Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Multifaceted could be one word used to describe Brian Smith athlete, activist, husband,are just a few of the titles he holds under his belt.He is capable of all most anything he puts his mind to.

While he’s doing is best to educate the youth about financial awareness, Brian is about solution building, moving forward and building a prosperous tomorrow.We had a chance to catch up with him and discuss his accomplishments to date.

How did your partnership with Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi Cote- des- Neiges come about? What it like working with the community?
I have been working at the Carrefour since 1999. I used to work at the Jamaica Association of Montreal Inc. for about 4 years before that. I actually was on a committee that created the Carrefour while I was still at the Jamaica Association. It sounds strange but I was responsible for hiring the current director at the CJE CDN Mr. Jean Isseri. When a position of interest came up at the Carrefour, I applied and I got the position. The rest is history.

You are a Financial Literacy Coordinator; many people are overwhelmed when it comes to their finances because they don’t know where to start when it comes to turning their financial life around. What advice would you give those people?

It is really simple! Make an appointment and see a Financial Professional. It costs nothing. Everyone should have a financial health check up.

You worked educational seminar targeted to youth with the "Dollars Make Sense"how has the response been to the program?
Excellent! We try to make it simple for the youth to have a different outlook about how money should not be abused. We have to become responsible consumers. We are faced with money management decisions everyday. Too many youth have heavy debt loads. Education is the key!

Do you have any general saving and investing advice for young people?

Create a budget and try to stick to it. Do not become victims of consumerism, that is impulse spending. Set realistic goals for what you want to do with your money. Do not be afraid to ask for help.

Many individual would like to their own boss. What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? What advice can you give to anyone who is interested in creating their own brand or business?
I believe you have to be willing to take a risk if you want to be successful and stand out from the crowd. Networking is the key. Surround yourself with people who have the same drive and ambition as you. A lot of help is available for entrepreneurs in Quebec.

What would you tell entrepreneur hopefuls who are afraid of failing?
Put into place measures that will reduce your chances of failing. Things will not always be rosy. Be prepared to work hard for your business. Keep your head high at all times!

Who or What has inspired you along the way? 
My mom, dad and my two brothers. We all worked hard and we are very competitive. That is my brothers and I. I also listen to my elders and take what they say very serious. They have a lot of experience that I can benefit from. One of my community mentors is Miss Ivyline Fleming from the Jamaican Canadian Community Women’s league of Montreal Inc.

What is your Business philosophy?
Hard work never killed anyone! Educate yourself!


We love your community involvement, is there anything else that you’re passionate about?
Reggae music, I grew up with it in my life along with sports. I played every sport. Some better than others Carrefour Jeunesse Emploi de Cote des neiges is putting on the “Monnaie Money Talent show” tell us more about that.This is our second year. The talent show is an attempt to get the youth and families in the community together. We want to give exposure to the artistic talent in our community. Likewise we want to promote our message of Financial Literacy. They both go hand in hand. This year we have a higher level of talent so it should be very exciting for everyone. Tickets are moving fast. I am looking forward to it.

You are fan of the Reggae/Dancehall scene who are you listening to? And what is your financial vision for Reggae/Dancehall in the future?
Right now I am listening to a lot of oldies from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Mostly singers. I also listen to a lot of sound system audio tapes on the original cassettes. It is all about the vibes. I am not really feeling a lot of the new music. It does not have the same soul as before. The producers and artists need to step up their game. Even the DJ’s need to step up their game. People want good music!

What is the one thing people may not know about Brian Smith?

I am graduate of Boston University and Vanier CollegeI played University Football there for 4 years on Football scholarship. I had to stop playing because of a knee injury. Baseball was actually my best sport. I was scouted by the Montreal Expos as a teenager and I am a big fan of War movies and I enjoy politics.

The Monnaie Money Talent show is this Saturday February 25th at the Westmount Highschool.For more Info: Brian Smith - Carrefour jeunesse-emploi de Côte-des-Neiges(514) 342-5678 ext.228 or Cellphone (514) 817-3941 

By Ms.Lois
Photography by Roger Branker


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