Mr. MacDonald was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and raised in the community of Fairview. He is the son of a Newfoundland mother and a Cape Breton father and one of seven siblings. Mr. MacDonald attended Dalhousie University, graduating in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science degree.
Working with his brother-in-law, John Risley, Mr. MacDonald developed a seafood business out of the back of a truck, and eventually becoming a world leader in the seafood industry. In a career spanning lobster packing and truck driving to Chairman, Mr. MacDonald, is co-founder, co-owner and director of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc.
Hard work and many years of dedicated and hands-on commitment have paid off for Mr. MacDonald. He has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s top 50 CEOs and in 2012, Clearwater was heralded as Atlantic Canada’s ‘Most Sustainable Company’ by Atlantic Business Magazine’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards.
In addition to his highly successful leadership of Clearwater, Mr. MacDonald is a firm believer that we have a responsibility to give back to our communities. In this spirit, he supports with both his money and more importantly his time, a variety of organizations, including the IWK Foundation, Homebridge Youth Society, Phoenix Youth Programs, Children’s Wish Foundation, Abilities Foundation, the Canadian Red Cross and the Canadian Colorectal Cancer Screening Initiative Foundation. As well, he and Clearwater are great friends and contributors to Cape Breton University.
Mr. MacDonald’s outstanding community spirit and dedication to his business do not go unnoticed. He has received a Maritime Philanthropy Award as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser and the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian Award for Nova Scotia. Most recently, he has been named Honorary Chair of the Water for Life – Chefs for UNICEF dinner; and 2013 Courage to Give Back Award Ambassador by Family SOS, a support program for families in the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Mr. MacDonald lives in Chester, NS. He is married to Carol Hansen and has two sons, Nicholas, 28 and Luke, 26.
Cape Breton University conferred the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on a man who is an inspiring entrepreneur and inspirational community leader, Colin Edward MacDonald.