The only constant is change. Cliché I’ll concede, however also true in practice. I’ve recently made a career move that finds me joining the team at Hamilton based McKeil Marine. McKeil is a name familiar firstly to those in the marine transportation industry and has also risen in prominence in the community due in part to its relationship with Mohawk College. The McKeil School of Business links the company to one of the city’s major academic institutions. Blair McKeil has made a personal commitment to supporting post-secondary education and fostering growth in local entrepreneurship. This is a relationship being brought to life in many ways; actively participating in events, development activities and visiting the school to mentor students and provide support for business programs.
McKeil is home to several Mohawk grads; me being the latest to be added to the list. Having spent the past three years before joining McKeil in the world of entrepreneurship I can appreciate how innovation and more importantly, creating your own opportunities can lead to tremendous prosperity. The connect here is also in corporate culture. Innovation isn’t simply word at McKeil, it’s part of every aspect of culture created in tandem with members of the crew. Challenging the status quo, the norms in which many businesses operate, is what has differentiated them from competition within the marine sector. Merging technology and assets with the human element has been essential to defining the company’s history. In the past five years, growth at McKeil has come in rapid fire double digit increases. What has it meant? Sharing. At every turn, innovation is built into not onlythe physical development of vessels but also the deployment and sharing of a unique set of supports for all members of the sailing and shore based crew.
The ‘future ready’ message now shared throughout the communications at the college is symbiotic with how McKeil has grown their business with a focus on the customer, their employees and everyone who touches the McKeil brand. At every turn, mechanisms are in place to help evolve McKeil to new levels in marketing, operations and administration. Corporate culture is often left as nothing more than a plan on a dusty shelf in the archives of head office. Not here. In just a few short weeks I’ve come to realize that much of what I observed as an outsider over the years is very real. There’s a mutual respect between myself and the senior leadership at McKeil. They wanted me to join their crew and I wanted to join them. This percolates throughout conversations I’ve had with my fellow crew mates. We’re all sailing together towards a bright future, one where we all share in the rewards of hard work.
Brent Kinnaird – Marketing Manager, McKeil Marine
3 Year Business Administration ’94
Follow Brent @brentkinnaird