Frenetic energy with blonde hair: this is Karla Stephens-Tolstoy. Sometimes passionate and focused, the next minute wide-eyed and wondering, Karla is the idea generator behind Tokii – an online relationship management platform designed to help busy couples stay connected. In 2008, Karla had the vision to provide a unique and innovative destination to enrich today’s relationships and made the vision a reality with Tokii’s launch on March 11, 2011.
Before starting Tokii, Karla was CEO at Vodafone in the Czech Republic, COO at Oskar Mobil the Canadian forerunner to Vodafone, VP Sales & Marketing at Connex, Romania and Director of Sales and Marketing at China Unicom in Changsha, China. Her companies have won numerous awards and she herself was honoured with the prestigious Stevie Award for Women Entrepreneurs (2005).
Tokii is also the name of Karla’s Great Dane. Ultimately, she wants to own and run a vineyard somewhere sunny and warm. But secretly, Karla would love to take over as the Mr. Rourke character on Fantasy Island.
Alexander (Al) Tolstoy,
Three words that come to mind when you think of Al: perseverance, innovation and spontaneity.
A strong leader with the exceptional ability to select, recruit and retain top-notch talent, Al brings his unique executive experience and expertise to the table. Prior to co-founding Tokii, Al served as Chairman & CEO of Connex & Oskar and was the COO & President of the Canadian parent operations, TIW Inc. He’s also been the President & CEO of Clearwave N.V the TIW holding company in Europe and President of mobile operations in Hunan, China and Rajasthan, India.
Al is a big sports fan with an impressive collection of sports memorabilia and collector of things in general. Al is also a bit of a renaissance man, fluent in English, French and Russian, who’s happy to talk about Descartes and then fix the kitchen sink.
If Kim had a bumper sticker on her car, it would read “I’d rather be sailing”. But her dedication to Tokii, along with 23 years of retail, telecommunications and marketing experience, is vital to its’ success.
Previous to her work at Tokii, Kim was a private labels business manager before heading to Dubai to consult. She held the titles of Director of Events and Promotions at Vodafone CZ, and Sales and Marketing Consultant at Telenor Serbia, where she helped to launch the first online shop in that country.
Kim plays hard and works hard. She has a huge crush on actor John Cusack. And if she could, Kim would never, ever sleep. There’s just too much to do.
The Czech “chick” who can manage multiple teams at once or be single-minded in her determination, Pavla is an expert when it comes to customer care and has over 17 years of human resources and operations experience.
Pavla served as Sales and Customer Care Support and Operations Senior Manager at Vodafone CZ and also created and implemented the first online self- care technology for Oskar.
She hates flying, loves the artwork of Renoir and Reuben, and is admittedly addicted to coffee. In her earlier years she was a croupier at a casino and helped launch 7 casinos.
Ever built a boat in your garage that actually floated? David has. He’s also a Microsoft-certified professional software developer with 15 years experience.
Prior to joining Tokii, he was a team lead and software consultant at TELUS. David also developed a location-based API to provide location and communication for on-call registered nurses.
David is married and lives in Pickering, Ontario. He likes to make his own wine and preserve his own jam and pickles. But don’t ask him to eat lima beans: he hates them.
Did you learn English in Taiwan many moons ago? Maybe Diane taught you!
As the Content Senior Manager for Tokii, Diane is responsible for all the Games you see on the website. This combines statistics and relationships, two things Diane is deeply involved with. She’s an accomplished researcher and fundraiser, dedicating her early career to the United Way as a Major Gifts Officer and Campaign Director.
Diane is also current Co-Director at the Linden household. She holds a degree in Economics and in her youth, you could have found her in Club Med “working” as a sailing and windsurfing instructor.
If Selma was a character on Jersey Shore, which is her favorite show, her nickname would probably be “The Puffer”. Ask her why.
Other than fist pumping the night away, Selma spends her days (and many nights) at the Tokii office as their Senior Manager of Operations. She ensures a seamless flow through of content on the website and meets tight project deadlines with Tokii’s emerging CC platform.
Selma loves animals, just ask her three pooches. She loves exploring and seeing new places, but her favorite vacation destination is south to Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico or the Dominican.
Is Izabela striking a warrior pose? Don’t worry: she’s just an avid follower and teacher of Yoga.
But if there’s one thing we’ve learned about Iza as Tokii’s Senior Web Designer is, she’s a leader when it comes to making our site look incredible! Izabela spent a year as a Photography Assistant at Meg Gallery before moving into the role of Advertising Art Director at WHERE Canada. She honed her web design skills at Toronto agencies Dewar Communications and Cundari, creating compelling advertising for clients like Telus, Microsoft, General Electric and BMW.
