Steve Hubbard, director of sales and business development, Lightenco

2017 Forty Under 40 recipient
Steve Hubbard

Age: 38

Birthplace: Etobicoke

Company: We offer subsidized, turnkey LED lighting solutions to commercial, multi-residential, industrial and public institutions.

Education: Master’s degree in social science, global studies program, Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany (2007)

Charitable involvement: YMCA-YWCA

Biggest biz achievement: Co-founding and developing Lightenco in Canada and Mexico in 2011 along with partners Ray del Cojo & Eduardo Vargas; growing that business from a small, risky investment to a multimillion-dollar international company; and having saved over 10 gigawatt-hours of energy across Ontario through our retrofits – the equivalent to taking about 1,000 homes off grid.

Biggest biz obstacle: Balancing my professional and personal life. My wife and now two-year-old son have sacrificed greatly to see me accomplish my professional goals. Fortunately, as our business has grown and become more successful, we are more able to focus on family. It doesn't completely end, but it does get better!

Biggest influence: My father and mother. They were both extremely hard-working, provided me and my three siblings with a great environment to grow up in and taught us the lesson of earning a dollar very early in life. My mother is still without a doubt the most selfless person I have ever met in my life.

Biggest lesson learned: Always make partners and friends in the community and be a part of that community. Countless organizations such as Hydro Ottawa, the Ottawa Centre EcoDistrict, YMCA-YWCA, Envirocentre, SMARTNet Alliance, Bullfrog Power, the Recycling Council of Ontario and others have helped connect us to business opportunities and co-develop charitable projects to help organizations save energy or to educate organizations and people on the benefits LED lighting.

First job: Fishmonger

Advice I’d give the younger me: Grow a beard and start a craft brewery ASAP or meet Steve Beauchesne a lot sooner.

What’s left to do: On the personal side: grow our family, take an amazing camper vacation out west, have more family time. On the professional side: co-found more businesses, do more to be charitable and volunteer time, get into politics.

Favourite pastime: Music

I’m currently reading: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo

Favourite movie: The Big Lebowski

Favourite song: OX4 by Ride

Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators

Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest

Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn

Twitter handle: @HubbardSteve