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Biography & Autobiography Business

The Blue Collar CEO

My Gutsy Journey from Rookie Contractor to Multi-Millionaire Construction Boss

by (author) Mandy Rennehan

HarperCollins Canada
Initial publish date
Apr 2022
Business, Women in Business, Personal Memoirs
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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"People crave real because it's so damn rare. Real is what netted me a four-million-dollar contract in my twenties. But it's about more than that. When I'm just being me, it gives those around me permission to do the same. In a world of stiff white collars, that matters." -Mandy Rennehan, from The Blue Collar CEO

Born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Mandy Rennehan began her business career at ten-years-old by catching bait and selling it to local fishermen. She was so good at her job, she knew she wanted to be her own boss one day. At the age of seventeen, Rennehan decided to strike out on her own, so she packed a hockey bag full of her belongings and fled to Halifax, where she began cold calling construction companies, volunteering to work for free, so she could learn more about contracting and the trades.

Three years later, Rennehan had garnered all the experience she needed to start her own company, Freshco, a boutique retail maintenance and construction company. Still in her early twenties, Rennehan’s reputation as a knowledgeable and trustworthy contractor led to her first corporate contract with The Gap. Her business has since gone on to become a multi-million-dollar company whose clients are some of the top corporations in North America.

Known as The Blue Collar CEO for her ability to seamlessly navigate between the white- and blue-collar worlds, and as a tireless advocate for the trades, this is the story of how Rennehan succeeded in business through honesty, integrity, and most of all, authenticity - by always remaining true to herself and her vision for success.

About the author

MANDY RENNEHAN is a sought-after speaker, philanthropist, award-winning entrepreneur and trade-industry ambassador who runs a multi-million-dollar retail renovation company named Freshco (not the grocery store). As an LGBTQ business leader, her personal passion is promoting the trades as a career option for men and women. In Canada, Rennehan is a lead advisor in the federal government’s national campaign to encourage apprenticeships and promote the skilled trades. She has received numerous business awards, including Canada’s Most Admired CEO, the Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Leader of the Year Award, the RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Momentum Award, and a Top 25 Women of Influence Award, among many others. She is also the host of HGTV’s new renovation show, Trading Up, which debuts in 2022.

Mandy Rennehan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“This is a story of a self-professed tomboy from Nova Scotia, who with determination and grit (not to mention a whole 'lotta personality) broke through barriers to become a shining example of entrepreneurial success. This book is a must read for any aspiring business owner who wants to foster a culture of true excellence, creativity, and individual flair. Mandy will inspire you to believe that anything is possible.” —  -Janet Zuccarini, judge Top Chef Canada and CEO Gusto 54 Restaurant Group 

“This is a story about family, heart, grit, humor, honesty, and the way Mandy’s mix of passion and determination has turned her into one hell of a blue-collar CEO – leading the charge in a very male industry. Reading Mandy’s story, will make you laugh out loud and, no matter where you are from, you will find parts of yourself in her story. But most of all, you’ll be in awe at the way she has found success over and over again, usually in a room full of men who didn’t see her coming!” — -Cheryl Hickey, Host, Entertainment Tonight Canada  

“Mandy Rennehan is the perfect combination of perseverance, inspiration, and positivity. As an advocate for women and diversity in the trades, Mandy is an icon in the industry, where female representation is less than 10%. With her big heart and relentless work ethic, Mandy is changing the landscape of Canada's construction space to be more inclusive. This book is a must-read for everyone!” — -Natasha Koifman, founder and president - NKPR