On this episode, the Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic, Rear-Admiral John Newton
Rear-Admiral Newton began his career in the Navy in 1983, after trying his hand as a geologist out west.

He completed tours with the destroyer HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Preserver, and HMCS Montreal gaining a specialty in Canadian maritime sovereignty through countless fishery patrols and three Arctic sovereignty missions.
In 2000, he completed a year of Joint military studies at the Command and Staff College Toronto, followed by advanced military studies in 2004.

Rear-Admiral Newton has deployed on NATO missions of the Cold War, and UN peace support operations, including the Gulf War in 1991, Haiti in 1993, and the maritime embargo of the former Yugoslavia in 1995. He also served at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa as Director of International Plans in the Strategic Joint Staff.

Beyond professional duties, Rear-Admiral Newton focuses strongly on his family, strives to maintain a balanced work-home life in his home in Lunenburg. I dropped in to visit the Rear Admiral Newton at his office at the Navy Shipyard on Halifax Harbour


Today on Fall Back Up, I'm delighted to welcome the Nova Scotia artists Allan Bateman and Holly Carr


Holly Carr, is nationally renowned for her colourful and whimsical silk painting and public installations.  She not only exhibits her work throughout Canada and designed for theatre, more recently

Holly has branched out in to performance art, painting in real time with musicians and performers. This includes performances with world renowned violinist Min Lee in Singapore, The National Art Center Orchestra in Ottawa, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra as well as her own production with Symphony Nova Scotia. She gives her time and art generously for fundraisers.


Her life partner is Alan Bateman who is establishing himself as one of Canada’s finest realists.

Allan comes from a rich art background. His father is an internationally known wildlife artist Robert Bateman and his mother, Suzanne Lewis is a superb watercolourist.

 Alan is a two-time recipient of The Elizabeth Greenshields Award. He has exhibited extensively throughout Canada, including shows in Toronto, Halifax, Hamilton, Edmonton and Victoria and several locations throughout the USA. Recently he finished a commissioned portrait of the outgoing president of the University of King’s College, Dr. George Cooper.

Both Holly and Allan received formal training at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the mid 1980's. I sat down with them in the dining room of their farmhouse just outside Canning Nova Scotia where they live, paint and manage their own gallery. Our conversation covered a broad range of topics from being artists as a business, to the controversial idea of un-schooling children and the role of art in education…


I'm delighted this week to speak with Jean-Michel Blais, Chief of Halifax Regional Police.
Chief Blais spent 25 years with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

During that time, he completed his first mission with the United Nations in Haiti as a civilian police officer and following his return, worked predominantly on organized motorcycle gangs and Colombian drug Cartels.

He worked as an adjudicator in Ottawa and in 2008, was assigned to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti as the Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of over 1,700 international police officers.

In January 2010, following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, he was dispatched to locate, recover and repatriate the bodies of Sergeant Mark Gallagher and Chief Superintendent Doug Coates.

For a year prior to his appointment as Chief of Halifax Regional Police, he was the officer in charge of Halifax District RCMP.

Chief Blais has two degrees, one in political science and economics from McGill University and the other in law from Université Laval. He's an avid reader and has also published several works on international and national police-related topics.

He has been decorated with medals by both the UN and the Government of Canada.

We spoke when he dropped by my Halifax office.

Below I've also included a fairly extensive bibliography, provided by the chief, of some of his go-to leadership books. It's an interesting list.

While you're here, I'd be grateful if you would my follow my podcast. It's free, there are no strings and you'll only be alerted when something is posted.

I'd also be very interested in your feedback if there's somebody you think our readers would like to hear interviewed. Just leave a comment on my site and I'll get back to you.

Have a great weekend...

JM Blais’ Bibliography

On leadership:
Be, Know, Do by Frances Hesselbein & General Eric K. Shinseki
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey
The 50th Law by Robert Greene

On values:
Integrity: The Courage to meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud
Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

On interpersonal relationships and understanding people:
The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene
Mastery by Robert Greene
Driven: How Human Nature Shapes our Choices by Paul R. Lawrence et Nitin Nohria

On thinking skill development:
The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Ingenuity Gap by Thomas Homer-Dixon
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

On effective people management:
The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile & Steven Kramer
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton
The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz


In 1997 Brian Titus was in the navy working as a diver in Halifax…but he had a passion for making beer. At the time, the craft brew market hadn’t washed up on the east coast and he saw an opportunity.

Over the last 20 years, Garrison, along with Halifax’s other well established brand Propeller, settled as two of Nova Scotia’s best known craft beer operations.

However, in the last few years, the craft brewing industry has exploded around the world and other new Nova Scotia brands and brewery operations seemingly come on stream every month.

For Brian Titus, it’s been a pretty amazing ride and Garrison continues to grow, trying to compete with new entries into the market and a shifting landscape.

I dropped into Garrison Breweries at their headquarters located in a part of Halifax’s original immigration annex on the waterfront, next door to the Seaport Market.

Brian and I grabbed a Spruce beer and settled in for a conversation as a couple of folks nearby worked on a collaborative brew…


This week on Fall Back Up, perhaps one of the most important, yet least talked about issues facing entrepreneurs, their own mental health.

I first met Michael DeVenney after he reached out to me to discuss an initiative he is working on called The Mindset Project.

The work is about the intersection of entrepreneurship and mental health and he thought it would be of interest for the CFIB.

Michael is an entrepreneur himself as well as a strategy consultant and investor for other entrepreneurs.

