Posted Thursday, February 3, 2022 12:00 am
By Shaun Ryan
Gurpreet Misra co-founded the link with her husband, Raghu. Though it has been open less than a year, this unique facility has quickly become a focal point for professionals and families in the Nocatee area. Something is always happening there, which keeps Gurpreet Misra and the rest of the link’s team busy.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from originally? What is your background?
I am originally from India. Did my high school education from the beautiful city called Calcutta. Came to Canada for my undergraduate and graduate education.
My education is in psychology and urban planning.
You have been an important part of the development of the link from the start. Can you tell us a little about those early days when you and your husband were first talking about the link? Has it turned out to be all you thought it would be?
Raghu is a dreamer, innovator and visionary. He has a natural talent for what is needed in an industry or society and is very passionate about finding solutions.
I agreed with his vision of creating a space that will meet the demands of the community at two levels. One, to have a co-working space which grows into an innovation hub with an exchange of ideas, and secondly, a space that can have elements of entertainment, personal growth, a fitness program and a learning center.
This idea resonated with me. I could clearly see the benefits of it in a community like Nocatee. Proximity, and mix of uses under one roof, is a powerful concept that saves time and money. Now we are enjoying that vision with more than 300 members, remarkable partners who are our instructors, mainstays and office occupants, and of course our younger friends (children) who are involved in so many fun and learning activities.
Tell us about your responsibilities. What is a typical day like for you?
I am the co-founder and programming director. I have been lucky because the link as a concept is so attractive to so many that we get requests on a daily basis for conducting classes at the link.
I am always looking for programs that would benefit our members. We have many classes and activities that are running at the link: fitness, wellness, education, entertainment, etc., etc. My typical day is to make sure programming has all the elements to go with Raghu's vision, as he always wanted to offer variety for family needs under one roof.
We are very fortunate to be working with many instructors to provide top quality programs to the families.
The link is always a source of interesting events. Can you tell us a little about some things that are coming soon?
We have recently launched Coding and Esports, which is gaining a lot of attention.
We also are launching a series of talks that will highlight the changes that every industry is going to adapt to due to new technologies. We are calling this Future in ... (blank) Series. The blank will be filled with the upcoming industry or sector that will be covered during the talk. A few examples are: Smart Building, Blockchain, Education, Metaverse, etc.
We have launched our Spring Break camps and will be rolling out Summer Break camps soon. We are constantly adding programming to our app. We are adding more dance and fitness. We have already launched a Comedy Series. We are adding music lessons, expanding yoga programs and also adding culinary lessons.
From the stand-alone events we are excited to bring a Daddy Daughter Dance for celebrating Valentine’s in February and a Mardi Gras Festival in March.
You must be very proud of this excellent asset that you and Mr. Misra have brought to the community. What are some of the things you are most proud of?
I am most proud of the team and the facility that we work in. This building is beautiful and spacious and is able to have different activities running parallel with the least disruption.
I cannot be more happy with the people I work with. They make every effort to make this facility a "happy center" for all. Seeing children busy with activities in a studio, a meeting going on in one conference room, co-work upstairs, members working casually in the lobby with a cup of coffee, all happening at the same time. Where else would you find this?
What do you like most about living in this community?
Nocatee, like the link, is a unique concept. This master-planned community has been successful in providing something for everybody who lives here. Great place to raise kids, excellent schools, all the Facebook groups that are excellent platforms to connect, the greenways, parks, restaurants.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I would like to visit pre-historic sites in India and other parts of the world. I love to do yoga or any other physical activity. Of course, love to spend time with my family doing anything and everything.