I became the face and voice of small businesses throughout Ottawa, Ontario and Canada. After the government-regulated shutdowns in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, I watched the gross sales of my event rental company decline by ninety-seven percent compared to the previous year, resulting in losses of more than three million ($3,000,000.00) dollars. I had to lay off all twenty-three (23) full-time employees. My previous clients included the National Hockey League, the FIFA, Cirque Du Soleil, the Canadian Football League and many local fairs, festivals, conferences and trade shows.
After a conversation with a city councillor in March 2020, I began to appeal to elected officials and set up virtual round tables where hundreds of business owners could express their concerns directly to the federal, provincial and municipal governments. This was across all party lines as I am completely non-partisan. Elected officials who have met with me include, but are not limited to, Minister Catherine McKenna, Minister Mona Fortier, Chair of the Federal Finance Committee MP Wayne Easter, Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria, Parliamentary Assistant, MPP Stan Cho and dozens more. Along with a handful of other small business leaders, Michael met with Erin O'Toole (Leader of the Official Opposition) and the Federal Finance Critic Pierre Poilievre. Michael has also met with top officials from the PMO and the Ontario Premier's Office.
I have appeared twice before the House of Commons Federal Finance Committee (FINA) (June 2020/April 2021) as a representative of small businesses. I also appeared twice in August and November 2020 before the Ontario Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (SCOFEA). He was asked to appear in January 2021 before the Ontario Pre-Budgetary Consultation with Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy.
I have been seen and heard on many traditional media stations, including Rogers Radio, Bell Media Television and Radio, the CBC, the Globe and Mail, Postmedia and nationally on CTV News Channel. I have also appeared in media in countries including Australia and the United Kingdom on an international scale.
I am currently an award-winning professor at Algonquin College, where I am a professor in a music, media and film program as well as the School of Business. I am a former touring guitarist and I was discovered by legendary radio DJ Casey Kasem. I am a published author, voting member for the Juno Awards, and the former American Idol Insider for various Fox News stations in the United States.
I am a 2021 Premier’s Award Nominee for business, a 2021 Algonquin College Alumni of Distinction Award winner for business and was given the 2021 Most Influential Award by Meeting Planners International. I have also received a 40 Under Forty designation, a Top 10 under 40 designation (Canadian Rental Service), a 2019 FEBE Community Builder Award, a Capital Educator Award and was recognized by the Province of Ontario with a 2017 Celebration Award. I was given special recognition by the City of Ottawa around opioids and overdoses as well as being named in the top 50 most influential residents.
Awards & Recognition
Since the beginning of my career, I have been involved in many different projects that have led to various awards and recognizations. Whether it was my music industry career that saw me become a member of the National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences for the Grammys and a member of the Canadian Academy Of Recording Arts And Science for the Junos, to being named the Alumni of Distinction for Business by Algonquin College in 2021, I have always been motivated to succeed.
Algonquin College Alumni of Distinction, Business.
The Alumni of Distinction celebration honours the achievements of 10 alumni and one community employer who have made distinctive contributions in their fields of endeavour and their communities.
Premier's Award Nomination, Business.
The annual Premier's Awards for College Graduates recognizes graduates from seven categories who have made outstanding social and economic contributions to society.
Meeting Planners International (MPI) - Influence Awards.
This Award Program is designed to recognize people or organizations outside the direct industry which have supported the development of meetings and conventions or the development of policy and programs impacting the industry. Each Canadian chapter is to recognize one person or organization in their community who has made a difference in the meetings industry but may not be actively involved in it.
Canada Pakistan Affiliated Chamber Of Trade - Small Business & Community Advocate Award.
For Entrepreneurs By Entrepreneurs (FEBE Awards) "Community Giver" Award
Healthy Communities Champion - City of Ottawa
Ottawa Public Health recognized me with an award for my efforts to create more awareness around opioids and overdoses in our city.
Ontario 150 Nepean-Carleton Inspiration Award Awarded by Minister Lisa MacLeod
Capital Educators Award Recipient
Top 10 Under 40 Recipient Canadian Rental Association
Forty Under 40 Recipient
Ottawa Life Magazine Top 50 Most Influential People in Ottawa.