David McLean
Leadership Expert, McLean Group
Past Chairman of the Board, CN Railway

An outspoken champion of entrepreneurship, education and community service, David McLean is a distinguished leader in the Canadian business and academic communities. He is available for a limited number of speaking engagements as he steps down as one of the longest board chairs of a major national corporation in Canadian history.

David will complete his 18th year in 2014 as Chair of the Board of Directors of CN. This is a company he helped privatize at the request of the Canadian government, a controversial and bold move at the time. The $2.26 billion CDN initial public offering was at the time the largest ever in Canadian history. Since 1995, the stock has appreciated in value approximately 1400%.
CN is also the most profitable freight railway in North America.

Alongside the CN management team and the Board of Directors, David transformed the company from a traditional "Canada only" railway company into a leader in innovation in transportation across North America. With over 20,000 employees, CN introduced many of the practices and procedures that have transformed the North American freight rail industry. During his term the CN Board was recognized for outstanding corporate governance.

David's entrepreneurial drive took him beyond his traditional business base of real estate development in Canada and the USA into unrelated business sectors and making those ventures a continuing success. Knowing little about the film industry but seeing an opportunity he launched a large television and feature film production facility, Vancouver Film Studios, one of North America's largest film and television studios outside Los Angles.

When Canadian's see feature movies or television series like: Arrow (Warner Bros); Wolverine (20th Century Fox); The Day the Earth Stood Still (20th Century Fox); Who's Your Monster(Disney); Bates Motel (NBC/Universal Television); Saving Milly (CBS Television); Elf (New Line); Battlestar Galactica I, II & III (NBC/Universal) and many more; these were all produced on location at Vancouver Film Studios.

Entrepreneurs take risks to follow opportunities. When an opportunity in aviation appeared David took over a small helicopter company. Today, Blackcomb Aviation is a growing fixed wing and helicopter company and a key regional player in both Canada and the US.

As is characteristic of successful entrepreneurs, there were many other businesses and ventures in his career. Today David and Brenda McLean have evolved the McLean Group into a true family enterprise with their two sons providing the daily leadership and management.

On the platform, David has a familiar and open style relating many of the lessons and principles he learned in his successful business career.

David has been active in communities across Canada and has received a number of awards and honorary degrees. Brenda and David McLean believe in giving back and are engaged in philanthropy in particular with education, medical research and conservation.

Sponsored by McMaster MCM Program

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