November 04, 2011 Features & Images » Feature Story

Jeff Cooke 

Squamish candidate profile


Hockey Card:

Occupation? Entrepreneur, Business Owner, Dog Behaviour Therapist

Furthest place travelled?

Lived in Sydney, Australia for eight years.

Describe yourself in five words or less: Creative, collaborative man of high integrity.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you? From grades 4 to 12, I attended St. Michael's Choir School, one of Canada's leading all male choirs. We performed concert tours throughout Europe, the USA ad Canada. I now save my best singing for the shower.

Profile Questions:
What do you see as the top election issues?

Growing the economy in Squamish is the primary goal. Once the economy gets positive momentum again, we can better afford all the recreational and social programs we want and the infrastructure projects we need without raising tax rates.

What would you do to enhance the environment for business? 1. Repair our reputation in the investment and development community.

2. Fix the processes and politics that delay decision-making.

3. Adequately invest in Economic Development efforts and actively recruit new businesses and new residents.

4. Invest in our Outdoor Recreation brand. This will attract tourism, but more importantly, more residents and business to Squamish.

Give an example of a difficult situation you have overcome.

In 1995 I was working for Kellogg's Cereal Company in their U.S. head office. I was assigned to the new brands team and was responsible for the launch and management of new products.  The previous 10 launch attempts had failed resulting in losses in the tens of millions of dollars. Management and the shareholders were looking for much better results. The pressure was huge. We analyzed the current process of idea and product development. We saw a better way and as a team, re-engineered the entire process from idea generation to manufacturing implementation. We had bright people, but the wrong systems.  Good ideas started to flow within 12 months. With our best idea in hand, I led a team including manufacturing, R&D, finance, advertising and sales and within 18 months, we launched the most successful product of that era, which generated over $100 million in revenue in the first 12 months. I learned a tremendous amount from that experience. If you lead with a clear, uncompromising vision, surround yourself with great people, and inspire them to do their best, you can achieve remarkable things.

Where should people go to get more information about you?

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