Having a good product alone is not enough: you need a great team behind it to make it work. We have gone to great lengths to assemble a dedicated team of designers, developers, and project managers. Let’s introduce you to the team.
Darren Gibbons is the co-creator of ThoughtFarmer and the President of OpenRoad, since its inception in 1995. His hands-on approach has helped organizations like the British Columbia Supreme Court, Intrawest Corporation, and the Workers Compensation Board achieve success with innovative and powerful web applications. Darren is deeply involved in every feature developed for ThoughtFarmer and his creativity and attention to detail are evident in the finished product.
Darren majored in Applied Physics at Simon Fraser University. He has been a guest speaker on topics ranging from Java to network security, and is co-author of a book on JavaBeans 1.1, published by McGraw-Hill. In his spare time, Darren amuses the rest of the ThoughtFarmer crew by digging up and posting obscure YouTube videos to our own ThoughtFarmer intranet.Email
Gordon Ross is an OpenRoad partner and the Vice President responsible for strategy and professional services for ThoughtFarmer. An 18 year veteran of the web development industry, Gordon has led numerous web strategy, user experience, and intranet projects for clients such as BC Hydro, the City of Vancouver, Mountain Equipment Coop, the Government of British Columbia, and the World Bank. He’s spoken at Enterprise 2.0, OpenGovWest, Social Intranet Summit, SXSW, and World IA Day conferences, and is a frequent blogger on the theory behind social intranets.
Gordon earned a BA in Communications at Simon Fraser University, has taught IT project management and e-business courses at SFU and lectured at BCIT and the Vancouver Film School. He’s passionate about the ideas surrounding communications, complexity, ethnography, service design, social network analysis, theory of technology, urban planning, and the how the collision of these ideas can help make work better and organizations thrive. Gordon is a certified Cognitive Edge practitioner and an active member of the Vancouver cycling community.Email
Amol is the Director of Sales at ThoughtFarmer. With over 11 years of experience, he has a deep understanding of the complex communication, collaboration, and cultural challenges that organizations face.
Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Amol has spent the duration of his career in the the high-tech industry working for companies like eBay and Maximizer CRM. As part of management, he played an instrumental role in leading the sales team, improving sales processes, increasing revenue, and improving the customer experience.
Amol has a degree in history with a minor in philosophy from the University of British Columbia. When he isn’t preaching the gospel that is intranets he can be found running a marathon, tending to his garden, or chasing around his energetic kids.
Anne is an interactive designer who brings international agency experience to OpenRoad. She works with the creative team on a variety of design projects ranging from web design to motion and branding.
Originally from Ottawa, she studied Graphic Design and Interactive Multimedia at Algonquin College before landing a position with Landor Associates in Hamburg, Germany. While abroad, she was able to work within a variety of projects and industries, including branding and conceptual design for beverages and consumer goods.
Anne is inspired by all that surrounds her and driven by the need to create and explore. From Game of Thrones to an afternoon hockey game, she is pretty much down to watch anything. Don’t hesitate to tell her a joke — her loud and contagious laugh might just catch you off guard.
As ThoughtFarmer’s Project Manager, Ben is responsible for maintaining the balance between scope, requirements, and budget with our clients and internal teams. Ben focuses most of his time helping our customers get what they need from ThoughtFarmer, keeping them engaged and informed during the process. He also ensures that our internal processes are as efficient as possible so we have more time to dedicate to our clients.
Ben has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary and an MBA from San Diego State University. He earned his Project Management Professional (PMP) designation in 2016 and takes pride in delivering successful projects and building strong relationships with each client to ensure they are set up for success.
Outside of the office, Ben can be found playing guitar, hiking one of the beautiful mountains in Vancouver, or skiing in the winter time.
The Director of Customer Success is responsible for championing our ThoughtFarmer customers and empowering them to achieve their organizational goals. With over 15 years of experience in the customer service industry, Carolien believes empathy is one of the core supporting pillars to building a meaningful, supportive, and personal relationship with each client.
Carolien leads our support, customer success, and professional services team to ensure successful adoption of ThoughtFarmer across our global customer base. She guides and coaches her group as they assist clients from their ThoughtFarmer installation to intranet launch. She also works closely with customers post launch to ensure their continued success.
