4 FOCUS - JANUARY 2019 “My parents stressed a career which could provide a steady income. My choice was electrical engineering.” Entrepreneurship waited in the wings. However, he began acquiring its early foundations at GM’s Oshawa Truck Plant. “I spent my co-op work-terms as a Systems Engineer – that’s the man- facturing side of the IT world,” he explains. “The plant had 424 AGV’s [robots], and I was tasked with wring- ing maximum power from them. It was like having a small business.” Adam may have made GM his career had fate not intervened. “A university friend called. He was working for Standard Products, and they needed someone to build a power substation for their new factory in Brazil. Not my specialty, but I told him: ‘Sign me up!’ as a chance to expand my horizons.” Adam’s 6-month posting would become 2 ½ years, and offer an unfor- seen and far-reaching outcome. “I met my wife, Mirela, in Brazil. I was one of 30-odd ex-pats, and she was part of the HR team helping to ease our transition to life in her country.” Adam would propose before leav- ing Brazil for Mexico City. Short stints became a pattern which would repeat in coming years. “Once the factory started running smoothly, the start-up team handed off control to Brazilian nationals. “Besides,” he laughs, “I get rest- less in a stable situation!” Adam’s Mexican assignment soon took an unexpected twist. “My job was Project Manager, Start-up. But unknown to me, my boss fired the Plant Manager and offered me the position.” Mirela’s adaptability proved ideal, he says, both to their marriage and to Adam’s ultimate success. “Her support’s been a huge part of my career. She makes friends easily and opens to new experiences. When you’re moving every 2-3 years, that’s critical for both partners.” After stops at two North Carolina facilities, fate again came calling, ironi- cally in the guise of the same univer- sity friend. “This time he said Toyota was opening a factory in San Antonio. “A lot happened there: our first son, Leo, was born. “And I heard that GM was closing the Truck Plant, which made me re- flect. It was sad…my Dad and some friends had worked there.” Recessionary pressures left the San Adam Cookson (continued from page 3) Adam popped into our office mid- November while home visiting family. Adam building prototype TekDry circuit in basement in 2014. ...................... Please turn to page 6 Oil Changes start at $29.95* * Plus tax * Up to 5 litres * Most vehicles * Warranty Approved Put the Brakes on January WE PAY THE TAXES! ALL BRAKE REPAIRS 1511 Reach Street, Port Perry • 905-985-1999 info@portperryautomotive.com www.portperryautomotive.com ALIGNMENTS • BRAKES • TUNE UPS • EXHAUST Repairs and Service Mon.-Fri.8am - 6pm Sat 8am - 2pm PurchaseIRefinanceIRenewalsIDebtConsolidationIFirstTimeBuyersISelfEmployed Call me to see how we can consolidate debt, increase cash flow and eliminate stress! Dayna Ballagh Mortgage Agent #M18000373 C 705.772.8061 info@daynaballagh.ca mortgagesbydayna.ca Brokerage #12728 Debt got you down?