Eight company- and shareholder-elected members make up the Calian Group Ltd. Board of Directors. The Board contributes to the strategy and governance of Calian. This “Meet the Board Blog Series” profiles each board member.
Name: Young Park
Titles: Corporate Director and Member of the Board of Directors, Calian Group Ltd.
Year Joined the Board: September 2017
Young Park LinkedIn Profile
Q: Tell us a bit about your career history, Young.
YP: After graduating from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Mathematics (Computer Science) in 1985, I joined Bell Northern Research (a joint venture of Nortel and Bell Canada) as a software developer. After multiple mergers and acquisitions, it became a part of CGI where I progressed my career from a team leader to Sector Vice-President over 20+ years. Ironically, after 25 years, I was still working for the same company! In 2012, I joined Davis & Henderson (D+H) as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer. I retired in 2016 after a fulfilling 30+ year corporate career to pursue the next phase of my career, becoming a corporate director. I currently sit on four corporate boards: Calian Group, President’s Choice Financial, Fundserv Inc. and 407ETR, and two not-for-profit boards: Joseph Brant Hospital and Hamilton-Halton Korean-Canadian Association.
Q: What is the single highlight of your career thus far?
YP: It might sound strange, but the highlight of my career is when I finally decided to slow down. Being a high-powered executive in global organizations comes with its share of challenges. My days were very long, and I was often called away on business trips. Although the work was very rewarding, I felt I wasn’t spending sufficient time with my family. Hence, I was searching for a role that I can still enjoy and yet have more personal time. The answer was a corporate director. This role really is at another level. By providing insights and oversight you have opportunities to work with management to define the organization’s strategy and culture. Furthermore, you have opportunities to work with more than one company at a time, therefore, your scope of influence is wider.
Being a corporate director has many personal benefits as well. I have the opportunity to work and learn from other industry leaders, stay current on business and management trends and “pay it forward”, all of which aligns well to a few of my personal values: continuously learn and help others!
Q: What led you to join the Calian board?
YP: I joined the Calian board in 2017. At that time, the company was much smaller. Revenue and EBITDA were $275 million and $24 million, respectively. During the interview process, I met with the Chair of the Board, Kenneth Loeb, and the CEO, Kevin Ford. They shared the company’s vision, values, strategy and corporate culture. They both sold me on an inspiring growth story. It really resonated with me and inspired me to be part of that growth journey. I strongly believed that my experience would be valuable to the Calian board. What a successful journey it has been. After five years, Calian revenue has more than doubled to $582 million and EBITDA reached $66 million!
Q: Consider your tenure as a member of the board. What are your high-5s?
YP: #1 high: Healthy Growth. The fourth quarter of FY22 represented the company’s 84th consecutive quarter of profitable growth and fifth consecutive year of double-digit top-line growth. Its growth objective is to grow 10 per cent per year, half through organic growth and half through acquisitions. This strategy, coupled with its disciplined M&A approach, allowing the company to achieve higher value from its acquired assets, are a few key contributors to its successful growth over the years.
#2 high: Business Diversification. Over the past five years, Calian has progressively diversified its business by geography, by customer and by offering. In FY22, total revenues generated outside Canada represent 29 per cent, compared to 20 per cent in 2018; total revenues generated from commercial customers represent 53 per cent, versus 32 per cent in 2018 and; total revenues derived from technology assets represent 27 per cent, up from 18 per cent in 2018. Calian has gradually transformed from a mostly public sector-based, Canadian operating company with two operating segments, to an evenly balanced public and private sector-based, internationally operating company with four strong operating segments.
#3 high: Organizational Transformation. Calian has evolved its organizational capabilities to support its growth: developing and recruiting stronger leaders, defining four operating segments, each with its own president focusing on their respective growth and operations, establishing new corporate functions and creating key positions: chief technology officer, chief commercial officer and general counsel.
#4 high: Enhanced Governance. The company’s governance, both at the board and operating levels, has evolved in line with the company’s growth trajectory. The board and committee mandates, governance policies and operating procedures are being reviewed regularly and updated to support the company’s business objectives and regulatory requirements. In addition, board members are appointed based on a newly developed skills matrix and the board’s effectiveness is being assessed for continuous improvements.
#5 high: ESG Journey. Calian has always had a strong commitment to social responsibility. In 2021, the company embarked on an initiative to formalize its environmental, social and governance (ESG). As part of this journey, Calian appointed two ESG-related leaders, one for diversity, equity and inclusion, and one for governance, risk and compliance, who will focus on ESG maturity. The company’s inaugural ESG report was published on November 24, 2022, and can be found on the company’s website at www.calian.com.
Q: If you were chatting with a new investor, what is the #1 thing you would tell them about Calian?
YP: Calian is a company with a proven track record of profitable growth, guided by a set of strong values and principles. It is governed by a skilled board, managed by exceptional business leaders and operated by dedicated professionals. With its solid foundation, it is expected to continue to perform well. So, invest in Calian!
Have you read the previous articles published in this blog series?
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