Carolien has a Masters degree in French Literature and completed a post-graduate Communications program at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). When she is not busy with ThoughtFarmer customers, you can find Carolien working through a Japanese crossword puzzle, cooking (well, mostly eating the cooking), or chasing around her two kids on Bowen Island.Email
As Office Administrator, Chanel keeps the office running smoothly and ThoughtFarmer’s employees supported and happy. If you’ve ever had any business interaction with ThoughtFarmer—facilities management, accounts payable, project expenses, travel coordination—then it’s likely that Chanel was involved in making that interaction a success. Chanel also assists in the planning and execution of our awesome monthly staff events—think escape rooms, improv workshops, and hockey games (to name a few).
Before escaping to the warmer west, Chanel lived in Edmonton where she worked as a print operator for the City, gaining experience in data entry, the Microsoft Suite, and strategic analysis. Chanel has a diploma in Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.
When not at the office, Chanel likes to spend time in nature, exploring Deep Cove and Stanley Park. She also enjoys trying new food (working in Gastown has fostered her foodie side) so she likes to explore different cafes sampling their menu.
As a Client Advisor, Coleton is responsible for expanding ThoughtFarmer’s customer base by understanding client’s needs. With over three years of customer service experience, Coleton has a proven ability to connect with key decision makers and foster trusting relationships with clients.
Prior to ThoughtFarmer, Coleton worked in a sales and customer service role, serving the gas and oil industry in Alberta. Coleton holds a Bachelors Degree in Business, New Venture and Entrepreneurship, where he developed strong business acumen in value proposition and strategic planning.
Coleton considers himself a stereotypical Canadian who loves listening to country music, hiking, and exploring the wild side of Canada. But how could one consider themself a true Canadian without playing hockey? Well, he has also played over 17 years of competitive hockey. A career highlight was winning a championship with his varsity team at Mount Royal University.
Dominic helps build the software that powers the intranets of companies around the world. With over six years in the software development industry, Dominic brings expertise in front- and back-end development, database architecture, and game development.
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Dominic received his Bachelor of Game Design from Griffith University. Immediately following graduation, he formed a start-up focusing on mobile game development before moving on to work at a number of startups creating solutions for government and education clients using web technologies with a .NET backend.
Dominic moved to Vancouver in March and was shocked to discover he was not the first Australian to make the move here. When not in front of a computer he enjoys taking in everything BC has to offer, including hiking, cycling, and playing touch football.
As a Project Manager at OpenRoad, Dominik is responsible for ensuring projects stay on time and budget, while keeping our customers engaged and informed during the process. He believes that transparency and dialog during development are the keys to creating successful final outcomes.
Before joining OpenRoad, Dominik spent 12 years at Pointstreak Sports Technologies where he managed the technology team for customers such as NHL Central Scouting, The Sports Network, Little League Baseball and the German Ice Hockey League. He has experience managing projects and products using SCRUM Agile methodology, which provides frequent, review-able releases to the client throughout development.
Dominik has a Bachelors of Computing Science from Simon Fraser University. This enables him to translate customer needs into sound technology solutions.
In his free time, Dominik will probably be either swimming, biking or running, most likely in that order. He prefers his transportation to be two-wheeled, either with an engine or without.
As a Software Developer at ThoughtFarmer, Ertac works with his team to design and develop new features and releases for ThoughtFarmer across the full stack of application layers. He approaches software development by conducting research and gathering evidence around the problem until he arrives at the best solution. This comprehensive methodology is instrumental as he participates in decision-making on overall product strategy and assists the support team in troubleshooting technical issues.
Ertac completed his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics before earning a Master’s in Information Technology. He has ample experience in .NET as well as front-end development. Before joining ThoughtFarmer, Ertac worked in the finance industry as a programmer. He focused on building process automation software and helped develop an online rewards redemption platform for some of North America’s largest retailers.
Outside of work, Ertac enjoys travelling and spending time outdoors. He likes to think of himself as a nature-photographer in training (watch out National Geographic). When the weather isn’t cooperating (which is most of the time in Vancouver), he stays inside to read about the latest technologies and methodologies in software development.
