Announcement: Work Research Foundation
The Board of Directors of the Work Research Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of the first full-time President of the Foundation, Michael Van Pelt.
Mr. Van Pelt is a graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where he concentrated on history and political science studies.
He entered the world of business, politics, and public policy with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The four years he spent with CFIB served as a basic training in relating public and government policy to business and the community.
Mr. Van Pelt ran for municipal office and served as a councillor in the Town of Mitchell from 1994 to 1997. During this time, he led the successful amalgamation of the three municipalities surrounding Mitchell. His council was faced with the challenge of building a community that supports a vibrant economy, stable families, committed volunteers, and quality educational institutions. This "bigger picture" challenge framed his day-to-day decisions in running the municipal government.
For two years, he managed his family's construction company and quickly became acquainted with the reality of accounts receivable, accounts payable, lines of credit, customer service, and managing employees in the fast-paced construction industry.
In 1997, Mr. Van Pelt was appointed as General Manager of the Sarnia-Lambton Chamber of Commerce, where he led a number of successful advocacy efforts, including a property tax project and a transportation initiative. Recently, he led a delegation of 28 senior business leaders and local officials to Queen's Park on a two-day intensive campaign designed to raise the profile of Sarnia-Lambton in the provincial legislature. According to Gus Mumby, president of the Chamber, "the board will miss [Mr. Van Pelt's] innovative leadership but also recognizes he is leaving behind a strong management team."
In 1998, he launched the annual Trade Corridors Conference. This conference is a major catalyst in the integration of transportation infrastructure planning with trade policy and community development at the local, provincial, and federal levels of government.
Michael is married to Deani Van Pelt (née Neven). Their shared passions include education philosophy and good music. They have three children, Andrea (9), Meghan (7), and Kenton (3).