We love to spotlight our Council Members and share brief insights into the person behind the role. As our Innovation Advisory Council spans thirty cities across three continents, we have an incredible and diverse group of Council members leading companies of all sizes and industries. In this spotlight, we caught up with Kin Lee-Yow, CIO at CAA Club Group. CAA Club Group (CCG) is comprised of CAA South Central Ontario, CAA Manitoba, CAA Insurance, and Orion Travel Insurance.
Can you give us an abridged story of the journey through your career and how you got to your current role?
I started my professional career at RBC Royal Bank, where I created the Bank's first online pre-mortgage approval application and designed the first prototype online banking system. I went on to Sears Canada to build their Internet infrastructure and presence as the Internet Architect and left as the Director of IT eCommerce. I moved on to Moneris Solutions, the leading Canadian Payment processor, as the Infrastructure Architect. During my ten years tenure at Moneris, I had multiple executive roles in IT and a General Manager role of the Gateway business at Moneris. I joined the Canadian Automobile Association South Central Ontario (CAASCO) club in 2012 as the Vice President of Information Technology, overseeing all the technology areas (infrastructure, applications, and cybersecurity). I was brought in to revamp the technology at the club completely. In 2016, my title was changed to Chief Information Officer. At the end of 2017, all the technology stacks at the club were completely modernized. CAASCO merged with CAA Manitoba to become CAA Club Group in 2016. In 2019 CAA Club Group acquired Echelon Insurance. The people, process, and technology foundation allowed the company to expand smoothly.
Innovation means many different things to many different people; what does it mean for you?
Innovation is about understanding what the objective is and constantly finding new and more efficient methodology of getting to that objective. Here's an example of what I mean: One basic human need is communication. The objective is to communicate from one individual to another. It has evolved from painting in caves, stone carving, smoke signals, drums, papyrus, and paper to digital. The only difference is the method or the way the communication is done.
How do you see the rapid evolution of technology impacting your industry in five years?
Technology is evolving at a faster and faster pace. We will see a significant shift from manual work to fully automated mundane activities. Companies that have shifted to that mode would see tremendous growth, while those without would see declines. One thing that we always must keep top of mind is cybersecurity.
What’s been one of the most significant challenges you’ve faced over the course of your career?
One of the most significant challenges is health. There are many challenges that one faces during our career, but the one that caught up to me was health. One day you are going at a hundred miles per hour doing all sorts of good things. You are in the hospital the next day, and you feel completely useless. So, one must seriously take care of their health.
What are you most proud of in either your work or personal life?
My proudest moments are when I see the people I help to grow, achieve higher heights and move to higher positions. I like to see people that I mentor grow and succeed.
Interested in joining our Council filled with amazing innovators like Kin? Find out more here.