The Irving K. Barber Centre was packed with students, faculty and staff last week to hear former resident of Kamloops and a TRU alumni Richard Game speak about his career and discuss the success of Evans Consoles Corporation (ECC).
Game is the chief operating officer for ECC, a Calgary-based company that now does business around the world.
ECC designs and installs computer console systems for major information and communications centers. The consoles are very specialized and unique to each customer, Game explains, because the systems they are housing are usually critical to sensitive material, or the safety of others, like an airport control room.
The company’s revenue has grown from $20 million in 2004 to $80 million in 2016, according to Game, and it has secured clients in North America such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, NASA, Boeing as well other high-profile international clients.
After outlining the structure and function of the company, Game went on to speak more directly to the students in the room about his own personal journey in the business world and how he had gone through many directional shifts before ending up at his current position.
“How much [Game] changed his discipline is impressive, going from sporting goods to software is a big switch,” a third-year bachelor of technology student Garret Hunter said.
“Richard, having started in engineering and then making the move into business is kind of similar to what I’m trying to do right now,” Hunter said.
When discussing his own business experience, Game said, “it’s really about building personal relationships,” and if any student is going to start a business Game’s advice would be to know your customer. He emphasized that this along with keeping your personal knowledge base up-to-date is quickly becoming a matter of survival in the business world.
Another main point he touched on was the importance of travel experience and how much that has helped him. Game talked extensively about what he had learnt from his experiences in India, China and the Middle East.
“It’s a great insight into the path that students can take, that you don’t really plan the path, but you have to be receptive to it and be open to the challenges and risks involved,” said Kim Annis, a fourth-year student.
When asked what he thinks about having such a high-profile speaker come to TRU, Annis said, “there is a plus and a negative side.” The plus side is that him being from Kamloops shows that you can really go anywhere in the world with your education, and “the downside, a lot of it, is we see these multi-millionaires come in, who are in charge of these huge companies, and very few of us are going to be there.”
Game’s talk was part of the Business Kickstart Speakers Series and was hosted by TRU’s School of Business and Economics.