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Monthly Employee Highlight: Donny Cooze

Over the last few years, ARSGEM has witnessed substantial growth, expanding its reach to the global market through the successful establishment of our US branch. Our online presence has grown over tenfold and we've become more prominent in national and international trade shows, conferences, and community involvement. To effectively and proactively respond to emerging challenges and opportunities, a new department was born a couple of years ago and Donny has been at the forefront. His exceptional creativity and innovative leadership play a pivotal role in guiding the team through these new avenues of growth.

First Part: At ARSGEM

  • Briefly introduce yourself:

My name is Donny Cooze, and I’ve been with ARS/Global Emergency Management for a little over 2 years. I work as the Manager of Digital Communication, Media, and Engagement, working closely with both our Canadian and American operations.

  • What are some unique parts of your role at ARSGEM?:

Each day brings a new set of communication challenges. As our business has developed and grown, we've explored innovative ways to share our narrative with clients and our internal team. Within the span of a single day, I can find myself recording a podcast, working on a RFP, and hosting a webinar with other members of our team.

  • How do you see the value of teamwork in your work/specialty/industry?:

I strongly believe that a thriving workplace is one where collaboration flourishes. I know I can trust those that I collaborate with to excel in their space, it’s here that they provide the fuel to excel in mine. Working alongside team players willing to give and take evokes tremendous inspiration: it's like jointly scoring and assisting in achieving our goals.

  • What are your favourite parts of your role and why?:

The highlight of my role is working with colleagues who ask thought-provoking questions and push the envelope of what is familiar. Anytime there is an opportunity to present our company as a model of excellence, my creative juices really get flowing.

Second Part: Your Philosophy

  • If you were to create a product, service, or initiative to make the world a better place, what would it be and how would it work?

I'd like to see more focus on investing in air travel and a slight shift away from the dominance of smartphones. I remember as a kid being wowed by the Concorde and thinking can you imagine what travel will be like in the future. Though somewhat lighthearted, I think a significant improvement in travel would help make the world a better place, potentially reducing stress levels, even if just a bit.

  • What's a piece of advice you've received that has had a profound impact on your life or career?:

Keep developing yourself by learning from those around you. In every workplace, you have the opportunity to garner information for those you work with. Life lessons, career development, and new worldviews. One of the coolest people I ever worked with was an elderly man (past the age of retirement), who brought life to each day with an ability to bring a fresh breath to even the toughest workdays.

  • How do you define success, and what steps do you take to achieve it?

I believe success has to be defined on a very personal level. For me, it’s rooted in a sense of accomplishment and opportunity. Sometimes I find fulfillment by observing personal and professional progress. Other times, I set my sights on audacious objectives to test their feasibility. Whatever the outcome I feel a level of success for chasing something a little beyond my reach because sometimes you just never know.

  • Who was your favourite teacher in school, and what makes them so memorable?

While I don’t remember his name, I’ll never forget him - if I close my eyes I can picture him clear as day. He taught my drafting class and made each class different from the one before. He pushed everyone to think outside the box and to be imaginative for themselves and their projects. He was an accomplished professional in every sense and likely could’ve been leading a great team at an architectural firm. But he was more than content, he portrayed true happiness and often said, “I’d rather be in this class with you folks today, than on the 20th floor of a glass building.”

  • What was your first job and what do you remember most about it?

What I consider my first real job, was working on Collegiate Sports. For those unfamiliar, it was reminiscent of today's Sports Chek. I started there as a department head for hard goods (sports equipment). Our team initiated the opening of a new store location. It was truly a collection of very different people, but we all pulled for the common good. We accomplished our objectives, cherished our sense of community, and established enduring connections. However, the most remarkable figure was our Assistant Manager, David Brown. He had high expectations for excellence in all we did, looking for ways for even the smallest detail to mean something. Despite his rigorous approach, his unwavering support and genuine concern for our well-being were always evident.

Third Part: More About You

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