Earlier this year, an integral chapter of Impact Hub Ottawa’s history reached its final page as we bid farewell to the former and founding Chair of our Board, Tracey Clark.
As President and CEO of Bridgehead Coffee, Tracey developed a reputation as one of Ottawa’s most successful entrepreneurs. Over 20 years, she transformed a fledgling coffee chain into the capital’s largest independent coffee company.
For any new organization, bringing in the first Chair of the Board can be a make-or-break moment. For the founder of Impact Hub Ottawa, Vinod Rajasekaran, it was important to find someone with a specific skill set who could help develop the unique potential and identity of the Hub. Thankfully, Tracey was the perfect fit!
Tracey brought her business acumen, her entrepreneurial spirit, and her deep knowledge of space-based operations and it’s exactly the support I needed to propel Impact Hub. More than a chair, she became a coach and a friend.
– Vinod Rajasekaran, Founder of Impact Hub Ottawa
From Tracey’s perspective, this was a fantastic opportunity to help “socially-minded entrepreneurs develop networks, access resources, and help each other succeed.”
In always asking the important questions, Tracey’s incredible support and guidance of the Hub’s leadership team was instrumental in helping the organization grow, and facilitated transformational partnerships.
As founding Board Chair, Tracey provided terrific support to Vinod in getting Hub off the ground and, given her excellent reputation at Bridgehead Coffee, added instant credibility to the Hub in the eyes of investors and prospective members.
I have always enjoyed her passion for doing good with business, her keen eye for detail, terrific people skills, willingness to think big and out of the box, and her constant smile and good humor.
– Brian Toller, current Chair of Impact Hub Ottawa’s Board.
This talent for bringing together like-minded change actors was most visible when Tracey helped facilitate a partnership between Impact Hub Ottawa and the Community Foundations of Canada to move in together in our current home at 123 Slater Street. “We had outgrown our original space. The partnerships and expansion stretched us in powerful, positive ways,” shared Tracey.
As she moves on to the next chapter of her adventure-filled life, Tracey leaves the Hub with the same optimism and belief that originally drew her to our Community and Coworking space.
Covid has been tough — but our membership and leadership have been resilient and resourceful. While we’ve learned to work remotely, we’ve also learned how powerful it can be when we do meet in person, and we need it.
Thank you, Tracey, for your guidance and leadership!