Scott McLaren, president, Festival Promotions

Scott McLaren
Scott McLaren
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce choose 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs and business executives and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.


In these profiles, OBJ highlights some of this year’s recipients – their impressive accomplishments, what drives them and how they like to spend their downtime away from the business world.


See the full list of recipient profiles here and be sure to check out OBJ’s coverage of the 2018 gala here.

Birthplace: Pembroke

Company: We make fine swag.

Education: Bachelor of commerce from the Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa (2006)

OBJ360 (Sponsored)

Charitable involvement: Movember, From Houses to Homes

Biggest biz achievement: Being the preferred provider to the FIFA Women’s World Cup and Ottawa 2017.

Biggest obstacle: Overcoming my own insecurities.

Biggest influence: My parents and my wife. My dad was a small business owner and showed me the importance of work ethic, doing things right and doing the right thing. My mom instilled in me the need for constant growth and achievement. My wife has been the biggest example and source of motivation. Having finished a business degree and then deciding to go to medical school, which she has now completed, makes anything I’ve done pale in comparison.

Biggest lesson learned: Assume everything is your fault. Terry Lussier, a business consultant, told me that and it has stuck with me ever since. As an example, you weren’t late because traffic was bad, you were late because you didn’t leave early enough. By taking ownership of problems, you eliminate all excuses and default to solutions-based thinking.

First job: Haying on my uncle’s farm.

Advice I’d give the younger me: Take more risks and fail more. Any success I’ve had can be directly attributed to a specific failure. I wish I had done it more.

What’s left to do: Personally, my focus is on my young daughter and my wife, who will be starting her medical residency in July. Professionally, I’m looking forward to growing Festival and exploring unique not-for-profit opportunities with swag.

Favourite pastimes: Hockey and golf

I’m currently reading: Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Favourite movie: Forrest Gump

Favourite song: Grace, Too by The Tragically Hip

Favourite local pro sports team: Ottawa Senators

Favourite local summer event: Ottawa Bluesfest

Preferred social media platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram

Twitter handle: @scotty_festival

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