Saturday, March 5, 2011
A look back in entrepreneur history: A Profile on Lou Cahill
I would like to take this post to inspire entrepreneurs, with a profile on Lou Cahill, Canadian Public Relations pioneer and legend. Lou has also been a mentor to many public relations practitioners in the region, some of which have been guest speakers in my class and have expressed how amazing this man was.
Lou started as freelance sports reporter with the St. Catharines Standard and after a few years he met Lee Trenholm, a public relations practitioner from New York City. After working with Lee on a local project, Lou was offered a job at the New York City office, at the young age of 20. Lou did not take the job, but was inspired to work at a career in public relations and communications, which in 1934, was a non-existent industry.
In 1944, Lou founded the Ontario Editorial Bureau, which is now known as Enterprise Canada, one of Canada’s first public relations firms. Just a few of Lou’s achievements include:
• The opening of the Queen Elizabeth Way and the Royal visit of King George and Queen Elizabeth.
• Victoria Loan Campaign in Niagara for the Bank of Canada.
• Provided communications services to Ontario Paper Company.
• Responsible for “P.Eng” designation for professional engineers.
• Played a key role in the founding of Brock University
• Recognized with Honorary Doctorate from Brock University.
• Canadian Public Relations Society prestigious Philip Novikoff award for lifetime achievement.
• The Canadian Public Relations Society Distinguished Service Award was changed to the Lou Cahill Award.
Lou worked full time for over 75 years and was working in the office until he was 91 and died at the age of 94. He expressed the importance of community involvement and charitable activities. Lou never carried a business card. Sometimes there isn’t research or a book that can tell you how to run a successful business, but those who have the heart and desire to succeed often do. I hope you have found Lou as inspiring as I have. A small town Canadian with ambition can make history too.