As a leader, why do you think there’s value in being a member of NBBC, given its role in building a better New Brunswick?
I’ve been a member of the New Brunswick Business Council for over five years simply because there’s tremendous value in being actively involved in the provincial business community. I accepted the role as chairman in 2018. There’s so much brilliance in that group.
NBBC allows me to regularly connect with other CEOs. It can be lonely on the top, but in that room, we’re all equal. We all speak a common language; we communicate on the same frequency because we’ve experienced a lot of the same things. There’s already an established shorthand for business problems. So, we can jump right into trying to solve problems instead.
How do you define success?
Success is succession. My goal is for Corey Nutrition to become a heritage New Brunswick company, and that means building something that can be passed on for generations. My daughter, Emily, and my sons, Jack and Dave, are already working to further build Corey Nutrition; once Emily has completed her Ph.D., she will be the new President. I’ve invested my life into growing this business—and I want it to remain not only in New Brunswick, but also in my family.
Who’s been the most influential person in your career?
A man by the name of Paul Levesque. He was the president of Delta Electric in the 1980s. A man of very high integrity. When I was in my late twenties, Paul and I started meeting once a month. I learned so much about business from him. Little things like always asking about family before diving into business. But, the little things add up to the big things. I’m really thankful I had a mentor like him.
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
Most people don’t know how much Corey Nutrition exports. We’re proudly headquartered in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, but we export to 20 countries around the world. We don’t just make our own [pet and fish] food; we make plenty of private label food, too. More than you might think.
What’s on your wish list for New Brunswick?
I wish people in New Brunswick would be more positive about what we can accomplish in this province. In order to build our businesses, attract new ones and build the economy, we need to get excited about choosing to be here. We chose to make New Brunswick our home and we’re hearing all kinds of stories about immigrants choosing New Brunswick, too. We’re all on this entrepreneurial voyage together. It’s about tenaciousness and stick-to-it-ness. I wish New Brunswick shared more of its many success stories.
If you could offer people one piece of business advice, what would it be?
Make money. Have fun. Do business with people you like.
What motivates you?
I’m motivated to create a lucrative business that will exist in New Brunswick for years and years. The succession plan is what keeps me going. I see other people my age who are selling their businesses, but they seem lost afterward, like they’ve lost their sense of purpose. I often get inquiries to sell the company, but I am not interested in that. How would that bring me closer to my goal?
What book are you reading now?
I’m a big reader and I always tend to read more than one book at a time. It keeps things interesting. Right now, I’m reading Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, the marketing classic Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, and a book about beekeeping. I love working with bees and have a dozen hives. I just brought in three new Buckfast Queens.
What’s one item you couldn’t live without?
My Taylor GS8 acoustic guitar.