In collaboration with Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE), Treble Victor Ottawa held a special event on the evening of June 15 to honour the legacy of its co-founder Mark Walden and to raise awareness of POE’s programs.
Treble Victor, a national networking group that connects veterans to vital resources, lost its co-founder Mark Walden to cancer in 2016. Walden was known for his dedication to the veteran community and his entrepreneurial spirit. To honour Walden, Treble Victor established the Mark Walden Legacy Fund in collaboration with POE.
“He was an amazing leader, both in and out of the Forces. He served 1992 to 2007 in various roles and was really seen as a leader by everybody I’ve talked to that worked with him in the military, as well as in the business community,” said Chris Phare, Treble Victor Ottawa branch president.
Since retiring from the CAF, Walden both founded his own business and launched an app.
“Entrepreneurship was very deeply engrained in him. He represents who we are at Treble Victor. He was always out there first to help others,” added Phare.
Considering his entrepreneurial spirit, POE, a program that helps transitioning military members who want to become entrepreneurs, was a perfect fit for a commemorative fund in Walden’s name.
Since 2012, POE has provided entrepreneurial training to more than 2,000 military personnel through one-day workshops and seven-day boot camps. More than 200 business have been launched by more than 300 boot camp alumni.
“We offer people who are transitioning from the Canadian Armed Forces, and their families, the training, the tools and the networks and confidence they need to start their own business,” said Janet McCausland, Director of POE, an initiative of Prince’s Charities Canada.
So far, more than $15,000 has been raised for Walden’s commemorative fund. The money will go towards supporting veterans attending this summer’s POE boot camps.
The June 15th event was attended by several senior military leaders, leaders from the business community and POE alumni who made presentations on their experiences. One of these alumni was Tristan Pelletier, who is now working as a real estate agent in Ottawa and caters to the military community thanks to the POE programs.
“Thanks to the POE program, I was able to focus my business plan. At first, it was broad; so, was really helpful when they explained the target audiences I should concentrate on,” said Pelletier, also a member of Treble Victor Ottawa.