FEATURED GREEN BUSINESS | Making a Difference: Paying it back and paying it forward

Extreme off-road racer Kane Fraser has taken on incredible physical challenges in Canada, Mexico, and the US, transferring from corporate wear in a wheelchair to mud-splattered road gear and roaring race engines: not your average accountant. Photo: Matthew Graham

Extreme off-road racer Kane Fraser has taken on incredible physical challenges in Canada, Mexico, and the US, transferring from corporate wear in a wheelchair to mud-splattered road gear and roaring race engines: not your average accountant. Photo: Matthew Graham

By LeRae Haynes —

Kane Fraser is partner and team member at FBB Chartered Professional Accountants LLP. He also competes in extreme off-road racing events in Canada, the US, and Mexico, recently attended an Association of Research and Enlightenment conference to be certified in hypnosis and past-life regression, and regularly commits random acts of profound kindness.  

He’s also a paraplegic, and when he’s not driving a high-octane racing vehicle, he’s in a wheelchair.

FBB has been open less than two years and has up to 20 employees. Passionate about investing in the community, the company supports a wide range of efforts. Fraser said a major reason for the company’s success is they’re all loving and kind people.

“I believe you have to be special to work here,” he explained.“We are kind to each other, our clients and our community—that’s a big part of who we are.

“We practise ‘power with’ instead of ‘power over’ and acknowledge that the contribution from each of us is as important as any other—we make decisions collectively when it comes to our firm.”

He explained his philosophy of life and business is based on two things his father passed on to him. “One of the most important lessons he taught me was to treat other people the way you want to be treated. He said if you want to be treated with respect, treat people with respect.

“The second was if you want to be successful you have to have the right intention. For example, if earning money is your goal you will never be successful. But if providing a good service and keeping your word is your goal, the money will follow. Money is like a residual effect of successful service,” he said.

“Here’s an example that illustrates the two concepts I learned from my dad: what a life of service really means to me.

Kane is a partner and team member at FBB Chartered Professional Accountants LLP. Photo: Rachel Meldrum

Kane is a partner and team member at FBB Chartered Professional Accountants LLP. Photo: Rachel Meldrum

“One of my clients is Boys and Girls Club. I am an alumni. I belonged when I was a kid in Kamloops. At the time, I didn’t realize their purpose—to work with youth and give them a place to go. I just thought it was a cool place to belong. When I became an accountant and the local club became my client, I wanted to support them. I know what they do and the difference they make—they have a part in making me who I am,” he continued.

“As my client, they got me to do their audit, which is significant to their budget. I starting thinking about donating their audit to them, struggling for a few weeks. My logical mind said, ‘You can’t do it. Money’s tight right now.’ My heart kept saying, ‘You need to do it, it will make a difference. You need to trust that it will be OK.’”

He said the FBB team supported him enthusiastically when he decided to go with his heart. “When Boys and Girls asked for a quote and I said we’d do it free, the executive director was blown away. I felt really good about it—my only intention was to help them so they can continue doing their good work in our community for kids like me,” he added.

“This was followed by a huge boon of audits, proving my dad’s point that if you provide the right service the money will follow.”

In August, Fraser did the Vegas to Reno race, which is 545 miles long—the longest in the US. He and his racing partner Paul Marcotte won their class, after helping three fellow racers along the way.

“First of all, we towed a guy’s bike for him—it was broken down. Next we came upon a racer who had been knocked off his bike and was lying unconscious on the track. Along with the guy I was towing, we managed to get him off the track.”

Fraser said the guy had a badly broken hand and a head injury. “We made him keep his helmet on, and I doubled him on my bike and, still towing the guy behind me, drove until we met up with the medi-helicopter and turned him over to the medics. He freaked and refused to get on the helicopter,” Fraser continued.“I ended up hauling him another five miles to a four-wheel-drive ambulance, dropped him off, and continued on.”

Finally, he said he was stopped on the track and told there was a racer ahead who had broken down on a motorcycle. “They said to stop and tell the guy to leave his bike and walk back two miles. It was midnight, and when I found him, he didn’t want to wander around in the desert in the dark. So, I offered to take him to the finish line with me—he could deal with his bike tomorrow.

“This last part was the roughest part of the course, and I got a flat tire and a broken wheel. We hobbled on, going downhill and I suddenly had no brakes: the brake line had gotten ripped off. I put it in low gear and rode the last 20 miles and across the finish line. The organizer could not believe I had doubled the guy all that way. What a great race: we finished, we won our class, and helped three people,” he said. “Super awesome race!”

Another thing Fraser does is buy random meals for people in restaurants. “I eat out quite often and when I see people at the other tables – a single mom, some RCMP, older people – I pick up their tab anonymously. Someone found out about it once and asked me about it. ‘You look like you need some kindness today,’ I said. Something like that can make a big difference in how that day goes for someone,” he added.

“Think about this,” he said simply. “If you can, you should.”

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LeRae Haynes is a freelance writer, song writer, community co-ordinator for Success by 6, member of Perfect Match dance band, and instigator of lots of music with kids. 

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