Five years ago Christopher Vaughan joined the CEO.CA team as a consulting moderator after getting to know Murat and myself through the platform. In the years since he has been instrumental to the success of our community.
I am happy-for him and sad-for us to announce that Chris has accepted a new position as CEO of Liquid Crowd, an equity crowdfunding business he has been consulting with over the past few years. Chris will be stepping down from his duties at CEO.CA at the end of this month and passing the torch to new team members.
Chris believes that Liquid Crowd will play an important role in Canada’s capital markets. Using their credit card, non-accredited investors can buy $100-$10,000 worth of shares in the companies listed on the platform, and Chris says he's personally participating in every deal.
Liquid Crowd is trying to make it cheaper and easier for companies to raise capital and attract minimum shareholder requirements to get listed on Canadian exchanges. It is leveraging progressive legislation including National Instrument 45-110, which allows issuers to raise up to $1.5 million each year. But Chris says there is a lot more to come from Liquid Crowd and to stay tuned.
In my first memory of Chris from 2016, we were chatting on CEO.CA and I tracked him down on Linkedin, where I noticed his impressive resume as a former lawyer and estate planner. We hopped on a phone call and instantly hit it off. His charming Newfoundlander accent was as disarming as he was engaging. Chris was at a transition in life with young kids at home and a desire to get more involved in venture capital and the stock market. We were lucky he chose CEO.CA as a place to do that.
As CEO.CA has grown into a large community focused around a contentious subject (venture stock market investing), it has been challenging to please everyone and keep up with the volume of moderation requests. Chris has thoughtfully and fairly helped our community navigate through thousands of issues around content, conflict, privacy and personalities. He has done his best to hear everyone out and remain dispassionate through some very trying times.
In a recent conversation with Chris, he said his work with CEO.CA helped him realise to never write people off. Often the most heated posters were some of the best people when he got to know them.
I am grateful for his dedication. For five years he was on the front lines here. Speak to anyone who does community management and you will understand that makes Chris a legend of the field.
I also appreciate Chris’s legal mind. When CEO.CA got dragged into other peoples’ controversies, he helped protect user privacy and knew when to call bluffs. He was like a Swiss Army Knife as a colleague. I expect he will continue to bring outsized value to his future endeavours.
Of the revolving door of characters I’ve brought around my family over the years in building CEO.CA, Chris is my wife’s all-time favourite. He has a unique ability to connect with people by finding common ground with them. In her case it was around food.
We are especially grateful to Chris for his scaling of moderation through the community moderators program working with a dedicated group of volunteers which has made our community much healthier. Our deepest thanks to those volunteers as well. Chris has been working with a replacement in his role as Community Manager who we look forward to introducing soon– so it can be close to business as usual around here.
CEO.CA has never bestowed awards before, but in honour of his impact, I want to recognize Chris. I am proud to present him the first ever CEO.CA Founder’s Award in service to our community. It is a small symbol of a big contribution.
For all he has done for our community, I will deeply miss Chris on our team.