Nathan Hall, CEO, Simple Story

Nathan Hall
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade honour 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs, business executives and civic leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.

Click here to see the full list of the 2020 recipients and click here to watch the special Ottawa Stronger Together broadcast honouring the year’s recipients.

 

Although Nathan Hall runs a video marketing agency that specializes in telling other people’s stories, he’s got a pretty inspirational narrative himself.

After more than a decade as a marketing and product manager with various Ottawa IT, e-commerce and software companies, Hall took the helm of Simple Story in 2018. The company he inherited was bleeding cash, suffered from a “toxic” work culture and was steadily losing the clients it had.

Under the Hall’s leadership, Simple Story’s turnaround has been worthy of a Hollywood screenplay. 

The University of Ottawa graduate rebuilt the company from the ground up, overhauling its marketing, sales, finance and product management teams while securing new financing and negotiating deals to provide video for big-name local tech conferences such as SaaS North and AccelerateOTT. In Hall’s first year on the job, revenues doubled and the firm exceeded industry-average profit margins.

Simple Story, which has made animated and live-action videos to promote global brands ranging from Coca-Cola and Walmart to Pfizer and Ottawa’s own Shopify, was named one of the city’s small business of the year at the 2019 Best Ottawa Business Awards. Based on this success, Hall was asked to join the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for prominent executives of public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.