Welcome Mark!

One thing that is certainly a constant in the digital space is evolution. On the Internet, things rarely stay the same – they are constantly growing and evolving. Today, I am pleased to announce the latest evolution for Grassroots Online.

I am very excited to welcome Mark Hardwick and Exelby Inc to the Grassroots Online team. Mark will be joining the firm as a Partner effective immediately. 15 odd years ago, Mark saw the potential of the Internet and ran with it, earning a diploma in Multimedia, Web Design & Computer Programming. For the last 10 years, Mark has been managing the online presence of clients in the private, non-profit and political sectors.

Mark was also recently asked by Niagara College to join their faculty as a part time professor in the New Media Web Design Program. There, Mark teaches his students about HTML5, CSS3 and the latest in web design best practices. I have been known to call him “Professor” on occasion.

Allow me to take a moment to brag about Mark, as he never will. I have had the opportunity to work with Mark on a number of projects, but one in particular stands out. I saw his dedication and experience firsthand when he joined the Ontario PC Party’s social media team in charge of handling the Party’s 107 candidate websites for the 2011 election. It was a monumental task: rather than having separate pages on the main website, we were going to build 107 websites with a common design approach, colour and theme. To make things more complex, these sites were designed to be updated both locally and centrally so each candidate could post important local messages while the central campaign could announce a new policy across all 107 site instantly. Quite a tall order.

Mark not only had to lead the development process, he was also tasked with training candidates and their campaign teams, managing the deployment for each site and fielding support requests before and during the intense election period. All while keeping downtime to somewhere around zero. Mark handled this daunting task (as a volunteer to boot) without breaking a sweat and keeping his clients at Exelby Inc content.

I know he will only strengthen the suite of services we offer here at Grassroots Online. Mark keenly understands the intersection of politics and the Internet. It is a unique space, one that Mark knows and operates in very well. He will play an important part in future campaigns as we continue to provide innovative and create solutions for our clients.

Please join me in welcoming Mark to the team.

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