This Trillium Network member is a graduate of York University’s Bachelor of Arts program with a specialization in political science, has extensive experience in the automotive manufacturing sector and loves an eclectic mix of music from Queen to Pavarotti to Dr. Dre.

Nick joined the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing in February, 2021. He is a communications professional with an extensive background in automotive manufacturing. He graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a specialization in political science. At the Trillium Network he produces the Making it in Ontario podcast, supports ecosystem profile writing, and photography.

What attracted you to the Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing?

During the pandemic I was able to take time to myself and started learning and studying things I enjoy. When the opportunity with Trillium came around, I was ready to take on the challenge and was excited about transferring my skills from working at the APMA (Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association) to a smaller but tenacious organization.

What experience do you have in manufacturing and how has this helped you in your current role?

I spent the beginning of my career working in automotive sales. Later at Magna International and the APMA. Having the opportunity to see multiple manufacturing facilities and the pride they take in their shop floors is impressive and important and needs to be fostered. My exposure to start-to-finish, from design to assembly to sales, has given me a baseline to compare all types of manufacturing.

What are your main priorities and goals in your role?

I believe we have a responsibility to properly communicate the findings and data from our considerable research. In terms of workforce diversification within manufacturing, we have a duty to ensure our stakeholders are aware of our investigations, the challenges of recruitment, and the real opportunities for growth.

What have the highlights been so far working with the trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing?

My highlight is definitely the podcast since it is so much more than just a sound bite. It’s a way to exchange ideas in a conversational way that allows for the time required to convey complex subject matter like advanced manufacturing. I’m really enjoying it and I’ve acquired a better understanding of Ontario’s manufacturing ecosystem.

How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?

In order to be successful, I believe we need to accurately articulate the current issues in manufacturing, like land use, so that there is an understanding and an investment in what needs to happen in order to truly champion change. We need to initiate, stimulate, and help guide the conversation.

What is your favourite hobby?

I actually have really diverse hobbies. I love music and enjoy audio engineering but if I really had to narrow down my favourites it would be photography and cars.

My first memory is of playing with my father’s camera. He was, at one time, a photojournalist and developed his own film in a darkroom in our basement. I spent hours watching him and over time evolved to using his old film camera and then graduated to digital. Eventually, through my love for music, I got involved taking photos of musicians who were on the Indie music scene in Toronto and that really liberated my photography and redefined for me what a great picture was. Now when I take photos on the shop floor I tend to revert to the technical aspects like focus and composition.

As for my love of cars, I think it just speaks to my sense of order and logic. They just make sense. Even if something is broken, there are a finite amount of solutions so it just requires some time and patience to figure it out. There is also nothing comparable to the feeling and independence of operating a vehicle at high speed with just your own two hands (in controlled conditions, of course).

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Know your truth.

If you can be self-aware enough to honestly identify how you are feeling and, more importantly, why you are feeling that way, then you can address the issue and work through it. I think it is so valuable in all aspects of life.

Hometown: I was born in Toronto but consider Mississauga my hometown.

Last books I read: Super Freakonomics and Quantum Physics for Dummies

Favourite restaurant: My parent’s house. My father makes homemade pasta with truffle oil and mushrooms that is absolutely delicious and my mother makes tiramisu from scratch. It’s divine and better than any restaurant.

Can’t live without: My car

Favourite band/song: My musical taste is a moving target. One day it might be Queen, then Pavarotti, and next it might be Dr. Dre. However, Parabol/Parabola from Tool is definitely up there.

Winter or Summer? Summer
Ninjas or Pirates? Ninjas
Tea or Coffee? Coffee
Cat or Dog? Both
Pizza or Sushi? First one, then the other.