Community Builder and Entrepreneur
I moved to Collingwood in 2015 and quickly made it my home. I fell in love with the people who also call it home and the surroundings that make it a great place to live.
Currently 42 years old, I was born and raised in Chatham, Ontario where I lived for most of my life. I spent the last two decades building businesses and supporting others who were doing the same. I grew up with a love of the arts and history, and deep passion for creating community. I’ve worked with Municipalities on multiple committees and task forces, as well as worked at the Federal level as a G20 Delegate for Canada.
If you find yourself Downtown then you’ll likely find me at The Collingwood Foundry where I continue to do just that, supporting other businesses and those who build them.
VISION & VALUES
Our values are the things that help us make decisions, that help us create community and unite us under a common purpose. It’s what makes Collingwood… Collingwood!
Our vision is our north star and helps us forge the path forward into the future. Rooted in our values but open to new possibilities, our vision must be clear, simple, and shared.
After all, if our values define who we are, our vision defines who we will become. We have much to preserve and nurture and much to look forward to, I believe my role as your councilor is to respect our values and map our future. Therefore I have raised my hand and humbly ask for your support. Here are some thoughts on my own vision and values.
Collingwood will continue to grow and evolve. Our unique natural environment, recreation options and community will continue to attract newcomers and retain those already here.
My VISION AND VALUES
My vision for this community is rooted in balance:
- Protecting our heritage
- Building our community
- Supporting the growth of our businesses
- Supporting our people and their families
- Supporting our arts and culture
I believe Council must actively engage with all constituents, businesses and community groups to understand all priorities, challenges and opportunities.
Values I bring to this role include:
- Transparency in all things
- Communication, both sharing and listening
- Honouring our traditions
- Innovating to solve complex challenges
I have lived here for seven years. I am not yet a local to some; I’ve been here forever to others. In those seven years, Collingwood has transformed dramatically and will continue to do so.
Collingwood is projected to hit a population of 41,500 by 2041. This means more businesses, more infrastructure, more homes, more everything. But unfortunately, it also means the risk of losing our heritage, resources and environment.
Growing a business, The Collingwood Foundry, in one of Collingwood’s downtown heritage buildings and filling it with 160 entrepreneurs, remote workers, and local businesses has shown me that growth can be rooted in our past and built for our future. But, I have also learned that each decision must be deliberate and thoughtful and consider today’s needs and tomorrow’s reality.
Growth will not stop, but we can design a sustainable future for all. I am confident my experience will pay dividends here.
Can growth and affordable/available housing exist in the same space?
I believe they can, and a primary objective will be to focus on both outcomes. Let’s face it, if nurses, service workers, and frontline employees cannot afford to rent or purchase in Collingwood, we can’t grow. I do not have an answer to this challenge, but I am driven to take deliberate and thoughtful action to address it. Working with our community and the provincial and federal governments to create a policy that rewards proactive action and revisits our long-held assumptions regarding the status quo. Everyone has skin in this game; whether you are a homeowner seeking to protect gains, a young family trying to secure affordable housing, or a newcomer trying to join our community, each of us has a role to play in solving this problem. My goal will be to hear from all parties, foster solutions that keep us growing, and support every constituent in our community.
If you haven’t yet noticed, key themes in my approach are communication, collaboration and community building.
Nothing works if we aren’t speaking, but perhaps more importantly, if we are not listening to each other. Creating space for all voices is a critical priority for me. The rationale for every significant decision the town makes must be effectively communicated to the public, and appropriate time for feedback needs to be a cornerstone of how we make decisions. In some cases, initiatives fail because of a lack of effective communication, not because they are bad ideas.
My business is located downtown at 64 Hurontario, my coffee is always on, and I am ready to listen.
For the last 18 years I’ve been an entrepreneur building and supporting businesses. I’ve successfully grown and sold one business and when I arrived in Collingwood, acquired another that was struggling to help rebuild it. Since 2011 I’ve been supporting other businesses and entrepreneurs on their own journeys by mentoring, investing, and creating supportive communities for them to grow.
2019-Present: Founded the Collingwood Foundry, a Downtown hub and community for entrepreneurs.
2015-Present: Acquired Switch Video and grew it to profitability. Currently serving startups and large enterprise clients in over 15 countries.
2011-2014: Co-Founded the Ground Floor Centre for Innovation, a coworking space and business incubator.
2004-2015: Founded Logix Design Studio. Grew it to a successful global web development agency. Sold business in 2015.
I’ve had the honour of spending time contributing to a number of great initiatives both locally and globally to support my community. Much of my volunteer time has been around how to support my community from an economic development standpoint.
2020 - 2022: Launched Collingwood Commons during the pandemic - A free online marketplace to support local businesses.
2020 - 2021: Elected as a member of the Collingwood Economic Recovery & Support Task Force to address public challenges during the pandemic.
2020 - 2021: Elected as Board Member of the Downtown Collingwood BIA
2019: Invited to join the Collingwood Mayor’s Advisory Team on Economic Development.
2017: Co-organizer of the first TEDx Collingwood. Bringing past experience as an organizer of TEDx Chatham-Kent.
2016: Chosen as one of 30 Canadian Delegates representing the country at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit in China, working with the Federal Government to develop policy for youth entrepreneurship.
2014: Elected to the Chatham-Kent Economic Development Advisory Committee as an expert in the knowledge sector to help support local business development and attraction.
2014: Joined Junior Achievement of South Western Ontario as a Board Member.
2014: Co-organizer of the firsts TEDx Chatham-Kent.
I would love to hear from you. Deciding on who to lay your trust in for Council is a big decision and I would love to hear what you would like to see done over the next 4 years. Email, phone, or in person, let’s connect.
If you find yourself downtown you can also stop by The Collingwood Foundry to say hi.
Interested in a lawn sign? Fill out the form below, email me, or give me a call.
VISIT ME: Collingwood Foundry
64 Hurontario St, Downtown Collingwood