After struggling for years with anxiety and depression, Michael founded The Mindset Project to study the impact their work has on the well being of entrepreneurs

A lifelong learner, Michael holds his ICD.D and CFA and recently completed a degree in Applied Positive Psychology.

He holds degree in business, strategy, and leadership from Acadia University, Michigan State, Villanova and Notre Dame universities.

He’s completed the largest study ever done connecting entrepreneurship and mental health. The results are incredible.

In the study, more than 72% of entrepreneurs questioned if they were getting what they wanted from their company with more than 68% experiencing some form of mental health challenge.

Respondents also indicated that more than 74% faced deterioration of their social life and relationships while 40% found their physical and mental health had suffered after starting their business.

He is working now to publish the findings and develop actionable solutions.



Lisa Drader-Murphy is marking a milestone — 20 years of breaking barriers in fashion designs. Starting out with an investment of $250, the business has remained debt-free and without investors running entirely on retained earnings.

President and owner of the Lisa Drader-Murphy collection, including the Turbine label. She now owns five boutiques across Canada, her own Shopping Channel Store and a mobile boutique. More recently she’s become the Hollywood & Luminaries Editor for Story of Fashion Magazine and National Style & Celebrity columnist for ReFINEd Magazine.

She has shown her styles in celebrity suites at the Golden Globes, Oscars and Cannes Film Festival.

Lisa is a Progress Club Women of Excellence award-winner in the category of innovator/entrepreneur and one of five women to be recognized by Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Awards in 2016.

...and she still designs, cuts, sews and retails all her collections.

Lisa has also established the Turbine Fund. With a mandate to “Empower Women Through Education, Support, and Example,” the Turbine Fund has contributed cash in excess of $250,000 to various organizations.

She could run her fashion house from anywhere, but she opted to set up shop in a renovated 1700s sea captain's estate in Falmouth, the gateway to the Annapolis Valley....


I've known Bill Carr since the early 90's when he was doing political commentary on the CBC.

Originally from Nova Scotia, Bill grew up on Prince Edward Island, graduating from Colonel Gray High School where his athletic ability provided a scholarship at Acadia University. As you'll hear from our conversation, that's where his career took an abrupt turn, to what would become a life-long passion...the theater.

His studies in expanded to Philosophy and English followed later by work towards his Masters of Theology at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax.

Over his thirty-five-year career Bill walked the planks of stages and in radio and television studios across Canada

His wry wit took him to political and cultural commentary and on to the speakers circuit and he continues throughout North America speaking and giving workshops and keynote addresses on creativity, communication and living with humour.

Bill and his wife Gola are also deeply involved in restorative justice and he's a founding partner of the Atlantic Restorative Company, a social enterprise focusing on applying restorative practices to strengthen relationships in business, justice, schools, personal life and all aspects of community.

He’s recently completed a documentary on the topic and last year published his first book, Acting Up.

He's also the newly minted president of the Professional Speakers Federation. Bill stopped by my house in Halifax and I began our conversation asking him if he could pinpoint a time when he was young that started him on his path…


I met sports geneticist Dr. Jeremy Koenig when I was looking to get in shape to run a marathon. While I never became the marathon man, he did manage to whip my sad 55 year old carcass into the best shape it had been in for 30 years.

Jeremy was a varsity track and field athlete while completing his PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology. Following graduate school he pursued postdoctoral training in genetics at Cornell University all the while running track to keep himself sane.

Eventually he landed as a Professor of Nutrigenomics at Mount St. Vincent University before moving to the biomedical industry to work on developing and commercializing a genetic screen for fertility.

When I met him he was training NHL and olympic level athletes. He has more than 15-years of experience coaching professional and elite level athletes.

In 2014, he started Athletigen in cooperation with the high tech incubation hub Volta Labs.
Athletigen uses proprietary software which looks at an athlete’s DNA to uncover data about strengths, weaknesses and ideal diets.

Athletigen has enjoyed endorsement from NHL star Brad Marchand and Canadian Olympians Heather Hamilton and Akee Haines.We sat down to chat at Athletigen's head office in downtown Halifax...


Fresh out of university in the early 90s Malcolm Fraser saw a business opportunity in something called the Internet. Over the years he built Internet Solutions Limited (ISL) into one of Atlantic Canada’s largest web marketing and development companies. He is an active member of the business community and has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs and is now the Vice President and Managing Director, Halifax at FCV Interactive. He holds a BComm in Marketing and Economics from Mount A, has served as Chair of the Research Committee for the Canadian Tourism Commission, and ITANS, the Canadian ICT Federation and the Nova Scotia Premier’s Council on Innovation.

Malcolm has worked with all three levels of government in promoting policy change and the economic growth of the region. Malcolm is also the Chairman of the Board for the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and sits on both the Board of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and the Board of the Sobey Art Foundation. Malcolm and his wife Jennifer live in Chester, Nova Scotia.


In the mid 70's Colin MacDonald and John Risley opened up a small retail lobster shop on what was then, the outskirts of Bedford Nova Scotia. 40 years later Clearwater has grown into one of the world's leading seafood companies. With a combination of enthusiasm and grit and a little help from their friends, the duo changed the face of seafood exporting in Atlantic Canada.

MacDonald grew up in Fairview, just down the road in a family familiar with hard work and the rough and tumble of suburban Halifax. In this conversation, he explores his early days, dealing with adversity, the politics of the fishery and how he views success and failure.