Chris brings a wide range of leadership experience as well as more than three decades of entrepreneurial and financial expertise to the table. As the owner of The Flower Market, Fresh Market and Minnaar Canada Inc Chris operated an international brokerage company for produce and cut floral, importing peppers, tomatoes, asparagus and other produce, as well as cut flowers from Mexico, New Zealand, Europe and South America primarily, and supplying those products to some of Canada’s major shopping chains for the past several decades.
Born in Ontario, Chris has called Alberta home since the early 1980s when he arrived in Calgary to take a position with General Electric. He soon found his feet as a budding entrepreneur, setting up his own street-vending flower business in 1984. That business grew into Western Canada’s largest, and one of Canada’s top floral importing companies. While nurturing this enterprise, Chris branched out into the technology sector, helping to establish temperature monitoring technology for the transportation of perishable products industry. Not one to sit still in retirement, he continues to work for a Fortune 500 company within the technology sector.
He values honesty, integrity and solid relationships in business, while maintaining that there’s no so-called secret to success; just hard work and the mindset that no matter how big your venture may become, it’s crucial to keep things simple, respect cash flow and put people first.
When Chris was building his distributing and importing business, he had the opportunity to be mentored by an elder entrepreneur who guided him on the intricate balance of how a small business runs, grows and excels. Chris believes that passing on that same kind of leadership to Canada’s next generation of rising entrepreneurs is crucial to our industry growth and the overall economy.
He and his wife raised their two grown girls in Calgary, where they maintain a strong position in the community. In his spare time, Chris is most likely to be found volunteering his time to boards, spending time with his family at their favourite places of leisure, navigating a sailboat, skiing or enjoying 18 holes on the links.