As Project Manager, Geri is responsible for maintaining the balance of scope, requirements and budget with our clients and our internal teams. Geri is also involved in ensuring that internal processes are performed as efficiently as possible, and that the right people are on the right projects at the right time. With a Bachelor of Science in Interaction Design from Simon Fraser University, Geri brings a great mix experience and usability design knowledge to her role as project manager.
Geri believes the most exciting part about being a project lead is having the ability to work with and motivate a project team towards the common goal of bringing the client’s visions to life. Born in Malaysia, Geri found a way to bring the tropics with her through a passion for tropical plants and gardening.
The Director of Marketing for ThoughtFarmer is responsible for driving the marketing strategy and guiding potential clients towards the best intranet solution on the planet (although we’re slightly biased).
Ian joined the ThoughtFarmer team having worked with several startups in Vancouver’s tech space. A bonafide marketing nerd, his educational background includes a degree in internal business and languages, a masters in creative advertising, and a postgrad in consumer behaviour.
When not trying to convince the world that ThoughtFarmer is the world’s best intranet solution, Ian can be found nose-deep in non-fiction, failing to emulate his cooking hero Jamie Oliver (his 20 minute meals never take 20 minutes), or angrily muttering at his golf clubs for not doing what they were told.
Originally from Iran, Ida came to Canada six years ago to learn the art of web development. She graduated with honours from BCIT’s Diploma in Computer Systems Technology program and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in computing science from Simon Fraser University.
When not sitting behind a computer for work or for school, she enjoys adrenaline-seeking activities like bungee jumping, skydiving, and paragliding.
As one of ThoughtFarmer’s interface designers, James works on ThoughtFarmer branding projects, as well as prototyping and designing new features. James works closely with the user experience design team to perfectly blend design and functionality into beautiful and easy-to-use web spaces. He also occasionally jumps in on front-end development work. Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, he designed a variety of projects at digital agency Mod7 for large British Columbia clients, such as BC Dairy Association, Electronic Arts and Law Society of British Columbia.
James’ educational background covers a breadth of knowledge of all things design. After completing Capilano University’s 3D Animation and Visual FX program, James graduated from Langara College’s Electronic Media Design program, where he honed his design skills.
When he’s away from work, you can find James playing ice hockey, snowboarding, travelling or eating at “that new place that just opened up”.
Jennifer Gerth has 15 years of experience ensuring software product Quality.
Before coming to ThoughtFarmer in 2008, she worked with Global Market Insite, a Vancouver start-up company, where she concentrated on Release Management and software as a service. Previously, Jennifer built a wealth of experience at Raytheon Canada writing and executing test procedures, requirement traceability matrices and auditing software.
ThoughtFarmer utilizes Jennifer’s ability to work closely with business analysts, software developers and other quality assurance engineers and agile development teams to strengthen the quality of our software. In her spare time, you can usually find Jennifer outside or in the velodrome riding one of her many bikes.Email
Jessica is a senior user experience practitioner at ThoughtFarmer who specializes in information architecture and user research. With over 15 years of experience, she uses a broad range of tools to help our clients create usable classification and categorization structures to ensure well organized content and easy-to-use intranets.
Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Jessica worked at Analytic Design Group where she led several large-scale user experience projects through discovery, research, strategy, and design phases.
When not helping our amazing ThoughtFarmer clients, Jessica spends her time enriching the UX community as a co-organizer of the Vancouver Information Architecture & Content Strategy meetup group.
As Director of Client Services, Jessica has an eye for the bigger picture, and an ability to balance both technical and creative needs to spearhead OpenRoad’s project management capabilities. She acts as an account manager for clients including Pokémon, BC Hydro, and ICBC, reviewing progress reports, and making staffing and financial decisions to ensure success.
Throughout her career, Jessica has managed CMS portal implementations, service design projects, rebrands, online video games, and website builds at a number of different organizations in a variety of industries. It’s this breadth of experience that allows her to coach and mentor OpenRoad’s project managers, ensuring they have the support they need to keep our clients happy.
