* Ask the Experts - Special Edition | How to Take Black-Owned Businesses to the Next Level with Lerners
Join us on February 20th for Ask the Experts - Special Edition | How to Take Black-Owned Businesses to the Next Level with Lerners.
Unleashing Investor Support: Discover key insights to fuel your business growth as our speakers delve into the information banks and private investors seek to support your success.
Crafting Success: Learn about the vital role of business plans and how to maximize available resources.
Strategic Prowess: Get ready for expansion by understanding the ins and outs of incorporating and organizing your business. Our experts will guide you on leveraging key relationships and securing those crucial first contracts.
- Mark McAuley, Associate Lawyer, Lerners
- Richard McKenzie, Director of Commercial Banking, BMO
- Damian Box, Owner, Damian Box Branding
- Michael Forrest, Founder, Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce
About our Speakers
Mark McAuley is an Associate in the Business Law Group at Lerners LLP's London office, where his practice focuses on representing both public and private companies. He specializes in corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate, corporate finance, and general corporate matters.
Mark's dedication to working with growth-oriented clients and professional corporations reflects his passion for fostering business development and innovation. He has a profound interest in entrepreneurship, technology, and the arts and entertainment sector. This passion drives him to provide practical and actionable advice to both emerging business and established companies, aiming to bridge the gap between legal guidance and business success.
Mark completed his JD at Western University where he was the Valedictorian of his graduating class. During his time at Western, he was engaged in the student community as an executive of the Student Legal Society and as president of the Western Chapter of the Black Law Students Association. Currently, he contributes his insights and leadership to the Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee at Lerners, advocating for equity within the legal profession.
Before his legal career, Mark made his mark in the music industry, performing with the Juno-nominated McAuley Boys and as a solo act under the name Mac Graham. His artistic achievements were recognized with the receipt of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for community involvement and contributions and a 2023 induction into the London Music Hall of Fame.
Richard is a seasoned business development and finance professional with a diverse background in Commercial Banking, Investment Banking, and Head Office Operations.
His passion is to be a value-add partner to entrepreneurs providing advice and tailored financing solutions to achieve their vision. He also seeks opportunities to bring together his extensive network to further support business owners professionally and personally.
Damian is a brand consultant and Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) with over 15 years of experience in boutique studios and in-house creative departments. He believes that careful and thoughtful branding is crucial to building trust and credibility and that it should be a true representation of one’s purpose. By helping clients through every stage of the business life cycle, from start-ups to national brands, Damian is able to guide their creative and digital efforts, connecting them with their customers at multiple points on the path to purchase.
Michael Forrest is a firm believer in giving back. This is why he founded the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce as a means of building wealth and building trust. The CBCC is an expression of group
economics and is founded on the principles and values of collaboration, accountability and integrity. He is a passionate visionary leader who strives to always exceed the needs of all stakeholders.
He is the CEO for the QCX Group of Companies with its core focus in Consulting, International Trade, and Transportation. He has a long history of working with local and multi-national firms who have all helped to nurture and shape his skills and vision for community building and corporate engagement.
On August 21st, 2018 he incorporated the Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce. It is a Cultural Chamber of Commerce that is nationwide. The CBCC is the national voice for Black Entrepreneurs and the Black business communities in Canada. Its purpose is to support the Black Entrepreneur spirit that builds wealth and prosperity through business ownership, economic and trade development for the betterment of the Black diaspora and the Canadian economy. Through networking, advocacy, trade, and education, the CBCC vision of creating generational wealth and building trust is anchored and supported. Its mission is to advance Black business through education, empowerment, and collaboration to succeed within the Canadian and global markets.
Michael Forrest is celebrated among the 100 most influential Black Canadians in the year 2022 by the Afro Global Television and the Excellence Awards. In 2023, he was the proud recipient of the Nigerian
Canadian News Remarkable Fathers Award for Economic & Business Development.