Un­com­mon Ground

BC Business Magazine - - Editor’s Desk - Nick Rockel, Ed­i­tor-in-chief bcb@canadaw­ide.com / @Bcbusi­ness

Is an en­tre­pre­neur born or made? What is your def­i­ni­tion of suc­cess? Is there some­thing that peo­ple would be sur­prised to learn about you? We put those ques­tions and more to the con­tenders for the 24th an­nual En­tre­pre­neur of the Year awards (p.31), which sees Ernst & Young hon­our the prov­ince’s sharpest busi­ness minds. The di­ver­sity of the re­sponses re­minded us that ev­ery­one has their own route to suc­cess—and their own ideas about what makes work, and life, mean­ing­ful. But as our pro­files of the EOY fi­nal­ists and win­ners show, the best en­trepreneurs have a few things in com­mon: a re­fusal to ac­cept the sta­tus quo, a will­ing­ness to take risks and the grit to see things through.

On page 62, you’ll find my pro­file of some­one who fits this mould: Scott Menke, co­founder and CEO of Paragon Gaming, whose Parq Van­cou­ver casino and re­sort just opened. Hav­ing spent time with Menke, who doesn’t ex­actly thrust him­self into the spot­light, I re­al­ized that most Bri­tish Columbians knew lit­tle about the Amer­i­can be­hind this con­tro­ver­sial $640-mil­lion de­vel­op­ment. In 2011, when Van­cou­ver city coun­cil re­jected Las Ve­gas–based Paragon’s bid to en­large its ex­ist­ing lo­cal gam­bling foot­print, it looked like what is now known as Parq might never get built. But the com­pany found a way to work with the City—and Menke was re­warded for his pa­tience. Re­gard­less of where you stand on gam­bling, the re­sult is much more than a casino. Parq will add a new di­men­sion to down­town Van­cou­ver and its tourism in­dus­try, which has grown up since Paragon first pitched the project more than a decade ago.

It’s been half a decade since we launched the 30 Un­der 30, our cel­e­bra­tion of en­trepreneurs who are start­ing and es­tab­lish­ing their ca­reers. Sev­eral win­ners have be­come EOY fi­nal­ists, the lat­est be­ing West Coast Can­ning co-founder Matt Les­lie. Last time, we re­ceived close to 350 nom­i­na­tions for the 30 Un­der 30, leav­ing us with plenty to bicker about as we nar­rowed the list down to the most de­serv­ing new tal­ents, and I’m expecting an­other strong turnout for 2018. To put your own or some­one else’s name for­ward for the fifth an­nual awards, visit Bcbusi­ness.ca/30un­der30. But this of­fer won’t last for­ever: the dead­line for nom­i­na­tions is De­cem­ber 1.

Speak­ing of new tal­ent, I’m happy to wel­come Scott Neufeld to the Bcbusi­ness team. Pre­vi­ously a staffer at the Van­cou­ver Sun and North Shore Out­look, Neufeld brings busi­ness re­port­ing and edit­ing chops to his role as as­so­ciate ed­i­tor. Look for his name in these pages dur­ing the months ahead.

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