It is not often that a plan conceived in a flash of insight and intuition actually comes to any fruition at all, let alone perfectly.

My insight was that the massive market-moving and ultra-youthful generation known as the Baby Boomers inevitably had to age, and if they were considered dominant when they were young (because of their size and spending power), then surely they must still be dominant even if they were getting older.

The youngest baby boomer was 45 years old at the time.

I concluded that a multi-media company focused on the Boomers, and older — 16.2 million Canadians in all — would deliver to marketers the biggest concentration of wealth and spending power in the marketplace. I set out to create that company.

First, I picked up two neglected radio gems — Classical 96.3 FM and AM 740 — precisely because of their unique formats and “older” audiences.

Next, I was elected President of CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy association (more than 300,000 members) fighting for the rights and interests of Canadians as they age. One of the first steps I took as President was to rebrand and relaunch CARP’s member magazine as Zoomer magazine with a robust redefinition of our demographic and lots of exciting information as to why and how to keep going, a sense of fun and adventure and commitment to active health. Now our award-winning flagship brand, Zoomer, is distributed on newsstands nationwide with an average issue readership of more than 1.2 million.

My next act was to secure the support of Canada’s most celebrated investor, Prem Watsa, whose financing enabled my re-entry into my first love — television — with the acquisition of the Vision Group of TV channels.

At the same time, we created other important properties, including the ZoomerShow, Canada’s largest lifestyle expo for the 45-plus market, and expanded our in-house production, and event management services. I’m also proud to say that my annual ideacity conference will mark its 20th anniversary this year.

ZoomerMedia’s association with CARP has been successful. My belief that by combining the power of a multi-media company with the strength and credibility of the leading advocacy group for the 45-plus, we could create a uniquely powerful force for changing the way Canadians think about aging, and respond to both its challenges and opportunities.

From pension reform to tax relief for caregivers to combating ageism, CARP has racked up numerous policy “wins” at both the federal and provincial levels. In a world where extreme political views seem to be gaining traction and the vast majority in the middle are feeling pressured into taking sides, CARP remains a calm, non-partisan voice. Virtually every Canadian political leader, across all party lines, has reached out to our members or spoken at our conferences. We are a force to be reckoned with in the corridors of power!

In the last decade at ZoomerMedia, I have witnessed slow but certain change. The marketing and media buying communities are finally acknowledging the POWER of the demographic we serve. Our media has come to represent a broad coalition of like-minded Canadians – 7.1 million reached each week.

They are not necessarily “retired” and not necessarily ”old” but refreshed and recharged with a shared mission to ensure that older adults are treated with dignity and respect by policy-makers and society at large.