Getting to know… Matthew Diamond

—The new chief growth officer for Big Digital is a huge sports fan, loves to ski, teach and brag about his kids—

After several months consulting with Big Digital, Matthew Diamond has joined the company as chief growth officer.

“Matt came in from day one with the type of energy that was incredibly inspiring,” said Jake Neiman, CEO and co-founder of the Toronto-based portable digital billboard company. “Matt and our company had many common connection points, and it felt very natural to add him to our team”.

“Creating great companies is simple—find great people,” said co-founder Michael Girgis. “Matt is a rare combination of a passionate leader, a great sales and relationship developer, as well as an experienced owner-operator with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.”

Diamond was most recently an executive vice-president at Mosaic, and before that held senior posts at Hunter Straker, and Capital C. He’s also an advisor and board member to several organizations, and teaches in the MBA program at Ivey Business School.

That’s the business story of Matthew Diamond. Now here’s the personal story…

Are you a sports fan: Favourite team and player? Growing up I was convinced that I would be a goalie for the Montreal Canadiens—then reality sunk in. Although I parlayed my passion into a job working for the NHLPA and marketing hockey players. If I had to pick one all-time favourite, it would be Patrick Roy. But as much as I love my Habs, given that I was there for the birth of our Raptors and fortunate enough to have a live video of “The Shot” from Kawhi in 2019, I think right now I am more vested in the Raptors. And I love watching Scottie Barnes—I think he could be the next Kawhi for us.

Favourite thing about weekends? Without a doubt, I live for winter weekends and the ski hills. As a kid, I raced competitively [and] coached, and now make it a part of our family legacy. I recently joined the board at Alpine Ski Club, overseeing marketing for the club. I could ski all day, every day. But weekends are my happy times with friends and family on the hills. I do my best thinking when carving—or perhaps over that après-ski beer.

Do you have kids: what are their names? My kids are my life. Jaryd (19) is now in first year at University of Waterloo in computer science co-op (yes, much smarter than dad); Darya (16) is the most incredibly gifted, naturally co-ordinated, caring person I have ever met—snowboard Instructor, and dance major at Claude Watson School for the Performing Arts; and Rachel (13) is one of the smartest, most creative, and wide-eyed sparkling young women I know, who is going to do something big in this world. And of course their Mom, Nisa, who not only helps steer the ship, but also owns an incredible executive coaching business.

What did you want to be when you grew up? We already spoke about a goalie for Montreal, but as I went through University, I really fell in love with teaching. I have never shied away from the spotlight (as a kid at summer camp, I used to read sports scores each morning in front of 500 plus people), and my philosophy in life is that we are here to do only one of two things—save lives, or inspire lives. I am clearly not in the saving lives business, so how best to inspire lives than to teach. I have been extremely fortunate over the past eight years to have been part of the Ivey Business School faculty, where I teach my own elective to the MBA students each fall on the future of marketing.

Favourite thing about this industry? I have been in the marketing world for over 20 years, and from the first day until today—as I tell my students all the time—if you are addicted to adrenaline, this industry is for you. I love the energy that it brings, fused with creative thinking and innovation.

Least favourite thing about this industry? What drives me crazy at times is the inability for people to value ideas and thinking—and to assume that is for free. 

David Brown