<!--[if gte mso 9]>\n <o:OfficeDocumentSettings>\n <o:AllowPNG></o:AllowPNG>\n </o:OfficeDocumentSettings>\n<![endif]-->\nBy the time he was 14, Matt Gagnon knew he wanted to be a CPA. What he\ndidn’t know was that by the age of 33, he would be the president and owner of\ntwo rope manufacturing companies with a combined worth of $20 million to $30 million.\n\n\n\nIn 2012, he was recruited to join Canada Cordage Inc. and its American\npartner company, Orion Ropeworks Inc., as controller and treasurer. Three years\nlater, after Gagnon was promoted to vice-president of finance, the companies’\nowners announced their plans to sell the businesses. Gagnon saw an opportunity\nto take over, and approached the owners to work out an agreement. “I’m an\nentrepreneur at heart and I take a lot of pride in the history of this\ncompany,” he says of Canada Cordage, which was incorporated in 1856 and is now\nlocated in Deseronto, Ont. “Manufacturing is a challenging business, but not if\nyou stay ahead of the curve and manage the risks.”\nThat’s where his\ntraining as an accountant comes in handy. Plus, he says, rope is a sustainable\nbusiness — it’s not going anywhere. Neither is he. Gagnon has no plans to ever\nsell the business and hopes to keep it in his family. “I feel like I’ve finally\nfound my calling.”\nAn entrepreneur at heart, Matt Gagnon, CPA, is the president and owner of two rope manufacturing companies.