Tag: Global business

Ron Foxcroft, Fox 40 & Fluke Transport

Ron Foxcroft
Ron Foxcroft

Insights from this inteview with Ron Foxcroft

About Ron Foxcroft

Wears at least three hats

Chairman & CEO Fluke Transport
Chairman, CEO and Founder Fox 40
Professional Basketball referee

Kicked out of high school

Trained to become a basketball referee
Paid 75 cents to referee his first game and told that he was lousy and would never make it as a referee.

Ten years later he refereed the basketball Olympic game

If you want to be respected, learn to listen.

Fluke Transport

Fluke Transport is the most challenging hat he wears. Trucking is not for the faint of heart. It is high volume with low profit and fraught with complications. It depends on people and trucks – both which occasionally break down.

I knew nothing about trucking before I bought the trucking company

How did he buy Fluke Transport with no money?
How did he add 20 trucks with no money?

Everybody has a hot button – a deal making button. It’s something other than money.

Entrepreneurs and Business Success

I didn’t want to work for a dumb boss.

Hire people smarter than you

No such thing as raw inborn talent. Entrepreneurs learn and grow. They are built.

My entrepreneurship qualities:
Drive to success
Fear of failure

Challenges are speed bumps. I had to practice overcoming speed bumps
Failure is a learning experience

My business approach was simple – revenue must exceed expenses

I’m 68 years old and work 100 hours a week. But it’s not work because its fun.

Contacts are everything. That’s why community involvement is important. Every person I meet is smarter than me in something.

When you work 20 hours a day it’s amazing what good luck comes your way.

You can buy a business even if you don’t have any money.

You need a business plan and a plan B and Plan C

You need a stable of mentors

You can’t be a winner without a team

Sometimes you have to have Onions

About Fox 40

The Fox 40 whistle is sold in 140 countries

The Fox 40 whistle was conceived out of frustration with the existing product

In Canada they don’t like change. We were selling in 35 countries before we sold any in Canada. The first Canadian customer commented that “I read about you in Sports Illustrated. If the Americans like you, it must be good.”

The whistle is sold in sports, marine and personal safety markets

 

More information about our guest

Fluke Transport

Fox 40

Canada Basketball

Hamilton Community Foundation

McMaster Alumni Gallery

 

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Bill Johnson – I am McJobs

Bill Johnson – former CEO McDonalds Canada

At age 18, Bill Johnson started flipping burgers at a McDonalds in London, Ontario. It was painful to be behind the grill on a Friday night while his friends ventured out for a night of socializing. When they stopped by for burgers they laughed at him and the funny outfit with the paper hat.

They’re not laughing anymore. Bill leveraged hard work and a little luck to move up through the ranks. After serving as President of McDonald’s Mexico he returned home to become President, CEO and Chairman of McDonald’s Canada.

It was a challenging 35 year career that equipped Bill with powerful lessons for career success. He retired in his early fifties. He now generously shares those life lessons with university students and almost anyone who wants to grow their career.

Insights from this interview

McJobs – that term angered Bill so much that he went on the TV news to defend retail work. Today he’s adopted “I am McJobs” as his banner and website.

You don’t need to invent the solution. Somewhere in the world someone has gone through this before.

The expensive lesson from guacamole burgers

Contrast

Bill Johnson didn’t go to college or university but today he lectures to MBA and EMBA students at Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Career advice

Tell the company about your expectations.

What was the silver bullet? Hard work!

You might need to grow a mustache.

Find a mentor that you can call anytime.

Get out of Canada. Work internationally.

Links

I am McJobs

Video – work international

McDonalds Canada

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Mike Pley, COM DEV

Mike Pley COM DEV
Mike Pley Com Dev

Interview with Mike Pley, COO of COM DEV International.

Space – the final frontier!

COM DEV produces electronics for satellites. A Canadian company and world leader in satellite technology, based in Cambridge, Ontario and employing over 1,000 people.

Mike Pley is an Engineering graduate of McMaster University.

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Insights & excerpts from this interview with Mike Pley.

We have to build something that will be super dependable for 15 years.

You can’t make repair calls in space.

Our equipment is on 80% of the over 650 satellites up there.

We don’t go after the low cost world where price is king.

We want to encourage the next generation to become astronauts and engineers.

The next big project we are working on is the James Webb Telescope which is scheduled to launch in 2014. It will see far more than the Hubble. The James Webb Telescope is seeking to see first light – the beginning of galaxies.

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COM DEV

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Walter Booth

Interview with Walter Booth, Chairman of The Timberland Group

Walter Booth started at Timberland as a young Project Engineer more than 40 years ago. He rose to the rank of President, bought the company, sold the company and is now Chairman. He is an engineering graduate of McMaster University. He has donated at least $3 Million to the Faculty of Engineering. 

The Timberland Group grew signifcantly during those years. Originally a company that manufactured winches for the logging industry, they now provide special winches and hoists for mining, power distribution, underwater exploration and off-shore oil.

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Insights from this 30-minute interview with Walter Booth:

“The business still excites me after 40 years.”

“They hired me because I had experience in the ski lift business.”

“Buying the company – we worked on that deal for at least a year. You want it to move faster but it just took longer.”

“My boss encouraged me to join the Young Presidents Organization. I got to hang around successful business owners.”

“As chairman my chief role is mentoring and developing the new owners.”

 “You have to bend the rules if you want success.”

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Ray Simmons

Interview with Ray Simmons, President of CableTest Systems Inc.

CableTest Systems tests the wiring systems of military jets, high speed trains and the Space Shuttle (the exterior fuel tank has 8,000 connenctions). They provide a complex version of an electritian’s multi meter.

Ray Simmons has been the president and owner of CableTest Systems for the past nine years. Previously he was President of CRS Robotics. After a two year “retirement” he got edgy and longed to get back into business so he bought CableTest Systems.

Insights from this interview with Ray Simmons:

“Going public with CRS … was not me. That’s why I retired.”

“Retirement was quite challenging. I felt like I was disconnected.”

“55% of our business last year was in Europe. Asia is our next frontier. We like India.”

“Regrets? Two…”

“I think that in a technologly company a president that is totally focussed on technology is dangerous.”

“We’re on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.”

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Howard Shearer, Hitachi

Howard Shearer
Howard Shearer

Interview with Howard Shearer, President and CEO of Hitachi Canada. He is the first non-Japanese to be president of the company. He seems to thrive on cultural diversity. He is orginally from Jamaica. He is also a people person. The two characteristics probably go hand-in-hand.

Howard has worked at Hitachi for over 25 years.

Hitachi globally employs over 300,000 people.

Hitachi is a strong technology company that operates in several markets including: consumer electronics, automotive electronics, computer storage, energy, medical, biotechnology, and high speed trains.

Insights from this interview with Howard Schearer:

 
“We’re in the business of serving customers.”

“There is no Hitachi car, but we are a major component in cars.”

“Business in all about relatioinships and that’s not done with products.”

“I don’t screen my calls. If it’s good news I want to hear it. If it’s bad news I want to hear it first.”

“I’m happy when it’s Monday.”

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Hitachi Canada

Click below to listen to this 30-minute interview with Howard Shearer.

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