A strategic approach to mass media communication aimed at accentuating the positive and value these mass communication tools can create worldwide.

As part of our series about ‘5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society’ I had the pleasure to interview Kerry Renaud.

Kerry is the CEO /Managing Director for Scootaround /Whill North America a subsidiary of Whill Japan. Scootaround is a full-service personal mobility management company providing assistive device rentals to traveling individuals at their point of destination at hotels, convention centers, cruise ships, and large-scale events across North America and at ports worldwide. As well Scootaround facilitates assistive device repair and service for individual passengers’ assistive device equipment damaged in transit, under contract, to major airlines in North America and Europe. Scootaround /Whill is corporately based in Winnipeg, Canada with offices and warehouse distribution in Nashville, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, D.C., San Francisco, and multiple North American ports, as well as worldwide reservation services in Orlando and Winnipeg. Whill is a technology-focused assistive device manufacturer based out of Tokyo Japan and currently trialing autonomous vehicle technology at select airports worldwide.

Kerry is responsible for corporate oversight for all operations in North America for Scootaround /Whill North America and more recently in expanded Global development for the company. Prior to his 15-year tenure with Scootaround / Whill, Kerry was the Director of an 1100-acre Canadian Zoo and prior to that served as Owner/President of a a large-scale entertainment production company specializing in a stadium concert production and artist management.

In what he describes as a much different time in a different life, Kerry rafted down the 1800-mile Mississippi River to New Orleans, U.S.A. as well as having bicycled most of Europe, Mexico, and Central America. of convention centers and Previously, Kerry worked as the Executive.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to ‘get to know you. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

My background has been a pretty diversified one, and it has taken a lot of different paths to arrive at this point today. My University years were accompanied by an opportunity to run student programming for the the25,000 university student population. Back then, social events were a big part of student activities. As the student union programming rep, it exposed me to many opportunities that applied to my professional development years later. I developed a series with an expanded budget, speakers such as Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, Jody Powell from President Carter’s office (really dating myself), lots of 1st line concerts and film series, etc. The experiences were excellent. I also managed to extend my university experience with a series of half semesters that allowed me to tour the east and south coasts of Mexico, and Central America, as well as France, Portugal, Switzerland, Spain, Corsica, and Italy, by bicycle covering thousands of miles, as well as joining five other crazy companions in a raft journey down the Mississippi from St. Paul Minnesota to New Orleans as a bicentennial journey over 1800 miles and 2.5 months on that historic river, back in the late ’70s. All of these life changing experiences or lifestones somehow managed to mesh into what became a series of professional career positions that have included a 12year position as a Zoo Director in Canada and now the 16 years I have now been with Scootaround and WHILL as the CEO, Managing Director for North America.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you?

I remember a few. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok resonated with my younger self at the time for several reasons that those that know the book would likely understand.

Fearless by Rafael Yglesias, later made into a great movie with Jeff Bridges, was another one that stands out, and more recently, anything Don Winslow writes is on my nightstand. Of course, I have a selection of business books, but I have to say some of the fiction tends to resonate with me longer over time.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

Quizzically I chuckle at “ the older I get, the Better I used to be” as a 66-year-old working with a younger and very modern workforce, I work hard at trying to stay as current as I can in many ways and rely on my “qualified” instincts to try and provide a level of guidance and direction for everyone I am working with and for.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership speaks to the ability to lead by attaining confidence and respect from those you engage, thus enabling those to pledge their vision for the path forward confidently.

At this stage of my career, this becomes more important than ever as more and more individuals within our company represent the company’s future and will be tasked with the longer-term future of the company.

In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high-stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?

Personally, this is really about preparation and establishing a comfort level with the topic at hand. Working through the potential questions as well as putting myself on the other side of the table and role-playing different questions and scenarios while making sure I am comfortable with the material I am presenting. As you can appreciate, stepping into a Zoo executive role in the Zoo, with no animal husbandry, or biology background, and then later into our industry with no medical product background or experience, afforded lots of initial stressful, anxious moments. One that sticks out would be the first major meeting I took as the COO with the Founder in New York, pitching a potential partnership with the largest rental car company in North America. I was just weeks on the job, and the Founder threw to me early in the meeting to deliver the pitch. We secured that partnership shortly after that, so even though the meeting particulars are a bit of a blur, we must have done alright.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. In the summer of 2020, the United States faced a very important self-reckoning about race, diversity, equality, and inclusion. This is of course, a vast topic. But briefly, can you share your view on what made the events of 2020 different from racial reckonings in the past?

