None of this was ever part of a grand plan — because I didn't have one.

Hi, and thank you for being curious.
We’ve got three ways to go about this:

  • If you’re looking for a straightforward career summary, you’ll find it here.
  • If you’re interested in the details, navigate to the timeline.
  • If you want the full context, keep reading.

My ‘career’ is hard to frame in traditional HR terms. Full of zig-zags, detours, and nonlinear progressions, the only way it might properly be understood is by telling you a little bit about me, my background, and the various ways I think. Hence this short series of statements…

Questions

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been skeptical of following the prescribed path. I naturally don’t like to order off the menu, and tend to balk at formulas, orthodoxies, and institutionalized thinking. Instead, I like to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and develop new ideas. From a young age, life struck me as a game — yet all I could think about was who created the rules and why. Here are some of the questions orienting my research.

Clarity

I have a relentless need to understand, to get a clear idea, to make complete and utter sense of things. My desire to grasp the big picture is arguably even a form of anxiety. But wherever it stems from, this natural preoccupation has over the years trained my mind into a strategic, map-making engine. I have a huge appetite for “deep” thinking — a love of connecting ideas and of forging mental architectures that allow me to achieve a total POV.

Fitness

Above all else, I value things that are fit, robust, or “antifragile.” Things that don’t just stand the test of time, but that have a deep sense of preparedness for whatever comes — resilience in the face of the bad, and opportunism in the face of the good. By contrast, I’m highly suspicious of anything gimmicky, superficial, or full of flash. There is even a moral aspect to this: I regard it as a duty to care about the long term, to build. It's the difference between being a consumer and being a citizen. In business, that means I gravitate towards systems, technologies, and processes that prioritise long-term success over isolated, flash-in-the-pan “wins.”

Beauty

A fourth element in my outlook is the importance of beauty. For me, beauty is a refuge and an essential nutrient, transcending the mundane and habitual in everyday life. But what fascinates me about beauty is that it isn’t simply an ornament that sits “on top” of things. Beauty emerges when the work, the thing itself, is crafted to a high degree of excellence; in a word, beauty is incredible design. That is why a bad product or service can irritate, while even something as humble as a well-designed toilet can capture our attention. This sensitivity to great craftsmanship — to uniquely well-made things — is what made me gravitate towards designing great products, services, systems, and brands.

Upbringing

I was born and raised in a very small mining village in Quebec. Life revolved around the quarries, and everyone was, personally knew or depended on, a granite stone carver. The folks in my village made these kinds of monuments. I think this particular context impacted me in at least two ways. First, my ethos is predominantly blue collar, which means I tend to admire hard-working folks with ambition, fortitude, skin-in-the-game and, generally, a desire to build durable structures with solid foundations. Second, being raised in a small town also made me suspicious of the elites and elitist thinking in general, which I see as being disconnected from reality. As a result, my views are conservative (in the Roger Scruton sense), rational and pragmatic.

Circumstance

These are the core ingredients. The rest was circumstantial. I was in a sense lucky that my career started right when “digital” became a transformative force (right after the go-go ’90s dot-com era) so I rode that horse, and it allowed me to have a whole range of formidable career opportunities, which I am thankful for, because I learned a lot.

Freedom

In the world of LEGO, some kids follow the instructions to build a predetermined kit, while others “free build” from a pile of random-coloured bricks, making the most of what was available to them. I built my career from the pile, and was lucky to have enough creativity and good fortune to put together something that, however nonlinear, I like to think makes sense. 

All pictures (except church) by Nick DeWolf via The Alpine Review, courtesy of Steve Lundeen and Maggie DeWolf.

Thanks for reading. 

Learn more about my work here or peruse through my timeline below for the full story.

