Turning our Spotlight to another Genumarker, today we find Stephen Knox, our VP of Technology & Digital Services. Stephen is one of those laid back, fun guys to chat with but as soon as it comes to digital security, he becomes an iron fist! He has one of the longer and more diverse career paths since coming to Genumark, having worked in different positions across many departments on his way to where he is today. Prior to the pandemic we had a chance to talk with him while he was full of food and couldn’t run away.
STEPHEN, WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY?
Every day is different and no project is ever the same. I bring balance, experience, and leadership in keeping the systems and data safe for both Genumark and our clients. I, along with my exceptional team, are constantly studying and implementing the best security practices in the industry. This is just a snapshot of what I do and it evolves every day. I love being a part of every piece of it.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NICKNAMES?
Knoxy or Knoxy Jr, as the original Knoxy is my father.
WHAT IS YOUR HOMETOWN?
Trinidad & Tobago. I moved to Canada in 1997.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH GENUMARK?
22 years and going strong!
COOLEST PROMOTION PRODUCT YOU HAVE SEEN AT GENUMARK?
Back when I was a coordinator here, the vintage Ford items we did for their program was pretty cool! The die-cast trucks were a favourite.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
Sales associate at a hardware store.
WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF ARRIVING IN CANADA?
How cold it was!
WHAT WOULD YOU NAME THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF YOUR LIFE?
Who Knew? – it would be about how my mindset changed as I matured through life.
DEAD OR ALIVE, DREAM DINNER GUEST?
Bob Marley… or a drunk Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow.
INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF GENUMARK?
Watching my kids grow and mature… something I will never do.
FAVOURITE FOOD & ADULT DRINK?
Anyone that knows me can attest, I LOVE ALL FOODS. To go with food would be a bottle of nice red wine.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE STEVE KNOX
Loyal. Easy-going. Loving.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR BUSINESSES TO CONSIDER IN THEIR IT DEPARTMENTS?
Security. In today’s business, security is a topic at the forefront of IT Assessments. Security starts with the user, education and common sense play a huge part in the day-to-day environment, so you need to have good policies and enforcement in place.
SINCE THIS PANDEMIC STARTED, WHAT HAVE YOU SPENT MORE TIME THAN USUAL DOING?
Honestly, eating and seeing the kids more than ever. It has been a tough balance for me and the kids, but we are doing just fine. On the plus side, I have never been more creative in ways for them to be occupied. I built my own PVC sprinkler for them to play in.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Success in business is the happiness and satisfaction you get at the end of the work day. It gives you the true sense of the value. Success in life is measured by the smiles and hugs you get from your family when you get home.
FAVOURITE TYPE OF MUSIC?
Music is huge in my household. I listen to all types of music.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Don’t worry, it works itself out.
WHAT IS THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING YOU ARE WILLING TO ADMIT?
So many! I’ll share this one: When I first came into this country, someone asked me the capital and I called it Oshawa instead of Ottawa.
It is not a phobia but I hate to be alone.
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION?
Dominican Republic. It is very relaxing and my expectations are always met when I get there.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS?
I would probably start my own general contracting company.
YOU STARTED HERE IN THE WAREHOUSE AND A COORDINATOR. YOU HAVE MOVED UP ALL THE WAY TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW AS VP. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR NEWER GENUMARKERS?
Never be afraid to ask. In all my moves, I asked for the opportunity to show I could do the work, and they gave me the chance to challenge myself and prove I could do more.
HOW MUCH COFFEE OR TEA DO YOU DRINK A DAY?
Anywhere between 8-10 cups in an entire day. That ranges from 6:30 in the morning to 7 at night.
PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA; DOES IT BELONG?
Only if can be found with bacon, and more bacon… and more bacon.
THREE HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR LIFE?
Coming to Canada from Trinidad. It was life changing for me.
My family – watching the dynamic grow and change me in ways I would never have believed.
My job – I love what I do. Mark Freed, I hope you are reading.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU CAN MAKE?
Curry crab and dumplings.
WORDS OF ADVICE TO OTHERS?
Take what you want – don’t be afraid to go after something.
Want what you have – when you have it treat it with value.
Have what you need – be content and be humble