A dedicated community volunteer, Derek is president of Forever Young Shows. He is currently producng Canadian Educational Tours for the Knights of Valour, and the Wildlife Festival. He is the person behind the success of the Sudbury Celtic Festival. A Cambrian College grad, he is on the board of the Sudbury Indie Cinema Co-op.
Q: What makes you happy about living in Sudbury?
A: It’s a great city because there is opportunity and there seems to be shift in the overall attitude of the city. There is a renewed sense of optimism.
Q: What is your proudest accomplishment?
A: I am most proud of my family, friends and mentors. I am grateful for their support which has allowed me to grow my business. I am proud of the relationships I have built with the Canadian Raptor Conservancy, Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo and the Knights of Valour. Who would have ever thought a little guy from Sudbury would be working with the largest animal rescue in Canada or watching his peers on network TV?
Q: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?
A: Relationships have the power to make us or break us. We just never know what kind of adventure we might go on in life, and where these adventures will take us, and the people we might meet along the way. At an early age, I learned the importance of saying “please” and “thank you.”
Q: What advice would you give the other young leaders?
A: Follow your passions, believe in your dreams and yourself. Stay positive and focused. You have to dig through the dirt to get to the gold, so keep digging and hang in there. Live life with a sense of adventure and don’t be afraid to take risks. If you can get through tough situations in life, it will make you stronger and better.