Energetic, passionate and outgoing: these are three words that colleagues use to describe Daniel Belanger, a finalist for the 2019 CEO Awards for Excellence. We asked Belanger 10 questions about his nearly 15-year career with CP, being a thought-leader and driver of engagement in the NSC, and how he feels being a finalist for this prestigious award.
Tell us about your career at CP?
My career started in November 2005 with the CP Police Communications Centre (PCC) in Montréal. When the PCC moved to Winnipeg in 2010, I stayed in Montréal because it wasn’t the right move for my family. I then moved to the Lachine Terminal where I had a few positions including Top Lift Operator/Utilityman and Spare Supervisor of Intermodal. In 2013, I decided I wanted to re-join the PCC and found out they needed a French-speaking employee in Winnipeg. When the PCC moved to Calgary I stayed behind in Winnipeg and joined the Network Service Centre (NSC).
As a Coordinator, Service Delivery, what does your job entail?
I am the single point of contact for certain customers and provide proactive monitoring of their shipment, communication updates and escalation support for critical issues affecting their needs. One thing I like about my role is that I develop that one-on-one relationship with CP’s key customers. You become their dedicated customer service representative. These customers choose what services they need, and the coordinator helps them achieve success by providing that direct support.
What do you most enjoy about your job?
In a few words: communication, developing business relationships with external and internal partners, use of creativity, and having fun, while helping customers and CP achieve success.
Tell us about the newsletter, The Crossing, you created for the NSC.
I felt there was a need for the NSC community to get to know each other. What better way than an original newsletter where we get to meet interesting people and break barriers?
The Network Service Centre has several clubs and groups. What makes engagement special in the NSC?
It is by communicating and exchanging that you grow as a community and as people. We as a company are a community whether we are in Toronto, Minneapolis, Calgary or Winnipeg and we need to get to know all the wonderful people that are part of that community.
Tell us about the volunteering you do at the Science Club at Fort Whyte in Winnipeg.
In 2005, my wife and I homeschooled our two boys. I was the designated science teacher having studied at Concordia University in physical geography. When I moved to Winnipeg, I wanted to continue that fun of teaching science so I made a presentation to Fort Whyte Alive and they said why not? Two and a half years later, I’m still having fun with the kids. It is a big honour to be entrusted with sharing knowledge and experiences with future generations. And I get to be a grown-up kid.
How have your previous roles influenced how you work today?
In every function I have occupied, I got involved by creating forms, collecting data and developing tools that would help me and my colleagues. I like to have a whole picture of the intermodal production line, hence why I ask a lot of questions and go to different departments to get answers. Because of my experience in risk management for over 10 years in Montréal, I tend to analyze. I was trained in prevention, to never let a situation get out of control. I also try to go further because it is what I want my children to strive for. We are better than we think we are.
What does it mean to you to be nominated for a CEO Award for Excellence?
Being nominated for the CEO Award for Excellence is an honour. It means that I have challenged myself and succeeded in my professional and personal life. I was nominated as an individual but I would not have been successful if it was not for the groups that supported me. This is my second year being nominated and my first as a finalist. I’m now pushing for a third year in a row.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I come up with ideas for my next science class project. I reflect on what to write for the next issue of The Crossing newsletter. I am currently working on a course on Emergency Communication for the Health and Safety Committee. I volunteer some more when time permits.
What advice would you give your younger self, starting at CP?
Never let your insecurities dictate your path. Always follow your passion and don’t let anyone discourage or diminish you because they’re afraid of what you can do and accomplish. We’re never alone and there’s always somebody out there willing to help you.