About Trade, Investment & Technology
John’s career with Canada’s foreign service centred especially on trade, investment, financial and technology issues. Of note is the fact that the territory of the Canadian Consulate General in Detroit, in which John served as Consul General from 1998 to 2002, accounted for more trade and investment than any other mission outside Canada.
The Waterloo Region, where John headed Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc (www.techtriangle.com), is internationally known for its leadership and success in technology, innovation and commercialization. John has worked with many to understand the success factors of “The Waterloo Way”. John was also asked to be a founding member of the Board of Directors of the University of Waterloo Accelerator Centre, a centre for the cultivation of entrepreneurship through the support it provides for its technology-based start up clients. In March 2009, John’s successful leadership to attract new businesses to the area were recognized by the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce which gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
While in the foreign service and with Canada’s Technology Triangle Inc, John orchestrated innumerable major business missions and conferences, trade development and investment attraction initiatives, and programs to encourage targeted and strategic international activities by Canadians. In the early 1990’s, John contributed to the development of the Team Canada concept of international missions involving the Canadian Prime Minister, Provincial Premiers and the private sector.
Since establishing W2N2 Partnership, John has undertaken a number of assignments related to trade, investment, technology and innovation, sometimes in partnership with others. For Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, he drafted a multi-dimensional Global Automotive Sector Strategy for Canada, provided recommendations for enhanced initiatives to foster foreign investment retention in Canada (“aftercare”), and offered counsel on initiatives to connect US-based Canadian Trade Commissioners with Canada’s innovation sector. Two major studies for the Federal Southern Ontario Economic Development Agency (FedDev Ontario) focused on the structure of the Southern Ontario economy (including clusters and emerging sectors) and on Southern Ontario’s role and prospects in global trade. Work for the Health Technology Exchange (HTX) centered on strategy development in the delivery of the medical devices health technology commercialization program in Ontario, based on assessments from stakeholder roundtables, interviews and research. A scoping study for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities assessed the potential areas for closer federal-municipal collaboration in international economic development activities, such as international trade negotiations, foreign investment attraction and retention, international business and export development, and investment to create attractive global-class cities and communities.
John possesses in-depth knowledge about doing business in Canada as a result of his work with foreign firms to attract them to invest and expand in Canada. This is complimented by wide experience with the US business climate and his understanding of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). His familiarity with these issues positions him well to contribute meaningfully to the success of firms in the North American economic space.
John has first-hand experience and insights with respect to Canada-US border issues, having being Canadian Consul General in Detroit at the time of 9-11. The International Armed Forces Council selected John for its 2002 Achievement Award for outstanding cross-border efforts. John was a founding Director of the Great Lakes Manufacturing Council (www.greatlakesmanufacturingcouncil.org). John moderated an expert panel on “Canada’s Trade Opportunities with the U.S., Europe and China/India” at I.E. Canada’s 78th Annual Conference, “Best Practices in Global Trade and Customs”, in Toronto in October 2009.
John is a member of the Japan Society, Communitech Technology Association, the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT) and the Council of the Great Lakes Region.