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Get to Know Our Leaders: Interview with Haakon Saake, Vice President I.T. Services

Q: How long have you been with the Toromont family?

A: Since May 1997

 

Q: What did you do before joining Toromont?

A: I worked as a Computer Programmer for different organizations

 

Q: What are your main responsibilities?

A: I’m responsible for guiding and supporting the most talented IT team in the industry. That team is comprised of our Network, IT Infrastructure, Help Desk, Cybersecurity, Business Application Development, Delivery and Support groups.

 

Q: Our 22+U project is well underway. When it comes to innovation and performance, what is your vision?

A: IT needs to continue to provide our business the technology necessary to innovate and surpass customer expectations, achieve greater efficiencies and find new revenue opportunities.

 

Q: What are your thoughts on Toromont’s digital transformation?

A: In the last couple of years, our Digital and Marketing teams have been concentrating efforts to take us to the next level. IT provides the technology needed for that transformation so it is an important partnership. The business landscape and technology changes fast, digital transformation is a critical component for our future.

 

Q: What has been your greatest challenge during the COVID pandemic?

A: Our IT team was able to quickly implement technology that helped us continue to work remotely and see each other through video. However, I miss the office. I do not get the opportunity to interact with colleagues from other departments and see our business in action as much as I used to. Most of our IT team can work effectively remotely so they have been doing so in order to mitigate risks associated with the pandemic to help our front-line coworkers such as field service, parts counter, mechanics, help desk, network and infrastructure and others to remain safe.

 

Q: In what ways would you like to contribute to Toromont over the next few years?

A: Continue to guide and support my teams to implement the most cost-effective leading-edge technology solutions in order to help our people grow the business.

 

Q: What has been your greatest accomplishment at Toromont?

A: A couple of initiatives that come to mind are leading the development of innovative business software currently used by the majority of Cat dealers worldwide. More recently, I am proud to have helped combine our IT teams into one Ecan IT team serving the whole enterprise.

 

Q: What do you like to do outside of work? Do you have any special hobbies or interests? What are you passionate about?

A: I love logging, woodworking and building. I have a property northeast of Parry Sound that always has a project waiting for me. My favorite projects are the ones that require a CCE rental. I have to admit I end up moving more dirt than really required when I get one.

 

Q: What person inspires you the most? Do you have a favorite quote?

A: The past 19+ months of the pandemic have highlighted some of the best of the Toromont team. It has been unprecedented and extremely challenging but we worked together to operate safely to serve our customers as an essential service. That has been inspiring. Tough times do not last, tough teams do.

 

Q: Do you have any advice for the young people who are starting their career at Toromont?

A: Toromont has become a large company that operates in multiple business segments, which creates many professional opportunities for our people, particularly for those that embrace learning and teaching. Young people have learned cutting-edge technology and I would encourage them to share their knowledge with others. Conversely, I would advise them to pay close attention to what they can learn from more experienced colleagues. 

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