2019 is an important year for ISAAC! We are celebrating the 20 years since the company was incorporated, we have invested in the construction of new headquarters, and we are now a team of over 120. ISAAC has experienced stable, sustained growth over the last 20 years. I take great pride in all these achievements and in knowing that this is only the beginning!
People: the key to success
As I’ve often said, the key to success is simple – it’s people. In my opinion, a company is first and foremost a group of people, not a product or brand. That is also why I enjoy highlighting the fact that ISAAC uses a B4B (business for business) model rather than the traditional B2B (business to business). The difference between the two is that we work in collaboration, and the client is at the center of our business model.
ISAAC has developed over time through the involvement and dedication of many people. I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the pillars of the company.
Where it all began
If you weren’t aware, the technology that drives ISAAC was my university project. At that point, I had developed the tool for my own specific motor racing needs. I was spending all my spare time on it. A recent mechanical engineering graduate, I turned to teaching at the CEGEP level. That afforded me time to pursue my passions and the opportunity to share my knowledge. Without even realizing it, I had made a career choice based on ISAAC. Although I hadn’t originally thought of becoming an entrepreneur, I naturally transitioned into it.
David, my childhood friend
I have known David Brillon since I was a kid. Over the years, we have worked on many projects together. When he noticed I was putting tremendous effort into developing the ISAAC technology, he decided to join the adventure. With his skills and strengths, we make a solid team.
In 1999, we incorporated the company. Shortly thereafter, we took the plunge to work on it full time. As is the case in every new company, we spent many hours at it despite our already busy lives. Personally, I had a third child on the way. Meanwhile, David worked as an engineer for another firm and reinvested his paychecks into the development of ISAAC. It is in part due to David’s dedication that I had the confidence to take the plunge and dedicate myself entirely to ISAAC. I knew I could count on him.
Today, David is Vice President of R & D. He leads the largest team of the company, which includes both hardware and software development. His decisions drive company technology. He is sometimes referred to as a tech Jedi! He is the one who defines the architecture behind our platform.
Stéphane, from student to head of production
Stéphane Laneville was a CEGEP student during my teaching years. He was completing a DCS (diploma of collegial studies) in physical technology and already had a DCS in civil engineering to his name. Stéphane was a remarkable student.
When ISAAC started turning into a serious endeavor, we needed someone reliable to build prototypes and production units. In my mind, there was only one person for the role: Stéphane. He started working from home, as a hobby, since he already had a full-time civil service job. Eventually, sold on the ISAAC project, Stéphane left his position to join the ISAAC team full time.
Stéphane now leads the production team. He leverages his expertise with colleagues and ensures optimal production line operation. His experience from the earliest days means he knows the technology inside out.
Jean-Sébastien, first in class
I met Jean-Sébastien Bouchard through a mutual friend in auto racing. We crossed paths a few times, which always led to interesting discussions. When Jean-Sébastien completed his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering, he had a number of offers waiting, as he was top of his class and had won a prestigious award.
It was hard for us to try to recruit him, seeing as at the time, I was sharing a paycheck with David! Fortunately, that didn’t stop Jean-Sébastien from jumping on board in 2002. His entrepreneurial streak helped us drive the company forward. Jean-Sébastien played a number of roles, from design to lab work. But his true strength was in sales. We used to tease him that he talked too much, too loudly, and that’s why we sent him out to talk about our solution in the field!
Today, Jean-Sébastien is Vice President of Sales. With his team, he is responsible for implementing the business strategy and developing the company in Canada. Thanks to his analytical mind and problem-solving skills, he contributes to the development of ISAAC solutions to always better meet the requirements of the transportation industry.
Josiane, culture spokesperson
Josiane Lorange is one of those inspiring, talented people that can get the best out of everyone. I met her through her spouse back when I was working in aerospace certification. Josiane first worked with ISAAC as a consultant.
A few years later, Josiane joined the team full time. She brought the structure and diligence that now sets the company apart. She knew how to implement methods and processes to help us transition from ideation to goal-setting. She was able to decipher our ideas to bring them to life!
Today, Josiane is Vice President of Culture, Development, and Engagement. She develops and leads organizational development programs to maximize the human potential at ISAAC. She always strives to find different working methods that foster greater creativity, agility, and collaboration, and keeps people at the heart of every decision.
20 years of passion for innovation
The ISAAC team has grown tremendously over the years. The culture and values we held at the time are still quite present. We were able to keep this authenticity by attracting talented people and giving them the freedom to grow. Together, we continue to develop and enrich our company culture.
Here’s to the next 20 years!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CEO, Chairman and Cofounder of ISAAC Instruments.
Jacques’s entrepreneurial leadership led to his nomination as a finalist in the Ernst & Young and Desjardins entrepreneurship awards. Jacques holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a flight theory and practice certification from the Kansas University School of Engineering, and specialized training in aircraft certification from Transport Canada.