Planning the future

Multi-tasking entrepreneurs take charge

Ten minutes on the phone with Eric Daniel Sabourin is enough to make anyone feel like they should probably go climb a mountain or conquer the world. After all, that’s what he is doing. And at the tender age of 19, his relentless ambition is already paying off.

Sabourin is co-owner of JED Development Services, a new Ottawa-based company offering event and program planning. Along with business partner Jordan Kent, Sabourin dabbles in training, multimedia, production services, public relations and other assorted services.

“Basically we do everything from organizing the ceremony to booking the room. We have a wide network of service providers. We access resources for you,” says Sabourin. “We’re pretty wild. We don’t mind doing things differently.”

JED also zeroes in on program development and devotes much of its time to creating booklets and resource manuals, and organizing training.

Though the project hasn’t gone public yet, JED is the brains behind a sexual orientation booklet full of questions and answers that a local church has asked them to create.

“We’re working on the layout, the content, [getting] funding from the government for them,” explains Sabourin, who says if JED can’t do it, it has connections to those who can.

This summer, JED is also working with Algonquin College residence advisors, providing training workshops on how to spot and handle sexual orientation discrimination in school.

“About 80 percent of our contracts have been GLBTQ-oriented so far,” says Sabourin.

JED (for Jordan Extreme Designs) began six months ago when good friends Sabourin and Kent decided to pool their resources. The pair met when Kent was the coordinator of the Pink Triangle Services youth group two years ago and Sabourin approached her with some ideas.

Between the two of them, they have enough volunteer, training and work experience in everything from leadership to multimedia to keep an entire generation occupied.

And the little company has already come a long way. “When we started, we didn’t have computers or printers or anything,” Sabourin laughs.

JED had no government funding and no loans, and was largely founded on money Sabourin’s grandparents had saved for him. “And my Visa,” he laughs. “Thank God for Visa.”

Now Sabourin has plans to move the fledgling company into an office building next year to accommodate JED’s ever-growing staff.

Aside from being the founding father of a successful company, Sabourin manages to hold down a full-time job as a program manager with the Francophone Federation, coordinate a Pink Triangle Youth support group, sit on the board for the Gay/Straight Alliances program and volunteer for Pink Triangle Services.

“And I feed my cat,” he adds, then pauses. “And I try to maintain a love life.”


In spite of all he’s got going for him, the Bourget native also plans to head back to Algonquin this fall to finish off his culinary training.

“Cooking is my passion,” he admits. “It’s for fun. I may do it for a little while or for catering purposes.” After that, he plans to head into social work.

His goals may seem all over the map, but for Sabourin this eclectic approach to life works. A small sample of his resume includes Optimists International, Scouts and Professional AT training.

“One day I realized that I have all this knowledge. We’ve got a lot of training in a lot of things, leadership, graphics,” he says. He explains that JED built up its service provider base largely from contacts the two made through their work and volunteer experiences.


For more information on JED Development Services call 721-8159.

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Culture, Ottawa

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