Michaela Schluessel

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    VIATEC is excited to announce that they’ve expanded their team with two new crew members. see more

    VIATEC Rounds Out Team to Better Serve Its Members

    VIATEC welcomes Michaela Schluessel and Forrester Whitney as part of the crew



    VICTORIA, BC (April 24, 2019) – VIATEC is excited to announce that they’ve expanded their team, recruiting Michaela Schluessel (Mish-ay-la Shlew-sell), as Community Manager and Forrester Whitney as Facilities Manager. The decision was made to better serve VIATEC’s organizational goals in supporting the significant growth of Greater Victoria’s technology sector. 

    Dan Gunn, CEO of VIATEC, shared that better profiling VIATEC members and communicating VIATEC’s current and upcoming initiatives is a key strategic priority. This will help members more clearly understand how they can get more involved and what is being done to help them grow their local tech companies.

     “Adding people to our team allows us to have the resources we need to convey and share our new and ongoing efforts to serve and help grow the Victoria tech community more specifically, more regularly and in much greater detail,” added Dan. 

    There’s also a two-way opportunity to increase awareness of what members are experiencing and how the organization can support them. By growing the team of VIATEC it allows for an increased professional capacity to execute ambitious goals and support members successfully.

    The candidates were chosen using a unique approach that didn’t outline a specific role but instead listed the ideal qualities and skills VIATEC was looking for. According to Dan, Michaela and Forrester stood out because of their enthusiasm and aligning strengths. 

    “We tried to find the most interesting and talented people that wanted to work with us and then see what we could create. We had a shortlist of two people and we were struggling with what we were going to do; due to a team change, it meant we could bring both on board.” 

    Michaela Schluessel joins the VIATEC team with a background in event management, communications, tourism, and managing her family leather business based in Calgary. She recently graduated from Royal Roads University with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication. 

    Forrester Whitney comes on board with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the University of Victoria. He has experience working on large engineering projects as well as facilitating workshops and being a mentor for youth. Aside from his work experience in engineering he also knows how to make a great cocktail and you might see him on the weekends bartending at Upstairs Cabaret. 

    Michaela’s role will utilize her strengths in communication with a focus on helping members better appreciate and understand each other through storytelling and feature articles. Her passion for writing combined with her unique experience running a family business will add  value to her role as Community Manager. 

    “I love Victoria and I’ve always wanted to be involved in a role where I can make a difference in the community,” said Michaela. “At VIATEC I’m happy to be part of a team that’s doing that every day. I was so excited about the opportunity I flew down for the interview from Calgary and made my decision to move back to Victoria largely for the chance at it.”

    “Our efforts around community management and communications will make it easier to feel plugged in and affiliated,” said Dan. “I think it will increase the bond and the connection among the members in the community.”

    Forrester’s technical expertise will be an asset to assisting with events and ensuring Fort Tectoria facilities and operations are running smoothly in his role of Facilities Manager. As we approach the 5 year anniversary of the opening of Fort Tectoria it is more obvious than ever what a place that encourages the tech community to get together for meetings, training, networking and cultural events along with affordable office spaces can do to support tech entrepreneurs and provide some added glue to the community.

    “I’m really excited to be working in an organization that’s providing people the resources and opportunities they need to be successful,” said Forrester. “Not only will you see me holding down the Fort (no pun intended), I’m also looking forward to engaging with the community on a more personal level.”

    Michaela and Forrester look forward to meeting all the members and working with the rest of the VIATEC crew to continue serving the tech community to the best of their abilities. Make sure to introduce yourself when you see them around! 

    To learn more about the team behind VIATEC visit www.viatec.ca. 



    Dan Gunn, CEO

    VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Victoria's biggest industry). We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the front door of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering/event space for local entrepreneurs. www.viatec.ca, www.forttectoria.ca