People on the Move is supported by Boyden, connecting great leaders with great companies in Ottawa, across Canada and worldwide.
Little did Trevin Stratton know, as a young scholar, that he was onto something when he chose to focus his academic research on, of all things, economic crises.
“Certainly, I didn’t know that I would be chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce during the largest economic downturn since the Depression,” said Stratton, who’s also the senior vice-president of policy for Canada’s largest business association. “Interestingly enough, my thesis was on the Great Depression, too.”
By March 13, 2020, he and his boss, Perrin Beatty, were part of a call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was looking to the Canadian Chamber and Canadian Labour Congress for ideas on how to support businesses as he was preparing to shut down much of the country’s economy in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The global pandemic had begun.
Working at the Canadian Chamber during this time turned out to be “quite the whirlwind” for Stratton, who was closely involved on the economic end.
“Every day, I was receiving thousands of emails from businesses, particularly small businesses, from across the country,” said Stratton. “They were trying to figure out what was going on, trying to figure out what support programs would be there, trying to figure out the restrictions that were being put in place and what that would mean for them.”
The work hours were long and hectic, but understandably so.
“Any difference that I could make to help people’s livelihoods, help save jobs, help save businesses, and, hopefully, help produce a better or brighter future for Canada coming out of this, that was incredibly motivating.”
On Aug. 30, Stratton is joining professional services firm Deloitte as national leader of its economic advisory practice. He also becomes a partner at the firm.
“What really motivates me is having an impact. Opportunities where I’m able to do that is what I find attractive, and I’m really looking forward to the opportunity to have that kind of impact with Deloitte,” he said.
The 38-year-old economist was approached by a recruiter for the Ottawa-based job.
“It is such a fascinating position,” he said of his new role. “Obviously, I’m very passionate about economics and economic development, and so being able to lead Deloitte’s economics consulting team, being able to work together with businesses and government, when it comes to economic modelling, policy making; that is right in my wheelhouse.”
Stratton was born in White Rock, B.C. but mostly grew up in Ottawa, where he excelled in school and sports. He also took an interest in the arts, particularly film. He did his undergrad at Carleton University after being awarded a Chancellor’s Scholarship. He went on to earn his master’s degree at the London School of Economics and Political Science and his PhD at the Geneva-based Graduate Institute. Stratton has held appointments as an international scholar at such universities as Yale and was a professor at the American University in Dubai.
In 2015, Stratton returned to Ottawa, where he founded, led and grew BDO Canada’s national economic development consulting line. His success won him a Forty Under 40 business award.
Stratton next went to the Canadian Chamber, where he became the first person of colour to hold an executive position in the nearly 100-year history of the organization. He’s a regular contributor on economic issues, appearing on national television and providing commentary in newspapers. During his three-plus years at the Chamber, he’s worked closely with Beatty, its president and CEO.
“Learning from him has been an incredible experience,” said Stratton, who credited the one-time federal health minister with predicting the full significance of the pandemic early on and getting the Canadian Chamber prepared.
The economy continues to see “interesting changes” due to COVID-19, as well as an acceleration of preexisting trends. That includes the move toward e-commerce, working from home, the digitization of the economy, the rapid pace of innovation, the emergence of new industries, and many businesses looking at enhancing their social impact and reducing their environmental footprint to drive long-term value, said Stratton.
“I think there are a lot of businesses and governments out there that are really looking at how to navigate the changing landscape. Applying economic thinking to everyday business problems helps to do just that, and I’m excited about providing economic insights that can help organizations grow and thrive within that shifting landscape at Deloitte.”
Featured placements from Boyden
Helene Drolet has joined MacEwen Petroleum as general manager and senior vice-president of operations. A transformational force in the Canadian gas and convenience space, Drolet has previous executive experience in commercial strategy, operations and project delivery. Drolet previously held significant roles at Couche-Tard, Parkland Fuel Corporation and CST Canada Co.
Jane Fulford is bringing a uniquely diverse set of experiences to her new role as chief operating officer of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). She is a technology, finance and multi-stakeholder operations leader who has been an entrepreneur, CFO, CIO and has worked with organizations ranging from Accenture to FreeBalance to her most recent leadership tenure with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
David Hik has been placed as chief scientist of Polar Knowledge Canada, a federal research organization that focuses on advancing Canada’s knowledge of the Arctic and strengthening Canadian leadership in polar science and technology. As a national and international leader, his extensive experience in Northern studies will play an integral role in advancing POLAR’s mandate and creating new partnerships by demonstrating the importance of the Arctic.
People on the move across Ottawa
GoFor has hired Dillon McDonald as chief revenue officer and George Burnett III as chief technology officer. Both have built, led and developed winning teams in sustainability focused on organizations for more than 20 years.
Ivan Vojinovic has been named a partner at Ottawa-based real estate appraisal and advisory firm Juteau Johnson Comba.
Charlotte’s Web, which specializes in hemp CBD extract products, has appointed former Canopy Growth executive Tim Saunders to its board. During his time as Canopy’s CFO, Saunders led Canopy’s public uplisting to the Toronto Stock Exchange, and subsequently to the New York Stock Exchange. Saunders leads an Ottawa-based consulting firm and sits on the board of several local community organizations.
Patrick Nadeau, a 2020 Forty Under 40 recipient and former executive director of Ottawa Riverkeeper, is the new president of Birds Canada, effective July 1. The bilingual biologist replaced Steven Price, who has retired.
The Rideau Hall Foundation has welcomed seven new board members, including Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada, as well as the Bank of England, and current vice-chair of Brookfield Asset Management and head of ESG and Impact Fund Investing.
Amy MacLeod has been named vice-president of corporate communications at Canadian space technology giant MDA. MacLeod, who spent years working for Kanata-based telecom firms, was most recently vice-president of corporate affairs and external communications at shipbuilder Seaspan Shipyards and was a finalist for a WBN Businesswoman of the Year Award in 2019.
Eli Fathi has retired as CEO of MindBridge Ai, effective June 30th. He has been succeeded by New York-based Leyton Perris, who joined the Ottawa-based company as global chief operating officer earlier this year.
Tisha Ashton, a former senior adviser to the minister of innovation, science and industry, has joined public affairs agency Compass Rose Group. The veteran political staffer brings more than 15 years of experience working with federal decision-makers at the highest levels.
People on the Move is a monthly feature highlighting Ottawa-based professionals, managers and executives starting new positions. Want to see your appointment featured? Share your news with firstname.lastname@example.org.
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