President & CEO, NB Power
“As for leadership, always give it your very best”
Smart Grid Champion Thomas is clear about the immediate future. Over the next five years, he expects NB Power to become capable in “Smart Grid” technologies — those that use electronic information to save money for both customers and energy providers. In fact, he says, he wants the corporation to “become the North American Smart Grid Leader, seen as one of the most innovative utilities in the world.”
Grounded in Leadership Values are legacy propositions for Thomas. As he says, “My parents and grandmother greatly influenced me with the importance of continuous learning which really shaped my growth as a business leader.”.
President & CEO, Tiller Group of Companies
(St. John’s, N.L.)
“The point of leadership is figuring out where to go from where you are”
Innovation as Strategy Tiller says invention and creativity are foundation blocks of his company’s continued success: “Innovation is one of the strategic pillars. The company has established its ability to utilize the latest engineering software and innovative tools, while adapting to extreme, unconventional service environments.” This, naturally, will provide a key, competitive advantage in the months and years ahead.
Leading by Situation Tiller prefers to describe his leadership approach as situational. In other words, it all depends on the needs of the team from day to day. He supports personal and professional growth as a matter of course. As he says, “Being able to succinctly describe what you want done is important. If you can’t relate your vision, you won’t be working towards the same goal.”
President & CEO, Fancy Pokket Corporation (Moncton, N.B.)
“Being in business is not always easy. It’s important to be optimistic”
Spreading the Dough Timani’s five-year “end result” is clear. He wants to upgrade and expand his facilities in Moncton to accommodate new product lines and support a major, new build in the U.S. to house his burgeoning export business down south. He explains: “By accessing our new U.S. facility we are expecting to double our business within three years.”
Positive and Committed In business, especially an entrepreneurial one, positivity is crucial, Timani notes. “Positivity influences the people around you and that makes your team stronger,” he says. “If people are not committed to the long hours, they will fail.” Of course, for Timani, failure is no option.
CEO, Nunacor Development Corporation
(Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L.)
“A leader must seek out and understand different perspectives and opinions”
Driven by Entrepreneurs Over the past three years, Nunacor Development’s various subsidiaries have shown percentage revenue growth of anywhere from 20 per cent (NDC Fisheries) to 1,363 per cent (Komatik Training Solutions), all while maintaining vibrant staffs. Says Turnbull: “The Atlantic Canada economy is driven by small business. An important aspect of this is the prominence of aboriginal business in (this region) and Canada as a whole.”
Innovation Builds Communities Innovation is a crucial component of Nunacor’s agenda. In fact, one of its greatest strengths is the youthful staff it engages. “Our entire team has an open mind,” Turnbull says. “It’s always looking for new ways of doing things. We use a variety of technologies to run our business.”
President & CEO
LuminUltra Technologies Ltd.
“In today’s fast-paced world, multi-tasking is a requirement”
High-density Dreaming Whalen’s objective for his company is decidedly entrepreneurial. It is nothing less than to maintain a high-growth trajectory over the next five years. “I have conservatively planned an average 20 per cent year-on-year growth for this period. I believe this is both possible – based on a relatively low market penetration to date as well as our recent performance – and necessary – based on evolving competition.”
Show and Tell Leadership Whalen considers himself a leader by example: “I maintain an active involvement in the analysis of data, whether from our customers or from our own development activities. I attempt to teach others what I have learned over the years in this area, and attempt to demystify the complexity of such analyses.”
President, Investments Incorporated
“I am aggressive in my approach to changing the status quo”
Results R UsWhittaker is clear-eyed about the five-year prognosis of the commercial group he leads. “Our goal at Grinners is to have 250 points of distribution in Atlantic Canada and have annual revenues in excess of $100 million,” he says. “Bonté’s mission statement is to become Atlantic Canada’s dominant brand for deli meats. Our vision is to become the largest meat and meal production company in Atlantic Canada with over $100 million in food sales. We plan to double our current sales by 2020.”
Fracking the Franchise Whittaker has little time for “minutia”. A business leader, he insists, must take the 20,000-foot perspective. In his commercial universe, day-to-day woes only fog a leader’s ability to position his company for long-term growth. Job number one: Increase shareholder returns.
About the awards: Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO awards recognize corporate leadership excellence. Winners are bold, savvy and entrepreneurial in spirit. They are proud community supporters and active volunteers. They are dedicated to advancing their industry, increasing their organization’s financial well-being and improving the quality of life in Atlantic Canada. The first step in the Top 50 CEO selection process is a public call for nominations. Eligible nominees must lead a company or organization whose head office is in Atlantic Canada, or who is in charge of a provincial/regional head office that has significant decision-making and organizational autonomy. If an individual accepts their nomination, they complete a detailed Nominee Information Form and advance to the judging portion of the selection process. The judging panel is comprised of members of Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame.