By Rey Buhler
For me (Rey Buhler), the thing that sets Venturi’s culture apart from the rest, really starts from the top – our leaders genuinely care about us as people – individuals who have our own passions, interests, and needs. During my time here, I’ve heard so many stories about how our executive team take the time to truly get to know us on a personal level to ensure that we feel seen and heard.
I got to experience this first-hand when I started with Venturi. A few weeks after I started, I was celebrating my birthday with my new puppy (Miso!) when I got a surprise visit from our CEO, Anthony. He had stopped by to bring birthday treats for Miso and I from bakeries all across Edmonton. It was a very touching gesture and goes to show that our leaders truly value us as individuals and not just employees.
During the pandemic, like many others, I was always quite scared whenever I started to feel under the weather as I’m immunocompromised I definitely took it seriously. You can never truly be sure if you got COVID or just a regular cold, and one time when I was having a scare and wasn’t able to secure any test kits (all the pharmacies near me were out), Anthony stopped by with test kits so I could test myself and be at ease. Luckily, it was a false alarm! But like everyone else, I did eventually catch COVID later on. I wasn’t feeling 100% but had a ton of work to get to, so I tried to push through my illness. During that time, Anthony kept urging me to take some time off to rest, and though I didn’t listen initially, his persistence eventually won out and I gave myself the time to recover properly. Some bosses will tell you to get well as soon as possible, but Anthony wanted to just make sure that I got well and even “jokingly” teased that he would remotely turn off my computer until I was better!
It’s not just me who has seen how thoughtful our leaders are. When our engineers earn their P.Eng. designation, we always get a gift for them to celebrate. Justin, one of our partners, is always on the ball when it comes to this. When James Kracher got his designation, we knew that it would be best to find something that fit his camping lifestyle, and Justin knew exactly what the best camping gear add-ons to purchase for James due to their many conversations on the subject. And when Nigel earned his designation, Justin knew his passion was in photography and cameras. Despite not knowing much about this hobby, Justin leaned on Anthony, and together, they got him an amazing film camera and processing kit so that Nigel could develop his own negatives.
When it comes to inclusivity, I know that our team tries our best to create a culture where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. We aren’t perfect but we always try to get better! For example, one famed story is a Banff hike that we attempted as a team that just ended up being too difficult. We learned from that experience and have since shifted to trying to plan team-building activities that anyone can engage with. And when it comes to company parties, we try to make sure everyone’s tastes are considered! Our recent Christmas party featured a fantastic selection of sushi, but upon realizing that not everyone liked raw fish, we made sure to include many cooked items as well to the menu without them having to default to just eating the vegetarian options.
Overall, I truly believe Venturi is a place I can be my authentic self, and I think that rings true for most of our team here. Like I said, we won’t always get it right, but we do always try to make everyone feel like they belong here as a part of our team. It’s a special place to work and I think a lot of that is because we have leaders that have a strong vision for what kind of company and culture they want to build. I feel very lucky to call Venturi my home.