Pierre Rondier is usually pretty quiet. He grabs his usual hotdesk seat in the morning, pours himself a coffee, adjusts his round glasses, and then it’s head-down, work mode. Get him talking though and you’ll find yourself an unmatched interlocutor.
Early on in Pierre’s coworking life I was over in the coffee corner pouring myself a cup when he walked in through the doors. I can’t recall exactly what it was that I said to him, but it was something to the tune of “Hey, how’s it going?”
Soon after we realized that we’d been talking for thirty minutes and hurriedly got back to our computers to productively plug away once again. With a background as colourful as Montreal’s murals there’s always something more to learn from speaking with Pierre.
Kodie: First off, who are you and what do you do?
Pierre: I am an Urban Planner and research associate in environmental public health, I help researchers and practitioners optimizing their research strategy to evaluate the impact of urban interventions (such as Residential development, Infrastructure maintenance, urban greenfields) on various population health indicators like the daily mobility, physical activity, active transportation, social participation and mental health. In order to do that, my expertise consists in helping to implement and use collaborative decision support tools. For example, I applied interactive map-based questionnaires to monitor the most visited locations, the daily trips and the perceived life-space of 200 elderly people in the Montreal metropolitan area during one year.
K: When and why did you enter your field?
P: The interaction of people with their daily environment has always been a passion for me and I have been working in the field or urban and land planning for the past 14 years. I have a master’s (2002), a Ph.D (2012) both in Urban planning from Laval University and a postdoctoral fellowship in road safety analysis from Montreal Polytechnic Institute of Technology. I have been working since 2014 for the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre as a research coordinator in Population Health. I am still working part-time remotely and getting progressively connected to the events and opportunities in the field of research and evaluation here in Kelowna.
K: What made you choose Kelowna over Montreal?
P: In 2015, I spent several weeks visiting British Columbia and fell instantly in love with the Okanagan Valley, I decided last August to move there and start a new chapter of my life. I only knew one person here! Since then, I enjoyed the cooler way of life, the outdoors, the lake and of course the wineries!! I am not regretting my decision!
K: What’s your favourite part of life in the Okanagan Valley?
P: It is easy to make new connections here and Kelowna has been treating me very well on this regard. I am also proud to have been recently elected as a Board Member of the Living Positive Resource Center which provides services in the Central Okanagan for people living with or at risk of sexually transmissible and blood-borne infection and experiencing concerns relating to housing, income, nutrition, health care, addictions and mental health.
K: How has coworking changed your workday?
P: Being a part-time member at co+Lab since August 2016, it helps me to connect with other self-employed and IT businesses,working in a positive and friendly environment and to be constantly updated on what is going on and on opportunities to get involved in the community.
If you’d like to reach out to Pierre, he can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his usual hotdesk spot near the door of co+Lab.