When we started writing this letter, we sat down to talk about the similar threads and through lines that surfaced during our interviews with the businesses featured in this issue, to come up with a point of connection on which to hang this missive. What characteristics did all of our sources and their companies share? Sure, transportation was the obvious answer — each of the professionals we interviewed hold senior roles at aerospace, rail, automotive or marine companies or organizations — but what else? The more we talked about it, the more we kept coming back to the same answer, over and over again: passion.
We’re all encouraged as kids to pursue educations, jobs and industries that excite us, that fuel our energy and drive growth, but not everyone is lucky enough to love what they do. That couldn’t be further from the truth for the people we spoke to for this magazine. Each person we reached out to oozed enthusiasm for their work, and it was abundantly clear that they let that enthusiasm propel them forward. Even when it’s slow-going. Even when there are setbacks. Even when the path to success isn’t a straight line. There are so many examples of this in the pages to follow: The mayor of Port Colborne wants his city to reap the benefits of cruise ships and is doing what needs to be done to make it a reality. Pickering Airport officials know that their work has the power to transform the region. Metrolinx and their employees have made it their mission to ensure passengers travel safely, efficiently and quickly for both work and play. At Toyota, their dedication to the environment makes them an industry leader. Flying Colours in Peterborough loves their hometown and prioritizes bringing qualified locals into their industry. Freightzy is changing the game on the environmental impacts of shipping in Canada.
Each of these companies, and the many others profiled, began with a flicker of passion that has been fanned and fuelled into the successful businesses and organizations they are today. Albert Einstein, perhaps one of the greatest names in innovation, once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Maybe it’s clich., but we buy that. To see a problem, an improvement or an opportunity and capitalize on it takes guts and resolve, of course, but it also takes an underlying fire to make it happen. Without it, how mundane life would be.