Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.

May 17, 2010

Once upon a time…

I’m free, 100% clean, I made it to the other side.

I behaved mostly okay, was given the gift of poverty without leaving home, and tried acted as if my life depended on it.

In business meetings, the old is always attended to before the new can be introduced (Tupperware, Country Style, Mr. Sub, Water Depot, WIP). The door’s open but the ride it ain’t free.

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

It matters enormously if I alienate anyone from the truth.

All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

Χάρων, C.S. Lewis 1898-1963, Fisher King 1, 2 1991

The Apprenticeship of Les Stewart

May 17, 2008

It takes a special background to be effective in dealing with modern corporations.franchising

Some background:

  • born on RCAF Station Senneterre, PQ, 1959,
  • school: Cedarview and Forest Hill in Midhurst, St. Mary’s, St. Joseph’s and North Collegiate in Barrie (Grade 13: 1978),
  • member and Chief Squire of St. Patrick’s Circle 536 & Ways & Means Chairman of the Ontario Provincial Board, 1978,  Columbian Squires, Barrie, ON,
  • twice a franchisee (Arjay Painting and Nutri-Lawn, Midhurst, ON),
  • a franchisee’s crew Barrie and 1st assistant manager, Orillia 3254, McDonald’s Canada (B.O.C., Silver Hat, & AAA, 1972-80),
  • general BA (political science, 1983 Western University and MBA, 1987, Ivey Business School, London, ON,
  • Medical audit coordinator, St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital, St. Thomas, ON (1987, provincial psychiatric hospital),
  • Budget analyst, Victoria Hospital, London, Ontario, (acute care regional teaching hospital, 1988-92),
  • founded Canada’s 1st national franchisee association, Midhurst, ON (Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO, 1998-2005),
  • been sued twice: Nutri-Lawn‘s then owner, The Franchise Company (FirstService Corporation) and then then by a consulting client’s franchisor (Tupperware Canada Inc.), SLAPP,
  • took my franchised lawn care business independent in 1998 (Lawn Depot),
  • represented myself at an injunction hearing, franchisor unsuccessfully sought to enforce their non-compete clause, Barrie, ON, 1999 (Justice Paul Herminston, Barrie), favourable outcome,
  • 5 day civil trial, (Justice Katherine Swinton, Toronto,  May 1999) and lost a$134,000 unfavourable award,
  • unpaid policy analyst for Mr. Tony Martin, NDP MPP, Sault Ste. Marie, ON 1998 to 2001 (provincial, federal politician),
  • expert witness at public hearing which lead to Ontario’s first franchise law, Toronto, ON (Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000),
  • Hazardous Waste Fire Investigation: Snow Valley Road, Midhurst, ON, researched and acted as community co-ordinator in a large Philip Environmental fire at the hazardous waster transfer site at 1131 Snow Valley Road, Midhurst, ON, summer 2003,
  • created the Information Sharing Project and submitted unsuccessful project proposal to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Affairs in 2003 (digital teaching, due diligence and business risk assessment tool; embryonic form of WikidFranchise.org),
  • identified and wrote a paper on Predatory Franchise Lending to Industry Canada, 2005 (18 month investigation: bank, consultant, franchisor, Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Minister of Finance, RCMP Commercial Crime Unit, OBSI, FCAC, PMO, etc.),
  • case preparation for a +$6-million civil law suit based on predatory lending principles (2005),
  • media contributor, 1997 – present,
  • contributed to the Prince Edward Island, Ontario, West and South Australian franchise inquires, http://www.cafo.net (ret.),
  • Blue MauMau contributor: 459 posts (since Oct 2007),
  • founded and editor of FranchiseFool.com weblog: 1,127 posts, 180,549 views & 817 comments (since Feb 2008),
  • founded and co-editor of WikidFranchise.org: independent franchise industry reputation wiki, 1,639.540 views since Feb 2009,
  • founded and editor of FranchiseBanker.ca weblog: 38 posts, 2,560 views & 3 comments (since Mar 2012)
  • endorsed Bill 102, An Act to amend the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), September 23, 2010,  Legislative Assembly of Ontario (start @ 1440),
  • attended the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers annual conference, Indianapolis, 2010,
  • attended Ontario Bar Association annual Franchise Law Conference (2009 and 2010),
  • member since 1978 & Knight of the Year,  2011 for Barrie Council 1626, Knights of Columbus, Barrie, ON,
  • leadership training and support to independent franchisee associations (members, boards and executives),
  • team member: management consulting team specializing in mom-and-pop business format franchising,
  • pre-trial development of large-scale group and class action legal actions,
  • case preparation for a +$300-million class action law suit based on good faith, right to associate and mental distress ($50,000 award for one franchisee, 2008-2012),
  • founded and editor of SpringwaterParkcc.org weblog, to create a sustainable business plan to save Springwater Provincial park in Midhurst, ON,: 326 posts, 28,387 views & 233 comments (since Oct 2012),
  • founded and editor of iLoveMidhurst.ca weblog, an investigation into the Midhurst Secondary Plan in Midhurst, ON: 335 posts, 21,940 views & 54 comments (since Dec 2011),
  • founded and editor of MidhurstSchoolDays.ca weblog, 16 posts, 2,224 views & 23 comments (since Jan 2012), and
  • ongoing investigations (Les Stewart Consulting, 2000, LinkedIn).


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