Marika has lived in Niagara for the past 25 years. After attending Brock University for an Undergraduate degree in Business, Economics and Politics She went to work for Walt Lastewka, the Federal Member of Parliament for St. Catharines. Walt was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry so Marika became very active in local industry in terms of competitiveness, cluster formation and grant applications. After 13 years with Walt, Marika moved to the Niagara Parks Commission. Marika’s title as Manager of Special Initiatives meant that she worked on a variety of projects, but the focus was to match priorities of the NPC with available government funding. During this period of time Marika was also busy back at Brock, this time graduating with an MBA. She completed her studies part time and was recognized as the Faculty of Business Award of Excellence and acceptance into the Beta Gamma Sigma honour society. In 2011 Marika moved into the private sector to take on the role of Manager of Business Development for Fleet Canada in Fort Erie, Ontario. Since joining Fleet the company has been instrumental in bringing in a major investor to the company and showcased the company’s capabilities to potential customers worldwide including Boeing and Tata. Economic development in Niagara remains a focus for Marika. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Business Education Council and the Niagara College Business Program Advisory Committee. Marika has been married to husband Jamie for 20 years and they share their heart with Brodie a lab retriever they rescued. Away from work Marika and Jamie enjoy car racing, collector cars and camping.