The Urban Creator
“The Internet has not made business conferences and trades shows obsolete. In fact, these events are now one of the few remaining opportunities for people to make personal contact on a face-to-face basis.”
As a Vice President at Informa Canada, George is part of the management team that provides strategic direction and overall event management for eleven real estate conferences, and three trade shows serving the building design, construction, real estate, property management, and investment sectors. These events include Construct Canada, Property Management Exposition and Conference and The Real Estate Forums. All of these events have become Canada’s largest annual conferences and signature shows in their respective fields and in the sectors or market that they serve.
George’s areas of expertise include commercial real estate investment, leasing, financing and development trends across Canada, with a geographic focus on the commercial market in Calgary, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. George also specializes in the Canadian REIT market, building design and construction market in Canada, property management and building operation trends in both public and private sectors, as well as trade show management and marketing.
As a principal of MMPC Expositions ULC (formerly York Communications) since 1988, George has directed, organized and participated in many of the two hundred and thirty shows and conferences in Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Calgary, Vancouver, London and Halifax. The company created a portfolio of Canada’s largest expositions and conferences serving the building design, construction, real estate, property management and investment sectors.
George and his two partners sold their portfolio of trade shows and conferences in November 2006 to Merchandise Mart Properties Inc (MMPI). He has stayed on board with MMPI as Vice President within the same event management capacity.
Prior to establishing York Communications with Jacqui Elliott, George spent twelve years with the Government of Ontario in various senior policy and program roles, primarily in the fields of housing, community renewal and building renovation. As an expert in downtown and main street revitalization, neighbourhood improvement and housing renewal, George made hundreds of presentations across Ontario at national and provincial conferences, universities and public forums. George spent his final year in Government as Special Advisor to the Minister of Municipal Affairs & Housing.
Separate from his professional career, George has served as a director for the Rotary Cheshire Homes (the only barrier free independent living residence for persons who have acquired deaf-blindness in North America) and The Canadian Helen Keller Centre (the first skills training centre in Canada where individuals with deaf-blindness can upgrade or gain independent living and technical skills). He is also involved with the Don Valley Rotary Club where he became a Paul Harris Fellow – the Rotary’s highest recognition.
George was also a member of the organizing committee for the Annual Great Valentine Gala (1987-2006, Chairman, 2007-2009). This gala is a fundraising dinner for Canadian Para-Olympians and charities supporting physically disabled persons. He has sat on the Board of the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons since 1996 and became a Board Member of the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada in 2007. He has recently been appointed Vice-Chair of the Bayview Glen Foundation, which has a mandate to raise 16 million for the redevelopment of Bayview Glen’s school campus.
George graduated from the University of Toronto in 1975 with a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in public administration and political science. He lives with his wife Linda, son Michael and daughter Leanne in the Don Mills area of Toronto.