- ThoughtFarmer 8.1
- Case Studies
- Intranets 101
We Work Hard to Make Simple Yet Powerful Software.
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 Gill is ThoughtFarmer’s Director of Sales for North America. Prior to Thoughtfarmer, Amol spent over 6 years working in the High-Tech industry with companies like eBay and Maximizer CRM. As part of management teams, Amol has been instrumental in improving sales processes, increasing revenue and improving the customer experience.
Amol demonstrates strong leadership skills combined with a strong ability to communicate with people from various backgrounds. ThoughtFarmer utilizes Amol’s ability to work closely with clients, ensuring their vision is top priority.
Amol majored in History and minored in Philosophy at University of British Columbia. Amol lives with his wife and two children in North Vancouver, BC and enjoys reading, running and working on his garden.Email
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.
Carolien Dekeersmaeker brings over 10 years of experience in customer service and account management as ThoughtFarmer’s Client Services Manager. She’s known for her exceptional follow-through, a strong customer focus and methodical work ethic as she guides new customers from their ThoughtFarmer installation to their intranet launch.
As Client Services Manager, Carolien acts as the first point of contact for all our customers and manages the ThoughtFarmer support and documentation team. Carolien also brings some great multilingual support as ThoughtFarmer continues to explode internationally. Her French, English, Dutch and Spanish language skills have been an asset with our ThoughtFarmer clients in Europe.
Carolien has a Masters degree in French Literature and completed a post-graduate Communications program at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). She firmly believes in the power of checklists. When Carolien is not busy with ThoughtFarmer customers, she is kept busy by her feisty son and daughter, trotting around the city with a camera, running and dreaming about trips to Italy and Japan.Email
As an ambitious digital marketer, Christie turns OpenRoad and ThoughtFarmer’s marketing strategies into well-executed campaigns with tangible results. With a communications degree from Simon Fraser University, she brings strong writing and storytelling skills to our content marketing efforts. Christie is also the friendly face who greets you at OpenRoad events, and is the voice behind many of our email and social communications.
Prior to OpenRoad, Christie worked on the corporate communications team at Hydro One (a major electricity provider in Ontario). While there, she grew her internal communications and public relations skill-sets by managing content on their intranet, their mobile app, and their social media platforms. This experience sparked Christie’s passion for intranets and gives her keen insights into the needs of our ThoughtFarmer clients.
Outside of work, Christie can be found reading one of Heather’s Picks, listening to country music, or doing something active outdoors.
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.
As technical support engineer for ThoughtFarmer, David’s goal is to keep our 100% Client Support Satisfaction rating. This includes installations, upgrades, as well as troubleshooting and optimizing. Prior to OpenRoad and ThoughtFarmer David worked in the agriculture industry focussing on traffic and logistics, as well as administration. David has a degree in Business Administration, and a diploma in Information Technology Management.
David’s enjoys outdoor activities such as snowboarding and cycling. He’s also an avid gamer who enjoys pwning n00bs in Guild Wars 2.Email
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 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.
As ThoughtFarmer’s Customer Success Coordinator, Hollie’s top priority is to help our customers from all over the globe launch successful intranets. From installation to onboarding, to continuous growth, Hollie is there every step of the way to ensure organizations are getting the most out of ThoughtFarmer.
Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Hollie worked in various customer service roles in the hospitality industry. With over a decade of customer service experience, Hollie believes empathy and understanding are the keys to delivering positive experiences.
Hollie holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from UBC. In her spare time, she can be found baking delicious sweets, digitally modeling 3D characters and environments, attending concerts, and playing video games. She also plays a variety of musical instruments and is keen to continue learning and improving as a singer/songwriter.
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 Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with diverse experience as a project manager and project coach. As Director of Project Services, Jessica spearheads all areas of OpenRoad’s project management, bringing an eye for the big picture and the ability to balance a project’s technical and creative needs to meet business objectives.
During her career, she’s managed CMS portal implementations, rebrands, online video games, software implementation, and website builds. She’s worked closely with both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies like Coca-Cola UK and Pfizer, along with the U.S. Department of Energy, to name just a few.
In her spare time, you’ll find Jessica outside: climbing boulders, snowboarding, and riding bikes.
As a self-professed grammar and numbers geek, Jill leads ThoughtFarmer’s content marketing, SEM, website optimization, and social media efforts. She is a graduate of the Marketing Management program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration. Jill previously worked at digital marketing agency, gaining SEM and social media experience for a wide variety of clients including HSBC, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Topshop, and Marriott.
