We are Vendastians, we come in peace.
Here they are: the hardest working bunch of software gurus and business brains this side of the galaxy. Each one of them has ‘Work hard, play hard’ tattooed on the insides of their eyelids, and if you don’t believe it, swing by for a game of foosball.
Allan Wolinski is in charge of office culture. As VP, Operations, he recruits new employees and coaches them in the principles of Agile software development, which he advocates with a fervor bordering on the evangelical. Allan's pastimes include soccer and sailing. For a while, one of his sailboats sat in the middle of the office, which is why (in case you were wondering) our logo is shaped like a sail.
Andrew Tremblay likes to go fast. He was a sprinter in another life, where he set some new records and ran for the U of S Huskies track and field team. When he isn't a blurry streak, he loves to travel and drink craft beers from around the world. To date, he has sampled over 600 varieties and counting. He is also a geographically inconvenienced baseball fan, as his adopted team is over 2200 km away. Regardless, he has a shrine of Blue Jays memorabilia in his vintage basement bar.
Arielle Devlin is renowned for her world-class phone etiquette, which makes sense, as Vendasta’s frontline receptionist, she’s always ready to take your call. Go on... Give her a ring! When you get a hold of her, feel free to ask her about her latest trip to BC and which Okanagan vineyard is her favourite. She stays in shape by teaching people Pilates and different styles of dance. She loves salsa dancing and musicals! One time she played a chorus girl in a local production of The Producers. Arielle graduated from the U of C, she holds a degree in co-operation with The School of Alberta Ballet. Her friendly demeanor and enthusiasm to learn is reflected by her 10-year-old dog, “Winston” who is still full of energy and loves to be around good company.
Aristo Lam was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and recently graduated from the Edwards School of Business with a B. Comm degree in Marketing. At the age of five, Aristo decided that he wanted to be a frog when he grew up. However, in the cold and harsh light of reality, he's since abandoned that dream and become a Digital Agent at Vendasta which he deems to be the next best thing. His imagination continues to get carried away, usually in the form of ridiculous business ideas and/or inventions. Aristo backpacked around the world and back! He’s swam with dolphins in Cuba, scuba dived at the southernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef and drank a beer on top of Mt. Doom in New Zealand. He loves to cook, is a film junkie and he secretly aspires to becoming a rap mogul like Jay-Z.
Ashley Elder is a small town girl who looks after her family when she’s not working as a Digital Agent. Her passion for cooking and baking keeps friends and families stomachs full and hearts warm. With a strong customer service background and great work ethic she is sure to be an asset to the Vendasta team.
Ben Thunderchild comes to Vendasta from years in the customer service area. Originally from Thunderchild First Nation, he's lived his life all over the province from Canora to Beavual. He also spent a year with his family living and experiencing life above the Arctic Circle in Igloolik, Nunavut. It was his passion for providing excellent customer service and his interests in the ever growing Technology sector here in the province that brought him to Vendasta. In his free time, he can be found at local collector and card shops. He maintains a healthy interest in all things geek related, not limited to - Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, Marvel and DC Comics, Star Wars and Doctor Who.
Bill O'Dell combines years of customer service and writing experience as a Digital Agent at Vendasta. While Saskatoon is now home for him, Canada was not always home for this American citizen (soon to be Canadian!) He tries his best to fit in and fit everything in with a wife, twins, a dream job, not to mention - freelance writing, cooking and writing about spicy gluten free food in one blog, playing and writing about Magic in another blog. Other hobbies include reading fantasy/sci-fi books and trying to get some sleep. If you must know, he like all the fandoms, but if forced to choose: Star Wars and DC!
Brad Johnson has been a computer nerd since elementary school and has always had a passion for building things, be it woodworking, electronic circuits, autobody work, writing and, of course, software development. Brad is also a music lover, keeping a keen eye out for brand new bands before they make it big and trying to catch whatever local shows he can. His fascination with music extends into the technical realm as well: Brad spends a good deal of his time trying out new audio equipment and new installation techniques to make things sound pretty.
Braden Bassingthwaite loves to travel the world (and not just on Warcraft, either). He has visited three countries, six provinces, and seventeen states, and has earned a Computer Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. An avid hunter, fisherman, and cook, Braden is voted 'most likely to survive should our office go camping and get lost in the woods' (for the record, he's also voted 'most mispronounced surname').
Branson Perreault is a recent U of S graduate with a degree in Computer Science, and now works as a Product Developer with Vendasta. An unspeakable amount of his free time is spent playing, researching, collecting, and obsessing over games of all sorts. Branson expresses his creativity through home-brewing fancy beer, which is both a hobby and a pastime for him (and it's easy on the wallet, too).
Breanne Budz is a recent computer science graduate from the U of S and is excited to join Vendasta as a software developer. She has a bachelor's degree in education and was an elementary school teacher before changing paths into the tech world. In her free time, Breanne enjoys spending time with family and friends, travelling, and playing a variety of sports. Her more introverted side likes playing video games, reading, watching anime, and training for marathons (on Netflix).
Brendan King is Vendasta's public face, voice, and disconcertingly boisterous laugh. As CEO, he's involved in every aspect of the business. He even sits in on technical meetings, quietly catching up on his email in the darkest corner of the room, then popping his head up to ask the obvious, inconvenient question that everyone has been trying to avoid facing. Brendan is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first business, an athletic clothing store, while still in university. It went broke after two years. His subsequent ventures have turned out significantly better.
Brent Yates worked with a local fleet management company for five years before jumping ship and joining Vendasta's formidable forces. He got his start doing embedded development and then moved on to higher level applications, building on his diploma in Electronics Systems Engineering Technology from SIAST. Now he's responsible for development on some of our consulting code; when he's not busy working, he can be found putting birdies on the golf course, brushing ice at the curling rink, and tuning up his old '57 Merc truck.
Brox Huang was born in Fuzhou, the capital of southeastern China's Fujian province and close to Northern Tropic. He finished his first bachelor degree in Pharmacy, but an internship in a drug store, he decided pharmacy was not for him. He chose Computer Science for his second degree, because he was intrigued how 1s and 0s could describe the world. He also decided he wanted to live in a country that is not quite so hot in summer - so, Canada it is! He started with Newfoundland, but was horrified with their winter. It snowed more than 330cm that year, and the campus was closed 5 times due to the severe winter storm. So Brox decided to give Saskatoon a try for the remainder of his Computer Science degree. He has since fallen in love with this clean and peaceful city, and he is very excited to be working in an intern position as a software developer at Vendasta. In his spare time, Brox plays a lot of video games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft. He is also getting pretty good at cooking, especially Fujian cuisine.
Bryan Larson spent his twenties indulging his inner traveller, having trekked through New Zealand, Australia, the Nepalese Himalayas, Galapagos Islands, Machu Picchu, and even more. Now, in his thirties, he says that although his wanderlust hasn't vanished, his priorities have shifted towards more domestic adventures, such as, you know, getting a mortgage and other exciting grownup things. Bryan's eye for design and 10+ years in media and design make him the perfect person to tackle our increasingly complex UI elements and create a better experience for our users.
Caileigh Simpson fell madly in love with Saskatoon after moving here from Toronto in January 2015, and subsequently developed a deep affinity for bridges, The Sheepdogs, and good beer. After graduating from Queen's University with a Kinesiology degree she worked a couple of cool jobs in health and sport, but after some amazing people introduced her to Vendasta she knew she had to get involved. She digs sports, camping, and live music, and would really appreciate it if you didn’t judge her for being a Leafs fan.
Catriona Barcoe is from Kilkenny, a city in the Southeast of Ireland. She has a degree in Communication Studies and a Masters of Science in Multimedia from Dublin City University. A lover of travel, she has visited Southeast Asia and South America, and also lived in Australia for a year. Before deciding to settle in Saskatoon, Catriona ventured to China for three weeks on her own. She is loving Saskatoon, and is trying to love our Saskatchewan winters - but that's a work in progress. Catriona enjoys soccer, watching Formula One and the ancient Gaelic sport of hurling!
Celine Martin was primarily raised in North Battleford, SK, but moved to the City of Bridges in 2011 to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at the Edwards School of Business. After finishing the Honours Program and graduating in 2016, Celine found herself at Vendasta in the Digital Agency. After a few role changes, she found her passion—people—and moved into the People Operations team where she works hard to maintain that famous Vendasta culture. Outside of work, Celine loves all things sun, fun, and puns—seriously, she’s (p)unstoppable.
Chad Hansen is a Computer Science grad from the University of Saskatchewan. A stats-geek at heart, both Chad's personal and professional interests seem to be driven by numbers. At work he uses data-driven problem solving methods and analytics, while in his personal life he enjoys fantasy football, political forecasting, and keeping up on the latest attempts to analyze hockey statistics effectively. Chad is an avid gamer, loves Overwatch, DotA, and pretty much any other competitive multiplayer game he's come across. He's made it into the Overwatch competitive Top 500 in multiple seasons, and maintains a position in the 99th percentile of the DotA matchmaking ladder. Chad's competitive fire also extends to hockey, where he is a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan. If you see him in person, offer him your condolences.
Ches Hagen when he's not on the phone with potential partners, can be found exploring the British Columbia backcountry by snowmobile, ATV, or boat. Ches is the only member of the Vendasta management team not based in Saskatoon, but he flies in from Vancouver a few times a year for planning meetings, Brendan's summer pool party, and the November deer hunt.
Chris Daviduik came to us with a dual degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Saskatchewan. In 2010 his increasingly successful sideline as singer-songwriter for the band Sexy Mathematics motivated him to migrate from Saskatoon to Toronto, where he remains on the Vendasta team, Skyping in every morning from the living room of his condo on trendy King Street West.
Cody Ede was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan but spent a good part of his childhood living in British Columbia where he developed a love for the outdoors. He’ll jump on any opportunity to adventure outdoors be it camping, hiking or other activities. His childhood also inspired a love for board games. He’ll challenge anyone to any game! He’s even been known to play games that take ten hours! He’s been back in Saskatchewan for a while now and he is currently working towards a degree in Interactive System Design at the University of Saskatchewan. He has a keen interest in combining art, computer science and psychology. He likes art, but loves to computer science! This love of computer science has led him to his current position at Vendasta.
Cody Kurz is a jazz bassist and an advocate of polyphasic sleeping, the practice of taking short naps throughout the day in order to gain extra waking hours at night. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan's computer science program, he's handy with hardware, building a classic-style arcade cabinet in his spare time.
Colin Gooding earned a computer science degree from the University of Saskatchewan. After that, he spent three years working on the software build and management team at OpenText in the maple syrup version of silicon valley, Waterloo, Ontario. He’s now back on the flatland, and has joined the Vendasta team as a developer. A big time hockey fan, Colin follows the Winnipeg Jets close enough to get cut by a skate blade, and usually wins his fantasy hockey league. Aside from ice and sticks, Colin enjoys golfing, reading, playing board games and, gasp, video games.
Born: Minot, ND, USA
Raised: Carnduff, SK
Current location: Saskatoon, traded in late 2016
Past teams: Bank of Montreal (2013-2014), FAST Trucking Service Ltd. (2014-2016)
Current team: Digital Agent at Vendasta
Hobbies: weight-training, running, and swimming when not playing Overwatch or PUBG for the PC or chasing after my papillon Ophelia at the dog park.
