Introducing… Greg Epp, Owner of Adventure Marine
Since taking the reigns at Adventure Marine in 2017, Greg has made big steps towards executing his vision for the company. Using his aptitude for problem-solving and leadership, Adventure Marine is doing lots of new and exciting things that push the boundaries of what a traditional manufacturing company does. In this blog post, we introduce you to our tireless leader. There are undeniably lessons to be learned from his experiences!
Greg grew up in Coquitlam, a small town in the suburbs of Vancouver. Though building things and working with his hands came naturally to him, he suffered from Dyslexia, a reading and writing disorder that made traditional schooling very challenging. His parents, recognizing his latent potential, sought out an alternative that was better able to support Greg’s goals and talents. They found the James Cameron School, a private school for children with Dyslexia.
“James Cameron school saved my life, I owe everything to them. The school is very expensive and limited to only 50 students a year, looking back I don’t know how my parents did this. I’m so lucky.”
It was not smooth sailing just yet, however. Self-confidence was still a problem for Greg even in a school surrounded by other students with the same disorder. Many of his peers also suffered from self-esteem issues stemming from their learning differences and years of sub-par support from the school system.
“You take 50 kids who are told they are stupid and put them in the same room together there is bound to be problems, I got picked on all the time, especially by the older kids.”
But, true to form, Greg put his unique skill set of leadership and problem-solving to work and formed a student-led anti-bullying campaign. Confidence-building obstacle courses on the jungle gym and timed try-outs were rewarded with handmade medals and a formal welcome to the James Cameron School anti-bullying force. It was so popular that eventually, the whole student body wanted to be part of it! Students and faculty alike were impressed by Greg’s mission to equip vulnerable students with the confidence and skills to fight their own battles. These early experiences fed directly into his commitment to the Air Cadets and subsequent military career.
“To this day I don’t think we are handling bullying correctly at all. We can’t stop bullies but we can help kids build their own self-confidence to deal with them.”
Greg spent two years in Air Cadets in 754 Phoenix Squadron in Port Moody, BC. But confidence and leadership are just a few of the skills he acquired during this time.
“Even to this day, women are impressed when I know how to iron a shirt and polish my dress shoes,” he laughs.
In his 20’s, Greg became a certified Millwright, welder, and machinist working all over BC and parts of Alberta until the recession hit. The lack of work in his field germinated that military seed from back in his teens. He was sworn into the Canadian forces at age 26 on March 26, 2009. He would go on to qualify as a Military Paratrooper in the 3rd Battalion PPCLI, Canada’s most elite light infantry regiment.
After completing his terms of service and honourably leaving the Canadian Forces, Greg went in search of a new challenge. Entrepreneurship offered the difficulty, risk of failure and allure of success that Greg couldn’t resist. Enter Adventure Marine.
Since taking over the company in 2017, Adventure Marine has launched a new website, hired assemblers, marketing experts, blog writers, welders, and a machinist. Greg even designed a new product to replace the outdated stand-off bars. Sales of this product have since more than doubled. Furthermore, the company’s patented propeller guard continues to make waves in the world of propeller safety. The Adventure Marine story is just beginning, and with Greg at the helm, appears to be headed in the right direction.
Partnering with the Navy League to outfit their fleet of approximately 100 boats with propeller guards is a dream come true for Greg and the team at Adventure Marine. Touched by the story of Julie, a young cadet injured by a propeller while on the water, Adventure Marine is thrilled to have a role to play in ensuring the risk of accidental injury is minimized.
“It’s a big deal to me. People get hurt every year from propellers and we sell a product that can save someone’s life. Not every day do you get to own a business that does this. I feel really good about Adventure Marine and the direction we are going.”
If you have questions for Greg, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the Adventure Marine family,