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Forty Under 40 Award winner Q&A: Joshua Krenus

This year’s cohort of recipients will be celebrated at an event Feb. 7, 2024

BIV is recognizing Joshua Krenus, CEO of Alteri Insurance, and 39 other exceptional business leaders as part of the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards cohort.

Longer Q&As with each recipient are included in BIV's annual Forty Under 40 Magazine (out in print Dec. 11). Award winners will be celebrated at an awards gala Feb. 7, 2024.

This profile may have been edited for length and clarity.

What career highlight are you most proud of?

As I look back on my career, the thing that sticks out the most is when I decided to leave my auto detailing business and start an insurance agency from scratch (Alteri). Knowing nothing about the insurance industry at the time, combined with having a well-established auto business downtown, it was a huge risk for me to do such a 180 with my career. Considering how far we have come as a team, I'm very proud to call it my creation, and proud of myself for taking the leap.

What was your toughest business or professional decision?

In 2016, after only six short months of starting the brand, I decided to buy out my business partner in Alteri and end the partnership. As a good friend of mine at the time, it was a very difficult decision to make, and certainly one of the toughest ones I've made to date. Looking back, however, it was also one of the best decisions I made for my vision of the brand.

How do you lead?

I pride myself on being a leader that leads by example through both work ethic and vision. To me, leadership is driving growth, culture and the strategic direction forward for the team members to both witness and to be inspired by. A strong leader cannot be everything for everyone, they must be disciplined in their vision for the company, and not worry about being everyone’s favourite person.

What is the biggest lesson you've learned in business?

You can't do it alone. Not only do you need good people around you, but you need to make sure they both accept and support your vision for the future.

Best piece of advice ever received?

You can't be everything to everyone.

What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Continue on your path of discipline and focus. Mistakes will inevitably be made, and you're going to make a lot of them, but when you commit yourself to the journey, the final outcome will showcase tremendous results. Stay hungry my friend.

What's left to accomplish?

I have so much left to accomplish there's no way I could fit it on this page. As a leader and a relatively young man, it's important for me to stay humble, to learn from those that are around me and for me to continue to grow into the best version of my professional self that I can. This will mean making continuous mistakes, starting new businesses and failing, and losing good people and opportunities to decisions made. The important thing will be to understand, learn and grow from all of those things.

Is there anyone you would like to thank or acknowledge?

I definitely wouldn't be as far as I am without the love and support of so many supportive and committed people. I have to thank all of my family, the team members at Alteri for sticking with me and for everyone who has made an impact on furthering my career – you know who you are.

Read Q&As with all 40 award recipients here. Tickets to the 2023 Forty Under 40 Awards gala on Feb. 7 are now available.