Q: What is your motto?
Ian: Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
Q: Who was your role model and why?
Ian: David Foster. He is all about being the best you can be; hardworking, the importance of networking and never resting on your laurels and giving back to the community.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Ian: Ronald Reagan.
Q: What’s your favorite book?
Ian: Shoe Dog-Phil Knight bio.
Q: Your favorite song is…
Ian: September by Earth Wind and Fire.
Q: What was your favourite subject in high school?
Ian: Math/lifetime sports.
Q: What was your first full-time job? How did it help prepare you in your later work?
Ian: After University, BMO. A very technical and complex job. I learned the importance of having talent around you and involving them in running the business.
Q: What is the best business book you’ve ever read?
Ian: What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School.
Q: What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your working life?
Ian: I should have networked earlier.
Q: What was the best decision you’ve made in your working life?
Ian: Agreeing to step in as President/CEO of Calona Wines, Granville Island Brewing, Potter Distilling, Grady Wine and Burrowing Owl Vineyards (Cascadia Brands). I was inexperienced but determined. Rapid growth and profitability followed for 10 years.
Q: What’s your advice for achieving work/life balance?
Ian: Work the plan, plan the work and stay physically active and in shape.
Q: What is the thing that most entrepreneurs tend to overlook that they should be most focused on?
Ian: Their people. You can’t build a company alone. Respect, information and intensity.
Q: What is the biggest challenge being an entrepreneur in today’s economy and rapidly changing technological environment?
Ian: The speed of information and the fractured communication channels.
Q: What do you think the 3 most important attributes are in a leader?
Ian: True enthusiasm. Integrity. Empowerment