Random fact: Once I open up, I have no filter and will probably make your head spin with whatever comes out of my mouth. If I don't have fun while I'm at work, I believe the work isn't worth doing (I'm having fun btw).
Conrad Berenik is a man on a mission: to complete reading all 365 books in the Warhammer 40k series. His love for post-apocalyptic science fiction and a CS course he took at the University of Regina set the tone for his career. Soon he moved to Saskatoon and completed a diploma in CST at SIAST. He currently works as a software developer at Vendasta, and when he is not busy reading a Warhammer book, he's either at his computer navigating dystopian wastelands or at the gym lifting heavy objects.
Corey Hickson likes to pull out whatever the latest tabletop game is. A game master at heart, he loves the welcoming seat by a table full of meeples and dice. When not indulging in games or other geeky passions, he likes to balance his life out with teaching (coding especially) or the occasional camping trip. His background in chemical engineering at the U of S indirectly led him to computer science where he found what he was looking for in all those years at university.
Craig Kumick grew up in Regina and, after finish University and spending some time travelling the world, he settled in Saskatoon. Prior to joining the Vendasta team he helped write and deploy software that controls satellite antenna ground stations around the world for SED Systems. Most of Craig’s evenings are spent hanging out with his lovely wife and two young daughters (often learning more about My Little Pony then he ever intended). When he has some free time to himself, he enjoys Ultimate Frisbee, board gaming, or just having a beer with good people.
Dale Birtch may have moved to Saskatchewan for love, but this computer systems expert from Haileybury, Ontario has completely embraced Saskatchewan's way of life. With varied interests such as Curling, Golfing and taking motorcycle trips, every change of season for Dale is occasion to indulge in something new. What really got us interested in him—apart from the boring stuff like his 7 years experience in medical IT—was that he has actually built himself a ‘67 VW Beetle for drag racing. After we confirmed that he didn't have any outstanding speeding tickets, we decided to hire him as a QA Tester.
Dale Bruce Hopkins, with an engineering physics degree from the U of S and several years of software experience under his belt, co-founded LucidHelix Solutions in 2008. The company specialized in diagnostic software for digital television networks, employing seven developers at its peak. Dale is a certified snowboard instructor and a CrossFit cultist who visits the gym at least once a day.
David Sibley can be found on the water rowing or keeping warm on rowing machines during the 9 months of SK winters. When he's not rowing he's often playing volleyball, guitar, or volunteering in the city. A product of the Univeristy of Saskatchewan and a morbid curiousity for all things tech related, he's joind Vendasta as Software Developer. David is highly competitive and welcomes the Vendasta Foosball Challenge.
Dustin Walker grew up fascinated by Lego and the ways in which large structures could be formed from many smaller individual pieces. The same sort of patterns in software drive his passion for development. His free time is typically spent playing electric guitar — making the ugliest noises possible — or being absorbed in a book.
Elia Tarasoff. Born and raised in Saskatoon, Elia is a 30-something who muses about the long-term future of humanity. For example, he knows that for Saskatoon to be powered solely by electricity, it would require a flywheel as large as an office building and as heavy as ten office buildings. When in the real world, you may find him lifting weights, biking or shooting targets. He has an honours degree in Computer Science and is happy to be testing for Vendasta!
Emily Howe, a Saskatoon native, has studied CST at SIAST's Kelsey Campus and has a diploma in basic accounting. She spent three years working in London, England as a programmer for various companies after which she decided to bring her experience and love for all things Muppets back home. Emily's role at Vendasta involves testing software and finding bugs — luckily, they are not the kind that fly around and scare the bejesus out of her.
1. The winner of an argument.
"The champion emerged from the debate like a victorious Erin."
1. Win an argument
"After disproving all of his opponents hypothesis, it was clear he was about to Erin."
As Manager of the Partner Support department, Erin is both Leader and Spirit Animal to the entire team, much like the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh's who were both diety and leader to their people, only way more Canadian. No one is really sure where Erin came from. Her first appearance was documented in the sleepy town of Saskatoon, where it's rumoured she spent her childhood. However, there have also been sightings in Malaysia, Singapore and Mexico. Some say Erin is a myth, others, a legend. Some say she guards untold riches beyond your wildest dreams, that can only be won by beating her at shinny. A word of warning though, Erin is undefeated.
Evan Salter is a total nerd when it comes to technology, and has been fascinated by the world of computers for as long as he can remember. It was a no-brainer for him to pursue a computer science degree and a career as a developer, which brought him to an internship with Vendasta. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, his hobbies include spending time at the lake in the summer and shovelling snow the rest of the year. Away from the office, Evan enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and of course, Netflix.
George Leith is our Chief Revenue Officer (CRO). When he heard about our platform, he knew it was THE thing in online reputation management, and he knew he wanted to be the one to sell it. Since then, not only has George massively expanded our sales efforts, but also helped our partners sell our software to thousands of local businesses across a number of verticals. When someone tells him he is a wizard of sales, he good naturedly dismisses it, and then brings $20,000 worth of business for a partner in just three calls.
Ginger Domingo joins Vendasta as an accounting analyst. She moved from the Philippines in 2011 and brought with her a love for swimming, baking, and crafting. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, and has explored several different opportunities such as marketing, event management, customer service, and bookkeeping. On the weekends, you will find Ginger cheering on her son in basketball. One day, Ginger dreams of opening her own lakefront pastry shop. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Glen Bowie is a West side kid turned sales superstar! Glen comes to Vendasta with over 10 years experience in Sales and finance. In his spare time he enjoys activities with his 4 kids and he also finds time to get out and roll a mean game of bowling! Anyone up for a challenge? Glen will take on all pretenders to his bowling throne.
