Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2022 CEO of the Year

Posted on July 05, 2022 | By Stephen Kimber | 0 Comments


Chief Terry Paul, Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2022 CEO of the Year


Terry Paul was incredulous. It was 2017, and the chief of the Membertou First Nation was chairing his band’s weekly Monday morning executive meeting. At the time, Membertou was exponentially growing its annual inshore commercial lobster quota and urgently needed to add more boats to its fleet just to keep up with its growing opportunity. But, after checking with commercial boat builders, a member of the band’s executive had had to report back to this morning’s meeting that Membertou would need to “get in line.” The current wait to have a lobster boat built was at least three years.

Three years!

Terry Paul was shocked.

And then he was intrigued.

Three years…

Membertou, he thought, couldn’t be the only First Nation in need of new fishing vessels. And what about non-Indigenous fishers?… There must be a market there too. “We’ll build our own boats,” he announced suddenly to his startled executive team. “At first, it was, like, ‘Wait a minute, what do we know about boat building?’” remembers Kelsea MacNeil, Membertou’s director of public relations and business development. “But then we thought, ‘Why not?’ “Chief Terry,” she adds, “looks at what other people might see as roadblocks and sees them in a different way. ‘If we’re waiting, others must be too.’ He sees opportunities.” That is one reason why Terrance Paul—who is both the chief of Nova Scotia’s 1,700-member Membertou band and the CEO of its Membertou Development Corporation—is Atlantic Business Magazine’s CEO of the Year for 2022. But just one reason.

You might imagine that the primary reason Paul is being recognized as CEO of the Year is because he orchestrated 2020’s stunning $1-billion deal in which seven Mi’kmaq First Nations, in partnership with British Columbia-based Premium Brands, acquired a half interest in fishery giant Clearwater Seafoods Inc.

You would not be wrong.

But the truth is there are a lifetime’s worth of related good reasons—including the story behind the story of Membertou’s boat building adventure, as well as his own life’s journey—to honour Terrance Paul, the first Indigenous CEO to win the award.

Continue reading this story: click below to login/subscribe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Comment policy

Comments are moderated to ensure thoughtful and respectful conversations. First and last names will appear with each submission; anonymous comments and pseudonyms will not be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that Atlantic Business Magazine has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. Publication of a comment does not constitute endorsement of that comment. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.


With ABM

Help support the magazine and entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada.


Stay in the Know

Subscribe Now

Subscribe to receive the magazine and gain access to exclusive online content.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty