Dean Duperron, President and CEO of the Duperron Group of Companies, is a force in the business community. He finds great joy in experiencing all manner of challenges and opportunities, and this can be seen in his varied interests and expertise.
“Dean is very insightful about people and the way people will be thinking,” said former Vancouver Wharves CEO Bill Weymark, “you’ll be talking about certain business issues, and you can’t quite figure out where a competitor or a customer is coming from, he’ll come up with a different perspective.”
Mr. Duperron’s story is one that some might call a ‘Cinderella Story’, in the rags to riches sense, however, Mr. Duperron is more of a ‘pull himself up by his bootstraps’ sort of man. Instead of waiting around for a Fairy Godmother to wave her magic wand, Mr. Duperron knew that the only way he was going to achieve his ambitions were through his own hard work. Mr. Duperron did not become who he is today by being handed anything, in fact, he started out on this journey as a homeless teenager, forced to live on urban streets, a challenge not of his own making. He worked hard and found jobs, even though he had no address to call his own. He worked janitorial jobs at McDonald’s, eventually finding a temporary home at the local YMCA. This led to him finding a position at an international retail chain. Once there, his hard work and determination led him to become a manager. He managed a multi-million dollar retail business, selling everything from plants and toys to sporting goods and domestic sundries.
Mr. Duperron eventually found his way to not only managing successful educational institutions, but in 1991, he purchased a small business college and through his drive, vision and direction, turned it into the largest and most respected private post secondary institution in British Columbia. Ultimately, the College became a $37 million worldwide organization with over 600 employees.
In 2007, Mr. Duperron earned Sprott-Shaw the right to grant degrees, a privileged no Community College had ever been granted prior.
Mr. Duperron invited his friend, former Newfoundland Premier and Canadian Constitution signatory, Brian Peckford to take the College’s reins and devote a few hours a month to the role of college chancellor.
“Dean is an extremely hard worker and very goal-oriented. He’s very passionate about what he’s doing,” Peckford said. “He’s increased not only the profile but the reach of the college substantially since he took over.”
At the same time that Mr. Duperron was developing his private post secondary institution, he successfully created a Real Estate Firm, DVD Properties, which has built up millions of dollars in real estate holdings; a wholesale business; a retail toy company; and has been mentoring entrepreneurs for over 10 years.
Mr. Duperron has a wealth of construction experience, as well as being the owner of a property management company for the last 20 years, he has run programs in Electrical Residential Construction, Drywall, Roofing, Framing and Stairs. Mr. Duperron sits on the RCITO Board and Chair Accrediation Sub-Commitee, which covers recognition of Public and Private College, including their graduates, instructors and curriculum. Mr. Duperron also sits on the PBIBC Board, which is establishing an accreditation process to recognize all construction contractors who wish to build homes in British Columbia.
Without profit, there can be no philanthropy.
It’s not a novel thought, but it motivates Dean Duperron.
The President of the Duperron Group , who rescued B.C.’s oldest community college from near-extinction in 1991, was homeless for part of his teens.
“Overseeing education is a responsibility,” said Duperron. “However, if you don’t run the business appropriately, you lose the pleasure of having that responsibility. Without revenue, you can’t pay for what you want to do.”
Mr. Duperron is proud of the success that he has found over the past 30 years and he has always enjoyed helping others find similar success. Over the years, he has donated over $20 million in educational scholarships, he has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in recognition of Firefighters, Paramedics, Teachers, Students, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, local sports teams, politicians (Municipal, Provincial and Federal). This is not including the countless times that Mr. Duperron has helped individuals, whether his employees or simply those in need with everything ranging from financial assistance, medical care, or personal support. Because of this passion for helping others, Mr. Duperron has spent years dedicating time and service to numerous committees, including:
- The University of British Columbia Aboriginal Medical Student Selection Committee – Member
- University of British Columbia President’s Advisory Committee – Past Member
- University of British Columbia First Nations House of Learning Committee – Member
- The Canadian Club – Vancouver – Vice President
- The Evergreen Cultural Centre Executive Board – President
- Institute for Aboriginal Health – Chair
- Residential Construction Industrial Training Organization (RCITO) – Director
- The Professional Builders Institute of British Columbia (PBIBC) – Member
- University of Sidney Dental and Surgical Selection Committee – Member
- Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games – Community Contributor
- Metis Family Services, Past President
- Canada Employment Centre Local Advisory Council – Past Chair
- United Way Campaign – Past Chair
- Louis Riel Council Board – Past Director
- Region 2 Metis Board – Past Member
- Palliative Care – Volunteer
- Blood Donor Clinic – Organizer
- Tech University of BC – Metis/Aboriginal Advisory Committee – Past Member
- Sprott-Shaw Community College Academic Council – Past Chair
- Sprott-Shaw Community College Advisory Board – Past Chair
- Private Career Training Association – Past Director
- Halifax Board of Trade – Past Member
- Vancouver Board of Trade – Past Member
- Self-Employment Advisory Board – Past Member
- EI – Kitsilano for Community Advice for Local Office – Advisor
- That the answer to anything is to ask the right questions
- That amazing is within our grasp
- That we should always take the time to ‘Do Cool’