DRIVING B.C. FORWARD
Through this 12-part series, Dueck GM salutes B.C.’S entrepreneurs who are driving growth and innovation in the local business community. This month’s driving force is Phil Heard, owner of Heard Productions Inc.
If you’ve attended an auto event in Western Canada during the last 40 years, there’s a good chance Phil Heard’s fingerprints were all over it. From running Canadian National Sportsmen’s shows to heading the Vancouver Molson Indy, he’s been a key figure in building the profile of auto events in B.C. After some excursions with other industries (GM of Hastings Racecourse, COO of the World Ubran Forum and running the Vancouver Economic Development Commission) he has returned to the world of automobiles. Alongside his son, Jason, he’s created Heard Productions Inc., and together the two have turned the Vancouver International Auto Show into the premier auto show in Canada. Dueck salutes Phil for his involvement in building B.C. with key auto events in the province, and providing events that allow the industry to present products.
What’s your favourite car?
A Chevrolet Corvette. I had wanted a Corvette since I was a boy. I got my first one as a company car when I was GM at the Molson Indy.
Why do you choose Dueck as your preferred dealership?
They treat you like a VIP. I took my first Corvette there because they sold the most Corvettes, plus they give great service and advice.
What was your first job?
Washing dishes at Woolworths. After that I graduated to making donuts.
What was your big break?
It was moving to run consumer shows with Canadian National Sportmen’s shows. Some of the first I worked on were The Boat Show, The RV Show and The Floating Boat Show in Vancouver.
What was the turning point in your career?
When Molson asked me to be the GM of the Indy Race. With my love of both cars and special events, it was the perfect job for me.
What motivates you?
Working with smart, creative people on challenging projects.
What have been the keys to your company’s success?
Working with my son, who is the creative one, and helping him build a company that can innovate and grow.
What excites you the most about the future of your industry?
Consumer shows are changing. The challenge is to keep things fresh, interesting, and exciting.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Open and honest (with a bit of humour thrown in for good measure).
What is one of the most underrated qualities of a leader?
The ability to communicate your goals clearly.
What are three must-haves for you on a road trip?
A good sound system, plenty of classic rock and my wife.
(clockwise from left) Phil Heard with his favourite car, a Chevrolet Corvette; Heard with son, Jason at the Vancouver Collector Car Show and Auction; Heard on the roof of BC Place at the start of the Molson Indy’s first race in 1990; Heard’s wife, Dianne