George Paisiovich is one of Canada’s leading community and stakeholder relations professionals.
George started in the House of Commons in 1976 as a Special Assistant to the Chief Opposition Whip, and over the past 43 years has served as Chief of Staff to the Minister of Customs, Excise and Revenue Canada, as well as Executive/ Special Assistant to nine MPs and MPPs in the federal and provincial Parliaments from Trudeau the elder to Trudeau the younger.
George’s stakeholder experience started as a political organizer in Ontario and grew to across Canada, in addition to President Ford and Prime Minster Thatcher's campaigns.
Over a two year period George to led one of the most comprehensive government stakeholder management development program in Canadian history, working with both every cabinet minister’s office and their corresponding ministry officials, under a mandate from the Office of Premier and Management Board.
George’s expertise has included working for senior ministry officials such as establishing the stakeholder management system to support Recommendation 77 of the Walkerton Inquiry, and the development and implementation of the Ontario Endangered Species Act 2007.
George’s work has included working with a variety of interests traditionally seen as opponents - from quarries to NIMBYs; fiscal conservatives to not-for-profit NGOs; international corporations to family farms – working to transcend the old them-us mentality and help facilitate sustainable collective interests.
In recognition of George’s national and community service he was awarded the Governor General’s Commemorative Medal of the 125th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation in 1992.
George is a passionate advocate of family-based kite and wind activities including organizing historical symposiums, art exhibitions and community festivals.

Reputation … something you earn. Here is what some have said:

“As the Manager of Disaster & International Services for the Canadian Red Cross, I have been exposed to some of the best skills development resources available anywhere. Given that, I have to say that after working with George Paisiovich of, I have gained a tremendous insight into the project management component of stakeholder relations in times of crisis. The proven management techniques to benchmark a situation and to rapidly act on that knowledge continue to benefit our relationship with our stakeholders. I highly recommend this experienced expert.”
Steven Armstrong, Manager of Disaster & International Services for the Canadian Red Cross

"George Paisiovich was able to bring conservation and development interests together on Pelee Island to create a win-win solution after years of entrenched polarization amongst various interests. Nature Conservancy of Canada has been able to advance our conservation mission on Pelee, while bringing certainty, clarity and a new era of trust between the conservation community, local island community and business interests.

As a result, there has been a historical environmental net gain on the island, and there is a movement of cooperation which is a model for other challenged communities. Thanks for everything you made happen."

James Duncan, former Vice President, Ontario Region, Nature Conservancy of Canada

As Leader of the Opposition, George Paisiovich got me away from the briefing books of Queen’s Park and down to Pelee Island so I could see their challenges, hear its people, and host a Town Hall meeting.
With this simple visit, George demonstrated that their concerns would be heard by those in power; sent a message the Government could either work with the islanders or answer through the Legislature; and thirdly, repositioned the island’s issues from a remote island community to a file the Premier’s Office had to monitor.

Two weeks later he did the same thing with Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller with a three day visit to the island.
A month later the first Minister of Natural Resources to ever visit the island, had his turn at the tour and standing in front of a town hall meeting. Two years later, the Government passed a new Endangered Species Act which addressed many of the concerns of the island, including a special amendment specific only to Pelee Island.

Inclusive, empowering – results! Addressing today’s urgency while laying a foundation for sustainable working relationship into the future. He is smart, he takes a personal, engaged approach with people, he builds crucial relationships for his clients and he gets results."

John Tory, Former Leader of the Official Opposition, now Mayor of Toronto

"George Paisiovich of was engaged by an international Canadian oil company to troubleshoot the process of securing a provincial ethanol manufacturers' agreement with a provincial government, as well as to re-negotiate the terms of the National Biomass Ethanol Program (NBEP). Both initiatives involved working with the offices of the Prime Minister, Privy Council, Premier, Cabinet Office, Cabinet Committees and Ministers of Agriculture, Finance, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, - as well as MPs, MPPs and industry stakeholders. In the words of the lead Vice-President:

" You did it !!! You absolutely lived up to your promise ! Thank so very much. I’ll call you tomorrow to close the loop on some of the last items. Seriously …. I’m so grateful to you. You’ve single handily made my Team look very good and more importantly, we’ve delivered the goods."  F. Goodwin, Vice-President, Suncor Energy Products

"It was very perceptive of the previous municipal council to understand the need for an outside consultant to act as a liaison for all provincial ministries. I know that you were instrumental in improved communications between MNR staff and the islanders and also responsible for helping both to understand roles, responsibilities and challenges.
As the representative for Pelee Quarries, you worked with many MNR staff to resolve an outstanding OMB which led to the issuance of the first ESA permit under the new ESA, 2007. This was a very difficult and arduous process which was made easier by your facilitation.

I have had the privilege of working with you and participating on many tours which you have graciously arranged and hosted. I commend you for providing a 'one window' liaison for my staff, for your professionalism and integrity, and for your ability to add clarity to difficult situations.
I believe that the current situation on Pelee Island is significantly improved and that is due to your participation and persistence.

Thank you again for assisting my staff and allowing us to have a renewed relationship with landowners, the new municipal council and industry partners."

Ray Bonenberg, Regional Director, Southern Region, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

“After 17 years not being able to operate our quarry with a Minister’s permit, I engaged to help achieve a collective agreement with the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and environmental groups so that we could once again operate our quarry on environmentally significant Pelee Island. George helped drive a process which resulted in us playing an important role in establishing new Endangered Species legislation; a fair price for land exchanged; and a precedent setting land use management plan which results in a net gain for the environment while allowing us to once again make aggregate resources available for the island’s infrastructure needs.

A quarry, MNR, Nature Conservancy and a local community – working together for a more sustainable environment, community and business after 17 years of polarizing conflict. Imagine.

Facilitator, trouble-shooter, fixer – whatever, I highly recommend George Paisiovich as a professional with the street smarts, integrity and people skills to respect and accommodate the stakeholders towards a larger collective gain, probably greater than what they may have imagined originally.

J. Randall Koop, Pelee Quarries

As strategic advisor, George Paisiovich was brought in to break the three year impasse of government support, and develop a strategic plan to over come opposition, secured federal and provincial guarantees.

"At a point where we had done the huge community parades and demonstrations, and worn out pairs of shoes visiting politicians, we were put in touch with George Paisiovich. Literally, within days George had put together a strategic plan which incorporated a regional partnership of CFPL TV, OCPA, MP's, City of Chatham, ag groups, renewable fuels groups and more, into a coordinated plan which resulted in a one hour television program which re-positioned our situation from one of corporate handout to that of rural economic renewal and environmental friendliness.

George followed up on this renewed momentum with a government relations game plan which lead to our long sought guaranteed protection from a change in government's excise tax policy. This was the final piece for investors to give the ethanol plant the green light. To top it off, George put together the arrangements for Prime Minister Jean Chretien to officially open the plant. Bottom line - George Paisiovich was one of the best investments we ever made.”

Doug MacKenzie, President, Commercial Alcohols 

“In 1983, 17 of 18 municipalities, politicians and the Ministry of Natural Resources, were all set to spent $millions to put a dam near the mouth of Indian Creek. The only problem of course was that all the water from 17 miles of tiled, flat agricultural land would have no where to go except to flood a bunch of us out. We had talked to the politicians, lawyers and engineers until we were blue in the face, but no one would budge from their unworkable plan.

Then we got introduced to young man who didn’t like wearing shoes, drove a TR-6 sports car with a guitar and kites in the back of it all the time. This guy we were told was our last great hope, which initially had us thinking that we really were toast. But they say you can’t always judge a book by its cover so we gave him a chance, and soon he was hurting our heads with “cross relational charts”, “critical decision paths” ,and the like.

Well, after a year of an absolutely fascinating experience to witness, we ended up with 18 of 18 municipalities, the politicians and MNR all agreeing to a different, better and more expensive project – which would actually work.
So today, if you are ever in Chatham-Kent and see the Indian/McGregor Creek Flood Control Scheme, you will see a project which ended a century of problem flooding. And largely, though not exclusively, because of two farmers, a principled Reeve, an engineer and a hippie strategist who didn’t know that they couldn’t do what they did.
Whatever else he may be, George Paisiovich is certainly the most innovative, persistent and enjoyable trouble-shooter I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

Len Harwood, Farmer Raleigh Township

The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance (TOGA) is a new vehicle to bring together the historically silo operations of various Ontario greenhouse industry stakeholders onto an equal playing field to achieve those outcomes which they less effectively achieve by their independent approaches. TOGA’s vision was to provide an infrastructure and approach that will integrate all the current resources and future potential of the Ontario greenhouse stakeholders into a community and international marketplace presence, with the synergy and standards to be a world leader in greenhouse operations. "George Paisiovich was absolutely critical to TOGA coming together and getting $5 million in start up money. His passion and expertise in managing the stakeholder relations of the industry and government into a mutual vision and commitment was simply amazing. He has earned my trust and deep appreciation."
Founding Chair, TOGA, Cole Cacciavillani 

“Through effective stakeholder engagement, Mr. Paisiovich was able to clearly define the real issues, facilitate understanding of the objectives of the various parties, re-establish communications and community relationships and mentor and steer the parties to a successful conclusion, which resulted in compromise and a win-win situation for all.”
Craig Selby, Former Aylmer District Manager, Ministry of Natural Resources

“George Paisiovich of Stakeholder Solutions was contracted by the Premier’s Office to complete a government-wide analysis of the stakeholder relation dynamics of Ministers’ offices; design an interim government-wide stakeholder database to standardize the methodology used to respond to the thousands of multi-ministerial stakeholders government; to incorporate this knowledge into a series of workshops and best practises towards a “one stakeholder – one government” response capacity.

George produced the most ground-breaking work in the realm of government stakeholder relations in Ontario, and probably Canada as well. I would highly recommend this multi-disciplined stakeholder authority.”

Louise Harris, Director Office of the Premier 

"As a volunteer with different, mainly small and rural, community groups such as the Pelee Island Sportsman's Club, my first contact with George and Stakeholder Solutions was from the back of the bus; well out of the danger zone. The recognition our group received upon the arrival of the bus was spot on. Our meeting was well choreographed, clear, concise and very productive.
George’s ability to head east when the rest of the world is heading west is a good thing. His challenging “the norm” style isn’t for everyone; just the people who are willing to see success though a different set of glasses.
Still haven’t quite figured out where the kites fit in! *
I dare you to tell George it can’t be done. Thank you!"

Dave Dawson, Pelee Island

“George Paisiovich was contracted by the Premier's Office to undertake a series of stakeholder assessment workshops with over 40 key provincial organizations. The outcome of these mutually beneficial ground-breaking sessions resulted in improved conflict resolution, identification of going-forward best practices and healthier working relationships.”
Angela Ross, Manager, Ministers’ Staff Human Resources. Management Board Secretariat

"Our community has experienced the positive advancements delivered by George Paisiovich, ones brought to bear on a number of thorny issues, and which had persisted for some time.
Everyone knows the fable of the competition between the Wind and the Sun. Both try to get Sam to take off his coat. As the Wind blows harder and harder, Sam clutches onto his coat and won't let go. When the Sun has her turn, with calm and patience, the temperature rises, and Sam finds it is in his own interest to remove his coat. A solution for Sam and for the Sun.
You can hire the Wind, or you can retain George Paisiovich of Stakeholder Solutions.
On an island we will always go with the Sun."

Ron Tiessen, Fmr. Curator, Pelee Island Heritage Centre 

“That night I attended the first all-candidates debate and walked into a hostile room filled with people wearing buttons for other candidates. Things did not go well. When I got home, I told my wife I had just made a huge mistake and went to bed.
The next morning George Paisiovich called me, offering help. That night we met, he signed on, and then George disappeared for three harrowing days. When he finally came back he presented his strategy, complete with organizational and activity charts, volunteer recruitment kits and other papers with lots of empty boxes drawn on them. He said he had it all figured out.
George was relentless, disciplining me, scheduling every minute of the day, telling me who to call, where to go and even what to eat.
In the end, I won the nomination on the second ballot and convinced George to stay on as my campaign manager for the general election. He did, and with the same kind of open-access campaign, put together a team which delivered 54.6% of the vote – the best showing for any Tory in Ontario."

Hon. Garth Turner, MP, in his book, "Garth! Just What the Hell is Going on in Ottawa?" 

Release of the Macdonald Report on the future of Ontario Hydro. Brought in to a challenging situation in the Minister’s office, George over saw all aspects of the province-wide release of the Macdonald Report including media and stakeholder relations.
At a critical time in my ministry when we were weeks away from the launch of the MacDonald Committee Report on the future of electricity in Ontario, I brought in the highly recommended problem solver George Paisiovich to “support” my ministry in this critical initiative.
George possesses an incredible skill set which is as effective with the civil service, as it is with the media and stakeholders. In the face of intense media scrutiny, on an major issue of ground breaking public policy, where powerful stakeholder interests were sharply divided, and with only weeks to work in, George was able to chart a critical path which allowed us to be one of the few, if not the only major electricity announcement which was well received through the media in the past ten years or more.
I would encourage, as I have, any organization to utilize this innovative, focused, and results drive professional, who is an absolute pleasure to work with, and amazing to watch in action.
Hon. Brenda Elliott, Former Minister of Energy and Environment 

“George Paisiovich saved Ontario’s greenhouse industry from a pending regulatory requirement which was based upon a severe lack of understanding of how our industry operates.
At the 11th hour we brought George in, he completely revamped our industry’s approach to crafting a new regulatory proposal in collaboration with trade, insurance and regulatory representatives which would result in greater sustainable, measurable and predictable safety for many years to come.
The fact that it saved the greenhouse industry millions of dollars annually was also greatly appreciated.
What I respect most about George is that he could be thrown into the middle of a technical issue he had no background in, and not only effectively represent our interests, but also ensure that the other stakeholders involved also came out ahead.
Recommend George Paisiovich of Stakeholder Solutions? Highly, completely and with great appreciation.”

John N., TOGA – The Ontario Greenhouse Alliance

As someone who has served many years as Deputy Mayor, and whose family has had one of the largest farm operations on Pelee Island for over a century, I am very familiar with the island’s needs and potential.
Before George arrived a few years ago, we were being strangled by environmental regulations out of control, with the island a virtual war zone of anger and suspicion between environmentalists and islanders. It was so bad that islanders bought and posted hundreds of anti-MNR signs (Ministry of Natural Resources), investment was scared off and we were at a polarized stalemate – neither side able to move forward.
Into this crisis situation George Paisiovich of Stakeholder Solutions was engaged by the municipal council I served on for a 3 month contract to try to help us out.
And within that 3 month period, George organized what could have been an explosive town hall to laid a foundation of understanding, respect and cooperation which continues to grow.
After the first town hall meeting, he organized a workshop so everyone could understand all the challenges we faced as an island – infrastructure, new Official Plan, transportation, regulatory compliance, environmental stewardship and economic investment, and more. It helped us to understand ourselves better as one inter-dependant island community – where one cannot succeed without the other, and encouraged us to work out our differences on the island so we could go to government with “one voice”.
Two years later, we still have problems like every community, but now we have more confidence in our ability to solve our problems, we have a plan, and we have much stronger partnerships with those whom we were once polarized with.

George didn’t do this himself, and we don’t always agree. But we are unquestionably better off because of him, we appreciate him going beyond the call of duty to continue to work with us, and for reminding us to work together and rally to the goal of lets , “get ‘er done”. And that is something you can count on with George – he’ll “get ‘er done” through trust, partnership and plain hard work.
Grant Crawford