WBC President & CEO Builds Business Relationships Abroad

In early March, WBC President & CEO, Andrea Zopp traveled with Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot on her first international trip as Mayor to Toronto, Canada.

The trip served as an opportunity to foster business relationships between Chicago and Toronto, as well as with Toronto’s Mayor Tory, who has held the position since 2014.

As part of the trip, Mayor Lightfoot and Andrea Zopp met with Linda Loving, the outgoing Chair of the Toronto-Chicago sister cities committee. Toronto has been a sister city of Chicago since 1991 with an active volunteer committee. They also met with the former U.S. Ambassadors to Canada David Jacobson and Bruce Heyman.

Later that day, the two leaders participated in a business roundtable with Mayor Tory at BMO Financial Group, along with executives from companies with both a Chicago and Toronto presence.

One of the highlights of the trip was a tour and discussion with MaRS Discovery District, North America’s largest urban innovation hub. MaRS is a launchpad for startups, a platform for researchers and a home to innovators of more than 120 tenants, which supports over 1,200 Canadian science and tech companies that are tackling some of society’s greatest challenges. The work from MaRS focuses on four sectors — cleantech, health, fintech and enterprise software — where the potential is greatest to build high-impact companies that strengthen the economy.

During the trip, Mayor Lightfoot was the keynote speaker at the inaugural “Solutions for Health Cities Symposium” hosted by MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions and St. Michael’s Hospital.

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