Live Life Unapologetically! I suppose that would characterize me. So, let me tell you a little bit about myself, to remove the notion that people in my business are boring. I started completing tax returns back in 1994 as a part time job my girlfriend’s parents tax business to put myself through school. It was a different job than my schooling in civil engineering, but there is a certain logic in it. That girlfriend stayed around and I eventually married her in 1996 and upon completion of school, unable to get a job in civil engineering, took employment with my in-laws tax practice, where I stayed until 2008.
While with the inlaws, I completed the Canadian Securities course and started a financial services business providing investments, insurance and advice which complemented the tax portion of the business.
In 2009, I joined The Tax Guys and became a member of the Association of Tax and Accounting Professionals of Canada and in 2011, completed an equity purchase in the practice. In 2017, upon the retirement of the former owner of ADMI, (Adrian Smits) I completed the purchase of ADMI, and integrated the business as a subsidiary company of The Tax Guys. Sounds Great…pretty boring stuff right?
At 15, I completed my first student exchange to Belgium with a Vietnamese refugee, with whom I still have a deep friendship with, despite him still living in France. I backpacked around instead of attending school, which drove his parents nuts. I saw Canadian cemeteries, where our dead lay from the battles of the past, and remarked upon what a profound effect it had upon me as a young Canadian. We have a inherited a legacy greater than each of us as result of their sacrifice.
I helped found the Thames Centre Business Association in 1995, and have held various roles within the organization such as treasurer and Vice-President. I served on the board of the directors for the Stevenson Children’s Camp as Treasurer until I passed that role to my wife. It is a charity with whom our entire family has a deep relationship with. Along the way, I witnessed the birth of my daughter Jade in 1999 and my son Collin in 2002. Jade..well Jade was her school Valedictorian, graduated from secondary school with honours and is currently enrolled in the Environmental Sciences/Geology program Laurentian University. She was also a competitor on Chopped Canada Junior Edition at the age of 14. We kept Jade in sports from a very early age, synchro figure skating, soccer, baseball, curling, hockey. But her real passion was karate and ringette. She is a first degree black belt in Kempo Karate. Jade has played at a competitive level from age 12 to current. Collin…well he attends Regina Mundi Catholic school. Along the way, Collin also played hockey as THE goalie, plays football and has obtained his first degree black belt in Kempo Karate. Collin is recently joined the Reserves, with an eye on the Royal Military College upon completion of high school. My wife Danielle, she is a saint, having put up with me for as long as she has. Danielle is a CPA and currently a Director of Finance for a publically traded company. She too has completed her black belt in Kempo Karate. When she is not using me as training tool to hone her techniques, we travel. And we travel a lot. Both Danielle and I are licensed divers and our vacations always have an underwater theme attached. We are both certified BBQ judges with the Kansas City BBQ Society and we travel south in the winter just to eat BBQ. I also have my own professional BBQ Team – Juan A B Smokin’ and we compete here in Ontario and parts of the US. Danielle does not always join me on those trips, but when she does, we have fun. I also like to travel just by myself. I recently completed a month in Costa Rica by myself, just backpacking around. While there, I took up surfing and wrote a whole bunch of poetry, 3 of which have already been turned into songs and recorded and released. Danielle and I are also currently working on our pilot’s license. The world’s a pretty big place, and if you blink, you might miss it. So..live Life Unapologetically.