ONE TO ONE with Norm Francis

As the co-founder of world-leading accounting and customer relationship management software companies, Norm Francis is a go-getter. Better yet, he pushes non-profits to dream big, too.

Norm, CEO of Boardwalk Ventures Inc., first learned about ONE TO ONE while serving on a committee for Social Venture Partners—a network of philanthropists who invest time, money and professional expertise to support local non-profits. Norm has always believed in the power of reading. Needless to say, when ONE TO ONE applied to receive funding from Social Venture Partners in 2016, we stood out to Norm.

“I’m a big believer in reading as a path to knowledge,” he says. Thanks in-part to Norm’s support, Social Venture Partners awarded ONE TO ONE a $20,000 grant in October 2016.

The Francis Family Foundation (led by Norm, his wife, Pat and children Sarah, Kim and Lucas) generously matched the first $15,000 donated to ONE TO ONE’s winter Joy of Reading fundraising campaign. (Want to learn more about donating to ONE TO ONE? Click here!)

To spread the Joy of Reading, we caught up with Norm to learn what gets him excited about books!

Why do you read? I’m an inquisitive person. For me, reading’s all about learning.

What book has had the biggest impact on you? It’s hard to pick just one. In general, I love biographies. I love to learn about life and people who have done interesting things, whether in history or technology. I’ve recently found the biographies about Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, really interesting.

Currently reading: TB12 by Tom Brady

Favourite word: Persistence

Favourite book to read to children: The Polar Express

“ONE TO ONE with…” is a Q & A series with ONE TO ONE’s friends and members of the literary world. Know someone who should be featured? Drop us a line at