Lydia Bugden is CEO and Managing Partner of Stewart McKelvey, one of the largest law firms in Canada, with more than 200 lawyers and six locations across the Atlantic region. Having taken a unique path to her current role through placements with the TDL Group Ltd. and the forerunner to Enbridge Gas Distribution, Bugden reflects on the value of forging your own path to leadership, how technology has impacted workflow and client delivery in the professional services sector and why Atlantic Canada’s cities are well placed to win the war for talent.
Enhancing Atlantic Canada’s economy through the strengthening of our workforce
Exploring the enhancement of Atlantic Canada’s economy through the strengthening of its workforce
Atlantic Canada’s economy is fuelled by a diverse array of private and public sector entities that employ thousands of people and contribute to our region’s growth and prosperity. But how are these organizations optimizing the potential of their people? What insights have they gained about the future of our economy from their innovative initiatives?
This article was previously featured in The Chronicle Herald.
At the 2006 Celebrating Inspiration luncheon with the WNBA's All-Decade Team, Madeleine Albright said “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I heard this as a call to action, one that has played over and over in my head as I have had the privilege over the years of mentoring, coaching, advising and talking with women leaders. I believe there are at least two reasons that Albright’s call to women to help other women is still relevant almost a decade later:
Nancy Tower saw from an early age what it looks like to jump in with both feet. Her father grew the family’s Bathurst, N.B.-based firm Tower Jewellers from a single store to 16 locations. Spending her summer holidays working in the business, and chewing through HR and marketing talk at the dinner table, ultimately helped drive her to a career in business. Today the 52-year-old mother of three, who exudes a confident, athletic energy, has risen to the highest echelons of Atlantic Canadian business.
At age 26, Robert MacLeod changed jobs, packed up his belongings and said good-bye to his life in New Brunswick. His mission: criss-cross Canada as leader in sales for McCain Foods. For a small-town boy with powerful family connections to New Brunswick, the experience was challenging but deeply formative — his first entry point into the rich, multi-cultural world of global business.
From the outset, P.E.I. native Don Clow has been what’s known in athletic circles as “coachable.” Which is perhaps why the 49-year-old chartered accountant and CEO of Crombie REIT — Atlantic Canada’s largest property owner — has been mentored by, and worked side-by-side with, some of the region’s business and athletic luminaries, including legendary football coach John Huard, property developers Simon and Jim Spatz and the Sobey family.
At 22, Andrew Bell joined The Bell Group, the firm his grandfather founded in 1933, and promptly launched what would become a career-encompassing habit: transforming businesses – as industry landscapes were changing. Today the diversified Newfoundland based firm has operations across Atlantic Canada, including St.John’s Coast 101.1 FM Radio, the 14-location furniture retailer Cohen’s Limited, Atlantic Wine and Spirits Limited, as well as the industrial service and supply firm K&D Pratt, acquired in 2003 (the year Bell became CEO).
It was 2007 and Captain Sid Hynes was staring down the barrel at early retirement when, as they so often do, the seas changed. A mariner since the age of 15, Hynes had spent the last two decades at the forefront of Canada’s marine industry, including roles as president of Canship Ltd., and chairman of Marine Atlantic Inc. Then intermodal shipping firm Oceanex headhunted him for a job as CEO. Leading a public company wasn’t for him, but the opportunity beckoned.
What does it take to lead a company recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for seven consecutive years? Jean-Paul Deveau took over the reins of Acadian Seaplants from his father in 2002, building the company into a multimillion-dollar performer exporting to 70 markets worldwide. Not one to rest on his laurels, he is constantly focused on what’s next.