OUR GREAT MINDS

Christopher JM Brown

Christopher JM Brown

Co-founder Blackout Power Trading

Christopher is the Co-Founder and Co-President of Blackout Power Trading – an energy-trading firm that became profitable in less than a week of starting up. He has led the company to remarkable heights in 16 months – they now operate in four energy markets and generate one of the highest ROI in their industry.

Christopher grew up in a small fishing village in New Brunswick but like his father, he dreamed of owning his own business some day. As a child, he was naturally curious and pressed any button that said, ‘don’t touch,’ just so he could see what happened. His desire to understand things at a deeper level took him to the University of New Brunswick – where he graduated with a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering. It was here that he developed a keen interest in financial markets. His first purchase of Google and Apple stocks made him a 400 per cent return and sparked his interest in trading. With an eye of Alberta’s booming economy, Christopher moved to Calgary in 2007. In less than six years, he went from being an engineer at Fluor, to a trader at TransAlta, to owning his own energy-trading firm.

Christopher is passionate about entrepreneurship. He loves that Calgary is filled with young, driven individuals who are willing to take big risks and create a lasting impact on the economy. He is currently an active member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) and feels blessed to have the opportunity to learn, grow and share success and failures with like-minded individuals.

When he’s not pressing buttons or asking, “Where does the next opportunity lie?” you will find him at a car meet up, a local rally or with his wife and two puppies.

We asked Christopher:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Christopher: Creating a positive impact on this world that lives beyond my lifetime.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Christopher: I’ve never had a formal mentor but my father, grandfather and other entrepreneurs around me have always inspired me.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Christopher: Creating opportunities for those around me and watching them have the freedom to live the life they’ve always wanted.

The OGM: If you were to describe your career in three words, what would they be?

Christopher: Dynamic. Challenging. Rewarding.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Christopher: You need focus, commitment, tenacity and the guts to jump in with both feet.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Christopher:  The day I started Blackout Power Trading. It’s like they say – ‘Follow your dreams or you’ll spend the rest of your life working for someone who did.’

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Christopher: A month after inception, new market regulations required our company’s net worth to be a million dollars. We had four months to reach this target. We worked our behinds off, took big risks and stayed focused on the goal. The hard work paid off and we hit our goal two weeks before the deadline.

The OGM: What impact does technology have on your career?

Christopher: Technology is the engine that drives our business. It allows us to trade efficiently; to create tools and statistical models that give us a competitive advantage over other market participants.

The OGM: What do the next five years look like in your career?

Christopher: I’d love to expand my team of experts, diversify into other markets and even start up a few more businesses.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Christopher: I was initially interested in the financial markets but then I was introduced to the energy markets. I quickly discovered something that I not only loved but was good at.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy Industry?

Christopher: I see tons of potential in the energy sector, especially in a province like Alberta. What’s of more interest to me is building a business. Now that I’m an entrepreneur, I know I’ll be one for life. I will always look for opportunities to create something – whether it’s in the energy sector or not is something time will determine.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Christopher: I admire my father for his relentless work ethic and passion. He says he has never worked a day in his life because he loves what he does. If you love what you do, your heart will push you through when your mind tells you to give up.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Christopher: Hold on; let me look in the dictionary. I’m kidding. In all honesty – energy represents movement, excitement, drive and change. It is an unstoppable force found within all humans and in the world. We just need to dig deep and tap into it– yes, pun intended.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

Christopher: I’m constantly checking the Bloomberg app for updates and news.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy industry?

Christopher: The next generation is much more aware of environmental issues and the impact of human beings on our planet. They are going to invent solutions that will revolutionize the energy industry and the world, as we know it.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Christopher: When it comes to social media, call me old school but I’m about face-to-face interaction. It’s easier to read a person’s emotions and body language when he is sitting in front of you instead of behind an interface. The digital world on the other hand is something I embrace. It makes the transfer and sharing knowledge extremely efficient…and I’m all about efficiency.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Christopher: If I’m not on the phone with people, I connect with them through text messaging and WhatsApp.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Christopher: No. The nature of our business requires us to focus on the task at hand – trading.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Christopher: I think LinkedIn can be a great tool for businesses but I find potential employees through friends, present and former colleagues and those I trust. We are in a niche market and there are only a handful of people doing what we do. They’re best recruited through referrals from my personal network.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Christopher: I love seeing the instant impact of my work. I don’t have to wait weeks, months or years to know if I was successful or not. If I don’t see the results I want, I can improve my methodology right away. Every day presents a new challenge and an opportunity to increase ROI. This really fuels me. It drives me to work harder, or rather – smarter. Six years ago I was an engineer with a dream of owning my own business. Today, I’m an entrepreneur whose vision has come to life. It’s an amazing feeling. I get to create success for my family and my team. That’s powerful and empowering.

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Tina Olivero

Tina Olivero

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