Feature Member of the Month: Paul MacKenzie

Paul MacKenzie, one of the founders of Central Nervous Systems’ and Death to Gremlins, is a force to be reckoned with. Between running two companies, travelling, playing hockey and scuba diving his way across the Caribbean Sea, he always finds time to stop by the Club, which he refers to as an extension of his office – a professional place to come to work, entertain clients and unwind.

Paul MacKenzie

Can you tell us a bit about Central Nervous Systems? What makes your organization unique?
Central Nervous Systems (CNS) helps manufacturing companies by implementing (installing and configuring) the software they need to properly manage their manufacturing related activities. These activities include: inventory management, purchasing, production scheduling, capacity planning, cost of goods manufactured, etc. What’s unique about CNS is our focus on manufacturing. Our technical resources have extensive backgrounds in manufacturing so we understand how the software needs to support business processes. We’re not throwing IT guys into a new environment – our IT specialists have all worked for a manufacture in the past and as a result are better able to understand the needs of our clients.

You also started Death to Gremlins, an organization designed to help businesses eliminate problems that arise in projects as well as provide project management services. Can you please tell us more about Death to Gremlins and the inspiration behind this company?
I started managing projects about 20 years ago, focusing on IT and business change projects. Death to Gremlins arose from the understanding that, as senior project management consultants, we have become specialists in hunting down and eliminating the hidden problems (Gremlins) that cause projects to stall or fail.

Do the two companies cross over at all?
Where CNS focuses on small manufacturers, DTG focuses on large manufacturers. The two brands are completely different; however there is definitely cross-collaboration that goes on amongst our team.

What would you say is your biggest professional success to date?
At the moment it would be running these two companies! We have experienced years of growth and success and continue to do so. However, I don’t view this as my own professional success as the success is a result of all of our efforts. Every person on our team contributes a unique set of skills, whether it’s to do with finance, sales or strategic planning, each one of us has played a vital role in the success of these two companies and continue to each day.

Why did you become a member of Terminal City Club?
I both live and work downtown so I was looking for a quiet place to wind down when things were stressful. When I looked at clubs in the area, TCC had the best mix of facilities under one roof – good dining, good gym and good business facilities. I also enjoyed that the membership was made up of other professionals at the same stage of their career that I was at.

What do you enjoy the most about the Club?
The fact that it has all the facilities I want under one roof. The Club is a big part of my professional life. For important dinner meetings with clients and colleagues we make reservations at the Club. The Club is also where we attend our partner meetings. My partners and I spend one full day at the Club each month planning the growth of our business. This meeting has become a tradition for us. We could easily have this meeting at our office; however we continue to choose to have it at the Club for many reasons. It is important to change settings and get out of the office – it helps foster innovation. We also held the launch party for Death to Gremlins at TCC which was a huge success.

We are very grateful for your continued support of our catering services and enjoy hosting regular meetings and events for your company. What do you enjoy most about holding events at TCC?
Convenience is a big factor. Whether it’s dinning with guests, business meetings or one of our poker nights, everything is taken care of by the Club’s great staff. We arrive and everything is as it should be. The professionalism of the staff is another enduring feature. They remember your name, and know what you like. I’m always very comfortable at the Club.

How do you spend your time outside of work?
I play for two hockey teams in the winter months. I didn’t start until later in life so I am no prodigy, but its great exercise and great fun. Lately, I haven’t been using the gym or pool at the Club like I should but I know I’ll get back in there now that hockey season is over. My wife and I also do three to four trips a year to some of the best diving sites in the world to feed our scuba diving habit. We’re trying to decide if we’re going to go to Galapagos this winter.

What would you say to someone considering joining TCC?
If the facilities at the Club are the facilities you need, and you want an environment that’s more professional to work and play in, then it’s the right place for you!

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with your fellow members?
Two things –
(1) Use the shoe shine machine in the cloakroom. It’s brilliant.
(2) Use the Club! You have to first figure out why you are here and then use the Club for that reason. Make the most out of your membership.