Carmen’s Group has been a generous partner of LiON’S LAIR since its inception in 2011. We chatted with CEO, PJ Mercanti, about why the Carmen’s stays involved with the LiON’S LAIR competition – here’s what he had to say:

Please tell us about your organization!

I am CEO and owner of Carmen’s Group, a leading hospitality group in the city. We began as a small Italian bakery on Concession Street in 1978 and now own and operate some of the city’s most beloved hospitality establishments: Carmen’s, the C Hotel, Baci Ristorante, the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s and The Lakeview.

At the core of Carmen’s Group is a love of people. From our guests, to our employees, to our community outreach, this sentiment is demonstrated in all that we do. Lead by an exceptional team, Carmen’s Group is proud to offer unique experiences and to contribute to the growing tourism sector in the City of Hamilton.

This is your organization’s 6th year (generously!) supporting LiON’S LAIR – what does that mean to you and why have you continued to stay involved?

After nearly four decades of business in Hamilton, we have been first-hand witnesses to the change that is brought about by visionary entrepreneurs who are transforming this city each day. Being in the business of events, we relish the opportunity to bring celebrations of all kinds to life. It is a particular honour to host celebrations like LiON’S LAIR, the preeminent business event in the city, and to partner with forward-thinking organizations like Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

What was your favourite part about last year’s competition and/or gala?

The energy in the room at the gala. It’s incredible to have so many of the City’s great minds thinking (and tweeting) in the same room. From up and coming visionaries to the established pioneers like Ron Foxcroft and Blair McKeil, this event is always a “who’s who” of the Hamilton business network.

What are you most looking forward to in this year’s competition?

The surprise of the winner is always the highlight of the gala, but the trajectory of the businesses after the competition is finished is the most interesting thing to witness. The finalists this year are truly top notch and will all go on to do great things

Anything you’d like to say to this year’s finalists?

Congratulations! Keep taking calculated risks (like entering LiON’S LAIR) and value each experience, whether negative or positive, as a learning opportunity.  Secondly, find balance: don’t forget to make time for yourself and your family and friends in your pursuits. The people you love are the ones who will both fuel your success and share in it with you.

How can we connect with you/your organization?
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