I was born in Kitchener and am a lifelong resident. I think a great way to describe Kitchener is, it's like a big, small town. There's a sense of caring and community that has remained as our City has grown.
I grew up on Edmund Road, in the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium neighbourhood. My wife Naide and I live in Ward 2 on Oldfield Drive. We're a blended family with 3 children, one still lives at home, one is studying communications and playing softball for Simon Fraser University and one is busy raising 2 young children with her partner.
My wife and her family own the Sip and Bite Restaurant in Elmira. It's a family restaurant, run by family. She puts in long hours and enjoys interacting with and serving her many customers. She supports my role and I love supporting her by spending time there on weekends doing things like dishes and rolling cutlery. She comes to many City events with me and is a great supporter of Kitchener. We're a great team.
I attended Sheppard Public, Sunnyside Sr. Public and Eastwood Collegiate. I earned my Broadcasting Diploma at Conestoga College where I've been inducted into their Broadcast Hall Of Fame and named an Alumnus Of Distinction. I currently sit on the Board of Directors for Conestoga College's radio station 88.3 CJIQ and have done some instructing there too.
I played in the Kitchener Minor Hockey system. When I wasn't in the arena, friends and I played road hockey or on the Sheppard School outdoor rink until our toes were stinging from the cold. In the summer I loved playing baseball or football with my friends at our neighbourhood parks and school yards or swimming at the Cameron Heights Collegiate pool. As a kid, I appreciated what Kitchener provided for me and that's a big reason why I want to serve as your City Councillor, to make sure Kitchener has great facilities and opportunities for kids now and in the future.
My dad took me to my first Kitchener Rangers game when I was 5 and I've been going ever since. I used to go to their practices every day after school and on Saturdays. I've been a season ticket holder since 1987. I grew up dreaming about playing for the Rangers so it's a huge thrill and honour for me to be the PA Announcer for Rangers games. I started during the 1995 playoffs. There was no season in 2020 due to the pandemic, so the 2022-23 season will be my 25th season as the Rangers PA Announcer. I love being at The Aud with over 7,000 Rangers fans.
My radio career began fulltime in 1980 at CHYM. I was there until 1993 when I moved to KOOL FM and Oldies 1090. I stayed there until 2006 when I took the position of Program Director at KICX 106. In 2008 Rogers acquired KICX and I returned to CHYM in March and was there until December when I returned to KOOL FM and KFUN. In April of 2014 there was some downsizing and my position was eliminated. That's when I began researching something I was interested in for a long time - running for the office of Councillor. I met with many current and former Councillors and Mayors to find out what the role of Councillor involved and the time commitment needed to do it well. I learned a lot during those talks and was inspired to run in the 2014 election. Early in my radio career, a co-worker nicknamed me "The Friendly Neighbourhood Schniderman" It's a nickname I'm proud of because I strive to be happy, positive, passionate and encouraging in whatever I'm doing. Through my radio career I've met and volunteered with many community leaders, charity directors and volunteers and hosted and helped at many events. I enjoy making a positive difference in our community. I've also had the pleasure of doing some part time radio work in Fergus and I'm currently helping at Faith 93.7 in Kitchener.
As a City Councillor I'm passionate about great neighbourhoods where people feel safe, happy, included, have a sense of belonging and are connected. Racism has no place in Kitchener. Diversity is our Strength. I'm proud of the work we've begun on Anti-Racism, Indigenous Issues, Equity and Diversity. I will continue to strongly support the changes needed to address them all.
I want Kitchener to have dependable infrastructure, good roads, quality facilities, nice parks and trails and well delivered and affordable services for you. I also want us to be a vibrant city with a strong arts and culture presence, great events, festivals and celebrations. I want Kitchener to be a caring and inclusive city with a variety of housing options that includes affordable and attainable housing. I have and will continue to play a role in the area of Sports Tourism to attract provincial, national and world championship events to Kitchener and area.
In my first term of Council I've served as the Vice Chair of the Community and Infrastructure Services Standing Committee and Vice Chair of The Finance and Corporate Services Standing Committee. I served on the Arts and Culture Citizen Advisory Committee, the Safe and Healthy Community Citizen Advisory Committee, Oktoberfest Advisory Committee and Kitchener In Bloom. In my second term I've served as Vice Chair of Finance and Strategic Initiative Committee and Community & Infrastructure Services Committee I've also been on the also on the Arts & Culture, Economic Development, Safe And Healthy Community Citizen Advisory Committees. Also served on the KW Oktoberfest and KW Art Gallery Boards and the Kitchener In Bloom Committee. I regularly attend the Board Meetings of the Stanley Park and Centreville-Chicopee Community Associations.
I hope you and all Kitchener citizens are proud to live here and visitors love what we have to offer them. I'm open to change, new ideas and suggestions. I love to listen and learn. I believe in reaching consensus and working together and collaborating for the best possible outcome.
If I can assist you in any way, please contact me and I'd be happy to help.