I was born/grew up in: I was born in Lachine Quebec. I have lived in Hamilton, London, Essex, Waterloo, Leamington, Niagara Falls and Toronto, Ontario.
I now live in: London, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Business Administration from The University of Western Ontario.
What I do at work
I am the Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada. This is an industry association that represents businesses that process vehicles that have come to the end of their use. They do this by removing and recycling parts and materials. They make sure materials that may cause pollution are recovered and prevented from entering the environment. I represent their interests to other organizations. This includes the media, other associations, companies and governments. I also examine trends that are taking place and bring them to their attention.
I work by myself, but I am connected to recyclers, suppliers, and manufacturers in the automotive sector. I also work with researchers, governments, academics, and other associations around the World. Computers, phones and an internet connection are all the equipment I use. But those are just the tools I use. It is the knowledge, expertise, experience, relationships and the desire to continually learn and teach, that allow me to use those tools to be ever-present in the industry.
I have financial oversight over six inter-related companies and programs. I report to various Board of Directors and Memberships. As a result, I need to be able to explain large amounts of data, trends, and forecasts. This help everyone see the big picture that I am exposed to and working to create.
My undergrad training in Biology taught me that everything is a system. It also taught me that a system interacts with other systems. This allows me to simplify complex issues. The Business degree helps me make sure the companies make enough money to invest in the future. It also helps me guide 350 small business in communities across Canada.
The ability to communicate effectively is very important in my work. Communication can be one-on-one, small groups, large events, virtually, written, multi-media, socially and professionally. Each is important and must be mastered. When it comes to influencing people and getting positive decisions to be made, it’s always useful to be the one “holding the pen.”
At any one time I am on or leading 30-40 committees, working groups, and stakeholder groups. I can only work through teams. I make decisions every day. But they are only successfully implemented when working through a team.
My career path is
I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do when I was in high school. This was probably the case all the way to 3rd or 4th year of University! I usually picked things based on what I was good at, had an aptitude for, or was interested in. I figured that I would at least enjoy what I was doing and might have success. As I moved along I began to gather skills and experiences that I either needed or knew were important to further my career.
I have been a Production Supervisor at a unionized food plant and a R&D lab tech. I have also been a Marketing Product Manager, an Advertising Account Executive and I have owned two businesses. I sort of stumbled upon Association Management. Running the Automotive Recyclers of Canada organization has allowed me to pull all of the skills I had been developing in to one position.
I left the auto recycling industry after seven years and worked in much larger industry association for three years. I was recruited back in the auto recycling industry and have never looked back. The first business I started failed within the first year. However, I learned so much in that year, and knew what to avoid in the future. There are no failures, only a failure to learn!
I am motivated by
I help create programs that have never existed before within the context of the Canadian auto recycling sector. This includes created opportunities, data, ideas, events, products, and communications. Canadian auto recyclers have accomplished so many “firsts”. When I travel for industry events, people know that the Canadian industry is professional, proactive and a group they can learn from.
Auto recycling has many negative or out-of-date images and beliefs about it. Auto recycling has evolved from the scrapyards, junkyards, salvage and wreckers of the past. It’s my goal to change the view of this industry amongst everyone I meet.
How I affect peoples’ lives
Vehicles are critical to many people’s lives. This includes for work, social interactions, transporting things along with supply chain delivery, or just moving about with freedom. We want to make sure those vehicles are retired responsibly at end-of-life. We want to maximize the efficiency of the resources used to make them. We do this by helping make sure the parts and materials that go into making those vehicles, get used again and again. We are an integral part of the Circular Economy in the vehicle ecosystem.
Most of my Members are family run small businesses located throughout Canada. I help them thrive in their communities. I am proud to say that, in my career, I have now worked with three generations of Members.
Outside of work I
I enjoy beach volleyball, running, reading, and current events. I also like learning about all things auto recycling on a global basis.
My advice to others
Work in a wide variety of industries and jobs. I have been a Production Supervisor at a unionized food plant; R&D Lab Tech; Marketing Product Manager; and an Advertising Account Executive. I have even owned two businesses. I stumbled upon Association Management. I use the skills and experiences I gained at those positions, and in different industries, every day.
A varied career path broadens your horizons.
- Physical Education / Health
- Enjoyed doing things on my own
- Played on a sports team
- Was motivated by success
- Liked reading
- Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
- Didn't really care about grades
- Wasn't sure what I wanted to do