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Meet Falco. Falco Indersmitten is the Head of Customer Support at Tonit Motorcycles. When he’s not giving the Tonit community the royal treatment, you’ll find Falco juggling his passions for motorcycles and DJing with raising his newborn daughter.
Where are you from?
Originally, I’m from Cologne, Germany. While I was backpacking, working and travelling in Australia, I met my wife. After getting married and living in the UK for a while, we decided to move closer to her hometown of Armstrong, BC. With my knowledge of English and ambition to live abroad, it made more sense for me to move to Canada than for her to move to Germany. So we settled in Kelowna and haven’t looked back!
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I work for a startup called Tonit as the Head of Customer Support. Tonit is a motorcycle social network that seeks to bring all riders in North America together. When you work in a startup, you wear many hats so, even though I started in a customer support role, I also did a bit of community management and quality assurance testing.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
As someone who travels, I always enjoy meeting new people and socializing. Because Tonit is a platform that allows like-minded people to make connections in the real world, it means that I can be a part of building something cool that brings people together to socialize and share their enthusiasm for riding.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I was never really interested in this work until it fell into my lap. While I was at UBCO, I jokingly asked my friend who worked at Tonit if they had a job opening. He told me they did and that I should come down for a chat. I was just expecting to talk with my friend but the CEO, Jason Lotoski walked in and I ended up having my first interview. I’ve now been with Tonit for almost 4 years and it’s become the longest-running full-time job I’ve ever had. I guess that’s the nature of a startup—you can find your passion and end up putting your all into it.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Customer support has always been about treating the customer as if they’re royalty. It’s a little difficult when it’s a digital interaction like an email or direct message because you need to put yourself in their shoes and understand the tone they’re using. If you can listen, show empathy and understand where they’re coming from, you’ll succeed in finding a positive solution.
If you’re not online, where can people find you?
I DJ and produce my own electronic music, and have 3 motorcycles that need to be maintained and ridden. Winter is all about maintenance, then spring and summer bring a lot of riding. I also have a daughter now so there is definitely going to be a change in priorities. I’m juggling a lot of balls over here.
Who inspires you?
Our CEO, Jason, because he’s got so much drive in him. He’s a self-employed CEO who has the guts to put himself into a position that requires 24/7 dedication. I don’t have that yet, I’m a very free-spirited person who operates mainly on gut feelings. Maybe I’ll never be that kind of person, but I’m inspired by CEOs like Jason that have fought for years for their business without giving up.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Honesty and authenticity are big things. They will get you anywhere. One of the core principles at Tonit is “say the real thing, not the right thing” and I resonate with that. Don’t say something you’re expected to say, say what you mean. If that’s criticizing the CEO or suggesting something new, don’t beat around the bush and hold back. That honesty will help the company go further.
That’s the nature of a startup—you can find your passion and end up putting your all into it.