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P.E.I. entrepreneurs inducted into Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame

Mike Cassidy, from left, Angus and Rita MacCormack, and Jason Aspin meet prior to being inducted in the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame during Wednesday's gala dinner at the P.E.I. Convention Centre.
Mike Cassidy, from left, Angus and Rita MacCormack, and Jason Aspin meet prior to being inducted in the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame during Wednesday's gala dinner at the P.E.I. Convention Centre. - Mitch MacDonald

Four business leaders have been added to the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame.

P.E.I. entrepreneurs Mike Cassidy, Angus and Rita MacCormack, and Jason Aspin were inducted during Wednesday night’s gala dinner at the P.E.I. Convention Centre.

Cassidy was recognized for his excellence in business and community leadership as one of P.E.I.’s most recognizable entrepreneurs. His ownership in a regional motor coach group of companies has allowed him to lead the efforts in developing a municipal transit system on P.E.I. and a Maritime intercity line run service for passenger and same-day parcel delivery.

His business ownership interests over the past 32 years have crossed many business sectors including waste management, retail automotive, tourism and hospitality, real estate development, business consulting, sales and marketing and the transportation industry. Cassidy, who is a member of UPEI’s business faculty, has a current group of companies with gross revenues of $25 million annually and a staff of close to 300.

The MacCormacks were recognized as entrepreneurs in real estate and construction after starting from humble beginnings to eventually operate a profitable company consisting of two motels, more than 1,000 apartment units and a construction company employing more than 100 Islanders. The couple had farmed for a while from their small home in St. Eleanors with their five children. They gathered Irish Moss and grew various vegetables and potatoes which they sold door-to-door.

Eventually the couple became involved in a potato bag franchise and then sold chemicals for potatoes before getting into beef production.

In the early 1980s, they moved into a different direction by entering into real estate.

Aspin was recognized as an entrepreneur in the technology and marine industries after co-founding Aspin Kemp and Associates in 1996. He has also collaborated with other global innovators to develop new technologies that have made significant contributions in reducing the environmental footprint, increasing reliability and reducing operating costs for marine and power generation systems around the world.

All inductees were also recognized for community efforts.

The dinner was narrated by Ian Hanomansing, host of CBC’s The National, while CBC Compass host Louise Martin was the host for the evening’s festivities.

The awards gala raises funds to support JA’s business and economic education programs that will reach more than 5,500 Island students this year in school’s across the province.

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