DANY BONNEVILLE IS A MAN WHO LIVES LIFE TO THE FULLEST WITH PASSION, DETERMINATION AND AMBITION. AS FRENCH AUTHOR VICTOR CHERBULIEZ NOTED, THE ONLY CURE FOR ONE PASSION IS ANOTHER, SO BONNEVILLE EXCELS NOT JUST ON ONE FRONT, BUT THREE. HE IS SURELY THE MOST ATHLETIC EXECUTIVE IN QUEBEC, BY FAR.
A native of Thetford Mines, Dany Bonneville is admired for his professional success, his performance as an extreme athlete, and for his philanthropy. At work, he and his cousin, Éric, co-presidents of Bonneville Industries, choose to devote 10,000 hours a year to research and development. “It is a priority for us because we are the industry leader in factory-built housing,” he states, unapologetically, “And we want to remain so. That is why we are adding a new Prestige Home series to our product line. These luxury homes are upwards of 6,000 square feet and cost several million dollars. Wealthier clients are realizing that factory-built houses are high-quality.” The Université Laval and HEC graduate goes on to note, “Being number one comes with responsibility; we have to constantly innovate. Éric and our design team travel the world to find new sources of inspiration while our R&D experts come up with manufacturing techniques and ways to transport the final product in accordance with applicable regulations.”
« “I often compare my races to daily life. We face all sorts of challenges that can sometimes seem insurmountable.”
Bonneville Industries was founded by Dany Bonneville’s grandfather, and when six members of the second generation took over, they raised the bar. Now the third generation is doing its part to shake things up as well. In addition to Éric and Dany, their sisters, Marie-Josée and Bianca, work at the company. “It has not been an easy road, as our product was known for being good quality and affordable, and we wanted to take it to the next level, offering enhanced quality in the materials, assembly, and aesthetics. The more you invest in the ingredients, the better your recipe.” Obviously, it was important to ensure that clients understood the reason behind the price increase. The builder decided to invest $100,000 in creating one of Quebec’s first infomercials. This was a huge sum in the late 1990s. Only in his thirties at the time, Bonneville saw his marketing plan achieve success. The Bonneville Industries of today is light-years from what the previous generations handed down. “Our parents were visionaries and no dream was too far-fetched. They saw the big picture and we continue to be inspired by them. After all these years, closing a sale is still one of my greatest pleasures.”
Dany Bonneville’s energy drives another one of his passions: ultradistance cycling. He has completed the 1,496 km Race Across the West, a 3.5-day test of endurance that crosses four American states, ending in the Rocky Mountains. The race involved 18,200 metres of climbing, and pedalling in temperatures as high as 51°C (125°F), on only 3 ½ hours of sleep! He has also entered the Saratoga 24-Hour Challenge twice, covering 606 km in 2016 and 670 km in 2017. If you are a cyclist, imagine what it must be like to ride alone for all that time and still maintain an average speed of 28 km/h. The fifty-something also completed the 817 km Furnace Creek 508 in the Death Valley desert in only 37 hours and 23 minutes! “I often compare my races to daily life. We face all sorts of challenges that can sometimes seem insurmountable. But, with the help of the people around us, we find solutions and get through it, ultimately coming out stronger on the other side.” He adds, “My drug of choice is the passion I feel in everything I do. When it comes to sports, I find that trying to relax at the end of race season is harder than going all out. I’m happiest when I’m active.”
DANY BONNEVILLE, PHILANTHROPIST
The man who sold his first house at the age of 15 between two classes at school is also a man of action when it comes to philanthropy. Simply giving away money has never been enough for Bonneville. When he first got involved with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the organization usually raised $25,000 at its California wine tasting event. Bonneville managed to boost this amount to $275,000 right off the bat! “I’ve realized over the years that our network of contacts is an asset that we can leverage. So Éric and I developed our Philanthropic Mission the maisonsbonneville.com same way we put together any development strategy. It is just as important to us as our corporate mission.”
Every year, Bonneville Industries donates a house to the Children’s Miracle Network, and Dany Bonneville is personally involved, attending a variety of activities. “These two missions are not merely a marketing strategy for Dany,” notes Anne Hudon, CEO of the organization that works with sick children. “They are truly a life choice. When he supports a cause, he puts all of his talents, powers of persuasion and energy into the work.” For his part, the great triathlete Pierre Lavoie says, “I not only admire Dany’s social involvement, but I believe he is a wonderful human being.” To better support the Quebec Foundation for Athletic Excellence (FAEQ), which fosters the development of promising student athletes, Dany Bonneville combined his three passions to develop a new largescale event, because he always thinks big, even when it comes to volunteering. In the Bonneville 808 Challenge, cyclists must tackle an 808 km course with 8,400 metres of climbing, either solo or as part of a team. People can also “just” do 404 km, 202 km or 125 km. Dany Bonneville obviously participates, and it is not hard to guess which option he chooses: the full distance, solo, of course! In 2018, the second edition of the Challenge raised over $500,000!
If you needed more proof of his passion for life, here is how the man who considers Forrest Gump his most life-altering film envisions his retirement. “I still have a lot of projects to do. I would like to see my son and the fourth generation succeed at our company, and I would like to become a grandfather. When I retire, I will work with foundations. I can no longer imagine my life without sports and volunteering. You have no idea how much more fun it is to give than to receive in life.”