Grant Scoular joined us from the University of Saskatchewan where he got a master's degree studying the polar cap ionosphere and a bachelor's degree in engineering physics. Now he's got the long title of "Technical Business Development Specialist." We don’t know what any of it means, but it sounds fancy. In his free time he likes cooking, brewing wine and cider, playing ultimate frisbee and strumming the guitar.
Haley Babich was born and raised in Saskatoon. She has a great passion for reading; fantasy and science fiction worlds for the most part. She likes to travel to new and exciting places, including India, Australia, and Europe. She enjoys hiking in the rockies and going to music festivals with her family. She comes to Vendasta as a Digital Agent from a firm background in retail. She also spends some of her time babysitting for the families she used to work with as a nanny and for her sister with her new niece.
House Lee hails from Shenzhen, China where he worked as a programmer before moving to Canada. He chose to brave the cold and the mosquitoes to pursue his MSc degree at the University of Saskatchewan. Instead of exercising at the gym, House prefers to program in front of a computer all day (which explains his "beer belly"). House loves programming, and he won the Asia Bronze award of ACM-ICPC while working on his bachelor degree. Outside of work, he likes cooking and photography. He is a highly decorated chef of Chinese cuisine - in his mind. His wife would beg to differ.
Jace Muggli is a washed up athlete turned recreational sports superstar. He hopes to bring a certain competitiveness, as well as a strong mix of experience and open mindedness to the SDR team here at Vendasta. He has honed his people skills in the automotive industry for the previous 3 years but has also worked in many trades ranging from bartending to arborist work. He is a lover of good music and good eats who one day hopes to travel the world in search of different degrees of both.
Jacqueline Cook has lived in New York, Mexico and Switzerland, and has ventured all over the world. Her bagpiping skills, however, were acquired here in her hometown of Saskatoon. Jacqueline is an alumni of the Next 36 entrepreneurial program, where she honed her enterprising ability and technology skills. She was a Canadian youth ambassador at the G8/G20 Summits in 2010, sporting a blazer rather than a ski mask. She is a former midfielder on the U of S soccer team, and currently sits on the board of Care & Share Saskatoon and Recess Guardians.
Jamie Taylor comes to Vendasta from Burlington Ontario as our Content Marketing Strategist. Prior to joining us, Jamie was an NLL lacrosse player, ad copywriter and produced screenwriter. When he's not mulling over words, chess or fitness regimes, Jamie takes to his true passion in raising a Siberian Forest cat from a melodramatic feline to the true beast he naturally is.
Jason Coutu is a busy man. A former heavy equipment operator and northern fishing guide, he raised three kids while simultaneously working full-time as a software tester and acquiring his master's in computer science from the University of Saskatchewan. Jason coaches mini-soccer and speed skating and, in what's left of his spare time, tinkers with radio-controlled aircraft.
Jason Dahl completed an internship for IBM and graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Science from the U of S. He is now a software developer at Vendasta. He enjoys video games. No, in fact, he loves them! He also enjoys home brewing beer and sharing it with his friends. When he’s not programming at work, Jason likes to dabble in game development. Jason considers himself to be a pretty decent cook, and loves catering for his friends, especially when they’re at the lake or out by the BBQ.
Jason Prokop used to do chemical engineering, but decided he preferred pipelines that carried data rather than oil and gas. Now Jason is pursuing his lifelong interest in computer science as a software developer intern here at Vendasta. Some of his favourite things include canoeing, exploring strange new music genres and dreaming about the future of human-computer interactions.
Jean Parchewsky Jean is passionate about where the people and the operations collide in business. Spending the last 15 years growing and developing retail brands throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, she values how people make all the difference in a company. Jean is responsible for driving a phenomenal culture where employees are engaged, rewarded and perform at their best. Encouraging personal development, effective communication and performance from our teams while recruiting and bringing on board the best new talent, Jean strives to maintain Vendasta's recognition as the best place to work in Saskatoon. Jean graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Psychology, focusing on the socialization of groups and how people learn. Growing up in Saskatoon with three brothers means that in her down time she can be found cheering for hockey in the winter and out on the boat in the summer with her husband and two children.
Jeff Tomlin holds the title of Chief Marketing Officer, and also takes responsibility for long-term planning and dreaming big. Jeff tends to stand back and look at the whole picture while his co-workers are hunched over the canvas with magnifying glasses. He's the go-to guy for questions like 'How did we get here?' and 'What's the next step?' and, of course, 'Who the heck do we think we are, anyway?'.
Jeremy Rans would be one of the people to blame if tiny BattleBots enslaved humanity in the future. To do our part in preventing this catastrophe, we have hired him as a software developer and try to keep him busy with all kinds of projects. Besides, somebody had to put his BSc in Computer Science, four years of enterprise programming experience, and competitive foosball skills to good use.
Jesse Redl possesses a rare balance of tech skills and business smarts (which, combined, make him a pretty darn good poker player). Since dabbling in engineering back in university, he's worked as a software developer and business analyst, as well as a product manager at Point2 Technologies. Outside of work, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and slo-pitch - all of which come in handy at the annual Vendasta camping trip.
Jesse Rolheiser grew up on a farm outside of Allan, Saskatchewan, and has only left our rectangular province a handful of times. He prefers to stick around home and watch the cows come home and the code flood in. A Computer Science graduate from the U of S, Jesse previously did research on multi surface applications in the Human Computer Interactions lab at the U of S. Jesse plays a wide variety of sports and video games, and is willing to try pretty much anything. He has more than a dozen Rubik’s cubes, which is frustrating to even picture.
While his Facebook profile alleges that he is from Saskatoon, legend has it that he has actually not spent every moment of his life here. In fact, we have seen evidence to the contrary. Our anonymous sources have confirmed sightings on him in San Francisco, on a tour of Pixar Studios, Cape Canaveral Space Centre in Florida, participating in zero gravity training flights and various parts of Canada, performing stunts that he claims were just part of a Motion Picture FX course (sure Joel, sure).
