What’s your business background?
I was born
and raised in an entrepreneurial family, which owned a number of businesses,
including Grand Prix Amusements (go carts). Although I am only 34, I have had a
real diverse work background - I have worked in retail, manufacturing,
industrial, defence, software and government. I was working in government while
in high school, having had an opportunity in the taxation and finance
department to do security assessments because of my interest in information
security. I now own a few private companies, the largest of which is Seccuris,
which does information security. I am also involved in entrepreneurship support
through AssentWorks and Ramp Up Manitoba.
How and why have you been involved in
I first got
involved in The Chamber when I was starting Seccuris in 1999. As a start-up, I
was looking to network and took part in the business mixers. I also took advantage
of the employee benefits program. Then I got more involved with the policy
committees. Slowly, I evolved from being a member for my own reasons – the
benefits offered a small and growing business – to realizing the kind of
influence The Chamber wields with respect to civic, provincial and federal
issues that have an impact on all of us and that shape the business community.
I was then asked to be on the board.
What’s the one thing everyone needs
to know about The Chamber?
interesting thing is that The Chamber is a “community.” Most people look at The
Chamber as a service provider, focused on policy. But The Chamber represents a
diverse set of business and professional relationships. Your involvement is
welcomed and desired. You shouldn’t wait to be invited to participate, you
should make it yours.
What’s the best business advice
you’ve ever received?
want to be passionate about your business, passion alone will not help you
succeed. You are not there just for
personal reasons. You need a good fundamental business, a solid reason to grow
your scalability – that’s what turns a four-person business into 400 or 4,000.
What would people be surprised to
learn about you?
That I’m an
introvert. I have been speaking out on behalf of entrepreneurial start-ups and
through The Chamber have been publicly involved in creating linkages, but I
like nothing more than sitting down before a quiet fire by myself.
What’s your favourite thing about
best example of what North America truly was and will become. Our native
population has been here for many hundreds of years, and together we shaped a
new community that’s survived and is stable, regardless of what others have
done. Being in the true geographic centre of North America, we get a unique
perspective on what’s happening from coast-to-coast and across the U.S. The
Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a perfect example of influence turning into
action in the centre of Canada. We have a diversity of medium businesses that
are turning into big businesses. We’re growing as ourselves, doing things
differently than others. CentrePort could not have happened anywhere else but
What are you most looking forward to
during your year as chair?
A big thing
for me is bringing a new focus on dialogue within The Chamber communities. I
have had the luxury of working with amazing young businesses and startups, as
well as some of the businesses that represent the old bricks and mortar. I want
to link the two together and look at how we can create innovation within all
businesses. We need to determine what tools we have, but don’t know we have.
Which do you prefer – tea or coffee?
Tea - I can
drink it all day. I’m hooked because of my English heritage.
Which do you prefer – cats or dogs?
Top movie of all time?
Song – Moxy Fruvous
Stuck on an island, what are your
some tobacco seeds and a good chair.
Winnipeg’s best-kept secret?
entrepreneurial support community – there are at least 40 entities that help
growing, start-up, young businesses, such as CYBF, the Women’s Enterprise
Centre and the Composites Innovation Centre.
My BOLD idea?
Alley – establishing the West Exchange as a true collaborative community for
business, technology, art and education. It’s basically the concept of a
creative campus, where we can bring the next generation of scalable business to
Winnipeg and enable the ones already here.