Crossroads Christian Communications has new CEO and chairman of the board – Don Simmonds

Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. has appointed a new CEO.

Doug McKenzie is the outgoing CEO.
I don’t know if this appointment has taken place, this may explain why the corporate web pages are being cleaned up and people have had difficulty getting into them.

I can tell you the information is in the print edition of ChristianWeek, I can’t find it online.

While I’ve been given a name of the new CEO, I can’t find a press release, can’t find it on the ChristianWeek website and I can’t find this new CEO anywhere in Google, so I’m not comfortable putting his name up until I have confirmation.

simmonds_photoReaders  following the Axcess/Crossroads story saw this managementshift coming.
We may hear about board re-structuring soon.

If you can confirm the new Crossroads CEO please leave a  comment.

Update: An act of kindness from ChristianWeek. Merry Christmas ChristianWeek! And Merry Christmas to the  BDBO tipster!

Telecommunications entrepreneur Don Simmonds stepped into the roles of CEO and chair of the amalgamated boards of Crossroads Christian Communications and 100 Huntley Street at the end of October without fanfare. No mention of the change appeared on the Crossroads website.

His resume boasts a 30-year career as a successful entrepreneur. Simmonds founded both the Clearnet wireless network”which was sold in 2001 to Telus”and technology company AirIQ Inc.

Simmonds says Crossroads is looking at broadening its target audience to reach Canadians at various points along their spiritual journey with Christian faith and values programming.

There is no word on why Doug McKenzie left and he did not return queries from the magazine reporters.
Since October. October. And Doug McKenzie is chosing not to speak to a trusted reliable news outlet.
So, who is on the almagamated board?

Do you think Crossroads will be able to reach a new audience?

Update: Don Simmonds has made his introductory  statement as CEO on the corporate webpage at Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. December 15, 2009.

The Board of Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. is pleased to announce that on Wednesday, December 2, 2009, Ron Mainse re-engaged with Crossroads as it’s Spiritual Director and the Executive Producer of 100 Huntley Street.

That took 6 months. And the previous I didn’t know what a ponzi scheme was is offered:

As reported previously, Ron had personally invested, and encouraged friends to invest, in a vehicle that subsequently was found by U.S. authorities to be an illegal investment scheme. Ron was unaware of the illegal nature of the investment, and it has resulted in a personal loss for Ron and Ann, along with those that invested. It did not involve funds of the Crossroads ministry.

It was ’50 to 60′ people Ron Mainse publicly acknowledges he personally drew into Axcess Automation/Funds. He made a statement on TV about restitution in his comeback interview, and that has been that.  I take it Canadian financial regulators are content to let the US handle the illegal stuff.

The web presence for 100 Huntley continues to be updated. The 100 Huntley Street Twitter feed is a running commercial, the 100 Huntley Street page has more videos, the YouTube channel is quiet and no one on 100 Huntley Street Facebook knows or cares there is a new CEO/board chair. Gotta love our Canadian Christian couch potatoes.

About Bene Diction

Have courage for the great sorrows, And patience for the small ones. And when you have laboriously accomplished your tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.
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20 Responses to Crossroads Christian Communications has new CEO and chairman of the board – Don Simmonds

  1. Kirk Bartha says:

    curious developments

  2. Bene Diction says:

    If you look at the Canadian Council of Christian Charities August statement they said:

    “Beyond these general comments, CCCC will not report what the board has done because it is the responsibility of the Crossroads board and management to determine how much of this information to make public.”

    Doug McKenzie had stated earlier this year the board was moving into a governance model. He knew he was on his way out, by choice or by severance package.

    This CTS Media Research or Resources Organization ‘charity’ which Rev Can says isn’t registered appears to have gone public under Mr. Simmonds watch.

    Simmonds knows the business, that apparent mistake isn’t making sense.

    It also doesn’t make sense to me to make a ‘quiet’ move into board chair and CEO without a public announcement. This is a burned and skeptical market with lots of choices.

    Add to that the communication lockdown (emails etc not getting answered) dead webpages, re-runs in perpetuity and basic errors.
    I figure the new boss would have to do some employee housekeeping and there will be unhappy campers; but wow, if CTS and Crossroads don’t get basic public communication functioning soon, their consumers will be long gone.

  3. Bookseller says:

    Very weird indeed. The fact that this apparently occurred in October no less!!! Without announcement since Oct? Does not sound like a healthy situation at all.

  4. Truthseeker says:

    Don Simmonds’ “…resumé boasts a 30-year career as a successful entrepreneur. Simmonds founded both the Clearnet wireless network…” That is what an earlier comment states.

    Can we please see that resume?? “Successful entrepreneur”? Look at how much money was lost at AirIQ and you decide if Don Simmonds was “successful” in his 10 years there.

    “…founded Clearnet…” Ask his brother, Robert Simmonds or George Cope if they would confirm this.

    I do not know for sure, but hopefully some others can help with the facts, so we can clearly understand Don Simmonds resume.

  5. Bene Diction says:

    It would be helpful if the business community who worked with Mr. Simmonds spoke up.

    5 minutes on teh google and the Clearnet/Telus deal mentions Robert and David Simmonds.

    Apparently Mr. Don Simmonds ‘founding’ Clearnet has been floating around since at least April. There is a strong comment over at Stockwatch about this claim.

    Odd Crossroads and CTS would feed misinformation to ChristianWeek carelessly.

    The claim seems to originate from The Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches; there is no date. I stand to be corrected.
    http://www.baptist-atlantic.ca/oasis/simmonds-bio

    I would expect a CEO and board chair to vet his PR, especially going into such a difficult situation (theologically) and into such a visible media organization – I guess I’m wrong.

  6. Truthseeker says:

    Don Simmonds ran AirIQ for about 10 years. Does anyone know why he left?? To date that company has lost about $100 million. The stock price is a mere 1c. Maybe that is a hint as to why he left.

    So what does this tell you about how well AirIQ was run by Don Simmonds? What does it say about his ability to run a company or any organization?

    Where was Don Simmonds in 1994 when the company he appears to say he “founded”, Clearnet, went public? Was he there?

  7. Bene D says:

    I went over and looked at Profit magazine and read up on the cutbacks at AirIQ.

    I don’t know that any CEO can run Crossroads into the ground, no one knows what the financial situation is.

    CTS bought their licence from a folded A C channel, and have enough in hard assets, worse thing that would happen is they’d fold and sell off.

    Either way, none of the major players are going to go hungry.

    I don’t think they’d be missed in the 500 channel universe.

    100 million. Whew. That’s not monopoly money.

  8. Truthseeker says:

    Don Simmonds – What is his experience and what are his accomplishments? Is he truly qualified?

    - According to the link posted above (http://www.baptist-atlantic.ca/oasis/simmonds-bio):

    “…from 1991-1994 Don left the business environment to work more intensely with youth as the National Youth Coordinator for the Canadian Baptist Federation (now Canadian Baptist Ministries).” I have received some feed back on how “well” he did there.

    …so he could not have been working much, if at all, at Clearnet from 1991 to 1994. And since he does not appear to have been involved with Clearnet after it became public in late 1994, what has he truly accomplished as a business person or leader? We know what his father and brother accomplished, but what about Don Simmonds himself?

    What is quite clear is that he ran AirIQ from 1997 to 2007, and that company has about $100 million of losses.

    Maybe I am reading the various documents incorrectly, and he truly is qualified to run another organization. Can someone please tell me where my reading is failing me?

  9. Julian Mysko says:

    A new CEO, how interesting. As you stated Bene

    “I figure the new boss would have to do some employee housekeeping and there will be unhappy campers; but wow, if CTS and Crossroads don’t get basic public communication functioning soon, their consumers will be long gone.”

    Yes Bene, I do see the need for a major housekeeping particularly those that were hired through means of nepotism and that applies not only to the ministry division but the CTS-TV division as well. Even before this public Ponzi scheme came to light in the public I was already privy to the nature of Crossroads tainted and unethical corporate culture. As a former employee at Crossroads in the CTS-TV division I witnessed the extreme nepotism factor when it comes to Crossroads hiring practices, some people that were or are recipients of nepotism that were hired in years past were not truly qualified to do the specific functions that they were hired for. This nepotism practice is one of the many causes of Crossroads problems.

    And outside of the nepotism factor if anyone that really needs to be terminated it would be the person who was the former senior personnel member in Crossroads. H. R. department. Ideally he should be terminated without any form of severance or pay-out in any way or form and his business conduct investigated. This man from what I understand is now in a senior management position in the Crossroads CTS-TV division. During and after my years at Crossroads CTS-TV many employees had and probably still do have a profound number of complaints that were legitimate regarding this mans business ethics and his personal attacks on those who question his credibility and abuse of power. The way this man dealt with me and my immediate family and other employees as well made us more aware of Crossroads internal severely tainted structure and partially the contributing reasons for the evasiveness towards the public.

    My recommendation to Don Simmonds, start from the top of the corporate base to do the housekeeping or purging if Crossroads wants to rebuild some credibility and sustainability. I also accentuate in the interest for Crossroads as a whole that he, Mr. Simmonds should not have David Mainse or any of David’s family members meddle in any way or form in the process of the housekeeping or purge.

  10. Bene D says:

    Since Crossroads doesn’t see fit to be open about what is going on, “Crossroads is looking at broadening its target audience to reach “Canadians at various points along their spiritual journey” with “Christian faith and values programming” -

    is vague and sounds like FotF. We know Ron Mainse has written that Full Circle is a focus, again looking at Facebook, the interacting fans are dominantly female. With one Mainse brother gone and the other demoted, because the scandal brought out the lapse in ethical leadership decision making; here is some more speculation.

    Has Mr. Simmonds been brought in as less a house cleaner than window dressing?

    The business and communications industries know about AirIQ as mentioned by Truthseeker in comments #4,6 and 8. Is needed confidence there to move forward as stated?

    Julian’s comment #9 makes me wonder if the CITS ‘charity’ going online is internal sabatoge. Why not? Employees loyal to the old guard believing they are going to be turfed don’t have much to lose.

  11. Truthseeker says:

    Nepotism is identified by Mysko as a problem that need to be addressed.

    Is Don Simmonds the person to address such a problem?

    Why did Don Simmonds father, David Simmmonds, allow his son, Don Simmonds to become CEO of AirIQ in 1997? Because Don Simmonds was the best possible person for the job?

    Does Don Simmonds have a record of hiring family members himself? Maybe someone should ask if he has hired his very young son for anything recently.

  12. Bene Diction says:

    Truthseeker:

    I’m enjoying your provocative questions.

    http://www.telecomhall.ca/
    The Telecom Hall of Fame entry (2008) says Donald Simmonds has:

    “…been primarily involved in its strategic development and the start up and early operating phases of many of the ventures incubated from within the Lenbrook group.”

    No argument from anyone some of the family was and are accomplished and outstanding.
    Interestly the more accomplished do not see a need to put out press releases on themselves that are untrue.

    According to Donald Simmonds Baptist bio (has to be 2008 because of years married corresponds to the 2008 entry) there are two sons.

    One an economics major and one a Phys Ed major.
    Hmmm, around 23 and 22.

    Okay I’ll bite. Your operative word being ‘very.’
    He hired youngest, the Trinity Phys Ed son?
    To do what?

    Has Mr. Simmonds (through his deal with Crossroads) hired (re-hired?) his daughter’s company yet?
    http://www.makeyouthink.tv/MakeYouThink/index.html

    Ms. Simmonds old show (Truth Quake) still airs on NRB, and is on 100 Huntley kids (26 episodes) and the Australian Christian Channel.

  13. Truthseeker says:

    If you google both Don Simmonds sons’ names – as they appear on the 2008 bio I also found (see Covention of Atlantic Baptist Churches) hits only come up for Craig Simmonds.

    (Interesting to note that Don Simmonds bio found in the above site reads “Don is known as a “serial entrepreneur”, having started over 20 new ventures in the last 30 years.” Note it does not read “started with others”, but “started”.)

    But back to the possible issue of Nepotism and its possible practice. Craig Simmonds’ LinkedIn page lists his experience.

    Here is a hint. The third item is “Project Analyst” at Jameson Bank. Not bad career start, just out of school.

    Now, try a google search with “Simmonds Jameson Bank”. Who comes up?

    Definition of “Nepotism” – the favouring of relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.

    If this did/does happen, there is nothing illegal about it. But what are the chances that a relative is the best applicant for the job? Really what are they? Maybe one in ten thousand? Or 1 out of 100k, or more?

    Should people in influential and trusted postions not try thier very best to hire the very best person for the job? Does the organization they represent not deserve at least that? Further, do potentially more capable people not deserve an equal chance at the job?

    And if – if – nepotism has or will be practiced, what does it possibly tell you about the person that may be doing the practicing?

  14. Bene Diction says:

    Thanks Truthseeker:

    http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/craig-simmonds/13/1b9/413

    Nice catch.

    Older Donald Simmonds son goes into family bank.
    Bouncing off his bio we find Muskoka Woods and Eagles Flight.

    Eagles Flight is an international business conference program which has partnered with the Marriot in the Muskoka area on Lake Rosseau. Eagles Flight was started in Guelph.

    The CEO team at Muskoka Woods partnered with YWAM for at least one project. Muskoka Woods is a Christian Resort on Lake Rosseau.

