The venerable Club Saint-Denis building now has a new lease on life as home to Collège Proaction

After 135 years, the prestigious Club Saint-Denis closed its doors in 2009. Instead of left to languish, the building where the French-speaking business elite once congregated is now home to Collège Proaction.

Created by the management of Proaction International, a leader in productivity management, Collège Proaction offers a high-calibre program for training future elite managers, primarily through hands-on learning.

The students in the first cohort, which will start on January 14, will benefit from a unique learning experience provided by experienced teachers. Only 20% of class time will be devoted to theory: instead, teachers will students to master theory, appropriate it and apply it. The College’s management has a mission to use its tools and expertise to provide personalized training to each student, according to their academic and professional background. The primary aim is not for students to assimilate management theory but rather to combine their personal knowledge with what they learn from the College’s teachers and to subsequently put it into practice.

Collège Proaction thus enables students to develop their leadership abilities to their fullest potential and to quickly improve their management skills; it acts as a management simulator.

With questions being raised about the new generation of managers and its impact on our economy, Collège Proaction’s program fills a gap that exists in Quebec’s teaching institutions. While there are programs training accountants, nurses, lawyers and engineers, none of these really train supervisors or managers who can manage Quebec’s companies. Collège Proaction trains high-calibre managers to meet this need.

Collège Proaction’s first graduating class

The 22 students in Collège Proaction’s first cohort were proud to take part in a festive graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 2.

Created by the management of Proaction International, a leader in productivity and human resources management, Collège Proaction offers a high-calibre program for training future managers, primarily through hands-on learning. The students feel they passed the challenge with flying colours.

The first cohort, which started in January, included students from a wide range of backgrounds. Entrepreneurs, management employees, the self-employed and aspiring managers attended classes four evenings a week for 15 weeks, where they were immersed in a world that was radically different from the traditional classroom context. They were challenged to continually question themselves, and each one said they had been transformed for the better, both personally and professionally, as a result of the process.

They students gave glowing reviews of their experience and their highly qualified and inspiring teachers. “I love school, and I’ve been studying in some form or another for the past 33 years. Collège Proaction gave me the most memorable and meaningful learning experience I’ve had so far. It didn’t just engage my brain and my ability to absorb theory, it engaged my emotions, my capabilities and my desire to excel, my openness to others, and the ease with which I can land on my feet. It’s an exercise that is both fun and demanding, both light and profound,” said Bibigi Haile. Valérie Touchette, another member of the inaugural cohort, agreed: “It’s without a doubt one of the best academic and personal experiences I’ve had. It had nothing to do with traditional teaching. In fact, the approach is completely the opposite: they put us in situations without any prior notions or instructions, after which we shared our impressions and the management concepts to be applied in that case. It’s learning without a safety net.” 

While most of the students work during the day, they were able to quickly apply the newly acquired concepts.” In the space of a few months, I had the impression I was managing several companies through complex simulation exercises. I’m constantly making connections between my experience at the College and my professional life, and I’m convinced my customers benefit from it. At the same time, it gives me a competitive edge,” said Jean-Marc Paquin.

Collège Proaction is currently accepting applications from students for the September semester. Unlike the first session, which had only one group, the College will be welcoming 72 future elite managers, in three groups. The ground floor of the building that once housed the prestigious Club Saint-Denis will now serve as Proaction International’s head office, and the second floor will be occupied by the College starting in September.

Proaction International launches Proaction Performance

Proaction Performance was created to support SMEs in the Quebec Market. The approach used by Proaction Consulting Group with large companies has been adapted to SMEs to offer them the support needed for their growth, productivity and a better financial performance. Each program has a technological component with a web management application U-TRAKK designed and developed by Proaction Technologies. Training sessions also include coaching and a series of consulting hours. These programs enable SMEs to better manage their resources in order to fulfill their growth plan to become a solid large company.

The new company offers programs tailored to the size and budget of SMEs ranging from 25 to 75 employees:

  • manufacturing, service and distribution industry
  • government ministries and corporate organizations ministries
  • public services

Program costs range from $ 30,000 to $ 90,000, allowing each type and size of SMEs to find a suitable solution.

Quebec shines abroad

Proaction International exports its know-how successfully

Proaction International lets Quebec talent shine abroad by exporting its expertise overseas, particularly in Europe. Since the end of 2009, the expertise of the firm, specializing in performance improvement, has been highly sought after by many clients on the other side of the ocean, having heard of the phenomenal success generated on multiple projects completed by the Montreal firm.

Since 2004, Proaction International has worked to improve human resource management and productivity. More than 300 improvement projects were completed in Canada, the United States, Algeria, Morocco, and in France as well as several other European countries like Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Portugal and Poland. Proaction International has also analyzed more than 600 companies, organizations and health and social service centers in the world and has more than 700,000 hours of consulting under its belt. The success of projects led by Proaction International helped clients save over half a billion dollars and certified more than 4,000 managers worldwide.

In Europe

With the signing of a 29th and 30th project with the Bonduelle Group, Proaction International continues to export its expertise to other continents. The world leader in ready-to-serve vegetables with annual sales close to 2 billion euros, Bonduelle, which has 58 manufacturing sites worldwide, continues its partnership with the Quebec firm which started over 7 years ago. The European division of Proaction International has also signed a major contract with Smurfit Kappa Group, the world leader in paper-based packaging. Smurfit Kappa employs 41,000 people across 32 countries with revenues of 7.3 billion euros. Included in the list of new European clients are the LDC Group, ISS L&P, Seyfert Paper, Ugitech, Le Groupe Compte R and AHG.

Consulting revenues from Proaction Europe reached well over 15 million euros in the last 3 years.

We are very proud of the progress we’ve made. With each project, we create wealth for our clients and their employees. The future is bright and our ambitions reflect the success we have generated for the past 10 years. We are motivated by creating a better world, said Denis Lefebvre, President and CEO of Proaction International.

In North America

Quebec is no exception. After 4 major improvement projects in 2011 and 2012 with Olymel, Proaction signed another four new major projects with this group. Olymel employs over 10 000 people in 18 processing plants with revenues of over 2 billion dollars. Another major group in Quebec has also entrusted Proaction with a 10th major project: Kruger, with 65 locations in North America. Quebecor, Cargill, Aisin, RTI Claro, Valero, Kerry, Lassonde and Lauzon Group to name a few, are also part of the growing list of new Canadian customers.

In addition to the 20 projects currently underway in Quebec and 2 in Ontario, Proaction International is analyzing five new businesses in Ontario. These 5 business analyses will soon transform into tangible projects in our neighboring province and will be added to the repertoire of current projects in the English market, including Washington and New Orleans.

Proaction International welcomes Philippe Gautrin within the organization

Proaction International is proud to announce the arrival of Philippe Gautrin to the organization.

With a 30% projected growth next year, Proaction needed support. Philippe joins Proaction International as Vice President of Business Development & Analysis.

Member of the Executive Committee, he will be responsible for developing Proaction USA. With his network of contacts in France and Morocco, he will also have a mandate to support the growth of Proaction in Europe.

A graduate in engineering and operations management, he has worked for 20 years in supply chain consulting and performance optimization. As a partner of the GCL Group, he participated in and oversaw hundreds of projects in Canada, USA, Europe and Africa. In recent years, he managed the operations of the European branch while working in the following sectors: e-commerce, textile, food processing, aviation and services. Philippe is a renowned expert in strategic analysis, network optimization, as well as processes automation and re-engineering. These projects have led him to work with companies of all size. He is well known for the value of his recommendations. His international experience allows him to share best practices with his customers and improve their competitiveness on the global market.