Welcome to our new employee spotlight series, where we highlight members of the Tonkean squad who exemplify the unique spirit of our company. This week, we’re spotlighting Briana Okyere, our community and events lead.
Briana Okyere is, among other things, a veritable rockstar — a great example of the kind of inspiring, inspired, interesting, and dynamically capable person we covet here at Tonkean. A San Franciscan, Briana Okyere came to Tonkean from Founders Network, a community for founders of technology startups, where she led the charge growing, building, and fostering community.
As it would happen, this is precisely what she focuses on each day at Tonkean, only our community is composed of operations professionals, each of whom would no doubt attest to Briana’s leadership and community-building chops.
Recently we sat down with Briana to discuss her story, what she appreciates about Tonkean, along with her plans for the summer (hint, they include lots of hiking).
Read on to learn more!
Tonkean: Hey Briana! Thanks for sitting down with us. First question, what brought you to Tonkean?
Briana Okyere: Before Tonkean, I’d spent the last 5+ years of my career building communities in the startup space. First, at Le Tote, a Series C startup, then at Founders Network. So when Tonkean offered me the opportunity to build a community for operations professionals from scratch, I jumped at it.
T: At what point did you decide Tonkean was the company you wanted to join next?
B: I was excited about the prospect from my first meeting actually, and here’s why — it’s so rare for a Series A startup to have the vision to build a large-scale community at this stage. That vision itself told me everything I needed to know about this company.
“When Tonkean offered me the opportunity to build a community for operations professionals from scratch, I jumped at it.”
T: Tell us about your work building the AdaptivOps community. What does that entail, what’s on your mind each morning as you get to work? What are your goals?
B: Every morning I wake up and think; how am I going to help my community members today? When it comes to community, you have to focus on the value you provide for your members. That, in turn, translates to growth, and word of mouth, and people getting excited about what you’re building. And I go about that by focusing on a number of initiatives — producing awesome events for our existing and prospective community members, taking the time to offer up 1:1 calls with each new community member when they join, hosting intimate virtual coffee chats with community members each week, and encouraging engaging content on the forum, among other things.
T: What Tonkean value resonates with you the most?
B: Definitely “No BS.” I’m not one for office politics or beating around the bush. I work with extremely smart people at Tonkean, and I always want them to be telling me how I can do better, and expect to give them that feedback in return. That honest, open communication is key, especially at our stage of rapid growth.
T: What’s your favorite part about working at Tonkean?
B: I love our “Tonkean Littles” channel in Slack. It’s a space where teammates share pictures of puppies, babies, or anything adorable in their lives. Brings a smile to my face every day and helps me learn about what’s important to my fellow employees.
“I work with extremely smart people at Tonkean, and I always want them to be telling me how I can do better, and expect to give them that feedback in return.”
T: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
B: I grew up in an outdoorsy family, so I love to do anything related to camping, hiking, or being outside. The next trip is Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite at the end of summer.