I grew up in Chatham, Ontario where I spent my childhood split between city life and farm life, spending my weekdays in town watching baseball with my grandfather, a retired coach and builder of 40 years, and weekends playing through the fields and barn surrounding my father’s farmhouse.
My entrance into the world of entrepreneurship began in 2004 with the start of my first business, a small web design company that combined my two passions of design and technology. I successfully grew that first business for 10 years expanding to a global client base and hiring staff. During that period I spent a lot of time giving back to my community in the form of supporting other businesses and entrepreneurs young and old. That led to a partnership with two friends to establish Chatham’s first coworking space and business incubator, which we formed as a not-for-profit in 2011.
At the beginning of 2015 I sold my business in search of my next adventure. That search brought me to Collingwood where I acquired my second business, Switch Video, a video production company that had been struggling and needed support. After a year of rebuilding and turning the company to profitability, I launched my second coworking space in our former offices. That space, now known as The Collingwood Foundry in Downtown Collingwood is now home to over 160 entrepreneurs and remote workers and has become Collingwood’s community hub of support for them and their businesses. During that time I also served on the Mayor’s Advisory Team on Economic Development and was chosen as a Canadian delegate to travel to China for the G20 Summit, work on youth entrepreneurship policy, and speak at the Young Entrepreneurs Alliance Summit.
At the beginning of 2020 I began an expansion of The Foundry at 64 Hurontario which was abruptly put on hold when the pandemic hit. With one business temporarily closed I shifted my attention to how I could support other local businesses that were experiencing the same. Leveraging my technology background I built a community portal called Collingwood Commons that helped businesses quickly establish an ecommerce presence. I ran this platform free for everyone for nearly two years during the pandemic before retiring it this year. It contributed to the revenue of many businesses who hadn’t yet taken their business online.
Additionally during that time I joined the Downtown Collingwood BIA as a board member and Collingwood’s Economic Recovery & Support Task Force which was formed to provide guidance and advice to Council that support residents and businesses during the pandemic.
Today you’ll still find me at The Foundry in Downtown Collingwood still supporting entrepreneurs and businesses and continuing to grow the community.