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22259 Adrian Travis Talks Trindent Consulting and Resiliency

“You have a bit of an unfair advantage in business” 

Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt 

22259 Adrian Travis (RMC 2002) is still at the helm of Trindent Consulting, the consulting firm he founded in 2008, and he credits his time at the College with helping him do it. “It’s been quite a ride,” he said. “Getting a business off the ground, especially one started two months before the 2008 economic crash, it’s gut wrenching. I probably wouldn’t be able to do this without the resiliency I learned from RMC and the CF.”

Thanks to that resiliency, Trindent Consulting has done more than just survive. And you can hear Adrian’s pride in his voice as he talks about it. “We have fifty employees globally, having worked with more than a hundred clients,” he explained. “In our ten years, we’ve been on the Profit 500 List five years in a row (that’s the list of the fastest growing companies in Canada). We were #134 last year.”

So what is Trindent’s secret? “So much of traditional consulting is advisory,” Adrian explained. “Our consulting model is different. We focus on improving the profit performance of our clients. We act like white blood cells in our client organizations. We repair what is broken and when a client finishes with us, those things are fixed. Our people are the horsepower on the inside.”

Given Adrian’s obvious aptitude for business, it might seem surprising to learn that he originally came to RMC with a different goal in mind. As the Dundas, Ontario, native explained, he had initially planned on a career in aviation. “I wanted to attend RMC since I was twelve,” Adrian said. “I was in the Air Cadets for six or seven years as a teenager and that probably had a lot to do with it, too.” After his First Year, he made the switch to business as a Reservist, or RETP, Cadet.

He certainly hasn’t lost the aviation “bug,” however. “The aviation component from the CF is still very much with me,” he said. “I have a pilot’s license and over a thousand hours experience.”

When pressed for a “few” of his favourite memories from his time at the College, Adrian was quick to stress that it’s the “people you meet along the way” that mean the most. “You will never find a tighter team than your recruit term buds,” he said. “And then getting to graduate four years later with the same group of people is something special.”

Like any Cadet, he had his challenges along the way. “I always seemed to bite off more than I could chew,” he joked. “I took my Economics minor in French,” he went on, “and that took my bilingualism to a whole different level, taking university level courses.  I met a lot of great people that way, too.”

Adrian’s career following graduation mirrored much of what he later did as a consultant. “I ran the business aspects for 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (THS) in Borden,” he explained. As the unit’s Financial Officer, with a civilian career on the side, he was able to “give them advice on a wide range of financial and operating improvements.  The unit’s budget was always tight, but there were creative ways to make things more efficient.   As a result, they were able to make a little go a very long way and make better use of every dollar and every man hour.”

He initially served as a consultant on the civilian side before “hanging out his own shingle” with Trindent in 2008. Adrian left the CF in 2014 as a Captain. “It was just getting impossible to give my time to all the things that I needed to. I was juggling my family, a high growth business, and making the trek from Toronto to Borden for my duties there.” That being said, right now he’s happy with life: “I’m recently remarried and focusing not only on my company but also on being a good dad and a good husband.”

If Adrian could give any advice to fellow ex-Cadets, it would be to trust your skills and your experience. “As an RMC grad you have a bit of an unfair advantage in business,” he explained. “There is a really thin talent pool for that resiliency out there, and you have it. So have confidence in yourself and in your skills.”