Mark Garner has been a successful business and community leader for more than 30 years and is now focusing his expertise and vision on the transformation of one of Toronto’s most vital tourism and business hubs. As Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director for the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Mark is an active champion for building a thriving, vibrant city centre. His business acumen and social conscience were forged during his years as a senior executive at major Canadian companies, including Bank of Montreal, AT&T and NCR Canada. Prior to joining Downtown Yonge in early 2013, Mark spearheaded economic development in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, including five years as Executive Director of the Downtown Kitchener BIA – a period of tremendous growth and revitalization for Kitchener. Over the past decade he has increasingly concentrated on the revitalization and development of urban downtowns, playing an integral role as a catalyst for targeted economic growth, vibrant neighbourhoods, social innovation and start-up incubators. An action-oriented advocate for change, Mark has spearheaded numerous campaigns and projects to bring about improvements including executing programs to clean up laneways, developing and implementing a comprehensive Music Strategy, and working directly with municipal leaders on urban planning and revitalization.