Jennifer McLaughlin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A local business owner and entrepreneur has taken the helm at the Markham Board of Trade (MBT). MBT announced Chris Collucci as its new president and chief executive officer, effective July 18.
Collucci’s career to date brings corporate experience from IBM and Motorola, plus over a decade as a Markham business owner, award-winning entrepreneur, and business mentor, trainer, and coach. He also supports education and development as a professor teaching “Innovation in Entrepreneurship” at Seneca College.
Having lived in Markham for over 20 years, his community involvement includes his role on the board of directors for local organizations, including Evergreen Hospice and the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACCE), and supporting Markham’s Business Mentoring program as a volunteer since 2015. “The good of our community is deeply important to me,” he shared.
Collucci credits Markham’s long-term leadership with creating a dynamic environment for business growth and vital employment centres. He describes Markham as a “powerhouse” that “embraces the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship,” allowing businesses to thrive while also being a great place to live, work, and play. The largest of the nine municipalities in York Region with over 350,000 residents, Markham boasts over 10,000 companies and a workforce of almost 180,000.
He stresses that MBT needs to “build on our heritage of success to maximize existing opportunities” while “embracing modern digital channels and transformation, relevant initiatives and innovative programs, and really look forward to opening new opportunities.” With COVID-19 propelling us into a world of virtual connectivity, he also asserts that “we need to find ways to get that personal touch back.”
MBT is a non-profit organization formed of members that plays a vital role in Markham’s economic development. It promotes community, commercial and industrial growth by helping promote businesses and connecting them with other businesses, prospects, and markets.
The organization also advocates on behalf of businesses with all levels of government.
Collucci cites the federally-funded Canada Digital Adoption Program, which is currently offering micro-grants for up to $2400 to help businesses get online, and other similar provincially-funded programs as examples of government initiatives that MBT brings to the attention of its members. Aligning businesses with these and other programs to maximize opportunities for growth and success is a priority for the organization.
Visit: www.markhamboard.com for information.
Photo: Chris Collucci, president and CEO, Markham Board of Trade. (MBT photo).