Nigel Gordijk is an expat from a big city in England, adapting to life in a small, rural town.
Nigel with his wife, Cheryl, filming their clip for the Wilmot Says Welcome video.
How long have you been in business, and how many employees do you have?
I started my one-man company in the U.K. in 2003, and continued the business when I moved here in 2007.
Were you born in New Hamburg?
No, I was born in London, England and lived in Brighton for a few years. I moved here with my Canadian wife, Cheryl, about 10 years after we married.
What do you love most about New Hamburg?
This is a tremendous community where people always look out for each other. I've never seen such a close community anywhere else. People are much friendlier here than in big cities. Also, the compactness of New Hamburg means I can cycle or walk to meetings and downtown. It's amazing how much there is to do in a small town.
Nigel with granddaughter Madisyn, riding in the 2008 parade to celebrate New Hamburg's 150th anniversary.
Do you belong to any service clubs or do volunteer work?
I served on the executive of the Board of Trade from 2007 to 2015, as the marketing director. Since 2013 I've been the co-organizer of the Wilmot Terry Fox Run with Cheryl. I'm also the communications liaison, designer and social media marketer for Wilmot Responds, the local refugee resettlement initiative. The work I'm doing for them is all pro bono. I came up with the idea for the Wilmot Says Welcome video, which featured over 350 people from around the township, saying "Welcome to Canada". That was a fun community project. I also provide free marketing services for 100 Women Who Care: Wilmot, plus I'm on the board of the Wilmot Healthy Communities Coalition.
Do you have any family in New Hamburg?
I live in New Hamburg with Cheryl, and our daughter and granddaughter live in town, too, with my son-in-law.
Which aspect of your business do you enjoy the most?
Local businesses love to support each other. It makes business so much more personal and rewarding when you're working with people you know well.