Every road starts somewhere, mine started here.
To say that I have been lucky would be an understatement. That kid in the picture above, in his mind at that moment the only thing stopping him from being Batman was a mask and a Batmobile. This was apparently an ambitious belief for a 2-year-old living in a small northern Alberta apartment, with his parents in their early 20’s who both worked hard to eliminate student debts for degrees not attained and keep me flush with toys and attention.
On January 26, 1987, I was born in Grande Prarie Alberta.
My Parents Dennis Killoran and Roxanne LaPointe, two northern New Brunswick kids who found themselves in a strange land after a series of unpredictable events and coincidences led them to their second home. I’ll let them tell those stories though, and you should ask them if you have the opportunity, they are terrific stories.
Childhood: Seeing The Best Canada Had to Offer
As a kid, we moved around a lot. From Valleyview, we moved to Nova Scotia, from Nova Scotia we went to Bathurst NB, and from Bathurst, we hopped the ferry and drove to Newfoundland. 10 years in I was joined by little brother and ride or die homie Connor.
You might think that a ten year age gap made our relationship challenging. It did. I will give him the utmost credit though, how a 5-8-year-old understood how to psychologically torture a teenager so well is still something that astonishes me.
From Newfoundland, we moved back to northern Alberta. The objective was to have my father who had made a good career for himself working on Atlantic Canada’s offshore oil platforms, (including Hibernia, Terra Nova and Whiterose, Newfoundland’s premier oil and gas projects) find work that would see him home more often than 21 days on and 21 days off.
Ultimately, we were four years into our second stint in Valleyview before we realized that whether it was Fort Mac or the Grand Banks, away was away. That’s how as a sixteen-year-old, I landed in Belledune, New Brunswick.
Mallory and MTA
I was 16 and the new kid again. It was interesting to be sure, but Bathurst High School allowed me to graduate from the same High School as my father and many of my aunts and uncles, as well as get just good enough grades to get into Mount Allison University.
The most important thing that my time at BHS gave me was Mallory, it may have taken us right up to the last day of classes, but this is where I met my wife, my best friend and the woman who I cook for. Through it all, she has put up with me and travelled the long, sometimes painful road with me. As a kid who never stopped thinking that he could be Batman if only a few dominoes fell into place for me, you can imagine how much of a chore I was while we were both growing up and trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our lives.
In 2009 I graduated Mount Allison with a Major in History (super useful) and set out in search of my fortune, while Mallory wrapped up her Bachelor of Commerce Degree (much more useful) at Mount Allison.
I worked as an Insurance Salesman (I do not recommend it, and if you do have to do it, be an employee). Then after Mallory graduated we were recruited into the Family Business for what was supposed to be a temporary move.
2 years later we got married:
From NB To YEG and Back Again
Mallory and I took our new best friend Zdeno out west to try our luck in the hustle and bustle. It was during this time that I had the opportunity hone my skills in online marketing and communications. Quickly falling in love with analytics and digital marketing, I found that I had a bit of a knack, as well as a passion to learn more and keep going.
The call home was strong. Moving around a lot as a child the idea of home meant a lot. I was fortunate to be able to move back in early 2015 and have been here since. At which point Mallory and I both took leadership positions within our family’s businesses.
Although it was tough to leave some of the amenities of Edmonton behind our lives have been enriched by being able to purchase our own home have some land for our dog and now dogs to run around and spend more time with family.
Home and the Future
Since we have been home, I am proud to say that Mallory has excelled in her role as a management consultant for Sancon, dealing with multi-national and other billion dollar companies on a daily basis, and crushing it, if I may say.
I have been working hard to build up Contendo as a company that has a diversified market and a bright future. We are happily living in our house on our Acre of land with our two Dogs, Zdeno and Tuukka.
And now, it’s all about chasing the dream of breaking the status quo and changing the tide in the place that has given me the best years, people and experiences of my life. And that’s what me and my family are going to do…
So stay tuned!