Brydon Cruise is Chairman & Senior Partner of BFIN (formerly Brookfield Financial) and is responsible for originating real estate mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity capital markets transactions. He joined the firm in 2003 as a Managing Partner and previously served as President of BFIN from 2005 to 2016.
Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Cruise was a Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets in the commercial mortgage-backed securities business where he also developed a mortgage-trading platform. Mr. Cruise has more than 26 years of real estate experience including working for Fortress Investment Group, Lonestar Opportunity Fund and Citigroup.
He graduated with a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1988.
You recently won the REX Community Service Award which is a milestone achievement. What moment in your life led to being passionately philanthropic focused?
“There is no moment – it is an evolution. We started exploring ways to give back. We both started volunteering & donating money and that progressed to where we started helping to organize events and fund raisers. We worked for a large variety of causes and realized that the needs of charities will change so we then decided that a place like Tecasy Ranch could be utilized in many different ways – so we set off to develop. It is a unique path to give this way since there are no tax advantages but the control over the events and the ability to decide and work with the charities make the decision the correct one for us.”
In watching your award video, I love how you mention helping is an evolution, it’s not a decision. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to give back, but doesn’t know where to begin?
“Definitely start with donating your time and expertise. These charities always need an extra set of hands and a variety of skills requirements. In my case, I am good at real estate and accounting so I help in the finance area. Stacey has a Phys Ed degree and is an Ergonomist so she helps in the exercise program at Wellspring where her expertise is greatly appreciated. I would go so far to say that expertise help can help a charity even more than funding in some cases.”
Although Tecasy Ranch is in its infancy, it’s already had a positive impact on the community, the people that have experienced it and the dollars it’s fundraised through experiential events. What’s the backstory on Tecasy Ranch, how did that come to be?
“When we acquired the initial property, we thought we may build a YMCA Camp and actually started discussions with them. As we started down that path, we realized the limitations and restrictions this would put on us and our support of other charities so we decided to develop ourselves and allow all the charities to utilize. We were then fortunate enough o acquire another property and build the area to a substantial size. We will keep going !”
We’ve had the opportunity to visit Tecasy Ranch a few times now, and each time we visit, the Ranch has additional trails, cabins, and facilities. How will it continue to evolve 2-5-10 years from now?
“There will be a large dining hall and change rooms built this summer which will change many of the potential uses. We can now hold winter events and will have space for small conferences and the ability to cater and cook food. This will give the Ranch many new options. We also have a lot of work to do on future trails and making the trails we have more interesting and fun. We will work hard on non-cycling additions which also start this summer.
“Last year Tecasy Ranch hosted the Knobby Tire Trek For Kids and raised over 50,000$ – what events have you penciled in for 2018?
“The Knobby Tire trek for Kids is an annual event so we will have that on Septemebr 15th this year with a new format. In addition to that we are planning a mental health event, 2 corportate events and one event with the Emily Batty Project. “
“Tecasy ranch will also be used by local schools and colleges for a variety of educational needs.”
Cycling seems to be front and centre in your life. What is it about cycling and in particular mountain biking that has attracted you?
Both Stacey and I have always loved to cycle and being outdoors and we both used bikes as vehicles to commute at different times in our careers. We fell in love with the new 29’rs and that changed our enjoyment of the sport – we have added terrific road bikes, 27.5 fatties and fat tires to our collection so now we have a bike for any weather ! We are also very fortunate that so many of our friends love the sport as well – it’s such a fun group sport.
In our eyes, you and Stacey are purveyors of goodwill and philanthropy, yet so humble. Who in your life had a significant impact on your character and personality and shaped who you are today?
“Stacey and I have had friends go through some of the worst things life has to throw at you, cancer, suicide, car accidents terminal illness – we are always amazed at how people deal with adversary and we want to help. Because we have been so fortunate and our family is healthy – I would say we push each other to give back and make all of our decisions together – in that process we tend to end up with pretty ambitious plans like Tecasy Ranch. The other main reason we do this stuff is because we can – we have the time, energy, money and ability to do this and we know many other people do not have that opportunity.”
If you could provide one piece of advice for youth aspiring for success both in their chosen career and personal life, what would you tell them?
Find your passion
Emily Batty is a 2x Canadian Olympic cyclist.
Her career highlights include Bronze at the Mountain Bike World Championships, Gold at the Pan American Games, Silver at the Commonwealth Games, Fourth at the Rio Olympic Games.
Emily’s longtime supporters and the ones that make chasing dreams possible include Trek Bikes, Red Bull, Kindred Financial, Oakley, Lululemon, Pfaff Porsche.