The dictionary defines entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise”.
As one of eight children born on a farm in rural Ontario, I learned at the feet of my father and mentor the meaning of hard work and dedication and its importance to achieve what you set out to do. From my first job at the age of 12, sweeping floors of a large factory every weekend, to my current roles as CEO of Pestell Minerals and Ingredients and CEO of Blendtek Fine Ingredients, I have learned from each role the principles that drive corporate success.
Following graduation from college with a mechanical engineering technician diploma I altered course embarking on a new career as a sales person in the life insurance business then ultimately made the move to Xerox and Canon for 15 years where I honed my professional sales skills as territory representative, sales manager, to VP of sales Ontario.
In 1994, I acquired a small underperforming company, Kissner Milling, a Kitchener, Ontario-based company which serviced a regional market for salt products. After 20 years of building the management team, completing numerous acquisitions and imparting my personal values and work ethic, Kissner grew to be the market leader in supplying specialty de-icing products throughout North America. From twelve manufacturing plants, we shipped to each major metropolitan city in North Americas snow belt. Kissner purchased Detroit Salt Mine in 2009 to service the bulk roadway de-icing needs in the Great Lakes region, as well as service our extensive internal need for salt supply.
I sold my majority holdings in Kissner in 2014.
Today, as shareholder and CEO of Pestell Minerals and Ingredients the predominant market leader supplying essential minerals and ingredients from around the world for livestock feed and nutrition, we focus on customer satisfaction, continued improvement and resulting growth.
As shareholder and CEO of Blendtek Fine Ingredients, an ingredient supplier to the health nutrition, commercial food and pharma industry, amongst others, we continue to operates the business based on five basic business fundamentals:
Leadership is a full-time job
Treat your people like people
Know your customers, know your market
Operate with an entrepreneurial edge
And last but definitely not least……..
Approach life with a positive attitude!