Originally from Bangladesh, Tarik Sayeed immigrated to Canada in 2007. As many immigrants do, he took on a number of jobs while awaiting recognition of his education and experience.
Sayeed is inspired by IT solutions that improve the world for others. His work history includes Jump TV, Comcast and Valley First Credit Union.
He has taken classes at Harvard, obtained a Masters degree from NJIT and acquired certifications in leadership from University of Waterloo and MIT.
Sayeed stands for economic growth through embracing technology, environmental care and social belonging.
He said great ideas do not have to be complicated. His initial focus will be to use his experience to improve communications and find new operational efficiencies within city hall.
I believe that Penticton has the opportunity to be recognized as the role model for Canada. This is what I will strive for. This will be my filter for each decision.
Tarik Sayeed, a 36-year-old local entrepreneur, said he prepared for this over the last three months, working with his team to develop a platform, build a website, even order T-shirts.
Sayeed was inspired to run for council, he explained, while looking for a candidate he could support. One woman he was chatting with turned the question around and asked him why he wasn’t running himself.
“It made me think about it. I see it as an extension of my civic responsibility,” said Sayeed.
Though he’s only lived in Penticton since 2008, Sayeed thinks his work in the community shows how involved he has become. In turn, he incorporated those elements in his platform: supporting economic growth through embracing technology, environmental care and social belonging.
“I am working in all three of those areas. It is not like a vision I have, it is something I am already working on,” said Sayeed. “After I announced on Facebook, I am getting support already, so I am quite confident about it. I am here to win this.”
Sayeed’s projects include the Zero Plastic Bags initiative, a campaign promoting the use of reusable or compostable bags at grocery stores. He’s also working with motion capture technology to develop a device that translates sign language gestures into text and voice.
With an MBA from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and certifications in management and leadership, Sayeed said his relative youth isn’t a barrier.
“I see it as an advantage. Not only am I young, but I have been a manager for many years,” he said. “I have taken a lot of leadership courses and have taken leadership roles. If anything, I think I come with a much broader experience.”
Sayeed has also been a guest speaker at TEDx Penticton, and has also been invited to speak at TEDx Toronto, where he will be presenting in front of close to 1,000 audience members and delegates on Oct. 2.
“To me that is a very proud moment, because I not only get to represent the work I am doing, the social aspect of it, but I get to represent Penticton,” said Sayeed.