It was when Taylor Hardekopf was out for lunch in downtown Edmonton, he saw an arts college that offered a graphic design and photography course. He studied in the full immersion course for six months and soon after found himself working in an industry that allowed for creative freedom while supporting local businesses and organizations.
“A lot of the projects in College were focused around non-for-profits and organizations who needed help and assistance, so not only were we creating work for our instructors, we were also designing real client work that was evaluated by the organization using the product,” says Hardekopf.
Through his time moving around Southeast Alberta, being born in Calgary, growing up in Edmonton and surrounding areas, and living in Lethbridge, he also spent time living in Medicine Hat during his junior high and high school years.
He eventually moved back to Edmonton in 2002, met his now wife, and they both decided in 2020 that Medicine Hat would be their home going forward.
“I always told her, just say the word and we’ll move there. Medicine Hat has always been considered home to me,” says Hardekopf.
Hardekopf found his position with Community Futures Entre-Corp as Digital Service Squad member shortly after their move, helping businesses build a brand and their online presence.
“It always comes down to my belief when I’m supporting a business owner. It’s all about pride and being proud of, and having passion for what you’re doing,” says Hardekopf.
Before working with Community Futures, Hardekopf undertook many labour positions and worked with Telus for 10 years, getting a heavy IT background, award-winning customer service training, and customer retention experience. This journey has brought him to a city and work environment that he fully enjoys.
“Everybody who works at Community Futures is amazing and is here to help each other as individuals in our various teams. We’re all passionate about and working towards the best interest of the business owners in Southeast Alberta, and it really shows,” he says.
Hardekopf looks forward to working with local owners in Medicine Hat who are wanting to grow their brand and their business online. He grabs inspiration from Ted Talks, especially Simon Sinek, who is the creator of one of Hardekopf’s favourite quotes, ‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’.
“Anybody can start a business and sell products, but the people who are successful are passionate about what they’re doing. They believe in what they’re doing,” says Hardekopf. “The brand is the face of the business. I’ve always been an out of the box thinker. With the Digital Service Squad, there is room to have creative expression and creative freedom. Being able to do design work for local businesses that translate and articulate their passion is exciting, and it keeps me on my toes.”