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It's been a tough year for P.E.I.'s business community, but Startup Zone's new CEO Sheryl MacAulay sees a silver lining in the way businesses have adapted through creativity and innovation during the pandemic.
And she's looking forward to helping businesses continue that "innovative spark".
"When I look at the businesses we support going forward, it's what do they need to do to succeed in a potentially new landscape and the existing landscape. And what that looks like going forward is the exciting part, right?"
MacAulay was announced as Startup Zone new CEO on Wednesday. The non-profit business incubator, located on the corner of Water and Queen streets in Charlottetown, was launched on June 24, 2016, to help mentor and support new resident businesses as they grow. MacAulay is the organization's fifth CEO. She follows Christina MacLeod, Doug Keefe (interim), Shannon Pratt (interim) and Patrick Farrar.
Also on Wednesday, the organization announced Mikey Wasnidge as the new entrepreneur in residence. Wasnidge is currently co-owner of Nimrods' restaurant in Stratford.
"We are very happy to have Sheryl bring her professional, can-do attitude to the CEO role and for Mikey to share his experience and energy with our resident companies," Ron Myers, the chairman of Startup Zone's board of directors, said in a news release. "It is an exciting time for the Startup Zone."
MacAulay has a master of education (M.Ed.) degree in leadership from Acadia University and a political science and psychology degree from St. Francis Xavier University. She previously worked as the director of policy and communications with the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce.
She is currently a new mother on maternity leave with four-month-old twins – Mila and Arthur. In the meantime, the organization's board of directors is assuming the day-to-day operations until MacAulay begins the job as CEO on Nov. 8.
Wasnidge begins his role with the organization immediately.