Written by Jess Borys, Communications Manager
When Mark Jones began to get involved with The Chamber community over eight years ago, he was pleasantly surprised by how “beyond business” it was. He felt that connection right away– a connection he continues to hold strong.
Mark has been a partner in the accounting firm, Olafson & Jones Chartered Professional Accountants since 2008, and is the soon-to-be Board Chair of The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
As incoming chair, Mark hopes to amplify The Chamber’s mission of “Lead, Connect, Grow”, but with a little bit of a twist– Lead. RE-Connect. Grow.
“The last few years have been tough on the community. Going back and forth from in-person to virtual, at home, to the office– it has taken a toll on all of us and our connections,” said Mark.
“This next year I hope as a community we can reconnect and celebrate the resilience of our members and our city. Reconnect with people we haven’t seen and just celebrate each other.”
As Mark looks back on Liz Choi’s year as Chair, he wants to continue to build on the work she has already started.
“Liz is an incredible person. I have some pretty big shoes to fill,” said Mark. “Liz did a fantastic job at building that reconnection by bringing us back together to celebrate the resilience of our city and most importantly the diversity of our community.”
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) have been at the forefront of The Chamber’s programming with the launch of CODE (Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity) and continues to be a driving force in our community. Mark wants to ensure he continues to build off that momentum.
“Focusing on CODE and driving forward DEI in the business community really is a no-brainer for me,” said Mark.
“For example, from a business perspective, there is so much untapped talent in our community. You look at the Newcomer Employment Hub, the business community is dying for talent and there are so many brilliant people who just need a path to get to these jobs. CODE programming provides them with a way for them to overcome these barriers.”
With next year being the 150th anniversary of The Chamber, as Chair, Mark will be leading the way through this new season.
“Looking back at the last eight years I’ve been involved with The Chamber, I am in awe at how far it has come. There are so many new things that have been great for our city, not just for business, but for everybody. But since the pandemic, people are exhausted and unsure of what’s coming next, but I really want to get back to a place of optimism and hope for the future. I want to get back to growing our city.”
We will send off our current board chair, Liz Choi, and welcome Mark as our new chair at our Annual General Meeting on Thursday, October 6, 2022.