Balancing Work and Life for World-Class IT

Written by Robert Hoshowsky

Founded over a dozen years ago, Montreal-based Quadbridge Inc. embodies the spirit of a true Made-in-Canada success story.

Believing that there was a need for a world-class, full-service information technology company in Montreal, Quebec, a small group of IT pros got together in 2007 to create a very special IT business.

Now boasting a staff of 65, Quadbridge provides software and hardware to medium and large clients across North America. The company’s abilities are enhanced by partnerships with many of the biggest and best manufacturers of technology, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, EMC, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, and Microsoft.

Many companies talk a good game of work-life balance, but at Quadbridge – ever since the company was founded by CEO PJ Emam – this balance has been a conscious choice and key part of the company’s DNA and its enviable success.

They certainly got that right. The information technology and services company has experienced record-setting growth topping 2,100 percent in the past six years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Spreading positivity
Nurturing a positive company culture, Quadbridge is widely recognized as a great place to work. Making Canadian Business magazine’s PROFIT 500 list as one of Canada’s fastest-growing IT companies four years in a row, the company keeps driving success through technology.

Quadbridge’s many work-life balancing initiatives begin with its location.

From Quadbridge’s headquarters on Saint-Patrick Street, close to the Lachine Canal, employees can readily access Montreal’s bike paths. To encourage the fitness lifestyle even further, they’re encouraged to use the company’s private gym, and enjoy delicious and healthy subsidized breakfasts and lunches prepared every day by Quadbridge’s own chef.

Taking employee engagement to new heights, Quadbridge staff actively participate in charitable works, benefiting others both locally and internationally.

For the past four years, through the company’s Quadbridge Technical Education Conference program (better known as QTEC), employees have embarked on week-long training camps in foreign countries, including Nicaragua, to perform charity work.

In 2019, QTEC visited Morocco and the city of Marrakech for “an unforgettable team bonding experience.” As well as climbing the Atlas Mountains, the Quadbridge team visited schools, bearing backpacks full of much-needed school supplies, and spending the afternoon with the kids.

Early in 2020, prior to COVID-19, 40 Quadbridge staff spent a week in Cartagena, Colombia, with the goal of “giving back to the community and broadening our horizons by experiencing other cultures,” as the company describes it. For the company, the Colombia QTEC trip had the highest number of employees taking part in a trip.

Although this year’s company training trip was put on hold because of the pandemic, it hasn’t stopped Quadbridge from giving back to the community.

A big believer in enriching the lives of others, the company is also active with charities at home. These initiatives include grocery donations to families in need, donations to provide radios to CHSLD residence in Montreal, with the help of Fondation Sante Urbaine, a donation of 200 Uber Eats vouchers accompanied by individual notes of encouragement to the emergency workers at Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal, a donation and provision of 80 meals to Chez Doris from its Simple Mealz kitchen, and donations of groceries and new toys to Sun Youth.

Aware that helping others is more important now than ever, the company donated 100 Uber Eats vouchers to nurses at Lakeshore General Hospital, and another 63 vouchers to the Old Brewery Mission, which has since 1889 provided essential services to over 4,000 homeless men and women annually through its seven pavilions.

Promoting equality
Late last November, Quadbridge’s CEO PJ Emam took part in Promoting Inclusion in Montreal’s Workplaces – an online discussion about immigration and inclusion “with regard to an inclusive recovery of Greater Montreal.”

The virtual event – held with the participation of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Nadine Girault, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie/Minister of Immigration, Francization and Integration – featured a who’s-who of panellists including Emam, Domtar’s Corporate Credit Chief Madeleine Féquière, and others.

“We are pleased to announce that PJ Emam, CEO of Quadbridge will be participating in the virtual panel discussion on diversity in the workplace co-developed by the CCMM and Ville de Montreal, with the financial support of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration, where you will learn how it can be a crucial driver of creativity and performance for Greater Montreal’s organizations,” the company said online.

Aimed at directors, upper management, human resources executives and others wishing to implement and foster inclusion policies in their companies, the event featured speeches, a video entitled Context and findings: professional integration of immigrants in Montreal, and a panel moderated by Déborah Cherenfant, President of The Junior Chamber of Commerce of Montreal.

Hosted by Déborah Cherenfant, the sold-out event – the most attended one, according to the organizers – featured Emam and other industry experts and highlighted the need for diversity and inclusion in the workplace, the fight against discrimination and racism, and the role businesses of all sizes can take in Greater Montreal “as an immigrant city and advocate for an inclusive recovery.”

Meeting all IT needs
With decades of combined experience, the Quadbridge team is supremely well-equipped to work with clients on the information technology requirements that can spell business success to them. From hardware and software to data-centre managed services, Cloud computing and more, Quadbridge can meet all of its customers’ IT needs.

Working its way to the future, the company keeps adding awards and accolades to its résumé. Last October, Canadian Business magazine put Quadbridge at Place 343 on its 32nd annual Growth List of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. With an exceptional five-year revenue growth of 139 percent, CEO Emam said how proud he was of the business and its outstanding achievement.

“For a fourth year in a row, we are proud to be part of this vibrant economy of the top fastest-growing companies in Canada,” Emam said in a company release. “During these challenging times and new reality that we are going through, we will fight even stronger with a positive attitude to protect our families, our communities, our cities, our province, our country and globe.”

Susan Grimbly, Editor of the Growth List, reiterated just how exceptional the companies making last year’s List truly were. Their stories were “a masterclass” in how to survive and grow, even when a pandemic was decimating the world’s economy. “Despite turbulence, the 2020 Growth List companies showed resilience, spirit and, most importantly, empathy and strong leadership,” Grimbly said in a press release. “As we celebrate over 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that the heart of Canada’s entrepreneurial community beats strong, even in tough times.”

With so many more of us working at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Quadbridge’s many IT services are as much in demand as ever. Left to their own discretion, about half of the company’s own staff are presently operating at home, while the other half are spending at least some time in the company’s physical office.

A very tight-knit group of IT industry experts, the Quadbridge staff miss the pre-COVID camaraderie that comes from socializing, working out, and eating together, and look forward to a post-pandemic world, physically under the same roof, and serving a wide range of clients.



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