Connor Gottfried, 40, earned a mechanical-engineering degree from the University of Calgary and gained 13 years of experience in the field before launching the eLearning development company, Leara, in 2012. Since then, Leara has amassed a clientele that includes NASA, ATCO and Marriott Hotels. Mr. Gottfried is chief executive officer.
When I was 19, my high-school vice-principal (Cam Mateika, in Swan River, Manitoba) got funding from the government to bring Internet to small towns and hired students. I was super lucky to get that job. I was working at Dairy Queen.
We built the Swan Valley Community Network. I also worked on a regional video-conferencing network to allow an economic development group to give financial and business advice. It’s not like the city where someone can come into your office. I started doing eLearning in a rudimentary sense.
I was studying mechanical engineering (at the University of Calgary) and trying to decide if I should continue. When I saw what was happening with the Internet, I thought ‘Wow, this is where I want to be for the rest of my life.’……