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 connections through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic. We’ve got a plan.
This is “The Faces of #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 at @OKGNtech to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Ashton Wiklund, an account executive at Staffbase. When she’s not helping companies streamline and improve their internal processes, you can find her tending to her farm and sharing the produce with local restaurants and the community.
Why did you choose the Okanagan to call home?
I am originally from Winnipeg, but my family moved to Kelowna when I was in elementary school. I completed my business degree in the Okanagan and then moved to Alberta for five years before coming back. As someone who enjoys the outdoors, the Okanagan is a great playground. Within a couple of hours, you can be in the deserts of Oliver or the mountains of Revelstoke. I also have family and long-term friends here, so that makes the valley feel like home to me.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I am an account executive at Staffbase, who over the last year merged with Okanagan-based startup Bananatag. Staffbase is based out of Germany, and it’s been fun to work for a European organization centred around high growth. In my role, I help stakeholders understand and evaluate our SaaS product, and then help them navigate their internal processes. A large part of my job is communication, negotiation and project planning.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy working with organizations in various industries and helping them solve internal problems related to employee experience and engagement. It’s interesting to see how organizations differentiate themselves and build company culture. There’s a lot of autonomy in my role, and there’s permission to be creative and apply strategic thinking to how we work. I also enjoy the pace of the tech industry, because it’s full of dynamic ideas and people.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
The quality of your communication can dictate the quality of your life. Your ability to articulate what’s needed, ask direct questions and consider how your communication is interpreted impacts your results. Success in my role requires me to manage relationships, and that relies on clarity in communication.
What do you enjoy about the OKGNtech community?
There are a number of ways to get involved in the community, and the culture is supportive and welcoming. I’ve seen the tech community grow and continue to offer great job opportunities for young professionals. In tech there’s room for everyone to succeed. Having networking events, conferences and mentors here provides opportunities to specialize and become really great at the next big thing.
What is the best piece of advice you can share?
If you want the best out of life, life will demand the best out of you—over and over again. I love the connection between the things we want and the quality of effort it requires to achieve them. The definition of our “best” can change over time, and it’s important to know how to keep applying yourself to achieve what’s most important to you.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by anyone who’s open to taking risks, both professionally or personally. Confidence comes from trying new things and working through the uncertainty in those experiences. I also believe that taking risks can keep a person humble because they’ve had to practise being comfortable with self doubt.
Is there something you want to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for showing up for others and finding time for the things that matter. It’s common to feel overwhelmed and short on time, and then it becomes habitual to reschedule or bow out. Showing up for someone, whether it’s listening fully or meeting someone for a cup of coffee, is an investment into that relationship. Following through makes a bigger impact than we may think.
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