I’ve been fortunate enough to start or work on some amazing projects with some amazing people.
Below is a glimpse into a few of the bigger ones, as well as some of the things I care about most.
It's a little long, but I don't consider that a bad thing.
I figured out early on how I wanted to spend my life: building things that people love and that make this world a better place. This led me to entrepreneurship. It’s about taking nothing and turning it into something tangible, about the creativity that a blank canvas brings and about the opportunity to challenge the status quo.
Chasing Sunrise is a community that understands that with each sunrise, we are given a choice to make: we can either stay in bed waiting for life to come to us or we can get up and get after it, chasing what we want.
We choose the latter because we want more out of life. More experiences. More adventures. More mind-blowing memories.
Check it out at www.chasingsunri.se
This is the latest venture and it’s purpose is simple: to build things that move the world forward. Things that make a dent. This includes companies, social ventures and various initiatives. It is a platform that will not only inspire, but empower people. Armed with two badass co-founders and a team that doesn’t quit, this next chapter should be the best chapter yet.
You can check it out at www.passagelabs.co.
Fine Art Bartending School
It all started at the age of 19, when I decided I want to become a bartender. Looking for the fastest path to gain knowledge, I enrolled in a bartending school, Fine Art Bartending . Little did I know, that decision would be one of the most pivotal in my life. See, as 19 year old, I thought I could do anything and before graduating from the school, I decided I wanted to buy it. With nothing more than ambition and persuasion, I convinced my parents to mortgage their house and lend me the money to buy the school. Lucky for everyone it worked out alright and I grew the school over the next year. All said and done, they got their money back and I figured out how I wanted to spend the rest of my life – building big things.
I’ve always believed that giving back is something you do from day one, weaved into the fabric of who you are. It’s about having a desire to promote the welfare of others. Because of this, I’ve always looked for ways to give back – some conventional, but most not so much – and have been involved with or founded a number of non-profits, charities, and community initiatives.
Passage Give is the embodiment of Passage Lab’s mission to give back, from day one. Passage Give looks for and builds new ways to apply technology to important social issues in the places we live and work.
BundleUp is the first initiative of Passage Give and focuses on helping people who are experiencing homelessness in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside (DTES). Our goal is to not only help those currently homeless, but use technology and data to prevent it.
The Status New
The Status New is all about grassroots, philanthropic initiatives in Vancouver. From getting a group of friends together, biking the seawall of Vancouver, and selling waters and popsicles for charity, to throwing parties that raise money for a quality cause, our mandate is simple: to do good and have fun doing it.
Instill Hope was a smaller project, but one that will always sit close to me. Starting with the goal of instilling hope in the children that need it most, the initiative paired children who were suffering from a life-threatening illness with mentors who had overcome a similar illness in the past. The results were extraordinary.
Vancouver Board of Trade
Incorporating business, the community, and giving back, I've been part of the Vancouver Board of Trade for three years, sitting on the board of the InternationalRelations and Trace Committee, the Economic Development Committee, and the Leaders of Tomorrow Executive committee.
The New Nek (#thenewnek)
Not one to shy away from a challenge, I couldn't not do my NekNomination. But I was going to do it my way. I wanted to take something powerful and do something good with it. The result was 25,000 views from over 100 countries in under a week and the birth of #thenewnek. Months later people are still passing on the good. Mission accomplished. You can check out the video here.
Partially because it scares me and partially because of the rush I get every time I do it, speaking about my journey – its triumphs, its struggles, and its lessons – has been something I've pursued. The topics have varied but are generally based around designing and building things – companies, your life, relationships, and initiatives. Engagements include speaking at SFU, Surrey Youthfest, the Surrey School District and a number of events based around entrepreneurship.
It has always been a passion of mine to explore – from the corners of the sandbox to the edges of the world. While growing up, my worldly exploration came from National Geographic magazines, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve seemingly been finding myself exploring beyond the confines of my city. It’s something about getting out of the comfort, the routines and the habits of every day life, about being surprised and enlightened by the unexpected and the different. Exploring and travelling has taught me that life is meant to be adventurous and to value collecting memories, not things. While the list of places I’ve been is still somewhat short, it’s growing fast and includes Mexico, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, USA, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico.
In a time where we have the world’s knowledge at out finger tips, I believe that education can and should extend far beyond the walls of any classroom. Education should not be about simply regurgitating facts from a book or citing someone else’s opinion, but about learning how to learn, learning how to form your own opinions, and learning how to understand and create solutions to the problems around you. It’s about being curious about the things we don’t know and looking at how to do the things we do, better. While I do value and respect formal education, I believe it should only be a small part of my overall “education”. I hope the same for you. And for those that want to check it off a list, I do got my credentials.
- Simon Fraser University (Honours) – Entrepreneurship & Finance
- Kwantlen University – Diploma in Business Management
I’m also passionate about changing how we look at education and how we educate the kids that are following our footsteps. I'm passionate about how we can make the most of our most valuable asset: tomorrow’s bright minds.
Recognition & Awards
While I generally do not get caught up in the thought of awards and recognition, as it is not why I do what I do, they are all graciously and humbly received. They include:
- Surrey Board of Trade: Top 25 Under 25
- Surrey Board of Trade: Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 finalist
- Wideman Prize: Project Management Excellence
- Peter R.B. Armstrong/Rocky Mountaineer Award for Entrepreneurship