Pilon School of Business
Year of graduation: 1998
Hunter Reid has never been one to shy away from a challenge. At the age of 12 he joined a door-to-door sales company focused on hiring youth, often earning a hundred dollars in a day, doubling the nearest seller. “I like it when people tell me I can’t do something. It motivates me - partly to prove them wrong but mostly to see if I can surmount the challenge.”
Fast forward to 2005 when Hunter saw a new issue confronting the Canadian job market: available skilled workers were not in the same location as the job vacancies. So he started TDT Crews, based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, which supplies skilled workers to regions that need them. Most of his crews are now working in Alberta and Saskatchewan in the gas, oil, mining and forestry industries. In addition to running TDT Crews (as Chairman and CEO), Hunter is also President and Managing Partner of the equipment leasing company, Faithshire Leasing and Payroll Funding Canada.
Growing up in Mississauga, Hunter wasn’t sure where he wanted to take his skills as a self-starter. Sheridan’s practical industry-focused business program proved to be an ideal place to start. It wasn’t long before his take-charge approach led him to become involved in student government and the construction of Sheridan’s first residence at the Trafalgar campus. Run-ins with faculty and the college resulted in Hunter learning a lesson that has stuck with him to this day. “The structures in life can be assets; ignore them and they become liabilities. If you don’t like something, help change it but make sure you do so within the rules.”
Following graduation, Hunter proceeded to distinguish himself in the business world, mainly in the insurance industry, gaining four promotions in three years before striking out on his own with TDT Crews.
As the father of seven children, Hunter is keen to turn the image of a workaholic business owner on its head. “It’s a matter of priorities. You must be present,” says Hunter whose children range in age from 18 months to 16 years old and are home schooled mainly by his wife Michelle. “Ninety percent of the year I am home for dinner by 6:00pm. Weekends always include a day of rest and whenever possible, my family joins me on business trips.”
This philosophy does not mean dialling down your efforts to succeed, advises Hunter, who has brought this message to his own children and students in high school entrepreneurial classes.
“We live in a culture that affords chronic complacency, mostly because North Americans have often been able to get away with mediocre work. Set your personal achievement bar high and it will be noticed. Those top spots really are achievable.”