I was born and raised in St. John’s. My dad, Joe, owned and operated Antle’s Irving on Torbay Road. That’s where I got my first taste of business – pumping gas and helping out. Working for dad taught me the value of hard work, honesty, and treating people right – values I embrace to this day.
I graduated from Memorial, then did a master’s degree in engineering. After graduating, I saw an opportunity to create my own small business – selling dangerous goods labels and placards. I started in my mom’s basement. It took a few years of grinding away, but eventually I was able to move out and hire a few people.
From there I went on to help pioneer environmental industries in this province – developing and exporting environmental technology to 4 continents and working in some 15 countries. Over time I established larger businesses, diversified into other industries, and invested in a number of start-up ventures to help them grow.
I went on to graduate as co-valedictorian from the Harvard School of Business. In 2015 I was inducted into the Atlantic Business Hall of Fame, and in 2014 Ernst & Young recognized me as an Atlantic Entrepreneur of the Year for growing St. John’s-based Pluto Investments Inc., a small holding company, to a large, diversified portfolio, which includes the 130-year-old St. John’s Dockyard with its unionized workforce of hundreds.
I am the recipient of a Canada-China Business Council Excellence Award for my efforts in introducing Canadian environmental technology and know-how to China. I have also been named a World Young Business Achiever, one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40™, and inducted into the Academy of Entrepreneurs.
I have served as a mentor with Memorial’s Faculty of Business Mentorship Program. I also chaired a Special Advisory Group on International Trade and was a member of the Prime Minister’s National Round Table on the Environment and Economy. I currently sit on the board of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS) and the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra. In 2012 I received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Currently, I chair the Rainbow Riders’ Raise It Up Campaign, leading its efforts to raise $6.0 million to expand the therapeutic horse riding services it offers to children and young adults with disabilities. I am a very active supporter of the Salvation Army, Stella’s Circle, the Children’s Wish Foundation, and the Bannerman Park Foundation.
My wife, Renee, and I have three children – Mark, Soleil, and Cleo.