Editor's note: Of dragons and digital nomads

Okey Chigbo, Editor of CPA Magazine, introduces the features in the May 2016 issue.

Until recently Mitch Garber wasn’t very well-known in his native Quebec, and perhaps not known at all in the rest of Canada. Yet Garber is a billion-dollar player in the world of US hotel, casino and online gaming. The CEO of Caesars Acquisition Co. — with 2014 revenue of US$2.35 billion and 8,000 employees — is the subject of our cover profile this issue.

In “The Ringmaster,” guided by writer Pierre Théroux, we traverse the route that took Garber from Montreal lawyer specializing in gaming law to head of one of the largest casino and gaming companies in the world. Garber, reported to have a flair for business, showed a desire to make money early, working as a paperboy at age 11 before operating a small concession stand at a public pool. A graduate of McGill, Garber took the leap into the gaming industry in 1999 when he left his law practice to join SureFire Commerce, a company specializing in e-commerce transactions for online gaming companies and casinos. That company went through a number of mergers and transformations to become Optimal Payments, which made him CEO in 2003.

Today, Garber is noted in Quebec, not just because he is also chairman of Cirque du Soleil, but because he is a television star, a dragon in the French-language version of Dragons’ Den, Dans l’oeil du dragon. This is an intriguing story of a Canadian business star who ought to be better known.

Some business people spend a lot of time travelling the world as part of their business and profession. Most of the time, they visit places that are not of their own choosing, but are destinations dictated by the demands of the job or business. What if you could travel to places of your own choosing, at times of your choice, and still do your job that had hitherto crazy-glued your derriere in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary or Montreal? What would that be? That would be a new trend known as digital nomadism. The digital age has created a new kind of worker with a portable job that can be performed anywhere in the world.

In “Here, There and Everywhere,” writer Lara Bourdin reports that “these mobile workers like to hop around the globe, indulging in discovery and adventure without skipping a beat in their professional lives. For digital nomads, ‘remote work’ doesn’t mean just working from home or keeping up with assignments while on the road: it means bringing work and travel together into a single, seamless package.” Please find out more about this new form of work that has the potential to free everyone and turn dreary jobs into joyful work.