Marko Dekovic

Forty Under 40 Winner 2017: Vice-president of public affairs, Global Container Terminals Age 39

Marko Dekovic was born in Canada, but between the ages of two and 14 he lived in Croatia, before his family fled back to Canada to escape the war between Croatia and Serbia following the breakup of Yugoslavia and Croatia’s declaration of independence in the early 1990s.

His early experience imbued him with a deep interest in politics and international affairs, and shaped his decision to earn a degree in political science with a minor in international relations from the University of British Columbia.

His first job was in public relations for the industry group Brewers of Canada, but his interest in politics eventually led him into the public service sector and a job working for Conservative cabinet ministers David Emerson and James Moore.

In 2006, he became the senior regional adviser when Emerson was minister of international trade and foreign affairs. While with Emerson’s ministry, he worked on two major files – the 2010 Winter Olympics and the $1 billion Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.

Exciting though the Olympics were, Dekovic said he actually found the Asia-Pacific initiative to be the most interesting and challenging.

It involved consolidating the Lower Mainland’s three port authorities into one and getting municipalities, TransLink and provincial and federal governments to co-operate and help fund the initiative.

“I ended up being more excited and spending more time on the gateway,” he said. “I saw the Olympics as something that’s going to come and go, but the gateway thing is something that’s going to stick around and fundamentally change the economy.

“That was definitely a big file and seeing it come together was tremendously important and ultimately ended up being successful.”

From 2012 to 2015, Dekovic worked for the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority as manager of government affairs and strategic communications. Two years ago, his experience and interest in transportation issues led him to Global Container Terminals, the Vancouver-based container terminal operator, where he is vice-president of public affairs.

Birthplace:

Vancouver

Where you live now:

Coquitlam

Highest level of education:

BA in political science, UBC

Currently reading:

Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate by Rose George

Currently listening to:

2Cellos

When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up:

Teacher

Profession you would most like to try:

Race car driver

Toughest business or professional decision:

Moving from public sector to private sector

Advice you would give the younger you:

Take the risks and make bold moves while you can

What’s left to do:

Road trip to Disneyland with the kids 

Join us to celebrate the 2017 Forty under 40 Awards on January 23, 2018, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit http://www.biv.com/events/40under40

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