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Tim Hortons franchisee says hiring disabled employees win-win at Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade event

Posted 6 years ago on · Permalink

Photograph of APBOT president Denise Jones with Mark Wafer and Sue McGovern

L to R: 2016 President Denise Jones, CPA, CA of Collins Barrow Durham, guest speaker Mark Wafer of Tim Hortons and Sue McGovern of presenting sponsor University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

When Mark Wafer started opening Tim Hortons franchises in the Greater Toronto Area, he decided to do things a little differently. Having a hearing impairment himself, Wafer understood first-hand the challenges persons with disabilities face when trying to do things most of us take for granted—like finding stable employment.

As the guest speaker at the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade’s 2016 President’s Inaugural Dinner, Mr. Wafer shared the business case for hiring people with physical and intellectual disabilities. According to Wafer, hiring people with disabilities often doesn’t require costly accommodation measures, can reduce employee turnover and boost the bottom line. Moreover, employees with disabilities are often very grateful for the opportunity and committed to the company. Wafer’s remarks were well received and, to be sure, he gave the local business community some important food for thought.

Mark Wafer has been in the news recently for his commitment to hire displaced Goodwill employees who recently faced unexpected layoffs due to a cash flow crisis at the company.

“Mark Wafer’s commitment to paying it forward and providing opportunities for those in need has proven a winning strategy,” said 2016 APBOT President Denise Jones, CPA, CA of Collins Barrow Durham, “The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade applauds Mr. Wafer for finding ways to help others while they help him to grow and prosper.”

The President’s Dinner, which was held at Deer Creek Golf Club on January 28th, is an annual event that provides an opportunity for Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) members to welcome the incoming president and for Durham Regional Chair Roger Anderson to swear in the incoming slate of directors.

At the request of the APBOT Council, Jones has agreed to serve a consecutive second term as president and Paul Przybylo of Walker Head Lawyers has agreed to return as chair.

“We are pleased to have Denise and Paul resuming their roles for another year,” said Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade executive director Kathy McKay.

New directors joining the council this year are Adrian Neely of Petley-Hare Insurance Ltd. and Jim VanDusen of Van Dusen Chevrolet Buick GMC.

In keeping with the evening’s theme of accessibility, charitable donations in the amount of $1650 were collected for the Abilities Centre.

Brief biographies of all 2016 directors are available online here.

View and tag photos from the event here.