Business Uniting For A Thriving Mississauga
THE LAUNCH OF MERG
Even with a mask, you will no doubt recognize our illustrious MBOT Chair and partner with Speigel, Nichols, Fox - Susanne Balpataky, Former MBOT President & CEO - David Wojcik and MBOT V.P. Government & Stakeholder Relations - Brad Butt.
You might have also spotted Jim Molyneux, MBOT Past Chair and Regional Managing Partner of MNP.
Smiling behind their masks are Dr Alexandra Gillespie, the new Principal of UTM, Jane Chung, President of Astra Zeneca, John McKenna, President of McKenna Logistics, Paul Meo, President & CEO of NTN Bearing Corporation of Canada, Sam Sharma, President of Crown Group of Hotels, Bree Ranieri, CEO CoTalent Corporation and me, Ellen McGregor, CEO of Fielding Environmental.
So why did so many business leaders gather? To launch MERG - pronounced with a soft “g”.
MERG stands for the Mississauga Economic Recovery Group.
WHAT'S MERG ABOUT?
It began - as all great ideas do - with a conversation. At the beginning of April this year, David Wojcik posed this question to me,
“What can MBOT do to help Mississauga businesses recover from the impacts of COVID?”
He went on to say, “We should form a group of senior business leaders from various sectors of the Mississauga business community to think through the impacts of COVID-19 on the various sectors and more importantly, what can be done to mitigate and reverse the effects”. He then asked for my help, which immediately triggered a passion within. After all, my business had been substantially impacted and not in a good way even though Fielding had been characterized as “essential”. I could only imagine the impact on business owners who had been forced to close. With a sense of urgency, MBOT needed to show strong leadership underpinned by well thought out disciplines with an outcomes focus. In late April, the approval was given by the MBOT Executive Committee and MERG was created.
We began to brainstorm objectives at a 40,000 foot level. We knew we needed data from Mississauga businesses. Data that would lead to advocacy work - with the City, the Region as well as the Provincial and Federal Governments. But more than that, in order to really help Mississauga businesses, we needed data that would trigger actions to leverage capabilities unique to Mississauga. For instance, the creation of new talent pools or alternative access points to capital. The creation of new programs or collaboration opportunities to reduce costs. We knew that quantifiable, accurate, timely data could spearhead powerful actions to help companies recover and exceed pre-COVID measures.
With objectives clear in mind and a “working” Charge in place, our minds turned to the “How”.
HOW WILL MERG HELP?
With grey haired experience, we knew what we wanted to avoid. Both of us had been on panels whose work had been thwarted by bureaucracy, misunderstanding and divergent agendas. Both of us had felt the frustration of having recommendations filtered through sub-committees and governing committees - seeing recommendations diluted, mis-actioned or worse, simply ignored. We knew we needed a construct that would be nimble and impactful - lead by senior business leaders who could engage resources and commit their organizations to advance the work of MERG.
Our solution was to create a panel whose members would have 3 roles:
(1) To be part of an oversight committee
(2) To lead a group of companies within their sector
(3) To ensure their own organization provided input to questions they would ask of others
Panel members would ensure that companies from all across Mississauga would be engaged to share facts and ideas. The Panel would then mine data and make recommendations to MBOT for actions, advocacy, and communication. The construct - albeit one that places weighty responsibilities on panel members - is elegant and empowering.
MERG is truly MBOT’s grass roots initiative lead by top talent - done right - and it will be will serve as a recovery model for every city across Canada.
Stay tuned for updates as MERG helps Mississauga businesses “E-MERG“ stronger.
Ellen McGregor, CEO Fielding Environmental
Chair of MERG (Mississauga Economic Recovery Group)
MEET THE PANEL
Nurse Next Door - Mississauga
Lucie Shaw came from a background in customer experience and leadership and after 25+ years, was looking to make a change towards a more rewarding career. Having experienced firsthand the challenges of caring for aging parents, she was excited to be able to bring seniors and their families the peace of mind they need through focused, personalized home care services. Along with her husband, David, the married couple of 35+ years has worked hard to establish the Nurse Next Door brand and proudly serve Mississauga.
President & CEO
President & CEO
Trevor is a not-for-profit senior executive with extensive experience in economic development, and driving domestic and international business growth. He is well versed in government relations, stakeholder engagement and consensus building, having held numerous positions at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce over the past 15 years, most recently as Vice President, Member Services. One of Trevor’s most significant accomplishments is the Ontario Economic Summit, a high-profile forum that engages leaders from business, government, labour, academia and the NGO community in a collaborative effort to determine ways to grow Ontario’s economy.
