My origins. My transition to the United States and why I adapt and embrace change, all the time. I was born and raised in Quebec City Canada. I grew up speaking French. I went to College at York University in Toronto and started my career at Shell Oil, Toronto. I lived in Dallas, TX, for a couple of years in the mid-80s, which was another great opportunity to adapt. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for most of my career in high technology. I began living in the mountains during the winter months over 10 years ago, first in Aspen, CO, and in Big Sky, MT, since 2014. I am a Two Million Milers with American Airlines, having traveled to and from Europe, Australia, Japan and Asia for business ~10 times a year from the late 80s through the 90s. I create and lead in the world, globally from inception. My life has constantly been about embracing change, evolving and navigating challenges.
I love life. Not because my life is easy, but because I simply am grateful to live life. I have had many tribulations in my life and I have gone to the edge to follow my heart and to be on purpose. I believe that our attitude is key to bring the best of ourselves in navigating the highs and lows of life. I am very present to the gift of being alive, no matter what occurs in my life.
Life is energy, and we all are connected to everything that is around us. We simply need to be aware that nothing is separate from us. I celebrate life when I walk in a forest, ski down a mountain, look up to a sky with stars, walk with my husband and my dog, cook and entertain friends… I can’t help but be at some of my happiest moments when I take it all in.
I have sought to know myself all my life, asking: Who am I? What is the truth for me? What is my purpose, and what am I to accomplish in this lifetime before I die? I respect life, and I aspire to live life as fully as possible, as if today is my last day. I am present to life and very grateful for every day.
Early on, my life met with tragedy. My dad died suddenly on a construction site. I was two and a half years old and my mother was only 25. My mother is extremely courageous and has been my inspiration all my life.
My mother has always believed in me. She made many sacrifices to provide for my education at private institutions. She raised me to build my own life and to be self-sufficient. From the time I was eight years old, I was eager to be responsible and to provide for myself as well as others. I grew up with very strong values passed down from my grandparents, my mother and my mother’s siblings.
I love to learn and to grow. From the beginning of my education I was a good scholar. I excelled at mathematics and learned to apply myself in multiple disciplines. I learned to play the piano at six years old, and from that day forward classical music has been an important part of my life. I used to write songs, play for the choir at school and go to musical camps where I could jam a little with other young musicians. I enjoyed figure skating and backflip diving as both required precision of movement. I loved riding horses for the thrill of freely galloping. I downhill skied, golfed and cross-country skied. For my 15th birthday, my mother bought me a sewing machine and enrolled me in a sewing class. I made nearly all my clothes, including a winter coat, and I knitted my sweaters until I went to college.
As a minority student, I entered the field of science along with my best girlfriend, and it was not always easy. We were courageous to pursue a degree in the male-dominated area of Pure Sciences. Not only did we have to overcome personal doubts, but we also had to protect ourselves from being bullied by our male classmates. We pushed ourselves to study beyond the regular curriculum in order to exceed expectations.
While I learned some English in high school, I really mastered it when I went through college. Until 2009, my experience studying in computer sciences and learning a second language going through college in Toronto, away from family support, adapting to a different culture, was undoubtedly the hardest thing I had accomplished. I graduated with Honors for my degree in Computer Sciences, bilingual, with multiple job offers to launch my professional career. By the age of 21, I knew that I was a survivor.
Looking back, I was a very focused and centered young woman. I was well rounded and excelled at pretty much anything I applied myself to. I had lots of energy and enthusiasm, and I was able to accomplish a lot by being efficient with my time. I was disciplined and sought to do the right thing. That early training allowed me to grow into leadership roles. The downside was that I often felt like an outcast. In order to fit in, I shrank myself in ways that were not healthy for my spirit. Later in life, I realized that I had an innate ability to grasp things quickly and to understand many concepts without having studied them. I had to admit to myself that I was a visionary and a strategist. Most of my teachers, and later management, did not always enable me to effectively fuel my own spirit. Rather, they would ask me to slow down. This was detrimental to living with joy as it confused me and often suffocated my free-spirited nature. I have learned to constantly challenge myself. And I have sought solace in meditation, silent retreats and time on my own in order to know WHO I AM, inside and out.
My early journey to understand my true potential and purpose allowed me to be a trusted companion for people around me and a mentor to others. I continue to care deeply about empowering people to discover their fulfillment.
Authenticity and integrity are core pillars in my life. I have been known to be a “truth finder,” and others have not always understood why I care so much about seeing things as they are and addressing them with courage. I have always wanted to look at a situation with all of its pros and cons, without blaming or punishing.
Compassion, diversity and service are innate to who I am. I have deep compassion for others. I thrive when I serve and impact others individually and collectively. I have been a champion for diversity and inclusion for as long as I can remember. I see a human being as who s/he is regardless of her/his gender. I am comfortable with both men and women, and I truly care to embrace without judgment all cultures, sexual orientations, races and religions. This has helped me in my career in my roles as International Ambassador and Global Marketing Group Manager, and as worldwide CMO and founder of BOSS (Bouchard On Strategic Services), my first business focused on launching high-tech companies overseas and assisting them with globalization.
