Stéfan Danis


Stéfan is Chief Talent Officer & CEO at Mandrake ( He holds a similar role  with FirstHCM ( These firms operate in the Search, Career Transition, Talent Management, and Human Capital Management businesses, nationally. Mandrake is also a member of IMD (, a global, leading executive search firm network. He is listed in the Who’s Who in Ontario, and is a member of YPO. Stéfan started his career in the Marketing department of Procter & Gamble and has a B.Comm. from McGill University.

Stéfan has over 20 years of experience in executive recruiting, and has influenced the growth of one of Canada’s largest privately-held search firm. Outside of his direct involvement in the recruiting of dozens of CEO’s, he has brokered several M&A’s. He has also led hundreds of executive engagements in Finance, Sales, HR, Marketing, and Strategy for various service and manufacturing companies. He is an expert on the War on Talent and the issues surrounding the changing face of human capital in today’s market, and frequently published, on air, or as a speaker.  He is a leader in creating and structuring competitive advantages for organizations looking to attract and retain talent.

Stéfan has also been very active driving social responsibility, including:

  • Running for Nabs  Founder (Stéfan has run across each of the Gobi and Atacama deserts to raise funds for unemployed and distressed executives)

  • Skate for Kids, an event benefiting kids at risk of which Stéfan is Co-Founder, -Chair has netted >$650,000

  • Marketing Hall of Legends of Canada (MHOL inducts Canadians for marketing lifetime achievement, more than 50 inductees thus far since 2005), of which Stéfan is Co-Founder, Chair

Stéfan is/has been on the Board of:

  • YPO   (global organization of young presidents promoting leadership and idea exchange) as Chair, Membership, and former Chair, and Assistant Chair, Membership

  • World Education Services,

  • Social Enterprise Development Innovations,

  • The Power Plant (TPP - Canada’s leading contemporary art gallery), as Governance and Nominations Chair

  • ProAction (outreach program from cops to kids at risk),

  • American Marketing Association (AMA), (global organization of leading marketers)

Stéfan is married and proud parent of two young daughters and an avid sports enthusiast:

  • Top 20 finish at the Windsurfing World Championships

  • Competitive skiing and snowboarding in some of the most radical terrain

  • A 24-hour mountain biking event

  • 1st Place in his age group and 1st Canadian in the 250K Gobi Desert Race

  • 1st Place as a Team in the 250K Atacama Desert Race

What interests me besides business?

Family and Friends. I am an only son, married to Leslie (Executive Coach); blessed with two daughters (7 & 9) and can count on great friends, old and new.

People. I meet a few hundred new ones a year. I read people well and study human beings; why they do what they do and try to predict future behaviour.

Learning. I invest 100 hours a year continuously learning and also give back by being a frequent speaker on various topics, from talent management to overcoming adversity.

Values. Family values are on the wall at home. Proud Canadian; the flag is on my home front.

Giving Back. I have helped create numerous mentoring opportunities via program design, fund raising, or simply public speaking.

Travel. I have a large world map at home with push pins. It is starting to get filled in. We value experiences and adventures as a family. I welcome all travel ideas - if you have been and it was great, odds are I will want to go too.

Green/Eco. I am a Toronto Transit Commission rider and do not own a car. I am working towards being carbon neutral. Painful at times but it feels right.

Language. French raised. Daughters teaching us Mandarin!

Moving. I am a serial renovator. I’ve co-owned/renovated 10 homes/multi dwellings.  Expert with contractors!

Saying Yes. I like to engage in life. A project shows up, I typically jump in and say yes!

Writing. I am involved in writing 3 books; two to be published in 2010.

Other stuff. Reading (non fiction–love using the Kindle), Spirituality, Journaling, Kids and Parenting, Wine and Contemporary Art collecting, and Laughter.