Outside of work you can find Jessica riding bikes, fixing bikes, and cleaning bikes. Did we mention she likes bikes?
As the Director of Project Services, Joey works with all types of clients to understand the scope of their needs and see that our team delivers a final product that exceeds their expectations. He manages end to end, multi-discipline projects and is at the helm of strategic initiatives for our clients.
With nearly 15 years of experience as a Project Manager, Joey has worked in financial services, the CRM space, and gaming. He has his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and manages waterfall and agile projects but mostly uses a hybrid of the two.
When he’s not juggling projects, Joey spends all his time with his kids. 22 month old Piero already loves to play soccer with his dad and excels at taking long naps (a skill he acquired from his mom). Three year old Sophie is, in fact, a dog—but this very special Yorkie is a huge part of the family.
As a Visual and Motion Designer, Josh seamlessly incorporates graphics into the user experience journey. From conceptualization to delivery, he never fails to translate abstract ideas into visually engaging experiences.
Originally from Ottawa, Josh studied graphic design at Algonquin College. He spent a year and a half as a motion designer/illustrator at a film studio called inMotion before venturing out West with his trusty snowboard in hand. He’s been in Vancouver for three years working as a freelancer on web, motion graphics, and illustration projects before joining the team.
In his free time, he plays the guitar, scours record shops to grow his collection, and explores Vancouver on his skateboard. Josh gets outside as much as he can and appreciates a good ol’ cup of joe.
A talented, multidisciplinary designer, Kaitie plays a pivotal role in maintaining the quality of design in all areas of ThoughtFarmer—from product design, to marketing, to helping our customers bring their individual intranet brands to life. She takes pride in creating solutions that improve the day-to-day work of employees, whether the result is obvious or subtle. With a keen eye for detail and an empathetic approach, Kaitie collaborates with the product development team to create elegant, functional touch points along the user journey.
Kaitie studied graphic design at Langara College, held several in-house design positions, and later worked for Langara assisting the coordination of the Continuing Studies design programs. Her work has been featured in HOW Magazine. Before she walked through our front door, Kaitie was a designer at Cedar Made Design where she worked with clients like Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation, 6S Marketing, TransLink, David Suzuki Foundation and the University of British Columbia.
In her down time, Kaitie can be found hiking the trails of North Vancouver, running along the seawall, or climbing rocks, often with her adorable deaf dog, Finn, loving life right along side her.
Kallie is a Design Director driven by a desire to create honest, intelligent and elegantly-crafted work. With 14 years’ of experience in strategic branding and communication design, Kallie works with the design team and assists with art direction across a wide range of disciplines. She takes a pragmatic approach, providing considered and appropriate creative solutions to ensure clients reach their objectives.
Originally from New Zealand, Kallie holds a Bachelor of Design from Auckland University of Technology. She gained four years’ experience in Auckland followed by eight years in London, UK, and has worked on brands for The Crown Estate, Grosvenor, The Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, The University of Kent, Lend Lease, Sloane Street, East Village London and many more.
Ever curious, Kallie loves to explore our world and seeks out the local food, art, history and culture in every place she visits. Since moving to Vancouver, she has enjoyed developing her yoga practice and hiking the great outdoors on weekends.
As the Senior Content Writer for ThoughtFarmer, Kelly is responsible for ensuring all of ThoughtFarmer’s content is well written, engaging, and eloquent. She works closely on customer stories, blogs, collateral, and ad copy.
Kelly is passionate about workplace communication. Prior to ThoughtFarmer she worked for a few Vancouver Startups—primarily in the HR tech and internal communications sector. Her long history of working in our industry has helped her better understand the deep communication challenges faced by many organizations.
Kelly studied Technical Communication at Simon Fraser University, Marketing and Communications at BCIT, and Public Relations at Langara College. While she appreciates all forms of good writing, she prefers concise, straight to the point prose (think Hemingway).
In her free time she can be found taking ballet classes—which she has done for over 25 years, cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays, and enjoying frequent excursions to Taco Bell, where her and her husband celebrate Valentine’s Day every year.
