David Warkentin

David Warkentin


Career Summary  

Possessing 30 years of hands-on leadership in sales, sales management and general business management experience leading business units producing over 60M/yr in revenue, I have held P&L responsibility managing $8M expense budgets leading organizations with over 50 employees and sales and marketing teams of 28 sales reps and managers as well as 2 businesses which I owned. For 3 decades I have consistently been promoted for and recognized as an executive that meets or exceeds Board and management expectations increasing margins and shareholder value by reducing operating expense and increasing revenues through implementation of  effective sales and marketing processes and programs. Excellent selling and sales management skills has enabled me to successfully contribute to closing deals with key international accounts as large as $4M spanning industries from Vehicle Manufacturing, Security, Wireless Communications and Electronic Test and Measurement.  

Smartire Systems Inc.                                                                                                                              2005 - Present 

Smartire designs, manufactures and sells wireless sensing systems for commercial vehicles with an initial focus on tire pressure monitoring. The company’s products are marketed to vehicle manufacturers (OEMs) as well as to the after market through distribution sales channels. The company was founded in 1988 and is a small cap public company traded on the OTCBB.  

Various consulting engagements to and for the Board as well as a Board Member                    2008 - Present

President and Chief Executive Officer                                                                                                   2006 - 2008  

Promoted to the position of President and CEO in October 2006 by the Board of Directors based upon my success as VP Sales and Marketing as well as contributions to general managment as a member of the senior management team.

With responsibility for all aspects of the business with a headcount of 54 employees with 6 direct reports consisting of CFO, VP Engineering, Director of Sales, Managing Director Smartire Europe, VP Product Management and Director of Manufacturing. The expense budget of $7.4M and revenue plan of $6.9M was based upon a plan developed by previous President & CEO with input from management of other departments.  

Smartire was in severe financial difficulty after many years of non-profitable operations and continuous funding  of losses via the public markets the latest of which was an $11M convertible debenture debt financing. At the time of my promotion to President & CEO the company was within 45 days of exhausting cash for operations . The accumulated debt made securing funding from any source other than current debt holders extremely unlikely and therefore my task was to make improvements to the business that would provide sufficient credibility with debt holders to secure additional funding.    


•  The company had experienced 3 changes to the position of President in 18 months and was unfocused. The board of Directors tasked me with stabilizing the business and creating and executing a strategic plan. I led the development of the plan which resulted in new business processes and focus on profitability. This brought stability, a renewed sense of purpose to the staff and provided a roadmap to profitability.  

•  Leading the drive to profitability I reduced operating expenses in year one from $7.6M/yr to $4.6M and $3.7M in year 2. Headcount was reduced from 54 to 27. This cost reduction was accomplished while increasing revenues by 10% from $3.4M to $3.7M and not losing any key customers or potential contracts. This was accomplished by gaining Board and management team support for the plan and motivating staff to successfully execute the plan.  

•  Although the company was experiencing a major restructuring I was able to maintain all but 2 key staff members from my start as president until the company was sold. This was in large part due to an initiative I led to pro-actively affect a significant shift in corporate culture which was necessary to execute the new corporate strategic plan and maintain support of key staff. This leadership challenge was successfully accomplished through consistent internal messaging as well as utilization of tools such as cross department advisory groups  

•  Within 2 months of taking over as President & CEO I secured additional funding by meeting with the senior executives of the funds that held the company's debt presented our new business plan and developed positive relationships to gain credibility for management team and plan. The funding requirements secured were $4.1M in year one and $1.6M in year 2 and $262k in year 3.  

•  The company had invested in R&D and had a fairly extensive patent portfolio. The Board had felt that competitors had been infringing our patents however previous management had not pursued a resolution to the problem. I drove an initiative to determine if a patent infringement lawsuit was possible and if so to litigate. This project was completely under my control. I researched potential IP litigation law firms with the intent to find a top quality firm that would take our case on a contingency basis. I accomplished this and suits were filed against Siemens and Schrader/Bridgeport in August 2007. I managed the case in it's entirety on behalf of the company which was ultimately settled with both parties  for $3M each as well as other non financial considerations.  

•  Financial challenges created a strain on our key supplier relationships which included GE, Panasonic and Vansco-Parker. A plan was created under my guidance to identify key suppliers issues and meet with them to ensure that our relationships were strong. I maintained personal relationships with senior management at GE Sensing as well as Parker – Vansco to ensure continuance of supply. Throughout my tenure and the sale of the business we successfully maintained all key supplier relationships.  

•  In late 2008 the Board approved my recommendation to seek a buyer for the business. The vehicle manufacturing market was showing signs of  a downturn as evidenced by delayed implementation of signed supply agreements. I successfully led the deal team throughout an 8 month process which resulted in multiple potential buyers making bids for the operational assets of the company. This ultimately resulted in the sale of the business for up to $28M (dependent upon future performance) to Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems Inc. a subsidiary of  Knorr-Bremse of Germany - a $3.5B global company.  

Vice President Sales and Marketing                                                                                                             2005- 2006  

 I was recruited for the position of VP Sales and Marketing via executive search firm.  

The company  had just completed a convertible debenture debt financing and was looking to substantially increase revenues. There was no established revenue plan or operational expense budget when I arrived in this position. The company was marketing 4 different product categories in 8 distinct market segments and had no clear strategy for revenue growth.  

With no target established or budget I developed a sales and marketing plan which included recommendations for a refined product and market segment focus. I managed a headcount of  13 which included 4 direct reports consisting of  NA Sales Manager, Managing Director - Smartire Europe, Marketing Manager and Manager – Customer Service.  

In year 2, I was tasked by the interim CEO to develop an annual business planning process to set financial targets and budgets which formed the basis of the board approved plan for FY 2007.    


•  With 4 different product categories in 8 distinct market segments I drove the initiative to refine the product and marketing focus and developed a new marketing plan on this basis. This resulted in a significant improvement in effective use of resources for marketing and sales activities, engineering and product development and customer support.  

•  Developed and implemented a sales plan including sales process , sales skills training and coaching which were key drivers in increasing revenues from $1.4M to $2.6M in year 1 and $3.4M in year 2. I implemented a sales training program for all sales team members based upon Strategic Selling Skills and SPIN Selling concepts. This was done to improve skills of sales team, provide common terminology across the team,  improve sales pipeline management and provide more accurate forecasts. This initiative increased the accuracy of forecasts by 84% and allowed reduction of inventory from $2.5M to $1.2M. Improved selling skills and opportunity management improved the closing ratio to over 90%. We were also able to identify opportunities that fit into our corporate objectives and avoid those that did not.    

•  Led development and execution of sales strategies resulting in closing supply agreements with major vehicle manufacturers: John Deere (1.5M year 1 projected to grow by 300% per year for following 3 years) , International Truck and Engine Corporation (1.0M year 1 projected to grow by 200% per year for following 3 years) , Volvo  Truck North America (1.0M year 1 projected to grow by 300% per year for following 3 years), Caterpillar Corp. (fixed contract year one at 4.0M)  

•  Increased profit margins from less than 6% to in excess of 35% corporately by modifying pricing strategies and personally negotiating supply agreements with all new accounts  (Volvo Truck NA, International Truck and Engine Corp. (ITEC), John Deere, Daimler Chrysler Bus, Caterpillar and Komatsu) and re-negotiated agreements with some existing accounts ( MCI, Prevost Bus, New Flyer, Aston Martin).  

•  Closed largest sale with Camping World a North American retailer with 60 outlets nationwide resulting in $900k in sales for year one.  

Intrinsyc Software International, Vancouver, BC                                                                                      2004 - 2005  

Intrinsyc Software provides complete software and hardware design engineering services to wireless mobile device makers as well as licensable software for wireless telephone handset makers and software companies requiring .NET/Java interoperability. Reporting to the President.  

Vice President Sales & Marketing    

With a sales and marketing budget of $3.2M/yr and revenue of $18M/yr I was responsible for all sales and marketing activities of the company on a global basis. The company had a headcount of 110 with the Sales and Marketing headcount of 11 with 5 direct reports and direct sales teams located in Vancouver and Birmingham UK.  

