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Local entrepreneur takes TEC Canada’s highest honour

TEC Group
TEC Group

When the pandemic struck, Pascal St-Jean, in his capacity as a TEC Canada chair, decided that “no one will be left behind.”

“Our regular schedule of TEC meetings and events no longer mattered,” he said.

Impromptu Slack meetings and Zoom calls at all hours became the norm as the small business owners who are members of St-Jean’s two Ottawa TEC groups turned to each other for help.

For 35 years, TEC Canada has provided leaders with peer mentoring and support through executive coaching. Business owners and executives are organized into peer advisory groups of 14 to 16 members under the guidance of a chair. These groups create a safe, confidential environment where members can find and give support, and get direct and honest feedback, to solve problems and achieve their goals. 

In Ottawa, the organization has grown to include seven chairs with 10 groups in all. Members are executives and owners of businesses of all sizes.

Each year, TEC Canada recognizes a single chair for their outstanding contribution to their groups, fellow chairs and the broader TEC community. This award, the Robert Nourse – Chair of the Year Award, is named in honour of the man who first founded “The Executive Committee” (TEC) in the U.S. in 1957.

For 2020, this distinction has been awarded to St-Jean. His resume includes founding partner of Breakthrough Equity Partners and co-founder of STAND Advisors. 

“This is a great validation that you are doing the right things as a chair,” St-Jean said. “I joined TEC because I wanted to help entrepreneurs reach a point where they could live their dreams. I am grateful that I have had great mentors and support in my life and I wanted to pay that forward. TEC has been a great mechanism to do so.”

Todd Millar, president and CEO of TEC Canada, has been impressed with the passion and commitment St-Jean has demonstrated since he first joined the organization more than four years ago.

“Pascal’s leadership skills and everything he does embodies our core values,” Millar said. “During the pandemic, he has reached out to our network of 100 chairs across Canada to pass on his knowledge and provide leadership to our entire community.”

Fellow Ottawa TEC Chair Carlos Fox, himself a past Chair of the Year award recipient, takes his hat off to how quickly St-Jean has risen through the organization.

“Pascal is very strategic and intentional in all that he does and very passionate about helping people and helping companies grow,” Fox said. “I have a huge amount of respect for him, as I do for all our chairs in the Ottawa area.”

Whether it is a recession, or a global pandemic, TEC has proven itself time and again to be a vital resource when owners and executives need it most, Pascal said. 

“I have members who tell me, ‘I realize how important TEC has been to me when I talk to other business owners who don’t have a peer group like this about how tough it has been for them to survive the pandemic.”

To learn more about TEC Canada, please visit