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Matthew Ostrove

Jon Gerrard, Matthew Ostrove, Justin Trudeau

Fiancee Vanessa Falk


Winnipeg Entrepreneur Matthew Ostrove Establishes Jewish Chapter in the Chamber of Commerce

by Rhonda J. Prepes, posted March 6, 2013

Entrepreneur Matthew Ostrove is the new President of the recently established Jewish chapter of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce. A Jewish chapter was attempted once before in October 2008 by Aaron Migie and Ryan Paul, two young businessmen, as a way for them to become more involved in the Jewish community. Ostrove was on the marketing team in 2008 but, the chapter failed to get off the ground at that time.

“I saw an opportunity to re-launch it and bring my own vision under the guidance of Brian Scharfstein Chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce,” said 32 year old Ostrove who has a degree in economics from the University of Manitoba.

“My vision is three fold. We will bring in people from Israel and rely on local professionals to give seminars about different business aspects like real estate and marketing. We will offer mentorships to Jewish graduates of the Asper School of Business, University or College to give them the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs. We will be partnering with other Jewish organizations in the community, like Canadian Associates of Ben-Gurion University to host dynamic Israeli speakers, scientists and business people that can share their knowledge, expertise and business savvy with our community."

Some other things that Ostrove has planned include having companies post job openings on the Chamber’s website directly publicising to recently arrived Jewish immigrants, having Interfaith events with other Chambers (such as the Aboriginal, Christian, African and Muslim Chambers), and planning an annual event for all the Jewish Chambers of Commerce in Canada including Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary.

“I was raised in an entrepreneurial family and that is the path that I followed. My dad Shelley has his own advertising company and my mom Resa is an author of children’s books. I just want to give back so others can learn from the knowledge I gained when I started my lighting company and all the hoops I had to go through,” says Ostrove, who is recently engaged to Vanessa Falk and expecting his first child, a son, in April.”

Ostrove adds, “Politics and business are my two passions.”

Ostrove ran as the candidate for the liberal Party of Manitoba in the constituency of Charleswood in 2011 but lost in the election. He intends to run again for political office in the next Federal election where he is hoping to back Justin Trudeau as the next Liberal leader.

In 2005, Ostrove began Luco Light Systems which sells LED lighting products for residential and commercial uses. In 2008, he began a second business selling Israeli Natural Formula hair products. Currently, he is an account manager for radio ad sales.

As the fifth Jewish chair of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce in the last 15 to 20 years Scharfstein said, “The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce supports all ethnic and other chapters under the Winnipeg umbrella like the Aboriginal, African, Islamic, St. Boniface, and North End chapters.”

“As Chair I give my support to the Jewish chapter. As a Jewish business man in Winnipeg I would be happy to see a Jewish chapter established here,” said Scharfstein who is owner and president of Canadian Footwear.

The Jewish Chamber is in the process of forming its committees and establishing its board, getting the website up, and getting in touch with all the Jewish members of the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.
So far Ida Raam of Penguin Heating and Cooling has agreed to be marketing director or Vice President for the Chamber and Ron Reider of Reider Insurance will sit on the board.

“I am excited to work with Bob Freedman and the Jewish Federation and with YAD (the Young Adult Division of the Jewish Federation for young adults between the ages of 25 and 45) under the leadership of Hart Jacob,” continued Ostrove.

“Our mandate is to help Jewish businesses work together and to get the Jewish public to support Jewish businesses because they have good products and services. Jewish businesses doing business with Jewish businesses…it’s not impossible,” concludes Ostrove.

Ostrove has two brothers. Zach is executive assistant to Gayle Waxman Executive Director of Rady JCC. Benji does bar mitzvah deejaying in San Diego and is newly engaged to Mara Weinberg, daughter of Gina Guertin and Marty Weinberg.

Ostrove has just written a resolution to ban fluoride from Winnipeg’s drinking water which will presented to the Manitoba legislature to be voted on shortly. To date, 25 Canadian cities have decided to end the practise of fluoridating their water supply.

 This article first appeared in the Jewish Tribune
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Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

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