It all started at over IT

Darren and Staci first met when Staci was taking an IT Service course, which Darren was teaching. 

Staci’s first impression of Darren was that he was arrogant. Not long after the course was done, the company Staci worked for had hired Darren as an  IT contractor. Together Darren and Staci were paired to work on a significant server/network upgrade. Staci and Darren worked quite well together, with an easy back and forth about the technology that they were implementing. 

Darren was surprised at Staci’s knowledge and aptitude for learning new things. By the end of the project they  both knew they made a good team, both professionally and personally.

A few years later Staci and Darren married, had their daughter and became the Grattons.

When it rains, it pours

A few months after their daughter was born, Darren was diagnosed with Kidney Disease. 

Fortunately, the GP had a background in renal medicine, and Darren was able to start dietary changes to prolong his kidney function. They started with a specialist in town,but that took them so far. 

After a lot of research and getting a specialist located in Vancouver it became real that the Grattons  were going to have to deal with dialysis and eventually a kidney transplant for Darren to stay around. During this time Staci had a baby boy and after her maternity leave her employer decided my job was no longer necessary. 

This ended up in a legal battle over wrongful termination, where the employer decided to embellish his notes and call Staci’s character and integrity into question. The whole ordeal allowed Staci to see what type of people she did not want to work for or type of company she did not want to become. 

While this was going on Darren’s business partnership was falling apart. It resulted in a long legal battle which ended in bankruptcy for Darren. Between the legal battle and health issues Darren decided to take a job with a local IT company. 

The Grattons were now deep into the dialysis process of Darren’s Treatment. First, peritoneal which involved palettes of boxes to be dropped off with the solutions he would use each night to clean his blood. That failed and he switched to hemodialysis, which involved experimental treatments (super cool by the way) and many trips to Vancouver. 

Difficult Roads often lead to beautiful destinations.

In March 2015, three days before Darren’s birthday, we got a call from St Paul’s Hospital that they had a kidney, could he be at the hospital by 4:00 that afternoon. The answer of course was yes. 

Staci got on the phone with West Jet and booked Darrens flight. He was at the airport within an hour to catch the next flight out. The surgery was successful, they said that the match couldn’t have been better if they had found a living donor. Normal recovery from transplant surgery is 8 weeks near the hospital, he was home in 6 weeks. His employer was amazing through the whole thing with time off and benefit payments. But as he started feeling better, he started to get restless and looking to be out on his own again, so Darren started Gratton Ventures – A local IT company. Staci was pretty sure that Darren is not meant to be an employee. Too restricting, too many rules. Darren is a born Visionary. 

Soon after, Staci had taken a job in an office to help pay the bills. Although, Staci did not like the job it was helping financially and what started as a casual position turned into a full-time job. The money was good, the benefits were good, but the commute and the job itself were slowly killing her. 

Staci found herself coming home angry and upset, Darren suggested that Staci come home and help with the administration side of tGratton Ventures. Staci was hesitant at first, unsure of putting all of our eggs in one basket, but if she didn’t make some kind of change, she was going to be stuck in that cubicle doing a job that didn’t matter to herself. 

So it was settled, Staci made the decision to leave that and start working on the business to help grow it to something more. They have always made a good team. Figure out what the problem is, find a solution, put it in place. They have used this strategy personally and professionally. And before you knew it Gratton Ventures became, SkySail Technologies. 

Why the name, SkySail?

“Well that’s Simple, SkySail is the highest sail on the mast.We are the most qualified and trusted technology (Highest Sail) partners in the Okanagan District (The Mast)”   

“This is what has been put in front of us, we can step up and work with it, or we can give up. We aren’t the give up type of people. “I always knew that Darren could grow a successful business, but for all these years he has been adrift, moving with the currents…he just needed a rudder.” 

~ Staci Gratton