She is active in the Vancouver marketing community, where she volunteers for the BCAMA and is a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade Company of Young Professionals program. She also co-organizes the VanUE monthly meet-ups and annual award show.Email
Joey is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 12 years of project and business management experience. As a Senior Project Manager, Joey is responsible for seeing projects through from inception to completion, and ensuring the final product meets the client’s needs. Joey also holds an advanced certificate in Business Analysis from Royal Roads University.
Before joining OpenRoad, Joey gained diverse project experience across multiple industries including gaming, web publishing, commercial distribution, financial services and CRM. Being a results-oriented problem solver and possessing keen organization skills has allowed him to successfully deliver projects for major brands such as Electronic Arts, HSBC and Tourism BC.
In his spare time Joey can be found cheering on the Whitecaps as a season ticket holder, selecting players for his fantasy hockey team or travelling around the world.
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.
Lawrence fills multiple roles at ThoughtFarmer including software development & architecture, database design, business analysis and acting as ThoughtFarmer’s system administrator. Lawrence has been a member of the OpenRoad team since 1999. With a degree from Simon Fraser University in Computer Science and Economics, he brings strong analytical and architectural skills to each project.
Although he does like anything hardware and software related, outside of the office Lawrence serves as personal shopper to many and is a self-confessed foodie and lover of fine scotch.
Martyn Braithwaite has 10 years of experience working as a Software Developer and IT consultant covering the entire software lifecycle from requirements gathering, architecture and design to implementation and support.
Martyn previously worked as a consultant for Accenture where he was a senior developer working in the Futureshop / BestBuy IT department specifically in the Ecommerce team. He was responsible for designing and implementing highly scalable features for 2 of the busiest Canadian retail websites (www.futureshop.ca and www.bestbuy.ca).
Martyn has a Bsc(Hons) in Computer / Management Science and is also a Microsoft Certified Solution Developer. Before moving to Vancouver he lived in England where he was a senior consultant with a number of IT firms in the London area. Martyn is our resident expert on all things British, from cricket to fish ‘n chips.
As a visual and interactive designer at ThoughtFarmer, Meghan builds on her background in fine arts, interaction design, and user experience to solve design problems on a variety of web platforms and devices. Her flexible skill-set includes creating task-based user flows, interactive wireframes, and HTML/CSS prototypes. Her understanding of front-end technologies allows her to design web experiences that not only engage the user, but are also realistic to develop.
Prior to joining ThoughtFarmer, Meghan came from Idea Rebel and Skyrocket Digital where she worked with clients like the Vancouver Canucks, Quiksilver and Vega. Graduating with honours from BCIT’s New Media Design and Web Development Program, Meghan also holds a BFA in Design Art from Concordia University in Montreal.
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.
Ryan is a Software Developer for ThoughtFarmer. He brings six years of advanced and diverse web development experience, advanced through work on a range of projects including e-commerce platforms, CMS-driven sites, cloud-based APIs, and online games.
Ryan is enthusiastic about software quality, system architecture, and clean UI design. Having worked for a range of start-ups including bazinga! Technologies, Ryan uses his experience to design simple, elegant solutions for ThoughtFarmer that are easy to change and evolve over time.
Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Ryan loves living in BC where he is surrounded by avid hockey fans (go Canucks!) and an abundance of mountains to explore. Ryan completed his degree in cinematography and film/video production from Bond University, and his master’s degree in information technology from the Queensland University of Technology. When not developing software, snowboarding, or cheering for the Canucks, Ryan can be found at the golf course trying to perfect his swing.
Sara is ThoughtFarmer’s intrepid Sales Coordinator – from juggling schedules to drafting proposals, she works closely with both clients and the ThoughtFarmer team to keep things running smoothly.
Sara has a professional background in legal administration and small business. Sara came to ThoughtFarmer after 6 years on Vancouver Island where she founded Sarandipity, an artisan manufacturer of organic chocolates.
Originally from New Jersey, Sara holds a degree in Political Science from Boston College where she also studied Faith, Peace, and Justice and spent a semester abroad in El Salvador. When she’s not working, she loves exploring the “big city”, eating her way around the world, and providing her ThoughtFarmer colleagues with “s’mores” and other goodies.Email
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
Trevor has eight years of experience designing useful, usable and innovative web-based software. As a User Experience Designer for ThoughtFarmer, Trevor is responsible for ensuring new features work in a way people expect while ensuring the overall experience of the product remains consistent, intuitive and, dare we say, fun to use.
His educational background is in Applied Psychology (Human Factors and Ergonomics tract) at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. When not working, he enjoys running, snowboarding, cooking and traveling with his family.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 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.