Ernst & Young and BC Business honours President & CEO of Paladin Security Group Ltd., Ashley Cooper, as the 2012 Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year.
Paladin Security boss Ashley Cooper has been named Ernst & Young's Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year at a gala event in Vancouver on October 4, 2012. Paladin also won the award in the Business-to-Business category for Products & Services.
In their October edition, BC Business wrote that; "Entrepreneurs are, by reputation, daring risk takers, mavericks who put everything on the line to turn inventive ideas into bold juggernauts. But while it does take guts of steel to reap great glory in the dog-eat-dog business world, the most successful entrepreneurs take only calculated risks, extensively analyzing their market before leaping into action with secure initial capital, a tenacious business plan and robust financial controls at their backs. Congratulations to Ashley Cooper."
Business In Vancouver wrote; "Vancouver companies in the social and mobile media space claimed the most awards at Ernst & Young's Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year awards, but it was the head of a Vancouver security firm that took top honours."
"Innovation isn't a strategy, it's a way of being, and one that each of our winners embraces," said Ron Voyer, Ernst and Young's Pacific Director of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. "Ashley's innovative employment screening, training programs and use of technology is not only carving out a competitive advantage for Paladin, it's changing the face of the Canadian security market."
The Vancouver Sun cited Paladin for ‘changing the face of Canadian security market,’ saying; "Paladin Security Group Ltd. CEO Ashley Cooper started his firm in British Columbia, but has successfully expanded across the country as an innovator in the industry. His efforts have won him the honour of being Ernst & Young’s 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year for the Pacific Region."
Ashley will represent the Pacific region at Ernst & Young's national gala in Toronto on January 16, 2013, and commented on the night; “First of all, I would like to extend my congratulations to all of the other winners in their categories and to the 31 finalists overall, with special thanks to Ernst & Young for hosting such an incredible event."
"I am at a loss for words and feel extremely fortunate to have won such a prestigious award. I know in my heart that none of this would have been possible without all the amazing people within Paladin who work so hard each and every day to make our company a better place and the leader in the security industry. This is a team victory in every way. Thank you so much.”
Watch a video recap of the night from BC Business here
Full article from BC Business
Congratulations to Ashley Cooper, president and CEO of Paladin Security Group Ltd., the 2012 B.C. Pacific Region Entrepreneur of the Year (in Business-to-Business Products and Services).
When Ashley Cooper was studying commerce at UBC in the 1980s, he made ends meet working at Paladin Security, a small business his brother Hugh had founded in 1976 as a sideline to his career as a stockbroker. When he graduated in 1988, Cooper bought the company and spent the next quarter-century turning it into one of the largest firms of its kind in Canada.
“Paladin started with one contract and four employees,” Cooper says. “But I knew security was a growing field that might be worth looking at. My brother sold me the business on a no-money-down, pay-as-you-go type deal.” Born in Winnipeg, Cooper moved to Vancouver with his family at age six and had his sights set on an entrepreneurial career by the time he hit high school. He learned the business at Paladin from the ground up, serving at various times as a janitor, security guard, manager and bookkeeper. The security industry, however, was poised for change, and Cooper realized that advances in technology heralded business opportunities well beyond the “traditional night watchman model” prevalent at the time.
A self-confessed stickler for details, Cooper believed that providing high-quality service and well-trained staff would boost the company’s reputation and lead to bigger contracts. “We had to build a reputation to get the calls that would let us bid on those jobs,” he says.
By 1990, Paladin gained a solid foothold in the Vancouver market, with a client base that included office buildings, malls and health-care facilities such as Riverview Hospital – “a customer we still have to this day,” Cooper notes with pride. Out-of-province expansion began in 1999 with a foray into Alberta, where the company now has five offices. Ontario came next in 2008, followed by Manitoba in 2010 and Nova Scotia last year. At last count, Paladin employed 6,000 people, with another 1,000 hires anticipated by the end of this year.
Security-guard contracts still account for 80 per cent of the company’s revenues, but Paladin also offers a long list of full-service options, from wireless alarms to bike patrols. Thinking out loud, Cooper suggests Paladin might one day be a billion-dollar company. It’s a lofty ambition, but he’s the kind of guy who likes to dream big. – Brennan Clarke
What did you want to be when you were a kid? I always wanted to be in business but wasn’t sure what type of business.
What was your first big break in your current business? Winning the Riverview Hospital contract in 1989.
Looking back, what’s one thing you would do differently, professionally speaking? I consider myself to be one of the luckiest people around and wouldn’t change a thing. Every part of the journey has taught me something (good or bad), so I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am without those experiences. Sometimes the worst experiences turn out to be the best lessons!
What book do you recommend for entrepreneurs just starting out? One book that had a huge impact on me was 'The Power of Positive Thinking' by Norman Vincent Peale. Whatever you want to do, if you don’t envision it, it will never happen.