Michael Holden | PC Party of NL
Michael Holden
Waterford Valley
About Michael Holden

Michael is a true Newfoundlander who was born to be a voice for the people. Originally from Kilbride, he is an ambassador for Newfoundland and has taken dozens of Europeans every summer on tours of the island. Michael’s Bachelor’s of Arts Honours degree from MUN (German/History) lead him to become an expert in tourism during years in Lucerne, Switzerland, the tourism capital. Starting in gastronomy, he managed a restaurant in the center of Lucerne where ‘serving people’ became his mantra. From 2003 to 2018, Michael’s career blossomed at EF Education, a global education company with 50 000 employees in over 50 countries. He worked for EF Student Tours, negotiating, sourcing and contracting hotels, restaurants, guides, bus companies and entrance fees. He knows the following tourism industries inside and out: Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, Benelux, Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Eastern Europe. He was regarded as one of EF’s best negotiators and relationship managers and he has contacts all over Europe. Michael lived and breathed the EF core values of ‘innovation and nothing is impossible.’ He was the go to person in the office for anyone who had a problem or needed help with something. He managed numerous staff at EF over the years and mentored many of them into successful roles all over the world. Michael is a big advocate for international travel and has seen first hand at EF how many young lives have been changed by overseas travel. His all-time favourite and proudest travel moment is when he was the Event Manager in 2016 for the 100th Anniversary for Beaumont Hamel with thousands of Newfoundlanders attending. His Newfoundland homesickness was so great that he moved back home in 2018 with his Swiss wife, Barbara and their 2 boys, Jake and Luke.

Michael is a leader in the community and a very active volunteer. He founded and presided over the Lucerne and Central Switzerland Ex-Pats with over 2800 members. He was also President of the Board for Living-in-Lucerne, and non-profit organization whose mission was to provide international residents with the opportunity to thrive socially and professionally. He spearheaded the founding of the Living-in-Lucerne community center needed for all the events and courses of the international community which had over 5000 members– German classes, job seeking seminars, play afternoons for new moms and dads, International Cuisine evenings. He was also appointed to the Integration commission (a municipal body) by the city of Lucerne from 2014 to 2017 to represent expats and to find new ways to integrate the various international and refugee groups with the locals and was the welcoming English speaker to all new arrivals speaking along side the mayor. Michael was well known for hosting an annual Christmas Day dinner, for all the lonely internationals who were alone at Christmastime. Michael is an avid fundraiser. He launched charity soccer matches and dinner evenings to raise thousands of pounds for the QEF, a British charity for people with brain injuries in memory of a dear ex-pat friend

Michael loves being a hockey Dad and part of his son’s school community (he sits on the parent’s auxiliary). He is an avid historical reader, loves great story-telling and can be found on weekends hiking and outdoors regardless of the weather. He is an avid hunter and fisherman and loves to be out in the woods or on the water. Climate change and natural living is vitally important to him and his family - they are avid recyclers and even have 8 chickens at home in their garden. He fully believes we must do more to make Newfoundland more vibrant and innovative with a better quality of life for everyone. We need to keep young people here and we welcome Newfoundlanders all over to move back. We need to do more to develop our Fishery, our Tourism product and attract new industry.

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