Business Uniting For A Thriving Mississauga
What is MERG?
The Mississauga Economic Resiliency Group (MERG) is the vehicle through which senior-level leaders from the corporate, academic, and not-for-profit sectors connect, collaborate, and develop practical solutions aimed at driving business success and economic prosperity in Mississauga.
Why did MBOT create MERG?
MERG was launched in September 2020 with a vision of “Business Uniting For A Thriving Mississauga”. Initially created in response to the many challenges associated with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has since evolved into a trusted forum for CEOs from across Mississauga’s diverse economy to share ideas, explore partnerships, and collectively build our economic capacity.
Who is involved?
MERG is currently engaging more than 50 senior-level decision makers from Mississauga’s most prominent and influential private-sector employers, not-for-profits, academic institutions, and others who firmly believe in the potential of Mississauga to lead Ontario and Canada’s economic recovery by leveraging our unique assets and developing innovative, scalable, and results-driven solutions to meet today’s most pressing challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.
Steve Rhone has been a vital part of Weston Forest for over 30 years, beginning with a junior role as a labourer in Operations. Since then he has held management roles in every part of the company, including turns as Mill Manager, Night Shift Supervisor, Hardwood Product Manager, US Sales Manager, Vice President of Finance and Operations, and his current role as President.
MBOT President and 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.
He is co-developer of The 90% Rule®, a success-tested innovation process that enables businesses of all sizes to identify, filter and implement growth opportunities. A successful entrepreneur and business developer, Ken has built international-scale companies spanning manufacturing, product development, distribution and professional services. As CEO of Spyder Works®, Ken helps companies with both branding and innovation strategy. His insights on entrepreneurship and innovation appear in his monthly column for Canada’s National Newspaper, the Globe & Mail.
MERG Vice Chair
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.
MERG Vice Chair
Dr. Alexandra Gillespie
Principal - University of Toronto Mississauga
& Vice President - University of Toronto
Alexandra Gillespie is VP of the University of Toronto & Principal of U of T Mississauga, where she works as chief executive officer for a campus of more than 16,500 students and 3,750 employees. She is the first woman to be appointed to this position. Alex loves working at UTM because she believes in the power of collaboration and community—of bringing talented people together to learn from each other and spark discovery & innovation. And she takes pride in U of T as North America’s top public university for the employability of its graduates. Alex comes to this role after 20 years as a professor at UTM, where she has lived since completing her graduate and postgraduate work at the Universities of Oxford & Cambridge. She looks forward to many more years in Mississauga as U of T works to make good on its promise: to give students a lift of a lifetime.
CEO & President - Microbix Biosystems Inc
Cameron is the President and CEO of Microbix and also serves on its Board of Directors. Cameron has over 30 years’ experience as a leader, director, executive, equity research analyst, investment banker, and corporate advisor. He is also a Board Director and Audit Committee Chair of TSX-listed iFabric Corp., serves as Life Sciences and Healthcare Sector Leader for the Mississauga Board of Trade, and is a Board Director of Naegis Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Before Microbix, Cameron held senior leadership roles at TSX and TSX-venture listed life-sciences companies. Prior to his operational work, he headed the life-sciences activities of two national investment dealers after a decade as a top-ranked equity research analyst. He has also been an advisor to Global Affairs Canada, and a director of other public and private companies.