Positive Energy gets Positive Results
Stephen Dunne, founder of Dunne Group, usually sees the bright side of things and lots and lots of opportunities. Is there such a thing as too many opportunities?
At the age of thirteen while cutting neighborhood lawns, Steve suffered an incurable bite from the self - employment bug. He learned that he liked to do work for others and that he was good with customers. He did well in school and went on to earn a Bachelor in Business Administration at UPEI, a post graduate certification in consulting and has been working for himself for the past two decades.
“While I was at UPEI, I thought it would be cool to work in advertising and sales. I have always been interested in how to generate revenue and get a good return on an investment” Steve recalls. “Even though I didn’t fully know what “advertising” meant at the time. I did believe that if I worked hard, I could figure it out and I could have a meaningful career without leaving PEI.”
Steve was hired upon his university graduation as a management consultant for well-respected and successful Island entrepreneur Mike Cassidy. He worked with Mike for six years, absorbing all of the knowledge and lessons he could before he started Dunne Group (with Mike’s blessing and encouragement) in 1996.
Steve accepting a generous donation to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, from Peter Toombs, CEO, Diversified Metal Engineering.
Today, Dunne Group employs seven full-time staff and regularly subcontracts work to more than twenty Maritime companies. The company specializes in consulting and travel media advertising sales.
Two years after starting his first business, Steve began investing in other interests—specifically, real estate developments.
“I first partnered with a group to build a small retail strip mall. That first commercial investment gave me a taste for real estate. The investment was successful and was recently sold after 16 years of ownership.
Steve also partnered with one of his early consulting clients, Kevin Murphy, to purchase the historic buildings in downtown Charlottetown that are currently home to the Gahan House and Sims Corner.
Steve’s business and real estate interests would grow along with the success of his first company. They included an event management business, a publishing company, shares in an international restaurant franchise, multiple real estate developments and a property management company.
Staff and contractors of Dunne Group accepting the 2014 Tourism Industry Association of PEI, Walt Wheeler Media Award for Welcome PEI
WelcomePEI.com is one of Steve’s most recent business endeavors. The website and accompanying social media have quickly become among the most engaging travel media in Atlantic Canada. WelcomePEI.com was the recipient of the TIAPEI Walt Wheeler Media Award in 2014.
“I take real pride in delivering positive results,” stresses Steve. “My clients appreciate that and in return they give me their loyalty.” Most of Stephen’s clients have been with him for more than a decade.
Today, Steve’s clients are spread all over Canada and include some in other countries. He enjoys spending time on-the-road in other markets and learning what provides a good return in those markets.
Joanne, Steve’s wife of twenty-five years, is an equal partner in all of the business operations. Joanne and Steve are very proud of their son and daughter and their varied accomplishments. The Dunne family enjoys travelling and have explored a lot of Canada, the USA, as well as England, France and Italy. Steve spends his non work time running, cycling, golfing and volunteering for causes close to his heart and important to the community, such as Habitat for Humanity and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.
Steve is a believer in lifelong learning. He recently participated, for four years, in the Strategic Coach professional entrepreneurship development program in Chicago and continues with annual short courses. He reads book after book produced by today’s business leaders. He firmly believes in the quote “Never stop learning, because life never stops teaching.”
“To have been afforded the opportunity to build businesses and raise a family in the most beautiful province in the greatest country in the world … how could I not wake up with a smile everyday? Yes, the glass is always half-full and I couldn’t imagine looking at life any other way.”