We had a short hiatus on these Spotlights, but we are back at it again! Kicking off our first Spotlight of our 40-Year Anniversary, is Dave Wilson. Witty and quick with a one liner, Dave is responsible for leading the Genumark Winnipeg team. We sat with Dave before the pandemic took off but have since circled back to get his thoughts on his story, career at Genumark, and how he is coping with working at home.
DAVE, WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?
Majority of my time is spent on the research side of things. At this stage in my career a lot of clients have projects or ideas that they need someone to do the background research for, like trade shows, job fairs, and events like that. I also have the pleasure of having my sons working with me so mentoring and going on calls with them has been a pleasure
DO YOU HAVE ANY NICKNAMES?
The Wizard of Wow. In the early years, a good friend, Jim Chess, owner of Chess Communications, gave me that title when I delivered some unique and useful options for one of their clients.,
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH GENUMARK?
24 years. I joined during a transitional phase of Genumark when we had gone through a few name changes, so at the time it was Creadis-Halo
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF LIVING IN WINNIPEG?
The cultural diversity in the city. I really love the yearly Folkorama event that showcases the different cultures. Also, people may not know, but Winnipeg is a land of water. We are founded on two rivers and there is plenty of water activity.
WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE THE PROMO INDUSTRY?
I was at Xeroid! Got my start in the selling world in the copying business within a division of Xerox, called the Xerox Reproduction Centres, which provided copying and printing services. After that, I founded an instant printing business in partnership with my father which we ran successfully for 15 years.
COOLEST PROMOTION PRODUCT YOU HAVE WORKED ON AT GENUMARK?
Any time you are doing something truly custom it is a cool feeling. One great example, was done with MacDon, a big supporter of ours. They wanted something cool for their 65th anniversary. So together we sourced a Zippo 3-in-1 flask, but we totally customized the box which told a beautiful story of MacDon’s history. It was pretty awesome! They were sent out to all their dealers.
DREAM JOB AS A KID? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
I always wanted to be in business for myself. Not sure what inspired that but I knew I just wanted to be in charge. It has been fantastic running the Winnipeg office all these years.
My first job was working as a management trainee in Sporting Goods at the Woolco years before it got merged into Wal Mart.
WHAT WOULD YOU NAME THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YOUR LIFE?
Daring, Different, and First
IF YOU COULD LEARN ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
More languages, especially Spanish. I knew French as a kid but once we moved to Winnipeg I never spoke it again, and I am kicking myself I didn’t keep it up. That and typing! Just looking at the team in our office that type a million miles an hour is impressive!
DEAD OR ALIVE, DREAM DINNER GUEST?
Richard Branson, someone who has done some really amazing things would be fun to pick his brain for a while.
INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF GENUMARK?
Passionate about rugby and travel. I like to think of myself as a self-taught gourmet chef and love to entertain.
FAVOURITE FOOD & ADULT DRINK?
Sashimi and a gin martini
NOW THAT YOU ARE AT HOME MORE THAN EVER, WHAT IS THE MOST ABNORMAL THING YOU HAVE DONE RECENTLY?
Getting to the gym was a no longer an option in the short term, so I went and purchased a bike. It’s been years since I have been on a bike.
AS A RESULT OF COVID-19, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL NEVER BE THE SAME?
Normal! Most of what we knew as normal will be changed in some fashion. Not sure what that will look like but it will be different.
ONCE RESTRICTIONS ARE FULLY LIFTED, WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO?
Getting together with my parents, who are in a personal care home. I want to see our family and extended family for an event like a Fathers Day BBQ
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Being who you are. Finding yourself and what you are good at.
FAVOURITE SPORTS TEAMS?
New Zealand All Blacks baby!! Of course, the Winnipeg Jets as well. That has been a cool story of them coming back. It was like Winnipeg got a personality again when they Jets came back. Everywhere I go people seem to know, “the Jets came back.” I was a season ticket holder before they left and now once again. Tortoise baby steps to the Stanley Cup! I would love a Stanley Cup final between the Jets and the Leafs, what a final that would be!
FAVOURITE MOVIE & BOOK?
I have always loved the Michael Caine version of Sleuth. For books, it would be Think and Grow Rich
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Your body needs a better brain. But in serious, if you set yourself to a dream and true to yourself, you can do it.
WHAT IS THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING YOU ARE WILLING TO ADMIT?
Back in the day, I lived in London, England for a year. When I moved back to Winnipeg I had a great collection of tailored suits. I went to a bar and saw a lady I wanted to talk to and I approached her, martini in hand, and just said, “Bond, James Bond.” Well, she clearly didn’t like my fake accent and suave, and she responded, “Off, F*%$ Off.”
Extreme heights in an unprotected environment.
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Costa Rica is one of the neatest places. Their culture and the way they are so eco-conscious was really impressive.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS?
A chef, maybe. I have always wanted to train as a chef.
HOW MUCH COFFEE OR TEA DO YOU DRINK A DAY?
Definitely coffee. Definitely Starbucks. Definitely French Roast. I pour more cups than I consume that is for sure.
PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA; DOES IT BELONG?
My philosophy on this is like pizza and beer. You don’t fruit your beer, you don’t fruit your pizza.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU CAN MAKE?
I like to refer to myself as the Maestro of Meat. An overdone piece of meat can ruin a meal quickly, so I make sure to pay attention to it.
WHO IS THE BEST WINNIPEG JET OF ALL TIME?
WORDS OF ADVICE TO OTHERS?
Be nice to people on the way up cause you meet them on the way down