If you’ve met our team at a BIM conference in the last few years, chances are you’ve met Christian Proulx - Vice President of Sales and Marketing and his contagious enthusiasm for both BIM Track and life! But if you’re relatively new to BIM Track, you might not have as Christian has moved into more of an operational role, giving his passport a break.
Get to know this force of awesomeness who has been there since almost the beginning (employee #7!) that keeps our teams motivated, learning, and genuinely happy.
How would you describe your role?
It's about caring for the employees, caring about the business, and the industry itself. You’re constantly exploring new ideas and new territories. And you’re constantly trying to grow the company, grow the team and develop it, while allowing each individual to grow as well. I feel like it’s a worthwhile endeavor and it’s one that I’m proud to be a part of.
What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?
I enjoy listening to audiobooks. My busy schedule doesn’t always allow me to sit down with a book, but commuting every day gives me perfectly-sized chunks of time where I can listen to those books. The last book I ‘read’ was: Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler, and I’m currently on the Trillion Dollar coach by Bill Campbell. Otherwise, I listen to music - anywhere from old school rock to indie and pop. A dash of rap and house music too - and as long as it sounds good, I’ll listen to it.
What does a typical day look like for you?
At work - My day usually starts with catching up on the previous day’s emails. Then it’s time for meetings with everyone from the sales team in Canada and the States, to current and prospective customers, and discussions with other members of the management team about how to best adapt to the short- and medium-term challenges that we face. The industry is growing fast, but that also means its rapidly changing and evolving and we need to always be on top of that.
At home - Before I arrive home I pick up my kids from school and catch up with them and how their day has been. Since my wife arrives later in the evening, I make dinner for the family. I actually like cooking; it helps me wind down after a long day (that and homework with the kids), I like to eat healthily, and it’s fun experimenting with new ingredients and recipes. I’m not a bad chef by the way, so most of my experiments usually work out!
By night time, I try to squeeze in an hour or two of work and prepare myself for the next day. I’m not sure if that makes me a workaholic. I think of it like a workout that I need to squeeze in before the day is over. I must add that weekends are reserved for me and my family and I like to keep it that way.
How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?
I believe that helping employees understand our culture is not just about what you say, but what you do. I tell most people that we have an entrepreneurial mindset - along with focusing on growth, it’s about seeking innovations, efficiencies, and taking calculated risks. It's about being passionate and it needs to be infectious - not only towards new hires, but long-term employees, current and prospective customers, and our colleagues in the industry; they must be able to feel it.
At the end of the day, you have to live it - it has to be authentic.
"Christian’s capacity to connect with people has always impressed me. He’s a devoted member of the team and always goes above and beyond for our customers.”
VP of Product
How do you strike a balance between work and play?
As a kid, I was a snowboarding junkie. That spirit is still alive in me, but now it's more about cross-country skiing and road biking with my family. During the summers every year I make sure get some mountain biking sessions in. When it comes to really relaxing - nothing does it better than a fishing trip at my favorite spot deep in the woods by a secret lake, with my father or friends.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
I tend not to think too much about my title, or what my position is - I think about the people, the company and what my responsibilities are to them, and the fact that it's about taking bigger challenges. It's about working even harder, being a mentor, and understanding that your decisions are not just about yourself, but affect other people in the company. It's about staying humble. As a leader, you need to be able to connect with your team, and I don’t think it's possible without a certain amount of humility.
I also believe It's good to have a solid foundation. One of my first jobs was 3 years in the Canadian Army Reserve. It’s where I learned the value of discipline, teamwork, and respect. I was 17 when I started, but those lessons are still with me today.
Isn’t your background in mechanical engineering? How did you end up in business development?
That's correct, my bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering. I’ve known about 3D modeling and its potential for a long time, and I’ve been outspoken about its benefits with my friends and colleagues. I’m keen to talk and interact with people, building and maintaining relationships came naturally to me. It was only a matter of time until my friends and family suggested I should be in sales. That and the fact that spending 12 years in the industry left me wanting to shake up the routine - I’m glad I listened to my calling, I guess that’s what the pursuit of happiness is about.
What is your relationship with BIM One, the services side of the company?
I was the very first business development executive hired at BIM One, at the same time that BIM Track was being launched. At first, I was developing the market for both BIM One and BIM Track, since they happen to intersect. Later on, I shifted to solely focusing on the product side of things with BIM Track. The SaaS aspect appealed to me the most; for many reasons including the fact that I had to look at the potential market from an international perspective - the playground was no longer restricted by geographical boundaries, and that’s a thrilling challenge to undertake. I’m still involved with BIM One, however, but more as a counselor - my previous experience as a project owner allows me to give our team a unique perspective into the mind of our client.
Where do you see BIM Track in the next 18 months?
2020 is going to be a special year for many reasons, the whole team can agree on that. I see BIM Track reaching, if not exceeding the targets we’ve set for ourselves. We are going to become more mature, continue differentiating ourselves and venture into newer territories. I see exciting times on the horizon.
VP Sales & Marketing
Fun fact: Enjoys mountain biking
"Christian is a key player for business growth who took (and is taking!) the sales and marketing department from the ground up to a truly repeatable and successful system. He cares about the business, he cares about his employees but above that, he really cares about the client and making the construction process more efficient! We can trust and rely on Christian at any time.”
- Alexine Gordon-Stewart