February 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Interview | 10 Questions for Mitch Garber

Interview |  10 Questions for Mitch Garber

Every Friday starting this week, someone from the business community will reveal themselves in our segment. This week, to kick off the column, investor, philanthropist and entrepreneur Mitch Garber answers our questions.

What is your best and worst habit?

I get up early in the morning, around 5:30 am I take it very relaxed. It takes me two hours to read my emails and newspapers. This is me time before meetings, calls and get togethers. My worst habit is not making important decisions quickly. For example, when I know a person is not the right person for a position, I wait a long time before making the best decision for them, myself, and the company. I often have to make a decision ahead of time.

What do you do when you need an idea?

Life, business and sports have one thing in common: surrounded by the best, you usually achieve the best results. You should not be alone in a room alone. I really enjoy sharing ideas.

Who do you admire in the business world?

Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Jeff Bezos. I admire those who give a lot, who are grateful for their place in life and who feel a moral and social responsibility to redistribute some of the wealth due to their good fortune.

How do you unplug?

I got my first Blackberry in 1999. If I’m guilty of one thing, the phone is never more than six inches from my hands. I don’t write emails while I’m talking to someone, but I’ve never activated a message that says I’m out of the office for 15 days without access to my emails. Not a day goes by without me responding. This may not be a good thing, but it is true.

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What advice would you give to a younger version of you?

I would first tell him that he would not believe where he would end up in life and in the business world. I never thought that I would be able to achieve the success that I have achieved. So I say to him: “Let yourself dream. »

Which app on your phone can you no longer live without?

Maybe Twitter, unfortunately. Because I want to take social positions that are important to me. I’m open to discussion, but Twitter, as I am not a journalist or a paid columnist, my opinions and thoughts are pure. I could be wrong. But my thoughts are not about satisfying a boss or an agenda or making money. And 90% of my tweets are written in French even though my followers are mostly English speakers.

What activities do you do outside of work?

I play many sports and do them often (hockey, golf, tennis, surfing, snowboarding, etc.). I also often take trips with friends. I have a very active social life. So many dinners, evenings and galas especially for charity. These things are very relaxing for me. But I’m not too stressed because I’m very passionate about what I do. So I don’t really have to find ways.

Your best investment?

Playtica (Mobile Games) remains the best investment I have ever made. In 2016, the company sold for 4.4 billion. I am also one of the founders of another company called Paysafe (formerly SureFire). We have also made this organization a great success. Proudly, when David Banderman asked me to become part of the ownership group of the Seattle Kraken in the National Hockey League. Few things are as gratifying as being a part of this group.

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A good boss is someone who…

This is someone who wants you to succeed and grow. This is not someone who is subtle or shouty. It gives you an opportunity to grow within an organization and a person who respects your ideas.

Ideal retirement?

We have two fears in life. Health and Finance. So the ideal retirement is to be free from financial worries and in good health.

Who is Mitch Garber?

• Born in Montreal in 1964, Mitch Garber is a father of two and lives in Montreal.

• Holder of a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University (1986), as well as a Law Degree (1989) and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa (2017)

• Appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2019, invested in October 2022

• Shareholder in a dozen companies, shares in about twenty other companies and interests in about twenty investment funds, most of them located outside the country

• Member of the management committee and minority shareholder of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken

• Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cirque du Soleil and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Invest in Canada, the agency responsible for foreign investment in Canada

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