    The leadership development material parallels what Ms. Simmonds is doing with Make You Think TV.

    Fayton Enterprises (real estate) which which lists Craig as VP was started by Don Simmonds. Fayton Enterprises registered the domain name for Make You Think TV which is Donald Simmonds daughter’s company.

    Bridgepoint Emerging Leaders is listed on the younger Simmonds Linkin as a new fund raising company.

    The pr released by Crossroads to ChristianWeek on Don Simmonds is problematic, the Atlantic Baptist bio more so. I can appreciate inhouse publications don’t have professional staff to vet copy, but Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. and CTS are a media business (one branch with charitable status) and hardly in a position to be making this kind of error regardless of the disarray and fallout.

    Given the losses of AirIQ and the ponzi scheme scandal with Crossroads, I’m failing to understand why, when information by a media company regarding a CEO appt. is given to a reputable magazine in Canada’s faith community, it isn’t accurate.

    Has the Atlantic Baptist bio been updated the past few days?

    “He was one of seven founders of the Lenbrook Group, a private business incubation company perhaps best known for having created Clearnet, one of Canada’s 4 wireless networks sold in 2001 to Telus.”

    Would the business community familiar with Lenbrook, Clearnet and AirIQ accept this error, given that it is in direct contradiction of reputable copy from Telecom, and Lenbrook?

    As to nepotism, the Simmonds family and the Mainse family got to where they were by keeping their business in their families. The operative word is business.

    Julian is far from the only one who has spoken up about nepotism at Crossroads over the years.

    I don’t think anyone knows how many Mainse family members went through Crossroads, CTS.
    Mr. Simmonds as CEO and board chair isn’t going to be turfing his family members if he has been brought in to clean up, they seem positioned in his other family businesses. His daughter’s company, probably, her ties to Crossroads are deep. We’ll see.

  15. Truthseeker says:

    There have to be people out there who know more about Don Simmonds. I am hoping they will speak up, for the better good, and in the interest of complete truth and honesty.

    I have questions about Don Simmonds credentials and his track record. He appears to paint it as a record of success. He is self described as a “serial entrepreneur”. That in it self connotes success. But by most common measures, what he appears to have done at AirIQ over 10 years is succeed – in failure. There does not seem to be any hint of that in the bios.

    The question is will his “success” at AirIQ be repeated? Does he have any track record of real success, or has he perhaps used the past real successes of his father’s businesses and draped them on himself? Just asking.

    It is also somewhat curious that the Baptist Convention bio, posted in about 2008, refers to Lenbrook as being behind Clearnet (ie “He was one of seven founders of the Lenbrook Group, a private business incubation company perhaps best known for having created Clearnet, one of Canada’s 4 wireless networks sold in 2001 to Telus.”) Yet more recent bios apppear the skip Lenbrook’s role and appear to link only Don Simmonds to the birth, growth and ultimate sale of Clearnet. – See the bio posted above, and also see the bio posted on the Jameson Bank website (“He has founded more than 20 start-up companies during his 30-year business career, many of which have involved wireless and other technologies. Companies he founded include, among others, Clearnet, one of Canada’s three wireless networks, purchased by Telus in 2001;)”

    So what does the future hold? History, at times, can help predict the future. AirIQ has lost about $100m, and now appears to be relatively very small company. Could this “success” be repeated? Will Nepotism be employed? If Nepotism is or will be employed, here is one possible course of action for the future, to consider. Not saying it has happened or will happen, just one off many possibilites:

    Fire people that are not your own. Hire your relatives and friends, even to fill roles that may not even need filling. Regardless of cost over runs, inefficiency, missed budgets and overall weak financial performance, never ever fire any of your relatives or friends, even if they are very weak at what they do or supposed to do.
    ——————————-

    I appreciate the above reference to Don Simmmonds’ daughter. Her website mentions a film series. One film is on “Honesty”. The following appears on the Makeyouthink.tv website:

    ” The value of honesty is speaking and acting out what is true even when it might not benefit you…
    It seems that complete honesty is almost impossible to expect. Lying is now accepted and modeled in all parts of society. We celebrate spinning a conversation to our advantage. We spice up our resumes….”

    Spice up our resumes? Who in the world would do that? Certainly not somone that has personally preached honesty!?

  16. Bene Diction says:

    I found an AirIQ annual report online.

    Business people are busy with business, they know their tribe and I doubt any will be bothered to speak up.