His music tastes are so obscure even he hasn’t heard of the bands he listens to. He does have a particular fondness for Classical music, and by Classical we mean Beethoven because is there even anyone else worth mentioning? #Beethovenforever
John Mason has been extremely lucky and blessed to have been surrounded by wonderful and supportive people his entire life. With the help and support of many teammates, his family, and several incredible coaches he attended three years of college on a volleyball scholarship. After college he went to the UofS to sprint through his Computer Science degree while moonlighting as a bartender. He continues to play volleyball 2-4 times a week on various rec teams. When he isn't hopping around batting at inflated spherical objects he can usually be found reading, writing, cooking, or drawing through various mediums (crayon preferred). He used to play copious amounts of LoL and COD but has been gradually redirected to more 'productive' activities by the loving guidance of his girlfriend.
Jon Davis grew up on the mean streets of Regina, SK and moved to Saskatoon to complete a BA in Public Administration. Jon has a varied and odd work history, including being a Bagel Baker, Server/Manager, Highway Paver, Car Detailer, Banker, Golf Caddy, and Entrepreneur. Obviously, Vendasta was most interested in the Golf Caddy experience and had to scoop Jon up post haste. Truthfully, Jon found his entrepreneurial spirit in his role with one of Western Canada's largest vertical hydroponic farming operations based in Saskatoon and brings that sense of chaotic productivity to his role at Vendasta. Boredom is the Joker to Jon's Batman, so please keep him entertained at all times.
Jon Miller believes variety is the spice of life...and he likes it spicy. Jon holds a Computer Systems Technology diploma from Saskatchewan Polytechnic, but it was his self taught video and photo work that caught Vendasta’s eye. His photo work has been featured on National Geographic’s website, and he has video work with millions of views online. Aside from his visual creation and IT pursuits, Jon is always looking for a new adventure. He has been skydiving, hiked the Chillkoot in Alaska, rode 2000km on his motorcycle to hike the Skyline in Jasper, snorkeled in Iceland, sailed in Greece, and more. In his spare time, Jon can be found playing soccer, flying his drone, or planning his next adventure.
Julia Payzant is a machinist by trade and can bore your engine cylinders. She would like think that most machinists aren’t as creepy as Christian Bail in The Machinist. In winter Julia likes snowboarding in the mountains and in summer she enjoys relaxing on sandbars around the city and tossing an Aerobie around. She also likes trying out new recipes in her spare time. Julia will play you in any Smash Bros game, if you’re up for the challenge.
Justin Babiy is a New Business Account Executive with the Vendasta Sales team. He comes to Vendasta with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance from the University of Saskatchewan. Justin is an avid golfer and enjoys watching and playing hockey. He’s also a big Blue Jays fan and loves to travel.
Justin Guenther is a Software Developer at Vendasta who graduated from the U of S with an honours degree in bioinformatics, and continued his education in graduate school at the U of S in the department of Anatomy and Cell Biology. His passion for software development started with QBASIC in elementary school, and has continued with his contributions to open-source software and the software development component of his M.Sc. program. During the Summer Justin enjoys camping, fishing and slow-smoking meat in his backyard, where he also tries to maintain a lush garden. In Winter Justin occupies himself by reading science fiction and playing video games.
Justin Ziola graduated from the Edwards school of Business with a specialization in HR, and also holds a degree in Sociology. He is joining Vendasta as a Digital Agent with 6+ years of customer service experience. His interests usually have anything to do with music, film, photography, traveling and just hanging out with friends and having a good time. He also has a series of names that has followed him around since highschool; Juice, Juicy J, Juice-tin, Juice Newton, Newton… Call him by any of these and he is sure to respond.
Kathleen Kelly has a positive mindset and zest for life that are hard to miss: she firmly believes that almost anything in life can be remedied with a hot cup of tea and a blanket. As a hobbyist writer and proud owner of a BA in English, she's excited to be able to engage in her passion as a Digital Agency Writer with Vendasta. Imaginative and creative, she enjoys plummeting into various forms of art, including writing fantasy, drawing, and painting (traditionally and digitally). When she does climb out of the her art cave, you can find her indulging her inner geek - playing video games, reading novels, or playing a little D&D with her friends - as well as doing yoga and AcroYoga, or enjoying craft beer (but not all at the same time).
Katie Salmers graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. While her seven-year jaunt through university should have been fatal, she managed to not only survive but thrive in a variety of customer service environments. With a passion for people, she has navigated multiple fields including personal fitness, chocolate, radio, tea, and denim. After ten years in retail, she decided to try something new with the Digital Agency team at Vendasta.
Kevin Harder is a meatatarian. He can’t eat raw fruits or vegetables and generally feels that even if he could he doesn't understand why people eat salads. He plays ball hockey when he can, but most of his spare time is spent with his three daughters and shuttling them to their countless activities. At Vendasta, Kevin is the Finance Manager who brings with him a Chartered Professional Accountant designation and almost a decade of experience in financial management, internal controls and financial reporting.
Kristin Van Esch was an acclaimed Furniture Repair Technician, before joining the Digital Agency team at Vendasta. She spends her evenings either playing video games, or preparing for the next upcoming Comic Convention. She is always willing to have a comic book or Star Wars friendly debate. Kristin’s weekends tend to be filled with charity work with her husband, or maintaining one of her many small businesses including Interior Painter and Toy Maker. Her three kids are proof that she can manage to hang onto her last thread of sanity - though she has no problem taking them down a peg in Mario Kart!