Timeline

2021
Framed DeFi and Web3 roadmap (with a touch of design fiction) for a client
Relaunched Thinking Capital brand (now Driven) and editorial playbook
2020
Refined strategic framework for Thinking Capital 
2019
Appointed Interim VP, Strategy at Thinking Capital
Partnered with leading fintech brand Thinking Capital to chart new strategy
2017
Led strategy on the future of healthcare at Biron
2016
Appointed CMO at Biron Health Group, Canada
Spoke at IndieCon in Hamburg on magazines as platforms
Partnered with Biron Health Group to chart a new course for the brand
Published season one of Noonmark, a panel-discussion podcast from The Alpine Review (17 episodes)
Awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in London
Partnered with Porter Airlines to frame and deploy new monetization strategies
2015
Editorial strategy and channel development for GEICO
Spoke at The Modern Magazine at Central Saint Martins, London, on magazines as platforms. Launched the Make Ready platform.
Expanded partnership with British Airways, Emirates and Etihad.
Strategy and design for new departure lounge experience at Montreal–Trudeau airport for Transat AT
Partnered with Pernod-Ricard USA to design the British Airways business class lounge experience at JFK
Editorial and marketing strategy for American Honda Motors (Acura division)
2014
Became publisher of GEICO magazine, the most circulated print publication in the world (circulation: three million)
Spoke at C2 Montreal on independent publishing
Became publisher of Philadelphia Magazine, overseeing brand and editorial evolution
Became publisher of CAA magazine, Canada’s most circulated print magazine
2013
Marketing operations and editorial planning at Sobeys
Appointed Vice President, Content Solutions at Transcontinental Inc. and GM at Totem
On assignment with Transcontinental Inc. to support Totem, their recently acquired content agency
On assignment with Desjardins to reformulate their credit card service delivery model
2011
Launched full-service digital media company Mediative (part of YPG)
2010
Appointed Vice President, Corporate Development at YPG
2009
Strategy formulation for Medisys Health Group (now Telus Health)
Partnered with the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) to frame the future of mobility
Masterplan for Yellow Pages Group digital transformation
Relaunched Disnat brand, along with new website and national ad campaign
Expanded collaboration with Disnat, landed agency of record mandate
2008
Masterplan for digital transformation at Disnat, part of Desjardins Group
2007
Started consulting practice in digital transformation and marketing
2006
Expanded digital product team from zero to twenty-five
Built centralised marketing function to support eight B2B trading platforms
2005
Appointed Vice President of Marketing at Mediagrif Technologies (now MDF Commerce, TSE: MDF)
2004
Expanded scope to include digital marketing for all Bell lines of business 
2003
Operated web channel for the Bell Mobility line of business
Joins fledgling web team at Bell Canada to support ecommerce
2002
On assignment at Bell Canada to frame an ecommerce strategy for all LOBs
2001
Business process optimization for Bell Nexxia in Toronto
2000
Large-scale procurement transformation at INCO (now Vale) in Sudbury, Ontario
Joined Andersen Consulting (Accenture) as strategy consultant in the Mining and Minerals operating group
Returned to Montreal, completed MBA program at HEC in Montreal
1999
Scholarship to CEDEP (part of INSEAD) general management program in Fontainebleau, France, via NEC 
Drafted and negotiated European Works Councils agreement (EU Directive 94/45/EC) with UK, FR, NL unions
Worked across France, UK and The Netherlands for Packard Bell NEC 
Joined Packard Bell in Angers, France, as a corporate strategy intern
1998
Attended HEC graduate business school in Montreal, earned D.E.S. 
English Literature Scholarship, University of British Columbia (UBC)
1997
Appointed associate at McCarthy Tétrault with a focus on Commercial and Regulatory practice groups
Completed professional examination course at Barreau du Québec, shortlisted for Governor General award
1996
Joined leading Canadian law firm McCarthy Tétrault as articling student
Graduated LL.B. with honours, 4.3 GPA
1994
Began law school at Université Laval in Quebec City
1992
Post-secondary education at Limoilou College, Quebec City
1974
Born in St-Marc-des-Carrières, Québec, Canada