Martin Rydlo on Business, Skiing, and Living in Collingwood

April 10th, 2015

From Montreal to Toronto, from Holland to New Zealand, Martin Rydlo has lived all over the world and has experienced big cities, small towns, and everything in between. Now, he’s chosen Collingwood as a permanent home for himself and his family.

Martin moved to Collingwood in the summer of 2014 to pursue his dream of living on Georgian Bay. An avid cyclist, paddler, kayaker, snowshoer and skiier, Martin and his family spent many summers and winters in Collingwood before a job opportunity turned them from visitors to residents. Today, as Director of Marketing & Business Development for the Town of Collingwood, and a co-collaborator with the Business Development Centre, Martin uses his expertise, experience and passion for the region to drive business growth and economic development in Collingwood.

On Business

Martin was attracted to a career in business development & marketing because he loved the ability to translate experiences. From launching and selling products to selling the wonderful Collingwood tourism experience, Martin is inspired by helping businesses grow and by seeing ideas turned into a concrete reality. “I love to see things created,” he comments.
Since moving to Collingwood, Martin has been impressed by the entrepreneurial spirit of the region and the strong business base, particularly in the field of Advanced Manufacturing. The most interesting aspect of his position so far has been touring local businesses, including the local brewery sector, and learning about their products, innovation, and vision. When asked about the most rewarding aspect of his position, he responded: “Working with a great team of people.”

As past director at multinational corporations such as Minute Maid, Campbell’s, and Proctor and Gamble, Martin is effectively applying his skills in this new role. Already, in collaboration with other partners, he has established a new annual Winter Wonderland Festival, and has launched and guided the creation of a 5-year Economic Development Strategy for the Town of Collingwood. He works daily with the downtown BIA, the Centre for Business and Economic Development, and the Small Business Enterprise Centre to support the creation and sustainability of business in Collingwood. He also works closely with the Chamber of Commerce and the Georgian Triangle Tourist Association, as well as numerous other regional municipalities to promote the area as a tourist destination.

On Settling in Collingwood

As a student Martin spent a semester in France; he has also lived in Australia, and once spent 6 months travelling North America with his wife. On this epic road trip he was most fascinated by the high plateaus in Texas and Arizona. However, he always came back to Ontario, and he always came back to Collingwood for the ski hills, the sparkling water, and the hundreds of kilometres of trails.

On top of his many other outdoor activities, Martin enjoys telemark skiing, or “free heel skiing,” an adventurous downhill Nordic skiing technique where the heel is free of the bindings. Martin loves to celebrate the outdoors and has always been passionate about the South Georgian Bay region: the landscapes, the sense of community, the history, and most importantly, the people.

Things you didn’t know about Martin:

• Martin has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University
• Martin took part in the first ever eco-challenge in Utah, by the producers of Survivor
• Martin started and ran a Sports Supplement Company- the supplements have been used by 10 Olympians and have been taken to the North & South Pole
• Martin speaks Czech, German and French

When not travelling to meetings throughout Collingwood and Simcoe County, Martin can be found working away in his office with fruit salad and granola, Economic Development reports and media releases spread across his desk, creating, editing, and thinking up ways to grow and strengthen Collingwood’s business community.

Martin is located at the Business Development Centre at 105 Hurontario Street.

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