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Headshot of Mark Slade wearing a green sports cardigan with logos along the front, over a white shirt
Mark Slade.

Mark Slade

“The global financial crisis is forcing everybody to think differently about business”

Fave U of T moment
I attended a Hart House debate in 1992 or ’93 between professors Tim Brook and Victor Falkenheim entitled “China Is Not Ready for Democracy.” The debaters spoke passionately about post-Tiananmen square China, and they inspired me to focus my studies on China’s politics, history, economics and language.

I started studying Chinese, and moved to Hong Kong in 1996 to study political science at the University of Hong Kong during the transition to Chinese rule. After the handover I started working in logistics in Hong Kong. Now I live in Tokyo, and am the chief operating officer in Japan for the freight forwarding division of DHL, a global logistics company.

A meaningful event
I started my career around the time of the Asian financial crisis. A few years later, 9-11 hit. Now, of course, we have the global financial crisis. These have all had a major impact on our business, but none so marked as the current situation. It’s especially tough here in Japan, and it’s forcing everybody to think differently about business.

Your dream?
To be successful in my career and spend enough time with my wife and two daughters.

What has winning the Gordon Cressy Award meant to you?
I won the award in large part because I was editor of the St. Michael’s College newspaper, The Mike, in my final year. Running the college newspaper while taking a full course load was a big challenge. However, it was a phenomenal experience and I learned a lot.

See full list of Cressy Award interviews

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