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.
Meet Nika. Nika Pidskalny is the General Counsel for Bananatag. When she isn’t going toe to toe with legal teams around the world, you’ll find Nika entertaining friends and family over some freshly baked goods.
Why did you choose the Okanagan to call home?
I was originally born in England and moved to Kelowna and then spent 10 years in Calgary. I’ve always wanted to come back but didn’t think I’d be able to because of the limited job opportunities. It’s exciting that the tech community has become a viable option for me to move here and still continue to grow my career.
What do you do for work here?
I work as general counsel for a SaaS company called Bananatag, a platform that helps teams create, distribute and track communications. I handle all things legal—advising on privacy and security, employment matters, drafting documents, and taking care of negotiations.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the variety and opportunity to help build a business. I’ve worked for one of the largest firms in Canada, as well as within a 15-personal legal team, and working in a startup is something I’ve always wanted to participate in. I also enjoy honing my negotiation skills. I get to go toe-to-toe with lawyers from some of the biggest brands around the world on a daily basis.
How did you get into this kind of work?
After being in litigation for my first few years, I decided to get into business law because there was more variety in the opportunities it could lead to. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial itch, so I started to gain experience in practices that would help me succeed in a general counsel role for a growing startup.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Build your foundation, take every chance to expand your knowledge. If those opportunities aren’t presenting themselves, ask for them. Then ask for them again. Putting the time and effort into building your foundation will pay off in the long run.
What do you enjoy about the OKGNtech community?
We all have a common purpose – to help grow a sector that can provide not just local jobs, but career opportunities. It would be great to get to a point where people see Kelowna as a viable place to grow a career in tech, even if they didn’t grow up here.
Who inspires you?
I’m inspired by women who are working in traditionally male-dominated roles. That takes courage and a lot of hard work. I’m always impressed when we hire female developers, as an example.
Is there something you want to be remembered for?
From a work perspective, I hope I leave everyone with a good impression. You can never make everyone happy, but I hope I’m remembered as someone who is friendly, helpful, and most of all, knows their sh*t.