I started working in 2000 as a headhunter (or a professional matchmaker) connecting people with contract jobs in the Government of Canada. It was fine, just fine, but after a couple of years I realized this was not enabling me to be my best self. I decided to make a major career change; to try to bring my youness to life. And so in 2004, I started my life in marketing. This is my journey…
Since 2015: Developing modern marketers
Unplanned and life-changing. At the start of 2015, I got the opportunity to teach a continuing education Social Media Marketing course at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada. I did this in the evening while still working my brand marketing job during the day for Evergreen Canada and Evergreen Brick Works.
One course led to two courses. Two courses led to a brief stint as a part-time instructor. In January 2016, I started as full-time Professor in the School of Marketing at George Brown College. In September 2017, I took on the Program Coordinator role for the Digital Media Marketing postgraduate certificate.
Since March 2017, I have consulted to the Canadian Marketing Association as a Learning Experience Designer and Facilitator.
Now I invest most of my time creating learning content, designing and facilitating learning experiences–courses, seminars and workshops. My areas of specialization are: brand management, marketing strategy and planning, marketing analytics, content marketing and social media marketing.
2010-2015: Building brands of different shapes and sizes
I developed brand marketing experience across industries with organizations from global publicly traded to national not-for-profit; including Evergreen Canada, Evergreen Brick Works, Intrepid Group and Merit Travel Group.
The common thread was working with organizations that wanted a business-minded marketer who was consumer-obsessed, and who understood how digital marketing communication worked.
During this time I was part of a Kashi x Evergreen Canada x Traffik Group team that won a Cause+Action award for cause marketing.
2007-2010: Immersing myself in “marketing marketing”
I moved back to Toronto, Canada and started in brand marketing (a.k.a. product management) at General Mills. There is no better marketing training in the world.
I had to apply critical and creative thinking to consumer product brand management processes for annual business planning, brand marketing strategy, and marketing communication management.
During this time I earned awards for Marketing Innovation and Mentoring.
2006-2007: Completing an MBA
My amazing wife and I packed up and moved to Sydney, Australia. I completed a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a focus on marketing from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) at Macquarie University. She worked to make sure we had a roof over our head, electricity, food on the table..and that we were fortunate to be able to travel around the country during school breaks.
My master’s research report that explored principles of design-driven innovation applied at Electrolux, the home appliance company, achieved the highest honours. Twice I earned the MGSM Award of Merit for achieving the highest grade in a course. Oddly, never in the marketing courses.
2005-2006: Starting the journey agency-side
It all started with a cold call to the Director, Client Service at Acart Communications, the biggest marketing communication agency in Ottawa, Canada. Somehow I made the right impression as she soon after gave me the opportunity to start as an Account Executive.
I mainly worked with Government of Canada clients to plan integrated marketing communication campaigns that used both traditional and digital media (read: Google search ads and static display ads) and manage web 1.0 site builds.
So yeah, I pretty much started in marketing when digital marketing started. We have developed and evolved together ever since. The path has not been linear or easy–there have been little bumps and deep valleys along the way to discovering my youness. 🙂