the whole world. The mountains, lakes and forests are amazing. The only thing I’d change is to have my family a bit closer.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I work as a Project Manager at Twirling Umbrellas, a digital agency that specializes in website design and development. My role involves managing client projects from a wide variety of industries and from across the world. I’m fortunate to work with a tight-knit group of specialists from copywriters to UX designers to developers that can help take our client’s ideas and turn them into a reality.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I was always interested in planning and organizing. I initially went to school for public relations but, shortly before graduation, I volunteered at an event for Communitech, a technology accelerator based in Kitchener. After that, I knew that I wanted to work in the tech community. My event planning skills eventually turned to focus on project management—which was really nice because it offered some stability during the pandemic when all the events were cancelled.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Stay flexible and be willing to adapt. When you’re working with clients, you need to be able to respect every opinion as if it were your own. Being able to bend your perspective to meet their vision will ensure that everyone is happy. This is true whether you’re working with external clients or fellow team members. It can be a lot to manage but, as long as you communicate openly, you’ll succeed.
How were you first introduced to the OKGNtech community?
While I was vacationing in Kelowna back in the summer of 2019, I walked by the Innovation Centre and I told myself I would work in that building someday. After I got back to Kitchener, I started applying for jobs in the Okanagan and eventually got connected to Accelerate Okanagan. Alex Goodhew told me all about their organization and the OKGNtech community. Coincidentally, there was a job available in their startup program so I applied, got the job and moved to Kelowna.
What do you enjoy about the OKGNtech community?
I love how much people are willing to help you. When you went to an event, you could meet someone and have a quick conversation that would turn into a collaboration, an introduction to someone new or a new client lead. Even though meeting with people is easier than ever through video chats, you don’t get to make the same connections you do when you’re meeting face-to-face.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Or can share?
My sister once told me that if you don’t like where you are, move—you’re not a tree. Whether it’s a location, a career path or a relationship, we’re all given opportunities to make decisions for ourselves that can improve our life for the better.
Who inspires you?
My sister. She manages Toronto Taste, one of the city’s biggest events, while also being a new and incredible mother to her baby. She and her husband also have a cat and dog to take care of but she still manages to cook the most delicious meals throughout the week. She’s a total boss lady who’s inspired me to go after what I want and make my dream a reality.
Is there something you want to be remembered for?
Being sunshine in human form. It’s another thing that I get described as, in addition to being “exuberant”. I want to make people happier after spending time with me and brighten their day however I can.
If you don’t like where you are, move—you’re not a tree.