Malpass

Like where he thinks the best burgers and beer in the world are served

Greg Malpass's LinkedIn profile states that he went to the "School of hard knocks." And while that isn't literally true (the Nelson native did a BBA at SFU), he did learn hard and fast lessons while starting a company in the mid-2000s and scaling it up to hundreds of employees globally. 

Now the founder and CEO of Traction on Demand oversees one of North America's largest Salesforce consulting partners and app development firms. The company has consistently been recognized as one of the fastest-growing businesses in North America.

Traction helps organizations move their systems into the cloud, and help improve business performance by simplifying systems and processes. It's grown to more than 800 employees in seven offices around the world and, in 2019, Traction spun off a sister company called Traction Guest based off of an idea to digitize and improve the visitor sign-in experience. 

Here are 10 things you (probably) didn't know about Greg Malpass. 

What’s your favourite spot in B.C.?

My single favourite spot is on the tip of Brunswick Mountain [on the North Shore]. There’s an 8’ by 8’ spot, with a panoramic view of the lower mainland, Howe Sound, Vancouver Island, and all the way down to the U.S. It’s one of those spots where you feel like you’re standing on top of the world.

Where did you go on your last vacation?

My last vacation was a combination of work, give and play. My family went to India, where we enjoyed a retreat with our Jaipur team members. We then volunteered as a family with Me to We to help build a rural school. Finally, we spent time relaxing in Goa--but that was actually the most boring part of the whole trip! 

What’s your most memorable podcast, film or book?

One of the best business books ever written is The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt. It explores the application of the Theory of Constraints, and how to identify and alleviate bottlenecks in your business. It’s a bit dated, but still awesome.

Favourite restaurant/bar?

The best beer and burgers on the planet can be found at Fresh Tracks Cafe right on the ski hill at Whitewater Ski Resort in Nelson. Grab a copy of one of their recipe books, called Whitewater Cooks.

What is your morning routine?

At 5:45 a.m. I jump on the Peleton bike and secretly race one of my friends without them knowing. After that, I take the dogs out for a walk, kiss the kids good morning, and only then will I first touch a device.

Hobby?

My mind is so wound up in running the business, but I’ve found that tinkering around my workshop puts me in a trancelike state and helps me to relax. I like welding, organizing tools, mowing the lawn or even just pushing earth around with a tractor!

What is your favourite quote?

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Best advice ever received?

I originally thought I wanted to be a doctor. I was hitchhiking up to SFU one day and was picked up by the head of kinesiology, and I told him my plans to open a clinic and help people. He asked me if I wanted to run the clinic or work in it. When I said I wanted to run it, he told me I should be studying business, so I did!  

Your worst job ever?

I was the VP of Sales for a startup that helped non-native English speakers improve their accent. The product was successful for individual users, but we struggled to get corporate sales. I learned that companies didn’t want to invest in their lowest-paid, hard-working employees because empowering or enabling them risked them becoming more expensive or leaving the company. It was entrapment, or modern-day slavery. They were wasting their peoples’ potential and deliberately holding them back. It was a heartbreaker. I quit.

If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

I’d be a bear. No one messes with them, but they’re generally relaxed and friendly. I’m pretty sure they find humour in interacting with humans.