Ellen McGregor is the principal owner and CEO of Fielding Environmental - an award winning clean-tech company specializing in chemical and refrigerant recovery to produce high quality recycled chemicals. Committed to serving the peak of the waste management hierarchy, Ellen trade marked the phrase Cradle to Cradle® long before the words had market meaning. She is a champion for innovation believing that Canada can and should be the world’s leader in resource recovery.
Vice President & General Manager
Amgen Canada Inc.
With 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, Brian’s efforts have consistently put patients first. Joining Amgen Canada with the goal of providing solutions to address serious illness with innovative medicines, Brian maintains a mission-driven approach to serving patients that is characterized by thoughtful discourse and collaborative partnership across the community of healthcare stakeholders. Brian’s work has been highlighted in Pharmaceutical Executive, with 3 Doctor’s Choice Awards, and by a PM360 Trailblazer Award. Brian holds a BSc degree from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
McKenna Logistics Centres
John is the third-generation owner and president of McKenna Logistics Centres. He has also served on the board of the International Warehouse Logistics Association and its Canadian Council. John is a part-time professor at Humber College in the faculty of business and the supply chain management program. He also advises the CEO of Trillium Health Partners and is a member of the Interim Governing Council for Mississauga’s Ontario Health Team. John received his MBA from Ivey Business School. In 2015 and was awarded Business Person of the Year by
the Mississauga Board of Trade.
NTN Bearing Corporation of Canada
Paul (Paolo) Meo is President and CEO of NTN Bearing Corporation of Canada, overlooking both the sales and manufacturing operations headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario. Meo is a graduate of York University’s Schulich Executive Program, and the CMOE (Centre for Management & Organization Effectiveness). Meo started his career with NTN 37 years ago, playing a pivotal role in NTN's continuous growth and expansion in the Canadian bearing market. Meo's company vision is "to transform into Canada’s leader of the Ultimate Bearing Experience." Founded in 1918, NTN is one of the world's largest producers of premium quality ball and roller bearings, long recognized for the most stringent quality standards in the industry.
Crown Group of Hotels
Sameer helped create and grow his family business as Director of Crown Group of Hotels, which owns and operates multiple hotels under internationally known flags such as: Marriott, Hilton, InterContinental Hotel Group and Choice Hotels. Today, Crown Group of Hotels employs over 300 people having established itself in a very short period taking its Hotel’s portfolio from under $10 million 6 years ago to over $150 million. Crown Group of Hotels currently operates in: Mississauga, Brampton, Ottawa, Barrie, Burlington & Sarnia. He was the recipient of the award for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2017” by the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce and Mississauga Board of Trade where he now sits on the Board of Directors.
Director & General Manager
Oxford Properties Group
Steve is a commercial real estate professional with over 25 years of real estate industry experience, ranging from office leasing to retail operations. Steve is currently the Director and General Manager of Square One Shopping Centre with Oxford Properties Group. As Director and General Manager of Square One Shopping Centre, Steve is very involved with the future evolution of the shopping centre as well as the upcoming development activities of the Square One District. Prior to taking on his role at Square One, Steve was the General Manager at Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre. Steve has a Bachelor of Science degree from Western and has also earned several industry designations including his RPA, CPM and CSM. Steve has been part of several committees and boards including with the City of Vaughan.
Dr. Alexandra Gillespie
Principal - University of Toronto Mississauga
& Vice President - University of Toronto
After completing her BA (Hons.) in English at Victoria University of Wellington, Gillespie attended Oxford’s Corpus Christi College where she earned an MSt and DPhil. She went on to a Research Fellowship at Balliol College, Oxford, and a Library Fellowship at Darwin College, Cambridge, before coming to UTM as a professor of English in 2004. Since then, she has directed numerous projects of national and international significance, shaping educational policies, priorities, and practices as Chair of UTM’s Department of English & Drama; as an early member of Toronto’s Initiative for Diversity & Excellence; as the first Director of the Jackman Humanities Institute’s Digital Humanities Network; and as UTM’s Vice-Presidential Special Advisor in Research.
Meghan Nicolls, CFRE
The Mississauga Food Bank
With a career path focused in the nonprofit sector, Meghan has worked with organizations dedicated to social causes such as women’s development, international relief, and youth mental health.
Driven by a passion for ending hunger and seeing poverty reduced in her own community, she is proud of her contribution over the last 12 years to the significant growth of The Mississauga Food Bank. Meghan was named CEO in 2018 and now leads the food bank team to work towards their vision of A Mississauga Where No One Goes Hungry.
In addition to her love for the nonprofit sector, she loves her husband Alex, being an auntie, new technology, and a good cup of tea.