Clark Grue leads Calgary Telus Convention Centre growth plans

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Congratulations to Clark Grue, Vice-Chairman of AmCham Canada! 

Clark Grue is the new president and CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre. Grue, the co-founder and current president and CEO of Rainmaker Global Business Development, will begin his new role Nov. 1.

A passionate booster of Calgary, he’s excited to lead the convention centre and work with partners and the business community to attract events to the city.  At Rainmaker, Grue built a unique company that was launched to attract and assist businesses to open offices here.

The firm bought a business centre on the third floor of the Roslyn Building that offers 46 offices for newcomers. Oil and gas was its first target and Rainmaker opened an office in the U.K. to connect with energy companies around Aberdeen, Scotland.  The business is now more engaged in outbound activities, helping Calgary firms to export and expand in other markets. Headquartered in Calgary, Rainmaker has offices in Aberdeen, Brussels, Houston, Toronto, Dubai, Mexico, Bogota, Vienna and New York.

“Clark Grue’s global contacts will be tremendously beneficial in bringing world class events to the convention centre,” said convention centre chairman Tom Bornhorst, dean of SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism.

Grue’s international reputation earned him positions as a Canadian member of the B20 Trade and Investment Task Force and a representative for Belgian Industry Associated AGORIA in Canada. He is currently vice-chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Canada.

Before Rainmaker, Grue was vice-president of investment and trade at Calgary Economic Development where he began the Global Business Centre initiative. He also led and established the first British trade office in Calgary.

Grue sees his new role as growing the Telus Convention Centre to become the preferred hub for meetings and events and a catalyst in connecting visitors with Calgary businesses. He also wants the organization to work more co-operatively with other agencies to attract more visitors and make them feel welcome.

Grue has done his homework and is very impressed with the manner in which the convention centre has been operated in the past, noting its customer service rating is “through the roof.”

And although he believes it has to work on being a centre for local firms to use the world-class facilities, he wants to attract more international meetings and conventions that will be encouraged to revisit for vacations, or perhaps set up shop here.

Grue has made a good start with Rainmaker hosting the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Canada Forum here on Oct. 18 and 19 when professionals from the U.S., Europe, China and Mexico will explore investment and expansion opportunities in the Canadian marketplace.

The convention centre, which recently celebrated it 40th year in business, is managed, marketed and operated by the Calgary Convention Centre Authority on behalf of the City of Calgary.

As well as welcoming Grue as its new leader the authority has appointed three new members to its board of directors: Wellington Holbrook, vice-president, chief transformation officer at ATB Financial; Gillian Basford, former vice-president HR at Pengrowth Energy, and Greg Yont, former vice-president global logistics at Agrium.

BY DAVID PARKER, CALGARY HERALD (Published on: October 6, 2016 | Last Updated: October 11, 2016 10:46 AM MDT)