As a Business Analyst, Lawrence meets with users to better understand their needs and translate those into requirements for developers. He also make sure our teams have the hardware they need by managing all the computers, servers, networking, firewalls, backups, and software in our office.
Lawrence started with us as a Software Developer in 1999 and since then has shifted his focus from development to business analysis. He’s managed the rebuild of the Pokemon website, made Content Management System recommendations for clients, and done analysis for the Ministry of Justice.
When he isn’t working, Lawrence loves spending time with his family. He has a knack for photoshop-ing people heads into other pictures and enjoys running, gardening, and drinking scotch. He is also undoubtedly the only Vancouverite who claims to like driving in the snow.
Prior to joining the ThoughtFarmer team, Michael Olund acted as a business analyst, architect, and lead developer on several large projects at OpenRoad, for clients including the BC Courts, Intrawest, and Kernaghan Adjusters. Michael excels at database design, .NET web development, and back-end server development, with a strong aptitude for web-based financial and accounting systems.
Michael has a degree in Business Administration, with a finance concentration, and a joint major in Economics. Prior to becoming a web developer 13 years ago, Michael worked in financial roles at Coast Capital Savings, and the Government of Canada. Michael is a father of four and a sporadic triathlete.Email
As a Technical Support Specialist for ThoughtFarmer, Mina’s goal is to provide technical assistance for our clients and maintain our 99% Client Support Satisfaction rating. This includes responding to support requests, and performing installations, upgrades and troubleshooting sessions. He’s also responsible for internal system administration at OpenRoad.
Before coming to ThoughtFarmer, Mina worked as Junior Software Developer at Finger Food Studios. He advanced his software development skills through building tools for their large client base, while gaining a deep insight into the software industry. Mina also worked as a Technical Analyst at UBC, translating client’s requirements into programming specs and lending a hand throughout the development process.
Mina has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Engineering from UBC. When Mina is not busy helping clients, he can be found looking up the newest technology gadgets, listening to country music, or doing something active.
As a Software Tester, Preston is part of ThoughtFarmer’s last line of defense against bugs, inconsistencies, and performance flaws. He is responsible for manual and automated testing to make sure our software delivers the best user experience for our clients.
Preston studied Computer Science at UBC and completed two co-op terms as a software tester and developer. Before joining the ThoughtFarmer team, he worked at Global Relay as a QA Analyst and at Optigo Networks as a Full Stack Developer.
Born and raised in Victoria, Preston loves cooking and testing out new recipes on his friends. In his spare time, he enjoys Vancouver’s music scene and hits the local slopes in the winter.
As a Professional Services Developer, Riva builds client-facing customizations that connect employees with the information they need to get their job done. Riva jumps between building custom cards, to running the support desk, to writing development proposals, all to ensure our clients get what they need from ThoughtFarmer.
Riva graduated from Western University in Ontario with a Bachelor’s in Media, Information, and Technoculture. After graduation, she returned home to Vancouver and completed a 12-week front-end coding boot camp. This led to her landing her first gig with the Georgia Straight’s in-house web team before joining the ThoughtFarmer team.
Born and raised on the North Shore, Riva enjoys hiking, biking, and skiing. When she’s not exploring the outdoors, she’s relaxing with her two cats, Aria and Milo, and dreaming of creating her own cooking blog.
Siddharth is part of the team setting a new standard for tech support. He provides technical assistance to our clients when they need us most and maintains our outstanding 99% client support satisfaction rating. When our clients have a problem they’ll hear his friendly voice explaining how he’s working to solve whatever problem they’re having.
Siddharth came to ThoughtFarmer from New York City where he worked as a Network Analyst at Nomura Securities. With a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the NYU School of Engineering, Siddharth has a deep understanding of the basic plumbing that makes the internet tick. While studying hard he took time out of his busy schedule to help manage school programs run by the Center for K12 STEM Education.
When he’s not talking to clients, Siddharth loves riding his shiny new bike around Vancouver and cooking big meals for friends because he’s just that kind of guy.
As a Product Designer at ThoughtFarmer, Sophia works as part of the User Experience team and specializes in User Interface design. With over 10 years of experience in design, she’s an expert at finding solutions that make products intuitive and attractive for users.
