As a busy contractor in Kelowna, B.C., Richard Takai has the opportunity to meet a lot of people in the Okanagan region. “I wear many hats in the community here, and I meet a fair number of people who are new to the region,” he said. Richard works with Grant Thornton as a business development manager; he also has an HR firm and is a long-time contractor with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission where he is an export development officer, helping local companies that are trying to sell to export markets.
Because he has connections in so many different places in the community, Richard was a perfect candidate to be a Connector, giving more structure to what he was already doing informally. “I was happy to put up my hand,” he said. Explaining the early success of the program, he mentions Myrna, a colleague at the Economic Development Commission who was able to find her own position through connections made in the community. She moved to the area from Saskatchewan thanks to the Connector program she now leads, helping others land on their feet. “She has come full circle,” he said.
“Making these connections has real value, especially in a smaller region like the Okanagan,” Richard said. “If you meet the right five people, you can get connected with anyone. … It’s just the nature of communities like this.”
Sign up to be a Connector with your local Connector Program. To start a Connector Program in your community, please visit: https://connectorprogram.ca/connector-communities/