30 years young

30 Years Young

By Gillian Davis

Alan Davis & Associates Inc. will be celebrating 30 years of service on February 14th, I am very excited to celebrate this milestone.

I am so proud of both of my parents, Alan and Diane, for successfully managing the business over the years. Regardless of the previous business conditions they remained great leaders and more importantly they were great parents to my three siblings and me.

As the business is only a year older than I am, I have almost considered it to be one of my siblings. It has been with us through the good times, and has supported us through the bad. It didn’t take me long to realize that when business was good, Christmas was even better.

One of my earliest memories was when the offices were in the Windsor Salt building on St-John’s Blvd in Pointe-Claire. My dad and his colleagues would play ball hockey in the hallway. I was only about four years old at the time, and remember thinking that this is what “work” was. My Dad took several business trips and I recall how excited I was to greet him when he got home.

I was seven when we won the Canadian Astronaut recruitment program where we had to recruit 3 Canadian Astronauts for Canada’s Space Agency. I didn’t really get the magnitude of winning this until High School. I was so proud to have my Dad come to my Grade 7 Geography class and talk about the screening parameters NASA used when looking for Astronauts. Another highlight of my life is taking a family road trip to Cape Canaveral to watch Dave Williams go up in space. We went on a tour of the Kennedy Space Center with Julie Payette, who was one of the astronauts recruited by my Dad! All I remember thinking was how cool this was and that somehow, in some way, I would pay back my parents for all the amazing experiences they gave us.

I have been working at ADA now for over 10 years; I have experienced some of my best and my worst jobs here. One of the worst jobs was sorting through boxes full of old files covered in cobwebs, while sitting on a flattened out box, in the unfinished basement of the 100 year old office building owned by ADA. I remember thinking at the time “I am sure this violates some kind of code….”

I have learned invaluable lessons at ADA, and have developed a thirst for what we do. I think I developed this passion because of the values that are so akin to ADA, which are inevitably true to Alan and Diane. Those are; honesty, integrity and friendship. We are honest people and we conduct our business in this way. Our process is transparent, we provide additional hires without additional cost and we fundamentally just want to help our Clients. Alan and Diane have engrained this into our entire team and I think it is one of the many reason I love the company and why at almost every Christmas party I have had employees come up to me saying what great people my parents are.

Even though my parents are very humble people I’m sure they love to hear me say “I’m proud of them”. Combined they have successfully been able to build a business and a family, concurrently! This is no easy feat, and deserves to be acknowledged.

I can’t write this without touching on something very close to my heart. One of the hardest times we have faced was having Alan diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. His Doctor finally told him he needed to step down as President which he did in 2008. This affected the family and the business but both my parents kept their heads up and managed to work as a team to not allow this devastating turn of events take us down.

It’s thanks to the love and support from everyone that I am even able to write this. I know that my family and I are so grateful to be surrounded by such kind and amazing people.

Parkinson’s is a tricky disease; it’s unpredictable, and hard to manage. It’s been 8 years since the diagnosis and I am amazed how my Dad has been able to “beat” this horrible disease. He spends his summers playing golf; he paints, and started cooking dinner, although Chicken Cesar salad did become a weekly staple. He’s definitely taken retirement head on which isn’t easy.

We are fortunate that Diane has played an active role in the business since its inception. She took over the helm when my Dad had to retire and has been steering the ship ever since. 

If there is one lesson I think my Dad has taught me, it is that “Life will get you… if you let it.” Life is filled with many challenges and obstacles and it’s at these moments when we are truly tested. We can either give in to the challenges or face them head on. That’s what Alan and Diane have done time and time again and this is why I can say “Happy 30th Anniversary Alan Davis & Associates Inc.”, because they overcame these challenges!

Over the next 30 or more years, I hope to apply all the lessons and values that have been passed down to me from this successful business. I have a great amount of passion for this business and I’m excited for our team to take ADA into the next generation. It’s no surprise that I got involved. It has taken an enormous number of people to be able to tell this story. Thank you for your participation.



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