Within 90 days of the beginning of my tenure the company shifted it's primary product focus to a new software product that was in development. The company was restructured into 3 business units with individual business leaders having P&L responsibility. Under my control sales and marketing functions were provided to the BU's as corporate services.  


•  Engineering services division exceeded target by 1M with revenue in excess of $15M/yr. This was accomplished through the introduction of a specific and repeatable sales process and forecasting system. With theaverage sale >$300k and sales cycles >9 months I trained and implemented a strategic selling approach  which provided a technically oriented  sales team with the tools needed to successfully sell technology  services.  

•  The Software division met 77% of target in a declining market. With average deal sizes less than  $30k I implemented a telephone sales model that showed promise but was not fully refined during my time with the company.  

•  Developed sales plans for existing products and professional engineering services for global markets including EU and Asia.  

•  Conducted market analysis for new mobile software product (Microsoft based OS for low-end telephone handsets)  and developed sales plan to secure first customer and scale for growth. This was accomplished through potential customer visits in Asia and the USA. 

•  Closed engineering services deals in the US and Malaysia valued at >$700kand personally negotiated purchasing agreements.  

Silent Witness Enterprises, Surrey, BC                                                                                                   2000 - 2004  

Silent Witness was a public company traded on the TSX designing and manufacturing security cameras and digital video recorders targeted to the financial,educational and corrections markets. The company also manufactured and sold mobile video systems to the school bus and taxi markets in North America. In 2004 the company entered into an agreement to sell the company to Honeywell Security Systems.  

Director of Sales & Marketing 

Recruited by the Director of HR for the position very soon after I began my position with Digital Dispatch Systems. I was pursued for a period of 60 days before agreeing to consider the position and ultimately accepting.  

Responsible for all sales and marketing activities with an expense budget in 2001of $2.6M which grew to slightly over $8M/yr in 2004 as revenues grew from $26M/yr in 2000 to $58M/yr in 2004 both organically and through acquisition. The company sold it's products on a global basis with 80% of revenue coming from the USA, 12% from the EU (80% of that from the UK) and the balance from the rest of the world.  

Sales delivery methods included distribution in North America and UK with an 8 person inside sales team in Vancouver as well as 6 outside sales personnel supporting a dealer network and a Manufacturer's representatives. The acquisition of a manufacturer of digital video recorders added 5 direct sales personnel located in an office in Anaheim , Ca and home offices in Texas and Ohio to provide direct sales efforts to the banking sector. This acquisition grew the sales and marketing headcount to 28 of which 4 were direct reports consisting of Manager of International Sales, Manager of North American Distribution, Director North American Sales (DVR) and Marketing Manager.  


•  I successfully integrated a sales team from an acquisition that resulted in sales teams involved in both a transactional sales model delivered through distribution and dealer networks as well as a complex direct sales model. This required 2 distinct sales training and management programs which resulted in revenue of $58M in year one after the acquisition.  

•  Created marketing distribution sales plans to successfully grow business with key distributor with revenue in excess of $12M/yr. This customer represented 45% of total company revenue which I identified as a risk and was able to reduce that percentage to below 18% in 2004.  

•  Managed the development and implementation of marketing plans including print advertising campaigns with budgets of $400k and major trade shows in the USA and UK with budgets in excess of $400k per show consistently meeting or exceeding lead generation targets.  

•  As a member of the product development team I created and executed a new product introduction for an emerging taxi video system market. Utilizing a strategic selling approach I successfully led the closing of exclusive supply deals with the city of San Francisco valued at $750k in year 1and Winnipeg  valued at $200k. These deals were accomplished in competition with established incumbents.  

•  Maintained forecasting accuracy targets in excess of 85% for over 55 product groups. This was accomplished through effective sales pipeline management.    

Digital Dispatch Systems Inc (DDS), Richmond, BC 2000 - 2000  

DDS designed and manufactured mobile dispatching hardware and software for the taxi  and courier markets in North America and EU.  

Director of North American Sales  

I secured the position after selling Mobiletrends Communications. Responsible for all sales activities in North America reporting to the President.  

The company had a headcount of 90 with a sales team of 6 reporting to me. Due to the short duration of my position I did not have a yearly revenue target result.  


•  Implemented strategic selling methodology and trained the sales team through classroom and in field coaching.  

•  Average deal size was in excess of $500M with sales cycle exceeding 9 months. I was able to lead sales strategy to close 2 deals during my 3 month tenure.  

Mobiletrends Communications Inc. Richmond, BC1992 - 2000

Mobiletrends was a distribution company importing over 2000 products from 15 different manufacturers in the USA and Taiwan for the mobile wireless market. Headquartered in Richmond the company also had warehouses in Calgary and Toronto.    


I acquired the Richmond operation from a company called Eastcom Industries in Toronto. Responsible for all aspects of the business I began with a headcount of 3 and first year sales of $1.2M. Over the following 6 years the company was grown to a headcount of 9 serving customers in geographic markets from Ontario west.  


•  Negotiated acquisition and financing of initial Richmond operation and Calgary. Expansion to Toronto resulted in revenue growth to $4.2M/yr in 1997.  

•  Negotiated exclusive distribution agreements with Manufacturers in the US for the Canadian market. The success of the company depended on the quality of the relationships established with these manufacturers. I personally managed and cultivated these relationships.  

•  Developed marketing plans that included the production of a 200 page uncatalogued using internal desktop publishing resources.  

•  Utilized direct mail campaigns to build and maintain a dealer network across the geographic region served. Began to use email marketing as well as internet marketing in 1997.  

 Glenayre Electronics, Vancouver, BC                                                                                                          1990-1993  

The division of Glenayre I worked for sold and serviced two-way radio communications systems directly to end-users. This included commercial as well as government customers.  

Regional Manager Communications Division  

Managed 2 sales and services branches selling two-way radio systems and cellular telephones.  

John Fluke Manufacturing, Ottawa, Montreal                                                                                            1989-1990  

The company manufactured and sold electronic test and measurement equipment directly to electronics manufacturers and through distribution.  

Eastern Regional Sales Manager  

I managed direct sales offices in Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary with a headcount of 14.  

Ottawa Communications Centre Inc, Ottawa, ON                                                                                        1985-1989  

The company was a dealer for various manufacturers of two-way radio systems and cellular telephones in the Eastern Ontario market. As managing partner I was responsible for all aspects of the business from start-up to headcount of 9.  

Managing Partner  

•  Launched the company with a financial partner and reached profitability in year 2.  

•  Established bank lines of credit as well as supplier relationships.  

•  Personally closed majority of deals in years 1 and 2 until able to establish sales team.  

A.C Simmonds & Sons, Toronto                                                                                                              1980-1985

As a manufacturer's representative firm the company represented over 25 US companies in Canada selling electronics in 3 segments: Professional and Personal Audio, Electronic Components and Wireless Communications. I entered the company after completing University having worked for a division of the company as a summer employee during high school. I held various positions and was first exposed to selling and dealer network development and channel management.  

Inside Sales, Toronto                                                                                                                                      1980 – 1981

Regional Sales Rep. Vancouver                                                                                                                    1981 - 1981  Regional Sales Rep. Winnipeg                                                                                                                      1981 - 1983 

Eastern Regional Sales Manger, Toronto                                                                                                  1983 – 1985  

•  Frequently promoted and transferred due to excellent sales performance, regularly exceeding targets  

•  Managed and grew largest dealer account in the company in excess on $1.5M/yr.  

•  Prospected and closed largest dealer account in company history in Winnipeg (Manitoba Telephone System)  


BSc. Human Physiology - University of Toronto 1980  

Various sales training programs including PSS I, II, III, SPIN Selling, Strategic Selling Skills etc.  

Completed “Growth Strategy Program” in 2008 - a 1 year mentoring and education program developed for technology CEO's by Acetech.  

Chairman of Communications Committee - Air Canada Championship for 5 years  

Passionate about Golf and distance running (completed 2 full marathons and a number of 1⁄2 marathons); interested in many sports including Sailing/Cruising.  

Work History

Work History


Sep 1976 - May 1980

Bachelor of Science

University of Toronto