Advancing Innovation for Parry Sound and Muskoka
At the recent AGM, Muskoka Community Network (MCN) voted to change its name to Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network (PMCN) to reflect the wider scope of the organization. The organization will also be refining its role to advance innovation by supporting organizations to leverage new digital technologies.
MCN has spent the last decade supporting and providing some of the innovation infrastructure for our region with the investment in broadband towers to make it easier for remote areas to access the internet, and more recently with the Gigabit summit that triggered providers, including Lakeland Networks, to offer Gigabit speed to customers.
MCN took on the additional role of supporting and providing innovation investments including securing and administering three rounds of BEAM funding to help nearly 500 businesses upgrade their digital presence and grow their business., through e-business upgrades and website enhancements.
In recent years MCN has added a third dimension to include supporting Business Innovation networks by working closely with partners in the Muskoka Biz Series initiatives and providing Innovation Awards.
The PMCN Board will soon be exploring the potential of expanding into a fourth dimension of supporting and promoting innovation hubs and neighbourhoods.
The organization is also welcoming Stuart Morley as Executive Director. Stuart will provide important leadership as PMCN develops stronger relationships in Parry Sound District and implements its new focus on advancing innovation to businesses in the region.
The Chair of PMCN, John Finley, is delighted by Stuart’s acceptance of the post after a nation-wide search. Mr. Finley said: 'It is a pleasure to welcome Stuart as the new Executive Director. We are fortunate to have found the talent locally. Stuart’s experience with Morley & Associates Inc. providing consulting services to organizations throughout Muskoka and Parry Sound over the last two decades means that he will be able to hit the ground running because he is well known and respected in the community. Stuart will be able to help take the organization to the next level as he brings a new perspective and dynamism to work with the many businesses and organizations that are actively pursuing an innovation agenda in Parry Sound Muskoka.'
Following a degree in Agricultural Economics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Stuart graduated from the University of Cape Town with an MBA. He and his wife joined a big 4 accounting firm in South Africa and were transferred to Canada in 1986. A decade later the Morleys purchased their home near Gravenhurst and moved to Muskoka fulltime with their 3 children. Stuart has served on many community boards including Muskoka Family Focus and Children's Place, Community Living South Muskoka and as President of Gravenhurst Minor Hockey Club.
Stuart expressed his eager anticipation to take up the exciting and challenging position of Executive Director: 'I am very excited at the prospect of leading PMCN, as it continues to be one of the region’s foremost organizations for innovation. I look forward to working with the business community and community partners to tackle the ambitious mandate the PMCN Board is exploring. As I have 3 grandchildren that are being raised in this community, I am excited to see what we put in place that can benefit our community over the coming decades.'
Marjorie MacDonald, the Acting Executive Director, will be supporting the transition. John Finley expressed the Board’s appreciation of the work Marjorie has done in during this 2-year search for a new Executive Director.
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Broadband for E-Business and Marketing (BEAM)
Many small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) understand the importance of e-business in increasing revenue, improving productivity and reducing costs, yet may require assistance with acquiring the knowledge necessary for the implementation of these tools. As a result, Parry Sound Muskoka Community Network (PMCN) offers the BEAM program to eligible SMEs who require assistance with e-business adoption.
By collaborating with key community stakeholders, the Muskoka Biz Series focuses on the idea that together we can create greater results for small businesses than what can be achieved by working independently.