I have to believe this was a time of reckoning for everyone, and through the power of mass communication was represented to the world in a way it had just not been in the past. Those forms of mass media made these issues glaringly apparent to a massive audience. It also engaged that audience in a dialogue and an awareness that had never happened before. This forced the world to prioritize these issues whether they wanted to or not and brought them into the regular vernacular of today’s society.

Can you tell our readers a bit about your experience working with initiatives to promote Diversity and Inclusion? Can you share a story with us?

I would have to say that is at the essence of our business. Both founders of Scootaround and WHILL founded the firms intending to help others maintain an inclusive and rewarding lifestyle, and these are the values and principles we try to carry forward in our business every day. Sugie, the WHILL founder’s vision came from an elderly gentleman in his neighbourhood no longer being able to make the walk to the local grocery store and Scootaround’s Founder, Lee’s vision came from her father’s need for mobility to maintain a lifestyle in his travels after suffering a debilitating stroke. This initial vision to make a difference in providing an inclusive lifestyle experience for all remains at the core principles of our company today.

This may be obvious to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you articulate to our readers a few reasons why it is so essential for a business or organization to have a diverse executive team?

Any successful business is the sum of the parts. Especially now, as we emerge from a period of unprecedented disruption and the unexpected, a diverse set of opinions, backgrounds, and individual attributes will be critical to business success. No single individual will be capable of providing the input and guidance that the workforce will require now moving forward. Profound issues of dealing with mental health, changes in the way we work, economic inequality, and new yet, defined circumstances will need a collective vision rather than a singular one to maintain an inclusive and positive cultural work environment.

The old adage “ great minds think alike” likely won’t be relevant here. I am proud of the fact that we currently have a representation of 19 languages in our workforce, and that will represent a diverse and exciting set of inputs for our company’s future development.

Ok. Here is the main question of our discussion. You are an influential business leader. Can you please share your “5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society”. Kindly share a story or example for each.

  1. Wage parity and opportunity.
  2. Increased investment in education to create opportunity and equality
  3. A balanced and seamless travel experience for everyone, including those that are mobility challenged (a plug for our mission)
  4. Continued focus and investment in new technology and developments to create access for everyone to enjoy a positive lifestyle.
  5. A strategic approach to mass media communication aimed at accentuating the positive and value these mass communication tools can create worldwide.

We are going through a rough period now. What makes you optimistic about the future of the US? Can you please explain?

The extreme division that exists in the United States certainly makes optimism a larger ask. However, history shows that the country has somehow found a way to see its way through even the most difficult periods. These last two years would represent that, and we now are witnessing the devastating impact of one country’s assault on another in Europe. I would hope that all of this has put that further into perspective. The U.S. has a tremendous capacity to produce some of the most innovative, creative, and disruptive innovations globally. Apple, Tesla, Meta, Amazon, and Google, to name a few, have access to unprecedented wealth that they are recommitting to cutting-edge technology and visions that could ultimately change the world. The introduction of catastrophic examples of discrimination, and inequality that we have seen exemplified over the period, I believe, has created a newfound awareness that, although it is going to take time, I think ultimately will support a profound difference in the approach taken by the generations to come. Although I know history shows that we don’t seem to learn from the lessons of the past continuously, I remain optimistic that this will be when that changes.

Is there a person in the world or the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why?

I would have to say that I enjoy and follow Sir Richard Branson. I like the fact he came up through the music business, a business I had a sabbatical in when I was much younger. He maintains an adventurer’s modern approach to how he conducts his life and with others and his commitment to fundamental causes and initiatives. I often find compatibility in his views on many subjects while continually looking to his perspective to gain insight on different topics. I think he’s a pretty cool dude.

How can our readers follow you online?

I have never really been one to expound my thoughts and beliefs in a public forum or online, and that will likely continue to be the case. That being said, I like meeting new people, and I’m always open to connecting or engaging one on one when an opportunity to do so presents itself.

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!


  • Savio P. Clemente

    TEDx Speaker, Media Journalist, Board Certified Wellness Coach, Best-Selling Author & Cancer Survivor

    Savio P. Clemente, TEDx speaker and Stage 3 cancer survivor, infuses transformative insights into every article. His journey battling cancer fuels a mission to empower survivors and industry leaders towards living a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle. As a Board-Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Savio guides readers to embrace self-discovery and rewrite narratives by loving their inner stranger, as outlined in his acclaimed TEDx talk: "7 Minutes to Wellness: How to Love Your Inner Stranger." Through his best-selling book and impactful work as a media journalist — covering inspirational stories of resilience and exploring wellness trends — Savio has collaborated with notable celebrities and TV personalities, bringing his insights to diverse audiences and touching countless lives. His philosophy, "to know thyself is to heal thyself," resonates in every piece.