It is not every day that a small not for profit organization like RIC Centre can access the brain trust of a Chair with a big business background coupled with the nimbleness of a start up. John Switzer has been the Chair of RIC Centre for the past two years. May 8th, RIC Centre thanked John for his work, and bid him farewell and good luck as he stepped down as Chair.
John’s contributions have been invaluable to grow the organization. John has always had a keen talent for leveraging partnerships. While the team is on the ground, building programs and working with clients, John has been an important resource when it comes to community building. He has always been able to bring parties together and strengthen collaboration. John brought this talent to the governance of the Board of Directors, where he assisted in bringing in new industry Board members and renewed engagement in RIC Centres affairs.
Coming from a big business background, John was very well versed in business best practices. This was critical for RIC Centre as he encouraged the organization to step up to adopt strategies for growth. Over the years in his role on the Advisory Committee and the Board, John has always been supportive of innovation and allowed the organization to experiment with programs and services to support the entrepreneurial community in Peel and Ontario.
Examples of John’s support include the RIC Incubator, grown in partnership with the Xerox Research Centre of Canada. VentureStart also was a project he strongly supported to help strengthen the entrepreneurial start up community in the region and Ontario. VentureStart was a very successful program which funded over 200 start-ups and has strengthened the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs.
By leading under an umbrella of innovation, entrepreneurship and business best practices, John’s leadership has allowed RIC Centre to explore new opportunities and grow substantially. He will be greatly missed by the ever expanding RIC Centre team of staff and volunteers.