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 Quinton. Quinton Pullen is a tax partner with BDO Canada and is currently the chair of Accelerate Okanagan’s Board of Directors. When he’s not implementing strategies to help businesses succeed, you’ll find Quinton working his way through one of the four books he has on the go, cycling around the Okanagan, or enjoying time with his family.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I’m a tax partner at BDO Canada, but I’m not a typical tax partner. I love talking to people—sitting down in front of people, walking through tax plans and strategies, talking about where a business is going and how I can help get them there. That’s what gets me excited.
How did you get into this kind of work?
My uncle, Larry Nelson, FCPA, FCA., who’s also a non-traditional accountant. He had his own firm, was the CEO for a large charity out of Vancouver, and now he’s working in consulting and executive search for NPOs and charities. Ever since I was young he’s been mentoring me and he’s really challenged me to grow in a lot of different ways. He was the one that told me that there was so much flexibility in this field and that it’s an awesome skillset to have.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
It’s important to always be learning, but you need to find things that you’re interested in. You don’t want to force yourself to learn subjects or read books that you don’t care about. That’s a good way to stop reading and just turn on Netflix instead. A leader is a reader. If you want to be in leadership, you have to be willing to continuously grow. And, if you want to be able to grow, reading is a big part of that.
How were you first introduced to the OKGNtech community?
When I moved to Kelowna, the organization I joined was one of Accelerate Okanagan’s sponsors. They had this deal where we could sit down with entrepreneurs and give advice for free. It was a great opportunity to learn about local entrepreneurs, their businesses and really educate myself on what they’re experiencing. I jumped on it and I loved it. When I eventually left and joined another organization, it was on the condition that they were a partner at AO so that I could keep having those meetings.
What do you enjoy about the OKGNtech community?
I love being able to help entrepreneurs in the OKGNtech community, and I love being able to learn what they’re doing. You get to sit down with someone who’s passionate about what they’re doing and that excitement is contagious. I get excited, they get excited from what I can share with them, everyone benefits.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was to do Toastmasters. It changed a lot of how I approach situations. It significantly increased my ability to communicate. Learning to say something out loud encourages you to think about how it will be perceived by others, and that’s a skill that you don’t necessarily get from written communication. But you can take that skill and use it to improve your writing. It’s an ability that is invaluable to any career
What is something that people don’t know about you?
I can juggle. I’m not amazing by any means, but I have three balls I keep at my desk that I’ll walk around and juggle while I’m on the phone discussing tax. I can juggle clubs, as well, but I haven’t moved up to knives or anything crazy like that.
Is there something you want to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for having a heart. I’m an accountant, yes, but I believe people are more important than numbers. My goal is to have people remember me as someone who cared.