I liken success to an ever-widening circle. Opening yourself to a range of experiences expands your knowledge and empathy. When these qualities grow, you not only advance personally and professionally, but also help others flourish. I first realized this truth while a student at the Telfer School. The school was a stimulating academic environment that I made even richer by taking advantage of learning opportunities outside my classrooms and lecture halls. I played basketball for uOttawa, joined the business consultancy group on campus, and continued to look for other ways to widen my circle of experience.
I’ve followed this same approach since I graduated in 1983. An accountant by training, I was instrumental in making my firm more inclusive, its employees more skilled and its brand more powerful. So much so that I became managing partner of Ernst & Young in Ottawa. I also sought out ways to contribute to my community. I have served for several years on the boards of the local United Way campaign, the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health and the uOttawa board of governors, as well as chairing its audit committee.
Broadening my experiences in all these ways has made me a stronger leader, made my firm and its people more successful, and made my community an even better place to live. Seeing my firm and community grow is very important to me. I encourage current and prospective Telfer School students to follow my lead. Our school holds open plenty of opportunities to learn and give. Seize them. Widen your circle of experience and then reap and share the rewards.