Tribute to prominent Toronto CEO Wayne McLeod

With roots in middle-class Winnipeg, Wayne McLeod, the late president and CEO of CCL Industries, grew a Toronto-centered organization into an intercontinental multi-billion-dollar corporation that right now has tens of hundreds of staff members in almost 200 factories about the world.

Although admired in the corporate entire world — Wayne used time with notable company and political leaders, which include previous U.S. President Richard Nixon, and after danced with actress Betty White — his biggest legacy was his adore of all individuals, states daughter Pamela McLeod.

“He taken care of absolutely everyone the exact exact same way as the homeless people today he would quit and chat to or the custodial employees at his workplaces,” she says. “He was intrigued in everyone’s story and designed all people truly feel critical and appealing.”

“We never got out of a cab or away from a cafe desk,” daughter Heather McLeod-Kilmurray claims, “without finding out all about the driver or waiter and their lives.”

Born in Winnipeg to Malcolm McLeod, who labored for CN Rail, and his spouse Lily (nee Cameron), a stay-at-house mother and Sunday school instructor, Wayne Malcolm Ernest McLeod and his more mature sister Marilyn experienced pleased childhoods. “His father was away 3 out of 7 days a 7 days,” states widow Beverley McLeod, “so his mom was the regular guardian who supported her children’s numerous routines.”

A well-liked university student, Wayne performed hockey, baseball and soccer and was a gifted singer who was a chorister at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church and had lead roles in significant school operettas.

Wayne graduated from Gordon Bell Higher Faculty in Winnipeg in 1956 and, five years later, graduated from the College of Manitoba, exactly where he won a gold medal in his fourth calendar year of accountancy and a silver medal in his last calendar year. He soon been given his Chartered Accountant designation.

Soon after Wayne and Beverly married — they experienced satisfied in Sunday college at age five — they moved to Cambridge, Mass., where he attained his MBA from Harvard Organization College in 1965. Although he experienced gives of employment in the US, holding in intellect anything his father explained — “that you should really never want to do the job in a area you are not a citizen of,” suggests Heather — Wayne returned to Winnipeg. He took a job at the William Grey accounting firm exactly where he experienced labored part-time though finding out at university. By that time, William Grey had merged with Scott, McLaughlan and MacPherson, and later on would merge with Price tag Waterhouse, wherever Wayne turned a junior companion. He also taught accounting at the College of Manitoba, the 1st in a sequence of roles as a mentor.

When the company Thorne Riddell (later on KPMG) supplied Wayne a partnership in January 1968, Wayne, Beverley and their infant daughter Heather moved to Toronto. At that time, Thorne Riddell was tiny, with only 12 associates, suggests Beverley. One of Wayne’s accounts was CCL Industries, which hired him in 1980 as chief economic officer with options to groom him to turn into president and CEO. “He cherished the chance to operate and develop a company,” says Beverley.

At the time, CCL was a Canadian company with 3 divisions: producing, packaging and labelling. “I believe it grossed $2 million when he joined them,” suggests Beverley. “At that phase, they did not have any plants outside of Canada.”

As head of CCL, Wayne created the corporation into an multi-billion-dollar international corporation. “He was a extremely wise businessman who usually experienced his eye on the long run,” suggests Beverley. “He understood that the company wanted to improve and diversify to hold it at the prime of the discipline.”

Beneath Wayne’s leadership, CCL obtained soft consume and beer packagers Continental Can Canada and cosmetics agency Kolmar, amongst some others, which place CCL on the international small business map. “He realized an chance when he noticed it,” states Beverley. “He was also outrageously outgoing and personable, which designed dealing with him really fulfilling. The companies CCL bought loved functioning with him, as did his shoppers.”

In the 1980s and ’90s, Wayne correctly guided the enterprise when it identified alone in the warm seat more than many issues, like cost-free trade and the use of chlorofluorocarbons, claims Heather. He served on numerous boards and committees in the non-public sector (including the Institute of Corporate Directors, Morguard Company and Atlantic Packaging) and not-for-earnings sector (like the Rotary Club for a few decades Looking at Eye the North York Common Healthcare facility, wherever he was chairman in the ’90s and St. John’s Anglican Church, where he served in advisory roles above 40 several years). An avid golfer and athlete, he was president of Mark- land Wood Golf Club in the ’70s and the Granite Club in the ’90s.

He and Beverley were being also philanthropists, and quietly produced key items. “He was pretty generous with most charities,” Heather states, “and hardly ever reported no to them.”

Regardless of a fast paced program that integrated regular travel throughout North The us, Europe and Asia, Wayne “made a issue of going to each individual Christmas get together each calendar year, from the company events to just about every plant get together,” says Pamela. “He always built every worker feel viewed and valued.” His spouse and children — his wife of 62 years, and their daughters Heather (born in 1967) and Pamela (1972) — generally designed a stage of eating meals alongside one another. “He in no way missed any performance, event, graduation, sporting gatherings of any of his youngsters or (5) grandkids, no make a difference wherever in the planet they were being,” Beverley says. The few did some thing exclusive together each and every weekend, whether it was to go to the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Mirvish Theatre, Canadian Opera Company or the Very hot Docs movie festival.

Adhering to his retirement from CCL in 2001, Wayne stayed active, shelling out quite a few content weekends at the relatives cottage in Beaverton.

“He study the most mental guides in the planet, but would cry tears of laughter at slapstick videos,” states Heather. “He was not so significantly a man of contrasts as a human being who loved it all — all elements of lifetime and of persons — the excellent, the negative, the chic and the ridiculous.

“(He was) usually joking, building men and women snicker and looking at the bright side of anything,” she adds. “He took the time to make all the workers truly feel essential to the small business.

“His assistants would inform us that they had under no circumstances labored for a leader who bought his or her have coffee, answered his or her individual phone and built every person contact him by his to start with identify,” Pamela states. “There was no pretension. He in no way forgot exactly where he arrived from.”

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