James (Jim) Howard Mintz was a pioneer in the social marketing field in Canada and was an outspoken advocate for the application of social marketing methods to government and non-profit settings. In addition to the many years leading numerous public health initiatives to support positive behavior changes across Canada as the Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at Health Canada, Jim committed the second half of his career, what was supposed to be his retirement, to training the next generation of social marketers. As the co-founder and Managing Partner of the Center for Excellence in Public Sector Marketing (CEPSM), he played an active role in consulting and training public and nonprofit sector staff around the world in social marketing strategy development. His business partners said they could not have asked for a better, more trustworthy business partner to be joined at the hip with. He was always willing to share client work and put the needs of the company above his own. Throughout, Jim taught marketing strategies to many students at Carleton University, University of Ottawa, and the University of South Florida. As a further demonstration of his commitment to the field, Jim served on a number of professional association boards and committees, including the board of the Social Marketing Association of North America.
Jim’s long career spanned the private and public sector and, along the way, he gained wisdom that cut to the heart of situations. Jim was a change agent for the public, using social marketing for the betterment of mankind. Even with all his experience, Jim was a perpetual student of marketing, always doing something to improve his knowledge and advance his discipline, whether it was reading, writing, mentoring others, or serving on all those boards, Jim would always put his heart into it. He was the ultimate lifelong learner not at all intimidated by the constant sea of change we live in.
In June of 2016, he wrote about his long journey and shared this important insight: “The role of a real change agent in marketing requires persistence and passion. It requires a belief in the value of the ultimate vision.”
The social marketing community has lost a great leader and pioneer.