Originally from South Korea, Sophia studied Industrial Design and Visual Communication Design at Chonbuk National University. Before coming to Canada, she worked as a Senior UI designer for clients like LG, Hyundai, and Kia. She’s worked on digital dashboards for Kia, digital interfaces for LG smart home appliances, and UI guidelines for LG mobile devices.
Sophia likes spending time with the friends she’s made here who are like her Canadian family. She also attends Meetups for designers to expand her network in the industry and meet new people.
Tim works with clients to help them get the most out of their ThoughtFarmer experience through customization and integration. He provides consultation and implementation for projects that extend ThoughtFarmer beyond the out-of-the-box solution. Tim also leads the ThoughtFarmer development community to help others create their own custom portlets and use the API. Additionally, he provides training and consultation for ThoughtFarmer web analytics.
Since 2008, Tim Schiller has been an integral part of the ThoughtFarmer Development Team. Tim’s technical expertise includes .NET web development, Microsoft Windows and SQL Server management, and SharePoint administration. Tim has a Bachelor’s of Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tim’s technical side is balanced out by his musical talents, his interest in fitness and his love for the outdoors.Email
As a Product Experience Manager, Trevor combines his love for interaction design, information architecture, system design, and product management to give our clients an intuitive intranet platform that’s engaging and easy-to-use. He also works on product road mapping, manages product enhancements, and ensures that clients are set up before launch.
Trevor studied Applied Psychology, with a focus on human factors and ergonomics at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. He worked in the video game industry before entering the world of web and has over a decade of experience designing useful, usable, and innovative web-based software. Before joining the team, Trevor was at Telus where he worked on major redesigns of their consumer websites and self-serve account portal.
When he’s not optimizing product experience, Trevor optimizes his BBQ rib recipe by constructing his very own smoker out of a trash can. An avid cyclist he dabbles in racing cyclocross and if you ask nicely he may even whip up some of his famous pico de gallo.Email
As a Software Developer, Tyler’s skill set is diverse, covering both backend and front-end development, database architecture, and game development. With an educational background in user experience and user interaction design, Tyler’s work helps bridge the gap between design and development. His work often focuses on prototyping, where he works closely with the design team to solve unique problems.
Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Tyler worked at a cutting-edge digital agency with a range of clients including the BC Dairy Association, National Film Board of Canada, and the Law Society of British Columbia. As a part of his role there, he worked heavily with developing cloud-based applications and running cloud-based servers. His work has been recognized by the Microsoft Developers Network and has been prominently featured within the Flash developers’ community.
With a Mechanical Engineering degree from UBC, Vince began life as a Project Manager over 14 years ago at an engineering consulting firm. The intrigue and allure of the software world beckoned him to a career change starting with a Software Systems Development diploma at BCIT. Since then, Vince has had a wide range of experience that includes coding applications, providing business analysis, conducting software testing, and managing IT projects. Vince’s diverse background brings a unique approach to managing projects while providing technical and analytical expertise.
Vince feels that a project is successful when the client leaves empowered with new tools to succeed and the project team enjoyed the work feeling proud of their accomplishment. Through his practical approach and positive attitude, Vince manages project resources and ensures that business requirements are met. When Vince is not busy creating cost/time estimates, he can be found tinkering with old cars and driving them throughout the city.
As Creative Director of ThoughtFarmer, Wil drives the visual and interactive design efforts. He truly believes that employee-facing software can be equally as beautiful, engaging, and enjoyable to use as consumer software. Wil works closely with the development team to propel ThoughtFarmer to the next level of communication and collaboration tools, while finding new ways to help clients’ enhance their brand internally.
With over 20 years of design experience, Wil’s work has been honoured with some 150 industry and design awards and numerous accolades in the media. As former principal of a leading Vancouver digital agency, Wil pioneered the product development of a gaming platform and several mobile games and apps. He also helped numerous clients develop their digital brand, including The Food Network, BC Dairy Association, Electronic Arts, and CBC.
When not spending time with his wife and two children or challenging his team to create great design at ThoughtFarmer, Wil tries to dabble in amateur astronomy photography, pounding his drums into splinters, and writing cheesy science fiction novels.