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Jean F. Laurin, BCom
President & CEO, ENCON Group Inc. - Ottawa, ON, Canada

Jean F. Laurin

Jean Laurin has always enjoyed helping his colleagues and friends. After working for the ENCON Group Inc. for nearly 30 years, he is now its president. He says he owes it to those who have helped him on his journey: "I am where I am because of them; not because of me, because they believed in my vision, my enthusiasm and my energy to just go for it with a given project or goal." It is because of this attitude that he was awarded the Trudeau Medal at the Telfer School of Management's 2015 Gala of Excellence.

Originally from Hawkesbury, Jean came to study at Telfer for many reasons. Firstly, he admits that the fact that his partner was enrolled at the University of Ottawa had a big influence on his decision. Today, Jean and his wife Diane have been married for over 30 years. He also liked the fact that the University was located downtown and was bilingual. Jean took half of his courses in French and the other half in English to take advantage of both languages offered at the University.

Before joining ENCON, Jean was a senior chartered accountant for one of the four biggest accounting firms, where he was responsible for auditing open corporations. The work he did for insurance companies piqued his interest in the field of insurance and led him to the position he currently holds at ENCON. Jean is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario and the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, as well as various professional organizations in the fields of accounting and insurance and, in 2011, he was named CEO of the Year by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ottawa Business Journal.

Jean explains that the Telfer School had all the courses and prerequisites that he needed to become an accountant. He was particularly interested in human resources: "I believe that interpersonal skills are just as important as technical abilities. [...] Your colleagues will keep coming back to see you (if you have a good rapport with them) and that will strengthen your team." Jean's interest in people is what sets him apart and makes him a leader.

Jean is active in the business world. He was President of the Canadian chapter of the Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) from 2002 to 2008. He is also a member of the Ottawa CEO Breakfast Group and of the Dean's Advisory Board at the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management, where he also acts as a guest speaker for Bachelor's and MBA programs.

Giving back is really rewarding for Jean, since he not only enjoys passing on his knowledge to future leaders, he says, but also learns just as much from them: "Personally, what I get out of it, from seeing their views, their dreams and from hearing their career questions—that energizes me... I get back as much as I give!" When you ask him what advice he gives to those he mentors, he admits, laughing, that it's quite simple: "Take risks in your career and put yourself in situations that give you butterflies in your stomach. That's an indication that you are stepping out of your comfort zone and that's when you learn and develop your strengths."

Despite all of his achievements, Jean admits that what motivates him is seeing his colleagues succeed: "I am proud of what I have accomplished, but what I'm most proud of is seeing the people I love working with, succeeding and surpassing their expectations. Knowing that I've had an impact on them is like watching a small spark become a flame. It's really inspiring for me." Jean is a role model and an inspiration for future generations.

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