Family. The word has become such a natural part of Nan-B and Philippe’s vocabulary that they have turned it into a verb – as they discuss the art and act of “familying” that they have worked at, internalized and imparted to others over 60 years together.
As the founders and funders of the Business Families Foundation (BFF) and co-chairs of the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, Nan-B and Philippe devote their time and energy to the advancement of family enterprise. Pioneers in their field, they continue to break new ground supporting global enterprising families, women’s issues, public health and environmental causes. True to their mission, Nan-B and Philippe are focused on involving their own children and grandchildren in their Foundation as they transmit their values, wisdom and lessons learned to multiple generations of business families worldwide.
Philippe founded Telemedia in 1968 and the company soon grew to become a leader in the media communications industry in Canada. Involved in publishing, radio, TV, satellite broadcasting and cellular telephones.
However, it was through their work together going beyond the quantitative and purely business aspects of their company that the de Gaspé Beaubiens came to appreciate the importance of transmitting the right values, establishing a “soul” to their company and managing their employees to develop an ownership mentality. Telemedia was named one of the best 100 Canadian employers for three consecutive years, and Nan-B and Philippe continued to grow the business before eventually turning over control of the company to their three children.
Family: the central and defining organization for sustainable success
Having successfully lived the experience firsthand, Nan-B and Philippe decided that they had vision and wisdom to share with others in similar situations. They had developed and refined a philosophy extolling the family unit as the organization central to creating sustainable enterprise and bettering one’s community. In fact, family enterprise had such power to impact the community at large and the greater social fabric of a nation that familying became a full-time pursuit.
In the early ‘90s, Nan-B and Philippe founded and funded the Business Families Foundation (BFF), a pioneering non-profit devoted to helping family businesses address and resolve their issues. It empowers enterprising families to understand and address ongoing challenges by offering specialized education on family-owned businesses, providing a network of regional educational hubs on a global basis.
Imparting knowledge, wisdom and serving others their special passion is devoted to helping the next generation of women family members succeed and thrive. Through BFF, Nan-B and Philippe travel the world as educators and speakers, presenting on various topics and helping establish additional partnerships with like-minded organizations. They have given workshops at many international events including the world Economic Forum at Davos; YPO-WPO, Universities, and numerous national and international organizations such as banks and accounting firms. Bringing together professionals, academics and experienced family entrepreneurs to exchange knowledge, Nan-B and Philippe partner with top universities worldwide to advance the cause of family enterprise.
Decorated with numerous individual honours belying their continuous complementarity, Nan-B and Philippe are proud to have had their partnership recognized with awards including:
- Philanthropy Merit Award from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Business Hall of Fame (where they were the first to be inducted as a couple)
- Honorary Doctorate from the University of British Columbia
- Canadian Broadcasters Hall of Fame
- Citizenship Price from the McGill Faculty of Management