Scott Plugers, Senior Manager – KPMG LLP
Scott Plugers is a CPA and a Senior Manager with KPMG LLP with over 6 years of experience in the industry. Scott graduated from Brock University in 2011 and has since been working with clients in a diverse range of industries from public sector to not‐for‐profit and owner managed businesses.
Scott primarily focuses on providing accounting, audit and advisory services throughout Niagara and beyond. He is actively involved in the community and currently sits on the Board of the Resource Association for Teens (“RAFT”) and is the Initiation Program director for the Welland Minor Hockey Association.
How do you define community leadership?
Community leadership is about engaged citizens operating under a common goal and objective. To me, while a person can demonstrate community leadership skills, it’s the collective group of community leaders that define how effective community leadership is in a community. It needs to be in the underlying core of the strategy of any community.
It’s also about how we represent and carry ourselves within the community to represent our communities to the fullest. I love all the things Niagara has to offer and attending various events you see the passion and energy of community members whether it be emerging leaders or those that have been engaged for several years. It’s fascinating to see the work that they accomplish and I look forward to the opportunity to engage and share my skill sets in any capacity to continuously enhance our community.
What, in your view, is the most significant issue/opportunity facing our community? Why?
There is certainly no one answer to this question. You often read it ranges from retaining/attracting top young talent as people feel the need to go elsewhere, or the economic changing landscape of Niagara and even environmental issues.
Those are all major issues facing Niagara that come along with great opportunity to leverage Niagara strengths (whether it be location, landscape, educational institutions and so on).
To me, one of the more significant issue is how to continue to engage the community as a whole to collectively achieve that desire that we have for Niagara. How do we bring in all facets of Niagara to make Niagara the best place to live, work and play?
How would you go about handling the issue?
In tackling that, it starts with being a role model and starting conversations with those that we come across in our everyday interactions. The desire for community leadership isn’t a role that someone can take on per se, it has to be embedded within everything we do. Engaging local school boards to develop and promote curriculums inclusive of a community leadership mindset will foster the next generation of leaders and the community partnerships including facility partnerships is just the beginning (such as currently on-going at DSBN). Thinking big it can include community wide initiative days. Our work regularly takes part in community leader days, choosing a cause or organization to contribute time to learning and assisting in any capacity we can. Aside from being a great team experience it’s a great way to gain exposure to the variety of services we offer in Niagara and appreciate all the work that goes into ensuring our community thrives.
While not overly specific above those are just 2 ideas of opportunities to begin to address the issue but it starts with the little things that collectively can make a significant impact.
In your view, what’s the most important attribute of a leader?
Certainly passion stands out to me as an important attribute of a leader. Passion can energize and engage, showcase motivation and the desire to work together and from that attribute to me a lot follows. Without the passion behind what someone does there can be a disconnect between what is being done and what is trying to be accomplished strategically.
What individual attributes do you hope to develop or expand upon?
There is always room to grow and I would hope to develop my interpersonal skills. This is an area I personally struggle in and as a community leader and as a citizen that is important to me to be able to interact with ease and continually improve on my communication skills. It is an area I tend to shy away from and in situations I’ve felt like that has held me back in being an active contributor.
I would also like to expand my creativity. It can, at times, be hard as a “numbers” person but the continued opportunity to work with various members of the community offers a chance to learn from them and see things a little differently to hopefully expand my creative side.