Kristofor Amundson graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a degree in Computer Science. Prior to joining Vendasta as a developer, he worked for the local book store, McNally Robinson, where he was granted first access to some of his favourite fiction classics including A Song of Ice and Fire and Twilight. In addition to being an avid reader, Kristofor is a board game enthusiast and gets his kicks from coming up with terrible puns. He might tell you a joke about chemistry but he would be afraid of not getting a reaction.
Kyle Sheasby graduated from the U of S with a BSc in Computer Engineering, and joined Vendasta as a Developer. Ever since he was a kid he has been interested in electronics and computer coding; he started by building Lego Mindstorms robots. From there the progression took him into Computer Engineering. Kyle was a member and coordinator of the U of S Robotics Club. They programmed microcontrollers and built mini sumo-bots. Kyle is from Calgary and has always had a love for the outdoors, especially the mountains. He enjoys running, hiking, camping, downhill and cross-country skiing whenever he gets the time. He is also an avid sports fan and nary an evening goes by when he is not found watching some game of hockey, baseball or football. He also played hockey and soccer starting in elementary school until he graduated high school.
Landon McTavish graduated from Edwards School of Business with a B.Comm Degree, majoring in Marketing. For the past four years he’s focused on growing his online retail store Koalalogic.ca. For fun he likes to snowboard, wakeboard and surf, and recently returned home from a five month backpacking journey through Central America. While there Landon got his scuba diving certification and jumped off some huge waterfalls. Now he’s on our sales team looking for new adventures, closing deals that surface as much adrenaline.
Leo Melnyk graduated from Computer Systems Technology at Saskatchewan Polytechnic in Saskatoon. Playing around with game editors at a young age made for an easy transition into software development. He had played far too much World of Warcraft in his younger years, but made many lasting friendships along the way. He can be found improving his billiards skills at the Snooker Shack nearly every Saturday.
Levi Paradis is from Bengough Saskatchewan, a town with less than 300 people. He grew up on his family's cattle ranch and ran a welding business on the side with his Dad. He left for the bright lights of Saskatoon in 2012 to attend U of S for geology. He eventually got bored of looking at rocks all day, decided that the exciting world of technology suited him better, and switched to Computer Science. In his spare time, Levi enjoys outdoor activities such as hunting and golfing. He is excited to be working at Vendasta on a Computer Science internship.
Magdalena Dickinson was born in Poland, raised in Chicago, and is now living in Warman. A woman of many interests, she once rescued a chipmunk. She has since moved on to bigger critters, and will gladly whip out her phone to show you her gallery of photos of her two cats. Her "go for it" attitude has led her to move from the Windy City to the City of Bridges shortly after college. She graduated from DePaul University with a degree in communications, and came here to live with her husband. Shortly after unpacking her bags, she decided to follow her passion, and that has lead her to Vendasta's Digital Agency team.
Mandi Newman is a typical Type A personality. She’s a lover of lists, calendars and organization — even her closet is color-coded. After graduating with a B.B.A. from the University of Regina in 2010, she joined the sales and finance world with Scotiabank. She is now the Director of Operations at Vendasta, and looks forward to building relationships and, of course, making many lists.
Melissa Kraft doesn’t know anything about sports but while studying at the UofS, she decided it was time to learn! So she chose to play tennis because it has the best outfits. There was a similar thought process when she was choosing a career path and had a desire to add professional clothing and shoes to her wardrobe. After five years in public accounting and obtaining her CPA designation, she joins Vendasta as an Accounting Coordinator. Melissa can often be found in the back row of any trending fitness class, wandering through the malls, discussing the Bachelor, or wherever there is wine.
Michael Geeraert is a software engineering student hailing from a land overflowing with Cowboys and Hydrocarbons. He is here on a 16 month internship and intends on learning as much as he can from his watermelon hat wearing brethren, as well as enjoying the beautiful city of Saskatoon. When he is not writing binary laden with sweet logical poetry, he enjoys tinkering in his garage on DIY projects. Welding, woodworking, microcontrollers/electronics and mechanics are usually large components of these projects. He is always looking for new things to learn and try.
Michael Patola is an account executive here at Vendasta. An eastside Saskatoon man who graduated from the U of S with a BA in Political Studies, Michael found an instant connection with the sales profession. Since then, he’s been a sales machine, decimating anything that swerves into his lane. Michael also manages a photo blog that centers around pro sports photography and mid-century modern architecture. An easy going spirit who fancies himself as a massage therapist/Qi-gong master, when he’s not working, you can usually find him daydreaming about potentially brilliant/stupid ideas.
Michele Kerr grew up in lil’ ol’ Oxbow, Saskatchewan. After school she moved to Scotland and then traveled around Europe for a year. This gave Michele a deep appreciation for siesta-ing and wine. She loves to cook for friends and family and travel as often as possible. When she's not at the gym, Michele likes to play pretty much any sport, jump off cliffs, read, or lie in the sun. Michele has her education in Business Management with Human Resources, Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She is bringing her secret ninja skills and putting them to work for Vendasta’s Digital Agency.
Micheline Gaudet left her small town of Bellevue, Saskatchewan behind to pursue a degree in Commerce from the U of S in “the big city” after high school. Despite her new city digs, she is still but a country girl at heart. This is very evident when the country music starts playing, as she cannot help but slip on her boots and dance, even sometimes embarrassingly so. She is constantly trying new fitness classes and becomes obsessed with them... for about three weeks before ditching it and starting something new. She may be small, but her vibrant laugh and fiery liveliness make her to be a mighty friend to have in your corner.
Michelle Groden was born and raised in Saskatoon. Even as a little girl, Michelle has spent her entire life in sales. As most girls were playing house, wedding or dress up, Michelle played store. A couple years after graduation, she picked up and moved to Montreal with her now husband to pursue, you guessed it, sales! She now spends her free time with her husband, and two beautiful children. Her youngest, a girl, and her son. A million dollar family, if you will. With her extensive sales experience, awesome fashion sense and unfathomable wit, Michelle is bringing her A game to our sales team.
