A lot has changed since then, including the addition of two kids, Danika, 14 and Bryce, 12, but through it all Xpan has featured almost as prominently – and for as long – as their pets.
Brett was just 22 years old, fresh out of SAIT and trying to pay the rent, when he started at Xpan as employee #001 two decades ago.
“When I met (Xpan Founder and President) Ron (Thiele), he was working out of this little cubical in some shared office space. Things have really taken off from then,” he says.
“Brianne and I have almost entirely grown up with the company. Pretty much everything we’ve done stems from the employment at Xpan: our first house, subsequent houses, kids. It’s been Xpan since the beginning,” says Brett.
“Obviously, they’ve supported us financially but it’s just not that. In 2009, Brianne was diagnosed with cancer and I was working on my laptop out of the hospital. Xpan was very understanding and patient. Really, it’s always felt more like a family than a job, to be honest. Those lines have always been a little blurry, in a good way.”
Although his role at Xpan has evolved over the years, from animator to multimedia developer to troubleshooting fixer, his love of and loyalty to the company remains unchanged.
In fact, loyalty is high on his list of virtues, both to his marriage and to Xpan.
“I’d say I value loyalty above all things. I take pride in my lengthy employment and enjoy being a part of the company for so long, being part of its success and challenges.”