Meet our PM/BA

The words human dynamo come to mind when describing Tana Chasakara. Such a dynamo, in fact, that her role simply can’t be contained to a single set of tasks. Not only is she our our project manager, she’s also highly regarded (and valued) as our business analyst and QA lead. It boggles the mind what this gal can do. A graduate of the University of Guelph, where she earned an honours degree in Management, Economics and Finance with distinction, Tana’s combination of intelligence, experience and skill are a core strength for our team and our product line. While she’s analyzing, problem solving, testing and organizing and, Tana can be found roaming from office to office and desk to desk, laptop in hand, generally keeping us all on task. Other than that, she loves to entertain the team with stories of her childhood in Zimbabwe and ensure that we’re all clear that Africa is a continent and not a country.

Tana

Here are some other interesting facts about our project manager/business analyst.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
September 2014.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Project manager and business analyst but I also lead QA efforts.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
I appreciate always being challenged with interesting and diverse assignments.  I like that I can grow my career in the direction that best suits my skill sets and interests.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I love that the work is challenging but the people are not. We value each other’s inputs and work collaboratively to produce some very cool technology. And we have fun doing it.

Now for the fun stuff  

Born
Harare, Zimbabwe

Raised
Harare until 18, Toronto thereafter

Grew up in which decade
The 2000’s. Is that a thing?

Biggest musical (or other) influence when you were growing up
Simon and Garfunkel

Favourite tune/band on your ipod right now
Jhene Aiko

Huge fan of
Fantasy Films/Books and Anime

You’re happiest when
I’m with my family

Favourite Beverage
Peppermint tea

Greatest inspiration
My mother (cliché but true – she is awesome)

Greatest achievement (so far)
Choosing to be happy, no matter what

In Kevin’s case

It’s gadgets and gizmos aplenty for our VP of Development, Kevin Anderson. However, not just any gadget (or gizmo) will do for this ‘everyday carry’ (EDC) enthusiast. Kevin’s carry case mainstays are more than just trendy technogeek. They’re also about utility and preparedness, so they each serve a purpose and have a specific, useful function. Especially the Nerf gun. Check it out.IMG_0067

Maxpedition Micro Pocket Organizer @MAXPEDITION, Fisher Space Pen @FisherPenCo, Thrunite T10T Flashlight @ThruNiteproduct, Sensordrone Bluetooth Sensor @Sensordrone, various thumbdrives, Gerber Shard @gerber_tools, Screwpop Utilitiy Knife, MacBook Pro @APPLEOFFIClAL, Gerber Clutch @gerber_tools, N-Strike Maverick Nerf Gun @NerfNStrike, iPhone 6s plus @APPLEOFFIClAL, Leatherman Wave @leathermanusa, Umbra Bungee Card Case, Gerber tanto pocket knife @gerber_tools, Bose UC-15 Headphones @bose, Fitbit One Wireless Activity+Sleep Tracker @fitbit, MasterGrip Digital Laser Thermometer @Costco.

 

 

 

StreamBean delight

A few months ago, we told you about our love of great coffee and how we’ve partnered with a local roaster to create StreamBean – a blend that’s unique to thirdstream. Since that time, we’ve been sharing the love with people across the country. We’ve been putting together personalized packages that include a 1/2 pound of our delicious thirdstream roast and gorgeous a one-of-a-kind handmade mug to drink it from.

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We’ve been hearing back from our awesome clients and friends about how much they’ve enjoyed their coffee package. Ed Pednaud of Sunshine Coast Credit Union emailed our CEO, saying, ‘Christian, thank you for the gift. I just got it today. I’ve been here three years and did not have my own mug so it is very appropriate. The staff look forward to the coffee as well. Thanks again.

coffee_image_3If you’re a coffee lover, too, let us know. We’ll start putting your package together.

 

 

 

Meet our new VP of Sales and Marketing

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We’re very excited to welcome Charles Buchanan to the thirdstream family.

Charles brings a long and successful background to his new role at thirdstream. He’s an IT and business leader with more than 25 years of experience in technology management, marketing, strategic selling and executive leadership. He’s founded and grown several technology companies, engineered mergers and acquisitions, taken companies public and served on boards of directors. He’s held senior management roles in and provided strategic direction to large enterprises like Suncor Energy, Royal LePage, Oracle and Devon Energy. He also holds an MBA from Queen’s University and B.Sc. (Hons) in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

As our VP Sales and Marketing, Charles is taking on the direction and management of all sales and business development operations. He’s also providing executive leadership of our marketing organization, strengthening our efforts to position thirdstream as a visionary and leader in the industry.

On top of his background and impressive business and executive leadership experience, Charles is a great addition to our team. Down-to-earth, driven by integrity and incredibly excited about where thirdstream is going, he’s great fit. 

In Mike’s case

When Mike Wojcik, our director of digital design walks into the office every morning, he’s got his hands full. In one hand he’s got his trusty sidekick Bowser, the French Bulldog we’ve all come to know and love. In the other, he’s got what he needs for his work day. What kinds of things does a talented, hard working, die-hard Flames fan, hockey-loving, creative and all-round fantastic designer have in his case? Check it out.

IMG_0078

Want to know more about Mike’s gear?
Water Bottle @Ikea, Coffee Mug @CalgaryFlames, Shot Glass @CalgaryFlames, Sunglasses @DragonAlliance, Mario Action Figures @Nintendo, Lotion @BathAndBodyWorks, Yerba Mate Tea @GuayakiMacBook Pro by Apple; desk by @Ikea, Bowser @FrenchBulldog.

Meet our creative director

Kathy brings a unique combination of creative, strategic and business experience to her role as thirdstream’s creative director. A talented copywriter, she’s instrumental in helping us – and our clients – tell a brand story with a fresh voice that rings with authenticity. She’s able to do this because she’s got a knack for hearing subtext, making her a writer who knows how to get to the heart of what people want to say in a way that makes others want to hear it. As our creative director, she’s a perceptive, intuitive thinker who believes that collaboration is the path to innovation, excellence and the best possible product and end-user experience. Kathy’s been a key player in our business since our ‘way back’ days. She’s worked with hundreds of clients and played a central creative and strategic role in helping many Canadian credit unions get results and win national advertising awards. Oh yeah … she’s is also an accomplished musician, educator, university instructor and choral conductor.

Here are some other interesting facts about our creative director.

Tell us about yourself
Hmmm. I’m a professional eclectic with a background in music, education, writing and business. I’m a full-on Pisces and a fan of words, authenticity, people and beautiful innovation. And I love how all of this comes together in my role as creative director.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
Officially started as copywriter in 2004 but I’ve been on this crazy bus since our earliest days as a web development company.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Creative director, marketing, copywriter and user experience design. 

What appeals to you most about the work you do with thirdstream?
I love our collaborative philosophy and commitment to living at the crossroads of creativity, innovation, strategy and integrity.

What do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I love the regard we have for one another’s skills and talents. The people on our team challenge me (in a good way) to learn and evolve professionally. They’re also really good people – grounded, balanced, fun and funny. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Now for the fun stuff

Born
Milk River, AB

Raised
Lethbridge with long-term stops in Halifax, Vancouver and New Haven, CT.

Grew up in which decade?
70’s and 80’s.

Biggest musical (or other) influence 
I’m drawn to singer/songwriters and artists who know how to treat a melody. Ella Fitzgerald is my absolute fave because she sang the face off of every tune she ever recorded.

Favourite tune/band on your ipod right now
I’m always happy when Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Adele or Johnny Cash stroll through my playlist.

Huge fan of

Meaningful connection and saying it like it is.

Family you’d like to mention?
I’m married to the boss (CEO Christian Clapton) and ridiculously proud mother of 3 sweet humans and one Yorkshire Terrier.

You’re happiest when
I’m in the mountains with my family. Disneyland is a close second.

Favourite Beverage

By day, really (really) good coffee. By night, a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Greatest inspiration
My husband and his endless tenacity.


Greatest achievement (so far)

Still working on it, but I’d have to say my happy, healthy family is pretty much the best of the best so far.

In Jeff’s case

Jeff Coomber, our director of product management, loves innovation. This would probably explain his ‘early adopter’ philosophy. He’s usually the first in the office to try out the latest technological doodad, app or software. Checking out the latest happenings on Kickstarter is a daily thing for this guy and it goes without saying the he’d never miss an Apple release. What kind of things does a user-experience enthusiast like Jeff have in his case? Check it out.

Jeff

Where did he get this gear?
Coffee Mug @starbucks; Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones @bose; journal @wipebook; whiteboard must-haves @STAEmars; Apple TV with remote by Apple; iPhone 6 by Apple; iMac by Apple; water bottle @SIGG_NA; desk by @ikea.

In Kathy’s case

Before our creative director Kathy Matkin-Clapton heads to the office, she loads her workday essentials into her carrying case. We recently met her at the door and emptied the contents of her case (and hands) onto her desk. Check out Kathy’s eclectic collection of ‘must haves’.

What’s in our creative director’s case?

Where did she get this gear?
Lunch bag by Binksi’s Studio @Etsy; water bottle @swellbottle; cappuccino @starbucks; tech cleaner @whoosh; iPhone 5S by Apple; headphones @beatsbydre; wearable @fitbit; lip balm @ChapStick; sunglasses @39dollarglasses; notebook @decomposition from Chapters; MacBook Pro by Apple; desk by @ikea.

 

 

 

 

Meet our office manager

IMG_5442The picture of kindness and humility, Richard isn’t exactly the kind of guy who goes around boasting about his accomplishments. We’re happy to do it for him. This Ghanaian-born business whiz has a Bachelor of Science and a CMA and MBA in finance and project manager. Among his many accomplishments is growing a small business from 500,000 to 35,000,000 GBP and heading up the administrative office of the Ghana division of British Airways. Since joining our team as office manager in December of last year, Richard has taught us a lot, brought us together as a team and streamlined how our office runs. thirdstream is much the better for it.

Here are some other cool facts about Richard.

Tell us about yourself
My name – Richard Odei-Wontumi – means ‘a Friday born’ in Ghana. Generally speaking, people born on a Friday are described as being adventurous, wise and tenacious. We’re also known to be leaders, passionate and the people who tend to get things started.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
December 8, 2014.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Office/business manager. This means I oversee office administration, financial management, human resources, facilities and developing office culture.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
The people in the company and management.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
Being able to share ideas and listening to other ideas. The way people think and see things comparing to your thoughts and figuring out what to do next, excites me. 

Now for the fun stuff.

Born
Ghana.

Raised
Ghana and the United Kingdom.

Grew up in which decade
In the 1960’s and 70’s .

Biggest influence when you were growing up
My parents.

Huge fan of
Gospel music

Family you’d like to mention
My kids: Ewurakua, Paa Kwesi, Ewurabena and Sandra and my wife Cecilia.

Other hobbies and interests
Reading, talking to people and socializing. I’m also a world traveller and can be very adventurous.

Favourite beverage
Chocolate milk.

Greatest inspiration
I love these phrases:

What is going in your head may not be the real story, the opportunity you have is the real story. Make your best out of it.” and “The only constant in life is change.”

Let’s have coffee

Not all of the people on our team drink coffee, but those of us who do are rather passionate about it. There’s something about a really great cup of Joe for us. The aroma, the taste and the kick are awesome. But so is sharing it with a colleague over an idea, a story, a strategy or a challenge. In fact, some of our best ideas as a company have begun with a thoughtful conversation and coffee.

We’re also very big fans of supporting local business and celebrating the grassroots power of entrepreneurship. After all, we are a small business and we are powered by entrepreneurship and innovation.

Not long ago (over a cup of locally roasted coffee, of course), we wondered how we could merge these shared passions in a way that included our clients. That’s where our ‘Let’s have coffee’ idea was born.

We reached out to Cupper’s Coffee and Tea, a Lethbridge business that offers an impressive array of coffees and teas from all over the world. They also import premium green coffee beans and roast them to perfection every day. Sipping Cupper’s freshly roasted coffee is such a sweet indulgence that we’ve adopted a favourite Cupper’s roast as as our own. We call it StreamBean. 

The especially-addicted coffee drinkers among us even sip their java from ceramic mugs hand-made by Mike Oleksow. Mike is an artist who lives in the Southern Alberta Rockies. Owner of Muddy Mouse Pottery, he creates gorgeous, one-of-a kind mugs by hand. It’s a beautiful thing. 

So beautiful, in fact, that we have decided to share this coffee love with our clients. If you’re a coffee drinker who loves beautiful things, just let us know. We’ll send you a half-pound of our StreamBean. If you decide to book a demo of cumulus™, our online account opening platform, we’ll send you one of Mike’s mugs as well.

Want some StreamBean coffee? Let us know here.
Want coffee and a one-of-a-kind mug? Book a demo here.