While most of us in the business world have set goals related to increased productivity and profitability in 2019, I’d like to make an additional suggestion. Let this be the year you give back to your community and increase your charitable involvement.

As I look back over 2018, I am glad I took time outside the office to chair “Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The event raised $2.7 million for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation to continue cutting edge research. I sat down with Courtny Vandervelde over the holidays and outlined a plan to grow the Bay Street participation and fundraising target this year.

Also in 2018, I co-chaired Right To Play’s “The Heroes” gala honoring Louis Vachon, National Bank’s CEO. We raised a record-breaking $2.8 million for the organization, a success that I am very proud of, and that I forward to co-chairing the event again this year, alongside members of the Sunlife team, as we honor Dean Connor.

Another event that I was thrilled to be a part of was the “Tech4Good” hockey tournament that supports Connected North, a breakthrough program reaching Indigenous communities in Canada’s remote north. We hit the ice with 350 players to raise critically needed funds that will add more schools and students to the network. Charity work and community participation is a large part of our culture at National Bank. It’s a wonderful way to spend time with your peers. Honestly, I think a lot of people engulf themselves in work, tending to neglect life outside of the office. But we all know the important aspects of life are family, friends and community.

Of course, I’ve also set professional goals for 2019. I want to help even more entrepreneurs raise capital that will build their businesses. It is such an honor to be trusted enough to play a part in someone’s success.

As for my own team, I’ll be focusing on my new role as Co-Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, as we integrate the different groups and bring together a collective strategy that will grow the business. We have a top notch group of leaders. I am excited about that new challenge as well.

Outside my career and philanthropic efforts, I will continue to spend most of my spare time with my son. As parents, we have the capacity to motivate our children in so many positive ways. Encouragement is so powerful that it can actually alter the course of someone’s life. We must carve out time to build confidence and character in our children.

Taking time to get out there, help others in the community, being involved with yourfamily –these are all important keys that will make 2019 a healthy and balanced year.

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