Back in April 1999 — like all good startups of the early tech era — D2L headquarters was a pretty modest place. All the founding members were crowded into a small room in my parents’ house with computers humming.
We worked hard day and night – taking a few hours off midday to play beach volleyball because we did not have air conditioning, and because the room would get hot with all those computers. This all made the company feel like a tight-knit family. Many of the early D2Lers are still helping to lead D2L today in a wide range of roles across the company – something that is a truly inspiring part of our history.
I say all of this because I want you to know two things:
First, that it wasn’t easy getting started. If it had not been for the commitment of our friends and early supporters, D2L would not have made it through those early days.
And, second, D2L has always been a family.
Now that we are a public company, you may be wondering what that means.
Over the past 22 years, our company has embraced an important mission to transform the way the world learns. Our team shares a determination to succeed, overcome big challenges, work hard for our customers and learners, and strive to put in our personal best each year. We work tirelessly to enable inspired and personalized learning experiences – from the earliest days of school through every stage of work.
That is not going to change.
Today, we’re inviting more people to join our D2L family, work toward our mission, and invest in our learning innovation platform – but we won’t forget who we are and what made us great in the process.
In the days ahead, our D2L family is going to grow bigger with more resources to help us accelerate our growth. This means we’ll be better equipped than ever before to reach every learner. And it means we can continue to do the work we love, with even greater ability to tackle ever greater challenges of global significance.
We’ve come a long way since 1999. I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together.
To my D2L family — and to our inspiring customers — thank you.
We would not be here without you.
CEO and Board Chair
John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo. D2L is a global software company that believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests.
A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide.
He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada, Business Higher Education Roundtable, Past Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School.
John was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), Young Alumni Achievement Medal from University of Waterloo, and Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.
John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.
LinkedIn: John Baker
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