As a client-focused real estate broker with over 25 years’ experience, Mark has the industry knowledge and negotiation experience required to close the deal. Personable and charismatic, Mark is an award-winning realtor with a 97% client-satisfaction rating. Although he can’t tell a joke, our fearless leader speaks fluent English and Polish, as well as conversational Slovak, Croatian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Russian, and some Spanish.
President / Creative Director of wishart, John’s small agency has nonetheless made an enormous impact. Creating the greater good, wishart has helped Canadian charities raise well over ONE BILLION dollars in the past decade and John has won literally hundreds of awards for his work. Although John describes his volunteering as ‘weekend work’ it’s actually a seven-day-a-week passion of his.
Recently retired from Cisco Systems where he was Enterprise Account Manager for more than a decade, John is learning to live life without having to wear a suit and shiny shoes. Thankfully, he’s well suited to a life of leisure despite his keeping busy with numerous personal projects. A graduate of York University’s Schulich School of Business, it’s no wonder he’s treasured as our Treasurer.
Doug Nielsen has been drawn to giving back to the community and making a difference in the lives of children for years.
Doug has lent his hands to a number of causes in the community that have put smiles on the faces of many children over the years. With a ho-ho-ho, and a jolly belly laugh, he’s played the part of Santa Claus in Stoney Creek and Winona for about 20 years, donning the red suit at schools and for Brownie, Beaver and Cub scout groups. He was a volunteer firefighter for 12 years and took extra special care of the little ones when he was called to an emergency.
A member of the Winona Men’s Club for almost 40 years, Doug has quite literally done it all; he’s served as our president (twice), secretary, and treasurer. After starting the Corn Booth at the Winona Peach Festival, along with Fred Bellinato, he helped run our famous peach sundae tent for over a quarter century.
With characteristic humility, Doug says it’s an honour to be part of the Winona Men’s Club, which organizes and participates in a variety of fundraisers in support of the community.
“I think the best part about the club is all of the proceeds that we bring in all go back into mainly children’s programs to help the little ones in our community,” he told the Stoney Creek News after being named 2018 Citizen of the Year. “To see that money going back into the community and helping to give kids a hand up means the world.”
Asked how he felt about being named the Citizen of the Year, Doug simply said, “Humbled. I don’t do any of it for the recognition,” he said. “I do it for the community… I do it for our youngest citizens.”
See a longer article about Doug in the Stoney Creek News
Farmer, father, and fabulous friend to the community, Murray Puddicombe is a seventh generation owner of Puddicombe Estate Farms & Winery.
1995 Stoney Creek Citizen of the Year, Murray was also the winner of the 2012 Tourism Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award.
As reported by Laura Lennie in the Stoney Creek News at the time of his Tourism win, a surprised Murray said, “It was definitely unexpected. When you’re doing what you like to do, you don’t ever expect to get any accolades for it. It is nice that [the City] acknowledges agriculture… it brings to the forefront the fact that agriculture was the basis of this whole area at one time.”
Over the years, the 360-acre family farm has grown to include a general store, bake shop, café, winery, agricultural train ride and pick-your-own fruit operation. Over the years, Puddicombe Farms has garnered numerous other accolades, including the Hamilton Business of the Year Award, Stoney Creek Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award and Tourism Hamilton Awards of Excellence.
Murray is a long-time member of the Winona Men’s Club and, in innumerable ways, both he his family contribute significantly to the success of our efforts around Peach Festival.
Doug Nielsen is a selfless supporter of this community. After nearly 30 years of service with the Winona Men’s Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and as both a Volunteer Fire Fighter and jolly Santa Claus, this Orchard Park graduate was named Stoney Creek Citizen of the Year (2018). The Winona Men’s Club proudly honours Doug by presenting this award to a student who also lives a life of civic leadership with a kind and giving heart.
2019, Cassidy Smith
2020, Sarah VanDuzer
Currently attending, McMaster University, Faculty of Engineering, Sarah was one of only a few students to be in both the enriched English and Mathematics strands while she was a student at Orchard Park. In grade 10, she went to France as an exchange student for 3 months. Sarah’s awards and nominations are many and include: