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

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.”

Everything new is old again

On April 2nd of this year our company, which was bursting at the seams in our office space, moved into a fantastic new building that will accommodate our growing team and expanding vision. Except the space isn’t new at all.

The new thirdstream head office. We can’t wait to get moved in next month.

A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

The new thirdstream headquarters was built in 1906, its grand Queen Anne Revival architecture featuring a steeply pitched gabled hip roof, dormers and stacked bay windows. Much of its original interior remains, with hardwood floors, lath and plaster walls and stained glass windows that have more than a century’s worth of stories to tell. Aside from its beautiful aesthetics and sunlit splendour, our new thirdstream home has a striking historical resonance for us. Its original owner was Charles George Kilmer Nourse, who relocated to Lethbridge to become the manager of the city’s first Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in 1905. As a software development and design agency 100% dedicated to the financial services industry, we think that this is a pretty cool, if coincidental, connection. Another thing we like about the history of our new space is that it’s got a bit of a love story behind it. Nourse’s wife Josephine wasn’t too keen to make the journey from eastern Canada to make Lethbridge her new home. To persuade her – and their children – to join him, Nourse gave Josephine carte blanche to design her dream home. Design she did. 

We love this #throwbackthursday image of the thirdstream headquarters. So much history. #TBT #3SHQ #Yql #lethbridge A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

Our much-anticipated journey into this building has been predictably exhausting, overwhelming and exciting. While we’re still in the process of settling in, we’re all feeling right ‘at home’ in our new – old – space. Check out some photos of our new digs. You’re also welcome to come by and see our new office - and us – in person any time.

The team is really settling into the new space. #3STeam

A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

Our CEO, Chris, hard at work during the recent renovations to our new building. #3SHQ A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

The move to our new space was truly the work of a team. Pictured here: Keith, Chris and Jeff. #3STeam #3SHQ

A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

Big bright windows are one of the greatest things about the new thirdstream headquarters. #3SHQ A photo posted by thirdstream (@thirdstream) on

Meet our chief operating officer

Considering his academic background and professional accolades, Nick Curry is an extremely humble guy. Let’s begin with a double masters degree in computer science, an MBA and the honour of being named the Canadian CIO of the Year by Canadian Business Magazine in 2006. ‘Lucky to have him on board’ is an understatement.

As our Chief Operating Officer, Nick handles his challenging role with ease, on any given day being a business strategist, executive marketing and relationships specialist, project, software executive and operations executive. When asked what’s best about being on the thirdstream team, he says it’s the blend of creative and technology that intrigues him the most. ‘I know of no other organization that combines those two pieces – with perhaps the exception of Apple a la Steve Jobs. We have a tremendous opportunity to be a key partner in the evolution of the Credit Union sector.’ And with Nick on board, our evolution as a company is leading us to amazing heights.

Now for the fun stuff

Born and raised in
I was born and raised in Winnipeg, although I spent significant portions of my working career travelling and working all over North America. BTW, I am the middle child of 7 children….

Grew up in which decade
Probably safe to say that my formative years were the 60’s and 70’s.

Biggest musical (or other) influence when you were growing up
Largely the Beatles and the Stones.

Favourite tune/band on your ipod right now
Most of my music – on my ipod – I use for my gym workouts or driving music and what I listen too changes by activity and mood.

Marital Status
Married with 4 children and a dog (Angus).

You’re happiest when
I can achieve the balance of hard work, hard play and family. I strive to do this every day. It’s a very important part of life.

Other Hobbies/Interests
I love to be outside, golf in the summer, staying fit in the winter. I also used to do Olympic Distance Triathlons ‘back in the day’.

Favourite Beverage
Gin & Tonic

Greatest inspiration
I am truly inspired by Apple/Steve Jobs.

Greatest achievement (so far)
My most significant achievement, professionally, was being named as the Canadian CIO of the Year by Canadian Business Magazine.

Meet our chief technical officer

As Chief Technical Officer and co-owner of thirdstream, Keith inspires our team to reach higher and dig deeper when it comes to developing products that will keep thirdstream on the leading edge of acquisition, authentication and origination technology. A strong leader with brilliant insights, Keith motivates our team to find creative, effective ways to continually push the envelope in everything we do.

When he’s not driving business and innovation forward, he’s working directly with our clients, building partnerships and alliances and getting to the heart of what they need. This is a natural role for Keith. Anyone who has ever met him can’t help but be drawn to his genuine warmth, big smile and contagious laugh. 

Here are some other cool facts about Keith.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
2004 – Christian and I were the first two standing.

What is your role with thirdstream?
My official title is CTO. However, from a day-to-day perspective, I deal more with client relationships on the software side of our business to determine the opportunities that we may have in relation to applying our technology to their environments.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
Establishing and fostering relationships with our client. What gives me the most pleasure is when a client sends through a note from one of their staff members, stating how our solution(s) have changed their daily activities for the better.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I truly appreciate everyone’s unique skills and abilities that allow us to “wow” our clients. On the marketing side, our team’s ability to capture the essence of a particular client and knock it out of the park. On the tech side, the team’s ability to make all of our hair-brained ideas work.

Now for the fun stuff  

Born
Steinbach, Manitoba

Raised
Altona, Manitoba

Grew up in which decade
I still haven’t.

Biggest musical (or other) influence when you were growing up
Anything 90’s. GnR, Skid Row, Queensrÿche. Really anything with a strong beat and an awesome guitar solo.

Favourite beverage
Beer, beer and more beer.

Other hobbies
Playing guitar, downhill skiing, curling up with a Grisham novel in front of the fire.

I’m happiest when …
I’m the first on the golf course, fresh dew on the ground and I hit a perfect iron shot into the green.

our family is growing

Our team is made up of one-of-a-kind leaders, brilliant creatives, insightful strategists, genius programmers, a sky’s-the-limit sales force and a management and support team that takes care of the crazy-making details for us like loving parents.

Now it’s become even better because we’ve added two new members to the thirdstream family. You’ll learn more about them soon, but for now, we’re happy to officially welcome them to our team.

Pauline Marimo, project coordinator

Pauline

Pauline has been working with Financial Institutions and Credit Unions for 8 years, which means that she brings a wealth of industry knowledge to our team. She’s also near completion of her Project Management Professional (PMP). As our project coordinator, Pauline meets every new challenge with an open mind, a smile on her face and management skills that keep us on task and our clients happy.

Tana Chasakara, business analyst

Tana

Tana is a recent graduate of the University of Guelph, where she earned an honours degree in Management, Economics and Finance with a GPA of 4.0. Not too shabby, right? She’s also worked in the financial sector for several years. Her combination of intelligence, experience and skill are already paying off for our team, our projects and our clients.