Other than bending herself into pretzel like shapes, Izabela loves to travel and recently spent time in Italy.
When he’s not working on the next great idea, Paul enjoys playing video games and watching baseball; although his favorite team gives him headaches.
As a Tokii New Media Copywriter and self-proclaimed Gamer Par Excellence, Paul is involved mainly with game content but has worn a few hats including developer, community manager, social media consultant, UI designer, as well as marketing and public relations co-coordinator to name a few. Previous to Tokii he was involved in Mosoto.com, an original Facebook F8 partner.
Paul lives in Long Island, New Jersey. Being an American, he loves eating steak and driving muscle cars. He’s been an avid follower and early adopter of social media for so long Facebook was known as Facepage when he started.
When he’s at home, Peter likes to read mystery novels or watch movies… unless the dog is barking.
But when he’s in the office, Peter is all business as Tokii’s Web Programmer and Intermediate Developer. His primary responsibilities include developing and replicating ASP.NET web applications, maintaining and upgrading web application using HTML, CSS Java Script and VB.NET, and acting as key consultant for GUI interface issues. Previous to Tokii, Peter was the Associate Developer and Team Lead at Evolution Health; creating health benefit web applications to help people quit smoking and manage addictions.
If he’s out, Peter is eating sushi and relaxing with a Red Bull and rum. You can also find him snowboarding or even playing board games.
Ask to see Paula’s baby, and she’ll probably bring her out on a leash. That’s because Princess the pit-bull needs to get to know your first.
Once you get to know Paula, you’ll see she’s an incredible asset to the Tokii team. Working as the TLC Team Leader, Paula does what needs to be done including customer care, data entry, site testing and what she’s most relied upon, analytics.
Paula loves to play Texas Hold ‘em poker. Her current fave song is by Rihanna and she used to live the spa life… as a Manager for Toronto’s Pantages Spa.
Volunteer work in Africa before trekking through the Himalayas? You must be talking about Anthony.
Even though Anthony holds the title of consultant, he has supported Tokii in numerous facets; from writing blog posts and engaging with the Tokii’s social media community to developing content for Tokii’s Discovery Games. Anthony is a certified English and History high-school teacher who donates his time working with struggling students while also creating for Tokii.
Anthony lives in glorious British Columbia. He enjoys music, art and of course, the outdoors.
The bush in Northwestern Ontario is home for Susan. She keeps life as simple as possible, enjoying snowshoeing through virgin snow in the boreal forest, campfires with coffee and the company of her small dogsled team.
Susan’s office in the sitting room of her home, is perched over a quiet northern lake and she connects with our Tokii office via the internet. In between writing blog posts and DiscoveryGames she disappears to enjoy her wilderness life. Whether it’s bicycling, kayaking, snowshoeing or mushing, Susan is as at home outside, as she is in downtown Winnipeg or Toronto. Although you’ll rarely find her in either of those two cities.
When relaxing indoors, Susan reads, plays the bagpipes, knits or chooses from one of many eclectic interests.
Nada says she likes running, drawing and (can you believe it?) math.
Good thing since she is the Finance Controller at Tokii. She’s a corporate finance specialist with 15 plus years of experience in wireless models and platform analytics. Most of Nada’s career has been with telecommunications companies Oskar and Vodafone, working in Payroll and Benefits as well as Expat Services Manager, Data Warehousing, Revenue and Forecast Management, and Marketing Management.
She admits her favorite food is Italian and her favorite actress is Uma Thurman, especially in the movie Kill Bill.
Toki the Great Dane
Toki loaned his name to the business Tokii; or was it the other way round? If the business went by his real name, Tokii would be Loyal Hearts Toki.
At 3 and a half years old, Toki has stopped growing… at 180 pounds. He owns his own couch at the Tokii office but is much quieter than his dog buddy Grafi. That’s partially due to the fact he has larynx problems and can’t really bark. He’s also blind in one eye.
Toki hates fireworks, loves to slobber on people and is just a big teddy bear.
Grafi the Dachshund
His real name is Einstein von den Dombergspatzen, but Grafi will do just fine.
Grafi thinks his job around the house and office is to let people know things… by barking. People at the front door? Bark. Ducks outside? Bark. Wind blowing? Bark. Just bored? Bark bark bark.
Grafi really barks when you even MENTION the word squirrel. He’s middle-aged, loves food, and even though he’s on a diet, he cheats as much as he can.