As a youth, Jonathan Snoek wasn’t sure exactly what the future held for him. But once he caught the business bug, it was as if he had been born to be a management consultant.
Snoek was raised in the small town of Deep River, Ontario, close to the Quebec border. His mom worked as a social worker and his dad was an engineer. Many of the people he knew while growing up were inspired by the skyscrapers of downtown Vancouver or the hustle and bustle of Toronto’s Bay Street to seek out careers in the corner offices of multinational businesses.
But for Snoek, while living in his hometown of 4,000 people, many of whom worked for the local nuclear research facility, a career in business was not yet an obvious choice.
It wasn’t until he attended Wilfrid Laurier University that he would find his passion.
“In high school I wasn’t that motivated and I wasn’t that great of a student,” Snoek said. “And everything changed when I got to business school. I was just so interested in how companies work and how they could work better.”
With a career objective firmly implanted in his mind, Snoek began working towards it. He took a consulting job at a firm that was later acquired by KPMG. He soon became a senior manager in the Vancouver management consulting division.
Eventually he began to think that owning and operating his own small firm, rather than working for a Big Four accounting firm, would be more fulfilling. He would be able to evaluate his success according to how well his clients were served and how happy they were.
Snoek and his firm, Cascadia Strategy Consulting Partners Ltd., have a unique way of approaching and consulting clients. Cascadia’s clients aren’t viewed simply as cheques waiting to be cashed, he said. The firm considers each client as an individual and is geared to help each one make a bigger impact – a characteristic that shows his mother’s influence, he said.
At the same time, Snoek believes the best way to help clients meet their goals is to approach the objective with deep analytical rigour, something he learned from his father.
Birthplace: Deep River, Ontario
Where you live now: Kitsilano
Highest level of education: Honours bachelor of business administration
Currently reading: The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford
Currently listening to: Country music
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Gym teacher
Profession you would most like to try: Skyscraper window washer
Toughest business or professional decision: Breaking out on my own
Advice you would give the younger you: Be patient and read more
What’s left to do: Grow
Join us to celebrate the 2019 Forty under 40 Awards on January 30, 2020, at the Westin Bayshore. For tickets and event information visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40