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FRANK TALK, CEO TO CEO

James Baker, Managing Partner and CEO of Keynote Group, with Calian Group President and CEO Kevin Ford. PHOTO BY MARK HOLLERON

Business Excellence Award winners discuss work, family and what it means to find balance

BY LEO VALIQUETTE

O

ne CEO is more than 30 years into his career with multinational enterprises. The other is an entrepreneur who founded his own business two years ago in the staffing and recruiting industry. You could call it the old guard and the new. If given the chance, what three questions would one ask the other? In April, the West Ottawa Board of Trade handed out its 2017 Business Excellence Awards. Staffing and recruitment consultancy Keynote Group won in the New Business Category, while Managing Partner and CEO James Baker took home the Young Entrepreneur Award. He runs the business with wife Donna Baker. At the other end of the spectrum, Kevin Ford, President and CEO of 14

Calian Group, was recognized as Business Leader of the Year. Founded in 1982, Calian employs more than 2,700 people across Canada, delivering a variety of services in business, technology and systems engineering. The company has had more than 60 consecutive profitable quarters and counting. We hooked up our two award-winning CEOs to ask each other three questions. Here are the results (edited for length):

JAMES TO KEVIN: TRUST YOUR GUT, VALUE THE PRICELESS MOMENTS James: How have you managed to balance growing a publicly traded business with family and personal interests? 

Kevin: Great question – I am asked often about work life balance. The phrase can indicate that one doesn’t work hard, which obviously isn’t true. Whether publically traded or privately held, I am confident most people today are finding it a challenge to balance work, family, friends and time for yourself. For me, managing the time challenge has really been through understanding that while I enjoy working hard, there MUST be time for family, friends and self. So, it comes to prioritizing those things that matter to you, whether being there for your child’s school play, to ensuring you exercise on a regular basis or just hanging out with friends and getting caught up over dinner. I am also very fortunate to having an amazing family (my wife Marlene and four boys). I have never WEST OTTAWA BOARD OF TRADE

West Ottawa Living Guide 2017  

West Ottawa Living Guide is an annual print and digital magazine that celebrates what makes West Ottawa a world-class community to live, wor...

West Ottawa Living Guide 2017  

West Ottawa Living Guide is an annual print and digital magazine that celebrates what makes West Ottawa a world-class community to live, wor...