Peter Guo was born and raised in China. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and worked as an engineer for two years in China. His love of programming and western culture brought him to Canada where he began studying Computer Science at University of Saskatchewan. After 3 years and an internship, Peter got his degree and scored a sweet job as a Software Developer at Vendasta. He loves video games, movies and cats. Peter says he’s a good cook and specializes in Chinese style BBQ. We’re looking forward to sampling some of his cooking here at Vendasta!
Phil Mainville is a Francophone who used to be in a Top 20 US World of Warcraft Guild. A regular DJ at the city's bars and restaurants, Phil knows local business marketing from the inside and he's excited to help us launch our own fulfilment center and DIFM Reputation Management program. His favorite bands include Muse, Arcade Fire, Alexisonfire, Daft Punk, and Justice.
Rameez Virji is best known for his patent-pending invention of an oral vaccine delivery system, and for his software and web design company he created when he was 13. Recognized as one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 in 2012, his main hope is for his pill to reach the developing world. In his spare time, Rameez likes to play (or at least try to play) his guitar, go camping, write code, and read. He looks forward to developing some amazing things here at Vendasta!
Renee Elder received her Pharmacy Technical Certificate but soon realized that testing pharmacy software was more fun. A Scrum Master Certificate followed soon after and so did complex software projects with lots of moving parts. Having emerged victorious in her trials and tribulations as Product Manager, Renee is now testing her mettle with Vendasta's multiple teams that develop our awesome reputation management platform. In her spare time she likes to go camping, play the piano, or travel to a scuba diving destination.
Riana Back is best known amoung her friends for DIY'ing everything, from bunk-beds to patio furniture, if she can dream it, she can build it. With her own custom wood working shop set up in her basement (or outside in the summer) she would disappear for days if her kids would let her. In her downtime she enjoys sketching wild animals with either charcoal or graphite pencils, and every once in a while dabbles in oil painting on canvas. Joining the Vendasta team has been an exciting change for her as she gets to have conversations with adults on a daily basis, which were scarce when staying at home to raise two young boys.
Riley Wiebe has always had an interest in technology and how it works. He decided to turn his interests into his career and got himself a degree in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan. He’s now a software developer in the best tech shop in town. In his free time, Riley enjoys listening to music, playing guitar and playing video games. His love for The Office is second to none.
Rory Lawford spent the latter part of the 1980’s touring Canada as lead singer of a heavy metal band - which he still does (but only on weekends, after his nap time). With multiple international design awards to his credit, Rory brings nearly two decades of professional graphic design experience to Vendasta. Also a devoted husband and father of three, what little spare time he has is spent on personal design projects, performing shows either with his band or solo with his acoustic guitar, and maniacally obsessing over Star Wars and Iron Maiden.
Ryan Boyko is an old, broken down athlete with the hairline of Jason Statham. He has lived all but one year of his life in Saskatoon as a student athlete, electrician, and sales rep. He is a Big fan of all sports - mainly football and basketball, but to a lesser extend dressage and synchronized walking. He enjoys hanging out with family and friends, Saturdays for the boys, hitting the mountains, reading, and anything to do with fishing. In 2015 he accepted a job in an Ammonia Plant in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. After some hard work, he was able to become that company's Project Coordinator. They offered him a long contract extension for a new project, but he turned it down to build a life and career back home. Ryan looks to bring a strong, competitive, and team friendly attitude to Vendasta, and is eager to do his part to help the growth of the company continue.
Rylan Morris comes to Vendasta with a background in consumer tech. He joined the team after hearing that there's free breakfast on Thursdays... oh, and also because it's a pretty awesome company to work for. Fun fact: Apple Music seems to think his favourite musician is Moby; having a strong interest in music production, Rylan definitely respects Moby as an artist, but would not consider himself a Moby fan. Again, to be perfectly clear, he is not a Moby fan. Another fun fact: his secret talent is flare bartending. He can shoot an 11' fireball! Some say he's like Todd Roberts from Vendasta, only taller and better looking.
Sander Wang has lived all across China, growing up in the mid-east, completing university in the northeast and starting his career in the northwest. He enjoys programming, working as a Software Engineer in China for a few years before moving to Canada to begin a completely new life. Sander is a big fan of ice fishing—his favourite activity to get him through Saskatoon’s long, cold winters. Don’t be surprised to find him in a fishing store. He loves trying new things but sometime needs an extra little push, help him out by challenging him to a game of foosball or table tennis!
Scott Bechdholt is an ex-pro video gamer who has travelled all over the US and Korea (twice) to compete at an international level. Eventually he decided it was time to grow up and go to school, so he moved to Saskatoon from Edmonton to pursue his education. Scott has worked as a market intelligence specialist, helped entrepreneurs start local businesses and in an Apple call centre (can you restart your computer for me?). He also likes traveling, reading and fishing, and more than anything, Scott loves the Oilers. Luckily, he likes to golf as well.
Sean Schroeder has a unique claim to fame: he has helped print tickets for pretty much every major sports team in North America. He is also a huge fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, enjoys Rodeo, Golf, and everything summer. When winter hits, he is either coaching his daughter’s hockey team or skiing down the slopes himself. At Vendasta, he is in charge of our Digital Agency, where he brings over 15 years of industry experience.
