Donald started his business career at the age of 6, sweeping the floor in the family business for 5 cents a day. Long days and low pay…excellent early training for an entrepreneur!
He earned an undergraduate business degree and an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario, back when dinosaurs roamed the earth…followed by 18 years at Cooper Canada, the family business. From humble beginnings with just 15 employees, in just two generations Cooper Canada became the world’s leading maker of hockey equipment and a Canadian Brand icon, with 2,800 employees.
As the company grew, partners were bought out; the company went public, then went global, was unionized and un-unionized; built a dedicated, world-class team; opened an offshore factory in Barbados; imported and exported; bought competitors and, finally, sold to the wrong people.
At age 43 Donald left the family business to do something less corporate, reinventing himself as an award-winning fashion retailer. In just 3 years he fundamentally redefined the customer experience, for which he received 7 Awards of Excellence for marketing, service and business innovation, including being voted Canada’s outstanding innovative retailer.
Drawing from his real-life experience as a world-class manufacturer, retailer and business coach, Donald now helps companies rethink and reinvent themselves to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.
When not speaking, coaching or researching, Donald and wife Wanda travel the world in search of new adventures and new insights.