Growing up in Vancouver, Dean Duperron had all the trappings to be another street kid statistic. But the old fashion values that had been drummed into his DNA, kept him from spiraling further into an abyss of despair.
Today, the one-time street kid of the seventies who was scouring dumpsters for sustenance, helms a multi-million-dollar education and real estate empire spanning the globe.
Born in Alberta, Dean and his military family moved around to several cities before landing in Vancouver. Here at 18, he was forced out of his home. It was a time of cold nights on construction yards and meals plucked from dumpsters. Luck meant you’d just found a nickel lying on the sidewalk which meant food for a day or two. But it was Dean’s belief in the value of education that pushed him to get a job — first as a janitor at McDonald’s, then as an assistant manager at Kmart — and eventually to initiate a reconciliation with his father.
In 1979 Dean left pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University of B.C. in his third year to take a job as a computer instructor at MacKay’s Business School. A few years later he found himself at Control Data Corp., an American supercomputer firm. Success followed. And by the time 1991 rolled around, he and his wife, Sherri, were able to buy the then-fledgling Sprott-Shaw Community College.
Dean and his team transformed the college into a profitable operation in Canada with 29 Canadian campuses (26 in B.C. and three in Alberta), 650 employees in Canada, and an estimated $50 million in annual revenue. Overtime Sprott-Shaw College grew to include, at various points, campuses in Jordan, Jamaica, USA, Philippines, Vietnam, India, and China. The course offerings went from a single 4-month secretarial program to some 30 different programs including a Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Diplomas in Health Care such as Nursing, Pharmacy, Care Aids; Diplomas in Business such as Management, International Business, etc.; Diplomas in Hospitality such Hotel Management, Hotel Operations, etc. Also offered were Trades Programs with Red Seal training in a variety of programs including the first Electrical Program to be approved by the government to be operated by a private college. In fact, Mr. Duperron’s group created a number of industry firsts…to name just a few… he founded Sprott-Shaw Degree College (later to become Ascenda College which today boasts 1,100 students in various Bachelor and Masters degrees) the first private community college in B.C. to be granted the right to confer Bachelors Degrees.
With almost four decades of experience helming an international conglomeration of colleges for 40 years, Dean’s leadership has helped hundreds of thousands of graduates enjoy successful careers in Business, Trades, Administration, Information Technology and Healthcare.
The Duperron Group has been involved in real estate for decades going back to first purchasing a 5-year-old split level home in Coquitlam which he converted into triplex. From there a variety of real estate investments including… a co-op housing project was converted into a strata quadrupling its value. Later an apartment complex was purchased in Langley. In 2012 The Duperron Group purchased 39 apartment buildings in Houston with the Canadian dollar at par to the USA dollar and sold in 2015 profiting from a 30% drop in the value Canadian dollar… these transactions among others has made real estate a successful part of The Duperron Group’s portfolio.
His diverse business experience, also includes operations in, trades, retail, wholesale, real estate investing, market investing, party and event planning and mentoring entrepreneurs. The Duperron Group has also delivered training in a variety of subjects, such as trade skills, electrical, heavy equipment operators, construction, hospitality, health careers, nursing, pharmacy, and business, etc. The recognition that it has conferred has enjoyed the support of various governments in the provinces and countries in which it does business. The credentialing has been everything from certificates all the way through Masters Degrees.
The Duperron group of schools today includes an online university, Hospitality Institutes, a Heavy Equipment School, ESL Schools, Horticulture and various business programs throughout our member schools.
The Duperron Group purchased and built a successful medical clinic in Mission, B.C. Partnering with a young aboriginal doctor who had applied and been accepted through the MD Aboriginal Admissions program at UBC (of which Mr. Duperron was a committee member) 12 years earlier, the young doctor and Dean reopened a clinic in Wal-Mart which had been closed for 2.5 years and at a time when three other clinics in Mission closed, the Gwaii Medical Clinic blossomed. After two years the clinic was sold to the young doctor and thrives to this day.
The Duperron Group is also a dynamic investment firm with 40 years of experience dealing with a focus on Private Post-Secondary Education and Real Estate investment, particularly Multi-Family Apartment buildings.
Dean also sat on the Residential Construction Industry Training Organization (RCITO) Board and Chair Accreditation sub-committee covering recognition of Public and Private Colleges, their graduates, instructors and curriculum.
He also served on the PBIBC Board which is establishing an accreditation process to recognize all construction contractors who wish to build homes in British Columbia. Dean has chaired or been a member of a variety of other boards in British Columbia, including President the Evergreen Cultural Centre, Vice-President Canada Club and a seat on the Aboriginal Medical Selection of Medical Students for Universities in British Columbia.
Dean and Sherri have three children and live in the Greater Vancouver area.