Employee Spotlight: Chris MacDonald



Chris MacDonald - Senior Account Executive for TÜV SÜD CanadaChris MacDonald

business line manager at TÜV SÜD Canada

#FutureInYourHands – This motto properly describes how TÜV SÜD empowers its employees. It’s best to hear from TÜV SÜD executives and staff members what their personal experiences are working for TÜV SÜD.

Can you describe your role within the company?
I have been with TÜV SÜD for just about 16 years. I was the first employee in the door in 2004 in a little office in Cambridge. We started with me, a CO, and some administrators in the office and grew the business from there. We subcontracted most of our work out for the first three years, and then we purchased a lab in Toronto. I have been the Sales Manager for most of the 16 years I have been here. Now, I have moved into the Business Line Manager role, which is very similar to the Sales Manager role. We are growing the business in Canada as we have three labs right now.

What drew you to a career at TÜV SÜD?
I had spent the previous portion of my career in several different IT fields, whether it was sales in the distribution of hardware/software or sales with software development companies. When I saw the opportunity with TÜV SÜD, I had never been in that segment of the product lifecycle (the head of the product lifecycle). At the sale-end, I had always been at the point of release, and I wanted to find out what it was like to be at the prototyping/beginning stage. So, when that opportunity came up, I jumped at it because it was an interesting chance to experience a brand-new field and a brand-new portion of the product lifecycle.

What has made you stay at TÜV SÜD for as long as you have?
The greatest part about being the first employee in the door is that you really feel like it is your business. When the CEO says, “there is the market, go get it,” and you start having some success, and everything you do seems to do something to build the business, it quickly feels like it is your business to grow. The initial bit of ownership, that feeling that I owned my success, was a really powerful feeling that is still with me today. When I look at TÜV SÜD Canada, I feel like this is something that I have helped build. I feel like I am part of a team that has done something significant. That and the fact that every team member we have added has been a great addition to the team. We have been very fortunate in adding team members that have met or exceeded all the types of things you would want from a team member. My team members have a good personality, good work ethic, strong belief in what they do, and they all take pride in their work. When it comes down to it, that sense of personal success and team-building success have been powerful methods to keep me here.

How has TÜV SÜD changed since you began working here?
It is an amazing thing. The culture in Canada remains largely the same. The company has changed significantly in that it has grown 100 times over in Canada with three labs. The great thing about the culture is that the same people I worked with initially were a part of a sub-contract lab and are now a part of our lab. The changes, although significant, it still feels like we are part of a small team. The old saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same” is very true here. I think that is a testament to the company. We have a team that has been here, by and large, for more than a decade.

In your opinion, what makes TÜV SÜD a desirable company to work for?
We have the luxury of being at the prototyping phase of the product lifecycle. When companies are being innovative, we have a team that can make sure a product is safe and ready for release. It is a pleasure to come to work and know that you support companies and customers in getting their products to the market. If we are doing our job right, we are helping companies get their product on the market quickly. 

When not working, how do you spend your spare time?Chris MacDonald
I am an avid musician. I have my own home recording studio. I play the guitar, keyboard, and drums. I was also in a band in the 80s. Before I got serious about things, I was in a band called Vision. We did some tours, and we released a video that played on MTV. It was Canada’s version of MTV, called “Much Music.” We were in the indie spotlight for a couple of weeks, and I almost was a has-been! 

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