CEO Leadership Series:
Michael Tremblay

3 minutes, 17 seconds reading time

Invest Ottawa delivers economic development programs and initiatives that increase entrepreneurial momentum, wealth and jobs in the City of Ottawa and its surrounding region. Invest Ottawa’s goal is to make Ottawa the most innovative City in Canada!

Michael Tremblay, who took on the top leadership role at Invest Ottawa in March 2017 remains confident that we are well positioned to achieve this. A new Five-Year Strategic Plan on how they will accomplish this is among he and his leadership teams many accomplishments.

If you have not had the opportunity to visit Bayview Yards, where Invest Ottawa is headquartered - you should. It’s a fast paced, innovative hub where you will benefit from an energetic environment which business professionals, tech guru’s and a growing list of Ottawa’s newest and most intriguing startups come together.


Top 20 Questions


Your best/worst subject in school? (generally good academically)

Best: Math
Worst: French

What was your first job?
Pumping gas in bell’s corners! First real job – selling semiconductors on March Road for a manufacturers rep firm.

Best advice you ever took?
Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.

Tip you would share with this years graduating class?
The power of human collaboration in a world of social media and texting. Remember – your credentials get you hired . . . your behaviors get you fired.

What book are you reading?
Just picked up “The Four”.

Favorite quote?
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

One thing that surprises you about business?
People who believe that consistently solving for their own needs at the expense of others leads to maximum potential.

What motivates you?
Having High Impact.

When was the last time you worked a 40 hour work week?
When I was working part time.

What is the best (most recent) feedback you received from one of your employees?
Just had my 360 review – one item (of many) I’m working on - “Keep things simple (i.e. use more layman terms)”; I’m a closet analytic . . . this feedback helps.

When are you most productive?
5AM; I swim the mile at 5 AM.

Best thing about being a CEO?
Constant learning.

Most challenging thing about being a CEO?
Learning to let go so others may grow.

What is one word that describes your leadership style?
Altruistic.

You have____ in your office?
Emptiness (best to keep moving . . . very little happens in an office).

An experience that has influenced you the most as a leader?
The telecom bust of 2000 – an industry wide train wreck that I experienced first hand as a leader.

A CEO that inspires you?
Satya Nadella.

If you weren’t a CEO you would be?
I’m not fascinated by titles . . . at my core I’m an analytic and introvert. I’m very operationally oriented – I suppose COO.

An organization that you always make time for?
Algonquin College.

Favorite app?
Outlook for iPhone.

Reflecting back on your first year with Invest Ottawa, what was the best day that you have experienced so far? Honestly – they are all good. I’m very even keeled... I don’t measure things in days.

What is something that you would like people to know about Invest Ottawa that they currently do not? We are a business with significant goals to achieve. We are not a public service with infinite resources!!!

What do you consider the biggest opportunity facing Invest Ottawa in the coming years? Global Talent acquisition. Without talent, we will not achieve our full potential as a region.

As you continue to grow the Invest Ottawa team, what are the top qualities that you are looking for that would complement your existing team? Values include – collaboration, curiosity, excellence, future-focused and leadership.

Why is Ottawa the most innovative city in Canada? As the nation’s Capital City, we have more resources per capita than any other City in the country. Most importantly, we have the most educated work force in Canada . . . the ultimate ingredient for innovation.