With over 35 years of management experience in tourism, hospitality, real estate development and the entertainment industry, Michael has extensive experience training some of North America’s finest tourism and hospitality properties. In his early years, Michael owned and operated QSR Concepts which set the service standards for Tourism British Columbia in all the Visitor Information Centres across the province of BC. Training and evaluating 118 Visitor Info Centres and staff resulted in Tourism BC’s program being recognized as one of the leading and most respected visitor info centre networks in the world.
Michael’s passion for people and his ability to see opportunities where others see difficulties has resulted in becoming a highly-respected transformational leader and change agent. His knowledge of multiple industries and his willingness to share his experience and insights with others has kept him in great demand. In 2005, Michael was contracted to be the Vice President of Customer Service for the world’s largest sustainable developments, Loreto Bay. This was an 8,000 acre, 6,000 home project, with 5 miles of oceanfront, hotels and restaurant development in which he implemented general company-wide systems, procedures, customer service standards and an international supply chain. After one year, Michael was promoted to President of the Village Homes Division, responsible for all aspects of the development from construction schedules, staffing, master planning, architectural and design, financials, timelines, customer service, sales and marketing.
Michael is also a firm believer in developing young entrepreneurs and new business ideas, expanding and restructuring existing businesses with a strong emphasis on ROI, strategic planning, customer service, sales and marketing. Michael’s continual thirst for helping young business entrepreneurs with their new ideas have led him to increasingly become the principal investor in a wide variety of new business start-ups.
In addition to his business acumen, Michael is known for his service commitment to giving back to a wide variety of charitable organizations both locally, nationally, and internationally such as Cops for Cancer, YoungLife, and David Foster Foundation to name a few. Michael started as a volunteer for the David Foster Foundation in the late 80’s and shortly thereafter became a director of the board and then President. At that time, he took the foundation from a provincial charity to a national foundation assisting families of children needing major organ transplants throughout Canada. In January 2009, Michael was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Since then, he has restructured the entire foundation operations and procedures, opened a second office in Toronto, expanded the staff and board of directors to include prominent Canadians from across Canada. Michael has developed an endowment fund and initiated the Life Legacy Members program to ensure that the foundation is sustainable for decades to come. Michael developed and implemented the Sponsor a Family Campaign which has become the largest single fundraising initiative for the foundation, raising over $20 million in the past three years.
Michael has been married to Cassandra for 28 years and they have two daughters. They are proud grandparents and are looking forward to 2020 when they will welcome their second grandchild and celebrate the marriage of their second daughter. Michael and Cassandra divide their time between their hometown of Victoria, British Columbia and Phoenix, Arizona.