    I don’t see success or failure with CTS and Crossroads, either it goes the way of all things or not. It was built for all the right reasons, around someone who pulled it all together, built the monument, filled the archives, drove forward with the force of personality all good tv stars have, and time marched on.

    TV provides a profound false intimacy, which has been replaced by our computer screens.
    Maybe Don Simmonds will put the organization out of commission sooner than later.
    We’ll see.

    Pentecostals have a way of keeping their saints, and David Mainse, type A driven Canadian charismatic character he was, smiling and crying his way; coaxed all he could, left everything and everyone wrung out, well, he had his day on our TV. And he was very Canadian about it all.

    He helped Canadian evangelicals feel good about themselves, and believe they should be players.
    He’s down in Florida taping his senior show last I heard.
    How appropriate.
    Would anyone be surprised if he died on set?
    It is who he is, what he knows.
    He reigned over his business built on the donations of the faithful, the fans, the true believers.

    And the business built on the Julians. And on the Doug McKenzie’s who earned his stripes in his own right, but sublimated his talents and slogged on for God in the shadow of self made celebrity.

    Built by everyman who loved media, loved the idea of reaching the world and making it a better place through the boob tube.
    Anyone who believes there is gold left to mine in the TV industry will hang on in that ediface and tell themselves they are doing God’s work, and by God you’d better get out of their way and let them do it.

    Thousands of them came to pay homage to Oral Roberts, who paved the way for them to say, ‘we belong here’ long after a generation or two had moved on, grown up and got about the business of the kingdom. They paid tribute to their past, what was, and what has (and for awhile more will) put a lot of food on their tables. Mainse made sure he chimed in.

    But you don’t see any apologists for 100 Huntley or CTS here at BDBO, any more than you saw a lonely voice or two proclaiming Gordon Driver’s innocence. What few fans of ‘Christian TV’ are left are are cheering on a Facebook page set up for them.
    Re-build it and they will come. Only the spiritually beleagured are left.

    So what if Don Simmonds puts the economic headstone on Crossroads/CTS?

    Someone has to sell off the assets and shut off the lights.

    If it isn’t him it’ll be the next board or the next CEO, and if the last zealots don’t, it’ll die of natural causes.

    Fudged pr and a flattened company meets a gasping for breath religious media outlet. Seems like the perfect fit.

  17. Tim says:

    Submission 16 (above): “Re-build it and they will come. Only the spiritually beleagured are left…”

    Hmm. The spiritual foundations of Crossroads have sustained disturbances of seismic proportions in recent months.

    Ron Mainse showed surprisingly poor spiritual discernment (among other things) in becoming ensnared in the ponzi scheme so why, oh why, has the fellow been appointed spiritual director of Crossroads? Apart from anything else and however one feels about him, the expectation that he should be the spiritual gatekeeper for the organization at this early stage in recovery/ damage control at personal and corporate levels is simply breathtaking.

    What is to become of the spiritually beleaguered at Crossroads?

  18. Truthseeker says:

    Bene Diction,

    You sound well informed. Could you indicate who the directors of Crossroads are, or where such information could be found?

  19. Bene Diction says:

    Truthseeker:

    Kind of you, but the credit goes to BDBO readers. They have been the truth seekers.

    They have shown concern for investors who have chosen silence, concern for employees, concern about a lot of issues surrounding religious broadcasting in Canada.

    Crossroads Christian Communications Inc. is a charity.

    I wrote Crossroads and asked who is on their board.
    I didn’t get an answer.
    I wrote CTS and asked who is on their board.
    I didn’t get an answer.

    I thought Canadian charities provided board information on request.

    What names I have pre-Simmonds were gleaned from:

    a) screenshots off the corporate page
    b) Revenue Canada Charities (Crossroads Christian Communication Inc)
    c) previous organization newletters available online

    Is the board I cobbled in a comment this summer the current board?
    I doubt it given the turmoil this ministry is in and the goverance changes noted in The Canadian Council of Christian Charities August 2009 statement, and the delayed announcement of Donald Simmonds as Chair and CEO.

    If BDBO readers ask Crossroads and CTS who is on their current boards and receive an answer, I’d be grateful if they’d post it.

    Revenue Canada Agency T3010 2008 Crossroads Christian Communications Inc.
    Directors/Trustees and Like Officials

    Brad Bell
    Kerry Carmichael
    George Glover
    Faith Goodman
    Garth Jestley
    Steven Novoselac
    John Raymer
    Glenn Rau

  20. Pingback: 100 Huntley Street/Crossroads, alleged ponzi scheme timeline | Religious Right Alert

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