The eggshell-coloured walls in Lou Milrad’s spartan office in downtown Toronto are in keeping with his latest job.
As the recently named chief executive of the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, Milrad is walking on proverbial eggshells. His job: Using the heft of Greater Toronto to attract international investment to the whole region.
But Milrad must be a deft diplomat as he tries to serve a fractured client base that doesn’t always see the advantages of a united front: municipalities that compete for investment among themselves, as well as private firms more likely to form alliances based on sector than on allegiance to the GTA.
Milrad is a lawyer whose clients have included municipal governments, hospitals and school boards. He’s well aware of the intersecting groups and the tensions that sometimes develop. “My background is bringing together diverse groups of people and getting them to operate as a team.”