Seyi Abe graduated from the U of S with a BSc in Geological Sciences. He went on to work as a Geologist for 4yrs with a wellsite geology company in Calgary, geosteering oil wells across Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. His prior background in sales is as a product expert with Futureshop in the information product group department. Seyi made the decision to join the Vendasta Sales team as a Sales Development Representative; a position he pursued for a greater value in fulfilling his passion. He was also a team leader in the U of S "Thinking the World of Our Furure Campaign" where he was part of the Annual Fund Call Centre and raised four million dollars during his 6 year tenure. Seyi's hobbies include chess, squash, basketball, swimming and dancing. He is an active member of the U of S Ballroom Dancing Club.
Shakya Abeywickrama hails from the beautiful island nation of Sri Lanka where she lived until obtaining her Bachelors of Business Administration. Trading deep blue ocean for golden prairies, Shakya moved to Saskatoon to earn her Bachelors of Commerce in Marketing from the U of S. A tech geek long before joining Vendasta, Shakya came to us from the Future Shop family where she placed in the top five of more than 300 salespeople. She wins in our hearts too. Her passion for tech is met only by her passion for travel—you can often find Shakya on a plane seeking out her next adventure. Already she’s been from Tokyo to London, often with Above and Beyond in her headphones.
Shane Williamson is currently working on a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science at the U of S, where they make the students solemnly swear to not build Skynet. He has been graciously invited to join Vendasta on an internship to build on his skills and knowledge. When he is not developing software, he can be found playing the drums, shooting pool, or nerd-ing out over some new game.
Shawn Gryschuk graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a B.Sc. in computer science. He and his wife like to escape the rectangular ice box by traveling to places where the mercury in their thermometer rises above “ridiculous and scarcely livable” levels. For the time that he does spend here in winter, Shawn likes to play hockey and volleyball, and during drought season, he plays Slo-Pitch and beach volleyball. He is also an avid reader and board gamer.
Stephanie Melnyk is an artist of her own making, practicing the art of Pyrography, also known Woodburning. Originating from Domremy, Saskatchewan, she's a small town girl who loves to be creative. She went to Siast and took the Computer Systems Technology course, which started her enjoyment of working with computers. Before coming to work as a quality assurance tester at Vendasta, Stephanie worked in Saskatoon at iTracks as an account specialist/lead survey quality assurance tester. She spends her free time playing way too much Minecraft, or whatever game is currently piquing her interest.
Stephanie Dilsner has a Computer Science degree in Interactive Systems Design from the University of Saskatchewan. Growing up in a hi-tech home; her favorite toy as a baby was an old computer keyboard and has been working on web design projects since her first pimple. Now, she has embraced her inner geek and is pumped about everything related to creating beautiful and innovative things. When she isn’t jumping up and down about design, she enjoys swimming, driving a tractor, traveling to new places, and eating sour foods…especially pickles. Her high energy and design skills are sure to be an asset to Vendasta.
Taylor Bolin joins Vendasta as an enterprise account executive. With experience selling furnishings, vehicles and cell phones, Taylor is ready to try his hand at peddling software. When he’s not at work, you can find Taylor goofing around with his kids, playing video games and enjoying time with friends. Or reading, but that’s less interesting.
Taylor Mills has a passion for knowing how things work, which led him to pursue a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. After completing his degree he switched gears to co-found a technology company, where he led the engineering team developing software for the transportation and entertainment industries. While he has a passion for all engineering disciplines, he has decided to stick with software, and has joined Vendasta as a developer. In his spare time he enjoys building things, learning new skills, and spending time outdoors.
Todd Roberts is a member of our all-star sales team. When he's not wowing potential partners into signing up for our platform, he is also a master bartender with Tom Cruise skills (except taller, better looking and not as crazy), who hunts and fishes at every opportunity. Smiling with bugs in his teeth, Todd travels the world on his Harley. He likes to work with wood building things that sometimes look like the things he’s trying to build, play online games and spend time with his super model (inside joke) girlfriend.
Tony Bathgate grew up in Yellow Grass, SK, then moved to Saskatoon for his Engineering Physics, Computer Science, and MSc in Physics degrees (FYI: he's got more degrees than Yellow Grass has people). As a rugby champ and Ultimate Frisbee player, Tony defies all sorts of programmer/geek stereotypes - the real question is, how well will he fare in office Foosball?
Udeep Tandukar got more than he bargained for when he moved to Saskatoon: a Masters in Computer Science, a job at the coolest tech shop in town, and the love of his life. Born and raised near the scenic hills of Nepal, Udeep’s love for camping and landscape photography has also found a home here in the prairies. At Vendasta, he looks forward to building his career as a software developer and sharing his passion for martial arts films with fellow nerds.
Weston Carlson is a recent Computer Science graduate from the University of Saskatchewan. He loves to learn, which is one of the main reasons he chose software development as his profession. In his spare time he enjoys skateboarding, snowboarding, basketball, and a variety of other outdoor activities. He also enjoys music, movies, working on vehicles, and having a few beers with friends.
William Eveleigh started IT school at the age of 38 and graduated at the age of 41. This experience is indicative of his determination and his technical aptitude. The hobby he most enjoys is working on cars, as he finds it a therapeutic, solo venture. William has two daughters and a granddaughter, Amelia, who lives with him and his wife, and he loves taking her to Toys R Us (though he can build half of what stocks the shelves). Known to Vendastians as the Tuesday savior, William makes highly coveted fruit cups sprinkled with hidden treats every week. As our maintenance administrator and general everything man, William has gotten to know all of our quickly growing staff, and always makes everyone smile.
Yue Gao hails from a small coastal town in China, where she took up computer science and realized early on that programming wasn't really her thing. Her quest to do something different led her to Canada, where she found not only her passion for UX design, but also respite from her longing for the seaside in our lakes. Having learned everything the Masters program had to offer, she now practices her skill at Vendasta helping make our software both functional and beautiful. And in whatever free time she has left, she likes to kick back with a warm cup of Oolong tea.