Darlene Duggan is globally recognized as a leader in trade development, business planning, marketing and communications. She began her company in 2004 with a passion to help companies grow and succeed in their own backyard and internationally.
She has worked with over 1000 companies from established firms to start-ups on developing their business plans, sales strategies, market entrance and communications activities. She has led trade missions and coordinated business, tourism and entertainment events in the USA, South America, Europe, the Caribbean and Canada. She also has worked with international governments and companies on trade missions, presentations and site visits within Canada.
Additionally, Darlene has penned numerous reports on economic development and sector research reports for all levels of government and trade associations. She has been interviewed by Deloitte, Profit Magazine, Canadian Retailer, Halifax Chamber of Commerce Magazine and the Chronicle Herald on export and business issues facing Canadian companies. She has co-published an article in the Professional Geographer on challenges inherent to exporting from remote areas of Nova Scotia.
Darlene has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Certificate in International Trade from George Brown College of Applied Arts & Technology. She has studied numerous courses in trade, finance and government policy from various institutions. In 2013 she was accredited by the Canadian Tourism Commission as Explorer Quotient trainer, one of 13 in Canada. In 2018 she received a Professional Selling Certificate from the Professional Canadian Professional Sales Association. Darlene is currently enrolled in the Cannabis Industry Specialization program with Durham College in Ontario, Canada.
Darlene began her career working in communications, events and publicity. She graduated to sales and product development and licensed products for Brockum Canada, part of the BCL Entertainment Corp (Ballard Cohl Labatt). She then ran the marketing support and event department for a national insurance company, coordinating all aspects of a luxury sales reward cruise from Greece to Italy. These roles helped contribute to her experience in selling abroad which later afforded the role as a multi-sector Trade Commissioner for the Government of Canada. Here Darlene became a specialist in global trade initiatives, innovation, commercialization, company development, policy development, how to implement funding programs and government relations. After her contract was completed, she opened her own business, the Duggan International Group.
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
I am most proud of being able to hold my head up high after 15 years of operating my own business.
What’s your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
Atlantic Canada needs to embrace the changing landscape in what are acceptable environmental practices including alternatives to plastics and clean oceans. The biggest opportunity is for government to support local business, when local business grow they re-invest money back into provincial economies.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
My greatest stage of growth was within the first 5 years of operation. As more people became aware of my company, my services were in greater demand.
What’s your favourite or most read book or podcast? Now or at each of your greatest stages of growth?
My favourite book is by Dawn Steel, They Can Kill You But They Can't Eat You.
The book gave me tips on that anyone can succeed if they work hard and how to learn from difficult situations.
What’s your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
Deepest learning from this past year is to protect your brand. I now ensure that contracts include the minute details that were previously assumed as normal and professional business practices.
What are the principles you live by?
Principles I live by - treat all people with respect and only promote initiatives that truly benefit your clients.
Business Development Consultant, Go-Getter, lover of live music, lover of British TV