Look back, but always look ahead.

It’s a word often associated with celebration of something achieved due to the efforts of the past and leading to the present day. For me, milestones are as much about looking forward and springing from the success of longevity for future success.

In Hamilton, we’ve been part of recent milestones from established big business. In 2012, The Hamilton Port Authority, where I began my career, marked 100 years of managing the commercial shipping activity in the port – contributing to economic growth and job creation in the transportation sector. Last year, The Hamilton Spectator celebrated 170 years; delivering the news of the day to the community and engaging citizens on a myriad of issues affecting so many in the city.

Entrepreneurship and small business is thriving today, driving neighbourhood development and creating new experiences for visitors and resident families throughout Hamilton. I’m of the staunch view that these businesses are the lifeblood of a sustainable city. Two are marking milestones this month – LaPiazza Allegra Restaurant turns 20, while Mirella’s Ladies Wear reaches 25 years in business. Though now in Burlington, Mirella’s has its roots in Hamilton and owner Mirella Marsilio attended Mohawk College. LaPiazza is a downtown dining staple, and has been mentioned in previous blog posts I’ve authored, due to the resilient nature of this family owned business.

What do all of these examples have in common? They’ve not slowed down or been deterred by any external forces; each continues to build on the successes that led to their milestones. And, each is doing so with firm focus on the next chapter. Hamilton is a city that has redefined itself over and over again, doing the things that continue spur growth.

Mohawk College is in the midst of recognizing 50 years in the community, doing so with continual improvement, investment and change – all designed to fill community need and increase the capacity for supporting students, partners, faculty and staff. It’s been 23 years since I walked across the stage to accept my diploma at Mohawk. I’ve been connected to the college for more than half of the milestone being celebrated this year. As much as I’m proud of this time, I’m equally excited for what’s coming next.

BrentKinnard– Brent Kinnaird
Business Administration ’94

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