Much of the economic fortunes of Hamilton live and breathe on entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing, healthcare & research along with the traditional manufacturing base synonymous with our city. The various transportation modes and the infrastructure that supports goods movement ably provide a means to move our homegrown export volumes and maintain a flow of trade across many sectors. Thriving businesses breed more of the same and contribute to the vibrancy Hamilton is currently experiencing.
Every city must also find the balance of focus for community outreach and resources for the many social service agencies and programs that are in a constant state of need. Hamilton is no exception. I recently had the opportunity to lend an afternoon to a group of not-for-profit agencies at the annual Hamilton Spectator Media Relations Boot Camp. Acting as one of the ‘PR Camp Counselors’ for the day, I helped explore potential opportunities for the agencies to pitch their unique stories to reporters. This effort taught me about how our community is working; and about the tremendous amount of work being done in so many neighbourhoods throughout the city.
The day reminded me again about the important relationship that exists between business and community and social support. They must co-exist. First, we need a vibrant and healthy local economy, marked by entrepreneurship and a genuine desire to make something happen. The positive spin encourages others and generates wealth sorely needed to create, fund and sustain social programs. I’m proud to help the good folks at The Salvation Army and Lawson Ministries among others. Their stories are inspiring and should propel each of us to do more. The media share in the obligation to keep positive momentum rolling. Aside from the daily news that is and should be produced, story telling in every node in the community presents a wonderful opportunity.
Coffee shops and cafés are hubs for story telling, none more so than a new venture at 541 Barton Street. Aptly named 541 Eatery & Exchange, the space combines entrepreneurship, development and social support through their button currency. In addition to the café creating a place for conversation, they are spurring their own ideas around local outreach with a giant button jar that doubles as currency for those without the means to purchase one of the snacks or meals prepared daily in the open kitchen.
Taking cues from these and other leadership initiatives continues to shape the future of our city and ensure a lasting positive future for my kids…and for yours.
– Brent Kinnaird
Business Administration ’94
Follow Brent @brentkinnaird