Nature is my friend and the place where I tune in to my core essence. Some of my happiest moments are when I’m enjoying the outdoors: skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, golfing, walking, running hills, paddle boarding, sailing and just contemplating beauty. Both my husband and I savor the beauty of nature and are very present to the sunrise, sunset, twilight, clouds, trees, mountains, ocean, lakes, canyons and wildlife. We have a great sense of awe for nature. While I can be very busy, I often appreciate tranquil moments of sitting still and admiring a natural sight.
I have discovered over the years that I have a lot of physical endurance. I was able to run a seven-minute mile well into my late 40s, and won a few 10K races without excessive training. I also participated in NASTAR national recreational ski racing in 2004 and ended up qualifying for the National Championship, at which I won the Slalom Ski Gold Medal for my age category. Both Daron Rahlves and Bode Miller signed my skis.
Competing with others is not important for me. I am more eager to simply express and realize my own potential.
I love to travel and am adventurous. Both my husband and I are comfortable exploring the world with spontaneity. All we need are the departure and return dates.
I am comfortable not knowing what is ahead, and over the years I have done a lot of introspection to detach from seeking approval from others, to be at ease as I move through life’s challenges. It has been one of my goals to remain grounded and centered regardless of what might occur on the outside. It takes a lot for me to get impatient, frazzled and discontented.
Our journeys are filled with highs and lows. I have learned that the more perseverant I am, the more courageous I am, and the less I let circumstances define my happiness, the more fulfilled I am.
I live with purpose. I greet each day expectant of having a purposeful day at home and in business. I pay attention to how I treat my husband (and my dog) and how we align as true partners. I am very focused and selective in how, and with whom, I allocate my time. Everything that I commit to in business and in my life has meaning and purpose.
I share this information because it is foundational to how I live and serve in my career. Being self-aware, mindful, intentional, and purposeful on my journey allows me to support others in their quest to live fulfilling lives. This is true whether I am in the boardroom or mentoring through REMIA or connecting through BonneFire, and I love to inspire everyone who works with me to love their lives and live them fully.
Trust and transparency in relationships are paramount in my life, including my clients.
Ken Coleman– Board Chairman, Saama Technologies and special advisor to Andreessen Horowitz Venture Capital firm “Johanne is an outstanding professional with exceptional coaching skills. She is insightful and a very effective communicator.”
Jeff Rodek – Former Chair and CEO of Hyperion, Former President and COO Ingram Micro “Johanne worked with our board at Accelrys to enhance our effectiveness. She provided tremendous value and insight in a very collegial manner.”
Ricardo Levy – Lecturer at Stanford, former Chair, former Chairman and CEO of Catalytica “Johanne Bouchard is a unique consultant and advisor who brings clarity to high urgency situations in short order. She has served several of the companies I am involved with as a Board member in various assignments including Board 360, Executive Team assessment, leading and facilitating strategic planning sessions, and CEO coaching. In all these assignments she has displayed dedication, creativity, depth, and an unerring focus on reflecting the reality of the situation and presenting it as such to the client, with concrete suggestions for improvement and increased efficiency. I highly recommend Johanne.”
Steve Snyder – Former EVP/GM CBS Interactive Games, Music and Sports “If you have an organizational leadership problem to solve (the bigger the better) and need a tireless, objective collaborator to assist, challenge and drive you (and she WILL drive you), work with Johanne. And if you welcome the friendship that will grow from that experience, you couldn’t do better.”
John Hamm – Strategy and Leadership Advisor, Former VC, Former TCG – The Chasm Group Advisors and Former CEO “Johanne’s work is, in a word, spectacular. She digs in on a project like no one I know, she is thorough, thoughtful, and does superb “inquiry” work early in a project. She brings a wealth of experience to her projects, including marketing expertise, consumer research, management and leadership insights, and insightful summaries of the issues. Her work is honest, clear, clean, and useful. She is a truth-finder and a truth-teller. Johanne is an intense, yet calm and measured expert – she knows where to look, what to ask, and how to propose key points and plans of action. Her logistics and organizational skills are world class, and her follow up is superb. As you can read, my professional opinion of Johanne is of the highest level. I believe she can excel at virtually any assignment or challenge presented.”
Philippe D’Argent – Former Senior VP Dell Europe, Former Senior VP Toshiba Europe “I have known Johanne since the times she was building BOSS when helping high-tech executives and companies with globalization and International market development. She was a pioneer in her field helping American companies not treating International as an afterthought. She was an invaluable trusted advisor to senior executives and CEOs in need to succeed in Europe and in need to adjust their leadership style to grow their organizations overseas. I recommend Johanne to CEOs and Executives as a partner when significantly challenged to take their organizations to new levels. She has broad operating, marketing and leadership experience and a proven track record to continually deliver results. Her dynamism is infectious/inspirational.”