Arlene Dickinson was born on October 8th, 1956 in Germiston, SouthAfrica and moved to Canada with her family at a young age. Her fatherwas a teacher as well as an entrepreneur, and he instilled some of hismost important values in Arlene, which continue to shape her decisionstoday. According to Arlene, one of the most influential of these wasthat “You have to take care of yourself, because society does not owe you anything.”
Arlene’s path to success was far from conventional, and some consider it a miracle that she has been so successful. At the age of 19 Arlene got married, and over the next 8 years would go on to have 4 children. During this time, she also worked to pay to send her husband to university to earn a teaching degree. Unfortunately, her marriage started deteriorating, and by the age of 31 she was divorced. Not only did the divorce result in Arlene being kicked out of her Mormon church, but it also resulted in the loss of custody of her children. In family court, the judge ruled that due to the fact that Arlene did not have sufficient resources to take care of her kids, she would not be granted custody. Despite this major setback, Arlene was on a mission to succeed.
Throughout her 20′s and 30′s, Arlene was far from being the successful businesswoman that we know today. During this time she worked as a debt collector, which was ironic due to the fact that she was also struggling to pay her bills. While she would call delinquent borrowers during the day, similar debt collectors would be leaving messages on her answering machine.
After a string of dead end jobs, Arlene got a position at the marketing company Venture Communications, where she quickly rose to the top and eventually took over in 1998. Since then, she has been recognized as one of Canada’s most successful female entrepreneurs and a the woman at the forefront of Canadian marketing. She has provided marketing services to countless companies including Toyota , Subway, Travel Alberta, LCBO and many others.
Today, Arlene continues to manage Venture Communications, while juggling a huge array of side projects, ranging from her own wine, to her roles on two television shows (Dragon’s Den and The Big Decision). She is also the author of her best selling book “Persuasion.” In addition to managing her business affairs, Arlene makes time for her four children, as well as her three grandchildren, whom she says are the most important people in her life. In addition, after years of being single, Arlene is once again married.
What does the future hold for Arlene Dickinson? It’s hard to say, but if the trend continues, things are only going to get better!