Eric Warner :
Building the Foundation of JSEC

by Sarah Valliere

September 26th, 2020

 If you don’t know Eric Warner personally, you probably recognize his name through his numerous sustainable project developments throughout Concordia. Or his incredible LinkedIn clout. 

Now graduated with a major in Marketing and a minor in Sustainable Studies, Eric trails behind him a legacy built on the foundation of community building, leadership and longevity. 

Interested in bringing numerous communities together, he co-founded Play it Forward : a non for-profit organization that puts on charity concerts. The organization has raised over 30 ,000$ to date. 

 In university, Eric started his JSEC career as Director of Communications to then become the 2018-2019 JSEC president. During his Concordia years, he helped develop a Tool Library for Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse, co-develop a sustainable event certification. Additionally, his biggest accomplishment, developing and pushing the Sustainability Policy, a system which encourages sustainable development through all the subsidiaries under CASA JMSB. When asked what motivates him he responds “ No one else is doing this, well someone’s got to”. Eric recognizes that when there is a gap, there lies an opportunity.”

Guided by a participatory leadership style, Eric’s focus in his first year as JSEC president was to instill values of longevity, participation and accountability. 

Throughout 2018-2019, Warner noticed the current environment and assessed what needed to be done for impactful change. The difference he brought to the table was long term thinking. His focus lied in the organization’s foundation by creating sustainable policies amongst Casa that can easily be followed.

              “We needed the foundation for the future generation to be innovative and run with it.” 

He did just that.

Starting by initiating a mandatory recording documentation such as turnover documents, subsidiary wide policies. he initiated the plan of longevity. JSEC was able to use its history to it’s advantage thus stabilizing itself for future generation executives. This adjustment meant one place of organized information to consult back on for all members. 

This changed the game as it regulated confusion and allowed all members to have 24/7 access to necessary information. 

The next step for Warner was to create a sense of community amongst the members to encourage participation. Any successful organization has a thoughtful company culture. Though beer pong parties do bring people together, the politics he implemented worked too. Not only did it give strength to future leaders but started a discussion on sustainability through the umbrella associations of CASA. Instead of creating a target policy, this policy allowed each president to integrate sustainable objectives in their strategic plan. This triggered creativity and individuality amongst the members in the associations. 

Thus, a strong community was formed all gearing towards a more sustainable future.

However, participation isn’t enough if there is no accountability to carry out the policies and presidential targets. The last phase for Eric was to implement this value by launching a sustainability advisory council. Chaired by the president of JSEC, with Enactus, JMWL and the CASA council, this council curates a tangible place for discussion, learning and liability. Here, all subsidiaries are required to present and follow up with their sustainable objectives. This invites questioning on the reality of the project as well as if it is challenging enough for that committee.

Through his humble reign, Eric spoke with passion and determination in his eyes. He led with a simple notion of observing the gap, researching and putting in work to make your impression. Eric is still in touch with JSEC members today, acting as the wise grandfather when need be.

What can you take away from this? Take Eric as an example of how to implement change the right way. When asked what advice he would give to someone who wants to create positive impact, he highlighted preparation and research. Warner reminds future leaders to: “Contextualize, localize and ask questions “. An opportunity arises when there is space for ideas to grow.