For the first episode of Around the Cooler of 2023, you’re going to want to grab something to drink.
Because in this interview, Quantus co-owner, Paul Bojakli and our broker, Jeff Blanchette head downtown Calgary to have a few drinks at the new Hitman's Bar.
If there’s anything we learned, Jeff and Paul are a dangerous duo. There was probably more footage of these two laughing than an actual interview, but did we capture some good stories…we’ll save a few of those for a later day.
Before we dive in, we want to give a huge thank you to Dennis and Nicole, owners of Hitman's for letting us use the space. It was perhaps too good of an interview setting for these two.
How Did You Get Started in Mortgages?
Way back when I actually started working at ATB. I don't even remember what year it was, but probably early 2000s From there, I went to work at ResMor Trust for a few years.
Probably the best company I ever worked for—shoutout to James and Jerry. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot there.
Then I got into sales and went to MCAP and then was there for almost seven years. You and I had chatted for nearly a year before I decided to become a broker.
It was something that I had been thinking about for a long time. I'd been with the banks for a lot of years and it was time to find something else. Not that I didn't enjoy my time there. I loved my job as a Business Development Manager, but things were changing. It wasn't as fun as it used to be and I was looking for a different challenge.
We had some great conversations leading up to me leaving and then started with Quantus in 2016.
This interview was actually recorded on Jeff’s seven year work anniversary. We wish we could say we planned this.
It's been great. I mean, it's been seven years, which is hard to believe. It feels like yesterday that I joined.
So, in The Past Seven Years, What Were Some of Your Lows?
That’s a tough question. I don't know if there have been a lot of lows, to be honest
I think there was a period of time when COVID hit, that was really challenging. And that was when things had just kind of started rolling for me then, too.
So, that was a challenging time for sure. But other than that, you're trying to build an identity when you start out in something like this.
And so, you go through the paces of thinking you have a great idea. Following through on that idea and then maybe it wasn't such a great idea, but you just keep rolling. I think any challenges have kind of come from those types of situations. But, we just move on!
On the Flip Side, What Have Been Some of Your Highs?
I hit a few personal goals through the years and it's always good to hit those.
I also won an award this year for “Party” guy, AKA, the Team Commitment Award. That was a lot of fun. It was pretty cool to receive that award this year from you guys.
Tell Us A Little Bit About the Charities You Support
We all support Community Key, which is an awesome charity that we all participate in and has done some really good things since its inception.
Another charity that I support is Kids Up Front, which offers opportunities for kids and their families to go to different sporting, arts, and cultural events. I think that's just such a cool thing. I mean, those types of things are important for kids' development, just to see a musical or a band or even a sporting event is pretty awesome and opens their minds a little bit. So, that's a big one for me.
Tell Us Something People Don’t Know About You
I really enjoy music. I had an idea a few years ago about creating a documentary. I’m working with a company out of Seattle, Slager Fuj Creative Media.
I've been working on that for about a year. It’s essentially an accumulation of stories from bands who have traveled across Canada. Touring Canada is awful. There's so much time and space between places. We’re talking to different venues and cities. There's some pretty cool stories out there. I've been working on that for a while. Nobody really knows about that.
Thanks so much, Jeff for coming and hanging out with us for the afternoon. Although, we think there will have to be a rematch with Bojakli. Badminton or boxing, your choice.