Who am I

I’m a Digital Strategist and Entrepreneur with significant experience in business transformation, communications, marketing and user/visitor experience (UX) and inclusive design. Since 1994, I launched twelve startups, managed and delivered hundreds of products and projects. My leadership, creative and technical abilities have proven to be well suited to the management of digital projects and business transformation. I communicate fluently in both official languages and bring a high level of energy and added value to every assignment.

I am also an artist, a father, a husband and a tabletop gamer.

My Story

My journey as an instigator and troublemaker in the industry began in 1994 when I discovered the Web. I registered my employer’s first domain, designed and launched my first website, I was hooked. I quit my job and my employer became my first client. I established my first company, Horizon Media Group, with branding, design and web in focus.

In early 2000, with the wave of new startups, I co-founded Ottawa’s first creative co-working space, Borealis, a high tech startup incubator which provided fully serviced and equipped studio space for 20 startups. Unfortunately, during the second year in operation and lack of funding we were forced to close our doors. It became an important learning experience in my entrepreneurial journey. During the turmoil of the shutdown of Borealis, I decided to merge Horizon Media Group with another company in 2002 and take on the role of Business Development and Solutions Manager.

In 2004, my excitement for the production of new ideas brewed into establishing a new creative think-tank, The Other Side Studios, a production studio for entertainment services and products ranging from social networking events to innovative and interactive digital media products. Productions included: Clickathon, a series of stock photography events; City Hunters, an urban photography scavenger hunts; Tikiosk, an online ticketing platform for events. That year, I also led the creation of digitalOttawa — an initiative supported by the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (now InvestOttawa) to connect Ottawa’s digital media community with each other by hosting monthly events and an online community portal.

In 2006, I branched out to Montreal to join Codency, a holding company, as a Director. By the end of my assignment, I had recruited a world class team, managed and advised in the creation of a number of projects and new startups (Pixilis, Diamancy, Gigasize and Needen).

Soon after, I returned to Ottawa and transitioned the digitalOttawa initiative into a full consulting agency, armed with seasoned associates, we ventured to pioneer the Government of Canada in Social Media and Mobile initiatives working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Global Affairs Canada, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Canadian Armed Forces and many others.

In 2012, The Other Side Studios and digitalOttawa merged and continued to spearhead thriving new initiatives under the new brand, UniForge, by helping to adapt and solve digital media, communications and marketing challenges through playful gamification solutions and campaigns. Clients included 20+ Government of Canada departments and agencies; and 100+ private and other public sector organizations.

My passion for board games led to some initiatives

As a kid, board games was always a thing we enjoyed together. As life went on, I didn’t think of them much till about 2004 when I noticed an upcoming new trend and their big return. It was something fun to do with friends and family. In 2008 while sitting down with a friend, we were committed to re-introducing it as a viable social activity for all, be it for casual, educational, or even competitive. It was then we ventured to create and host the first Game Summit and Toy & Game Expo to then to become the largest annual tabletop gaming events and expo in Canada; In 2011, I launched, Games for All, an online store and giant game rental service; and in 2014, upgraded to a full tabletop gaming retail store and lounge in Westboro; We also pioneered as the first Canadians to publish two board games, from local game designers, through two successful Kickstarter campaigns in 2011 (FrankenDie) and in 2012 (Top This!).

Looking back

Ever since I can remember I’ve been an entrepreneur. I strive to pioneer, innovate, build brands and big events. Building, growing and running creative agencies; founding one of Ottawa’s first creative co-working space; hosting and running major stock photography and scavenger events; unleashing tabletop gaming premium venues and events; experimenting with crowdfunding, designing, manufacturing and global distribution of products; managing and successfully delivering over 300 digital projects; and now innovating in the museum space with digitally enhanced experiences.

Career

Next Chapter: Crafting Digital Visitor Experiences

It’s time for something different – In June 2015, I accepted to take on a new challenge as the Head of Digital Interactives & AV at the Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum. The museum world is entering a very exciting time as digital technologies provide a huge potential to enhance storytelling and visitor experiences in a vast number of ways. My team is tasked to innovate, design, develop, deploy and support both museum’s overall digital experience with audio, video and interactive installations.

Offering

What do I have to offer?

Through speaking, facilitating workshops and consulting I can help your business, organization, brand, product or event succeed.

  • Digital Strategy / Transformation: I will craft a plan to transform your business activities, processes and competencies to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and your impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind.
  • Brand Strategy / Development: I will design a plan for the development of your brand in order to achieve specific goals successfully. First, let’s clear up the biggest misconception about brand strategy: Your brand is not your product, your logo, your website, or your name!
  • Entrepreneur / Startup Mentoring: After 20+ years as an entrepreneur, I will bring my experience, tools, tips and industry contacts to support and encourage you remain focused on what is important for success.
  • Digitally Enhanced Experience: Crafting on-location inclusive visitor/customer experiences with interactive digital technologies using augmented reality (AR), mixed/virtual reality (VR), NFC, RFID, BLE beacons, motion recognition, touch screens, projection and more is providing endless possibilities for immersive experiences.
  • Game Design / Gamification: Game Design is critical to successful Gamification, how to create fun and rewarding gamified experiences anywhere possible. I can apply my experience and understanding of Game Mechanics to any project.
  • Product Design / Development: From concept, design, production and distribution, I can take your product through the full product lifecycle for successful delivery on time and on budget.

Speaking

I welcome opportunities to speak at your event, conference, company or organization. I’m interested in sharing stories that matter to your audience, I can customize the session and message so that it fits your theme or topic. From short talks, panel discussions, to half- and full-day workshops.

Topics I’m passionate and willing to talk about:

  • Digital storytelling
  • Digital engagement
  • Digital transformation
  • Digitally enhanced visitor experiences
  • Gamification
  • Ups & downs of being an Entrepreneur
  • Turning your passion into a business
  • Writing a winning proposal

Core Values

What I really care about today

As we get older (and wiser) our view on life is much more open to the possibility that it’s not at all what we thought it was all about. The past few years have brought on an epiphany of conscious realizations that shifted most if not all my life goals and principles. Here’s a few I am now striving to live by today:

  • Minimalism lifestyle: A minimalism lifestyle defines the practice of simple, frugal living. I strive to make personal choices and beliefs about consumerism, the pace of life, and the value of having less – less money, less “stuff”, less distractions, less stress. Minimalism states that anything above or beyond necessity is wasteful, distracting, and creates disharmony in one’s self, relationships, and society.
  • Work–life balance: This is a hard one for me, being a workaholic. But I’m working hard in getting this right by proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation).
  • Make a sustainable impact: Six Rs of sustainability – reinvent/rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse/repair, recycle, replace/rebuy. Limit the amount of packaged goods. Being conscious of the whole of the supply chain of products we consume: from basic function, to marketing, and then through to end of life and rebirth + rethink the use of plastic.
  • Building a sustainable home: Looking to build a fully sustainable home for a more healthy, efficient, and sustainable living. Taking on the following principles: Optimizing use of the sun, improving indoor air quality, using the land responsibly, creating high-performance and moisture-resistant, and wisely using the Earth’s natural resources.
  • Supporting local businesses: I make an effort to buy locally produced goods and services over those produced farther away. Let’s support our local businesses!
  • Supporting “open” movements: I support sharing ideologies, all “open” movements such as open data, open source, open hardware, open content and open access. I’m a socialist at heart.
  • Experiencing new cultures: The best way to experience and understand other cultures is to actually live among them. I plan on traveling the world and learn about different cultures! This is my ultimate retirement plan.