STEVE MUNFORD: Sophos
Steve is one of the OG* managers in the College Pro Window Cleaning family. After leaving his role, he went on to become CEO and family man extraordinaire.
Education: Western University, Economics / Queen’s University, MBA
Rookie Year: 1986
Current Home: Vancouver, BC
College Pro Story
Steve first got involved in College Pro through an on-campus recruiter. His first year was the inaugural year of College Pro Window Cleaning (Action, at the time) so the pressure was on. He took on the roles of franchisee and general manager over his years with the company, and worked closely for Andy Lennox, CPWC founder (check out his spotlight!)
College Pro Skills
“College Pro really does teach you the basics of selling. As a manager, training and developing other managers, it teaches you how to lead. But the biggest thing I learned was tenacity. There are a lot of times you want to quit, and a lot of times you’d rather be doing something else, but that’s life. You get great discipline”
Steve got caught up in the software revolution. He ran an early stages startup company, which was sold to Sophos. In return, Sophos offered Steve the job of CEO for their entire company (no big deal), which moved him to the UK, and he stayed in the position until 2012. Sophos is a public company specializing in security and software, and he now remains on the board and is an active investor.
Advice to the young’ns
“Whether you’re running a painting franchise or running a multi-billion dollar company, the basics are the same”. Steve specifies that these basics are very valuable – especially the opportunity to learn them in college. “It gives you something different to talk about – a competitive edge, and you stand out very early in your career”. He went on to say that it was learning those real life skills that helped foster his interests, for him it was business, but it could be anything. You can apply these skills to any part of life. “Some of the toughest jobs I had were while I was working as a College Pro manager, and I later went on to run a large company. There were different challenges, but similar approaches to dealing with them”.
Steve remembers the “brutal” cold calling; the knocking on doors for hours to get business. It may not be a favourite memory, but it is definitely the most vivid. In terms of fun though, his favourite memory would have to be those wild managers weekends as a time to blow off steam and celebrate the year’s hard work.
Steve is married with 3 kids (aged 16, 14 & 11)
They live in Vancouver and are a big skiing family – especially when they get to spend time together at Whistler
Steve loves to do anything to keep in shape – biking, running, swimming, and sometimes all three