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.
Introducing, We are #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.
Where are you from?
I’m born and raised in beautiful Kelowna. The Turri family has been here for 108 years and counting. We have very strong and deep roots in the community. I was fortunate enough to stay in Kelowna and do what I’m doing. I can’t honestly think of a better place in the world to live and raise our family. A lot of people spend a lot of time and effort working to move here, so I’m happy to be able to stay here.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I work for Mission Group, a Kelowna-based commercial real estate developer and residential home builder. Most of our work has been focused on the urban environments in downtown, helping to shape the skyline here in Kelowna. Over the last 5 years, in particular, that urban story has really started to be told for Kelowna. It’s becoming less of a recreational place to visit and more of an urban hub that attracts people for a variety of reasons.
What is your role at Mission Group?
I’m the Executive Vice President. I lead our operational teams in delivering new real estate projects. We’re a vertically integrated company and so we are a part of the whole development cycle. I lead our teams in acquisitions, developments, sales, marketing, construction of our projects.
How did you get into this kind of work?
I’ve always been interested in city development. I got my undergraduate degree from UBCO in urban geography and started working for the City of Kelowna in their urban planning department. From there, I moved into Mission Group, which is on the other side of the development table. Walking by a building you’ve built, knowing all of the hours your team has put into every finite detail, is very gratifying
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
You can get into real estate development from a number of different ways—architecture, urban planning, engineering, or business. There are certain educational programs that are a bit more vocational or specific, but there isn’t one tried and true path. The thing about the real estate sector is that you need to have that entrepreneurial spirit, you need to be an optimist. You need to be able to balance the dream against practical reality and be able to take risks.
Do you think there is anything missing from the community here?
Without our involvement, the tech community has been on a very strong trajectory. What may be missing, that we can add more to, is spaces. We’re very invested in downtown—building more homes and office spaces that are in keeping with the community. When you’re bringing new talent to the region, they need housing and spaces for the business to grow.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received? Or can share?
One thing I think that’s good to remember is that everyone has a story. Taking the time to learn that story is important. It’s easy these days, with all the noise and polarization, to characterize things in buckets and make quick judgements. But getting to know people, getting to a level of understanding, you’ll oftentimes find some semblance of common ground.
Who inspires you?
People that inspire me are those who take risks. Whether you are succeeding or failing, you’re still in the arena, you’re still putting your skin in the game. Without risk-takers, we are not evolving as a community. Taking risks, not just financially, but risks of reputation, of personal safety, to make positive change is what inspires me.