Chris Crowell is a creative professional and technology evangelist with fifteen plus years of strategic partnership, sales and operations experience in big tech and startups alike (he founded two). He holds both a LL.B. (JD) and MBA and has exceptional board, strategic advisory and community engagement experience. Chris is a past winner of Dalhousie University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus award.

 

Professional CareerCC Profile

Chris spent six plus years working with Bell Canada building partnerships,developing the organization’s innovation strategy and leading the Consume Market Operations Efficiency team. He next served as Director of Investments with Social Capital Partners – a philanthropic venture capital company mandated to make investments that deliver both financial and social returns.  He has also developed business plans, strategic programs, investment attraction proposals and go-to-market strategies for numerous clients including provincial governments, early stage / startup tech companies and one whiskey distillery.

Chris currently heads the Worldwide Licensing organization at OpenText – the global leader in enterprise information management… He actively develops and negotiates new strategic partnerships with third party software companies and works with stakeholders across the organization to bring products to market. He is also responsible for managing a diverse OEM product portfolio and ensuring that spend and partner commitments continuously align to OpenText’s product road map and go-to-market strategy.

Chris serves as a mentor for the Communitech Hyperdrive Accelerator in Waterloo and is actively working with Linkett – one of Canada’s top startups – on B2B business development and go-to-market strategy.

Chris started his career working with The Chronicle Herald (one of the last independent North American daily newspapers) where he worked in direct sales and operations management roles.  He then worked in sales with CIBC where he was consistently a top performer.  This front-line management experience has given Chris a strong hands-on understanding of the customer experience, how to optimize it, and solutions-based-selling.

Community Engagement

With the help of an exceptional team of volunteers, Chris founded East Coast Connected (ECC) in 2007, With ECC, Chris disrupted the debate around out-migration in Atlantic Canada, shitting the focus from brain drain to “brain circulation”,  His work help to catalyze the Atlantic Canadian expat community in Toronto and positioned it as a renewable resource for the region. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Atlantic Business Summit in 2008 and 2009 and was named Dalhousie University’s Outstanding Young Alumnus (2008) for his efforts.

Chris is a founding director of Business for the Arts – ArtsScene past Vice-Chair of Fusion Halifax, an advisor to the launch of the Nocturne Visual Arts Festival and the inaugural 21Inc. Ideas Festival. He has sat on the boards of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, the Nova Soctia Sports Hall of Fame and many other NFP and community organizations. .He received a Halifax Volunteer of the Year Award in 2011.

Chris has been active in politics – advising successful federal, provincial and municipal candidates on social media and online strategy.  He developed and organized the inaugural “Red Talks” (based on the popular TED Talks) at the 2012 Liberal Party of Canada Biennial convention and is a past federal nomination candidate,

Personal Life and Education

Chris was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He received his Bachelor or Arts (Honors) in Mass Communications from Carleton University in Ottawa where he served as the research assistant to one of Canada’s leading journalism and communications scholars, the late Dr. Paul Attallah.  He later graduated from Dalhousie University with his MBA and  LL.B. (JD).

Chris currently resides in Toronto, ON, Canada with his wife Jane and their two children – Avery and Nate. He loves pop culture, enjoys politics and is a big time fan of the NHL and NFL. In his spare time, Chris enjoys walking his two golden retrievers (Logan and Indie), cycling, jogging, cooking, good films and finding new books to read with his kids.