Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and understands the challenges of immigrant families and the issues facing the thousands of Canadians making Kitchener their new home. Berry attended St. Jerome’s High School and is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with a BA in political science and a diploma in business administration.
Berry’s outgoing and personable style has contributed to his election to serve as a councillor for six consecutive terms of council, from 1994-2014. During this time, Berry’s commitment to his constituents resulted in the fire station at Ottawa Street and River Road, the Grand River-Stanley Park branch of the Kitchener Public Library and the Stanley Park Community Centre. He co-founded the Chicopee Outreach Program (COPS), a unique mentoring program linking at-risk youth with police, fire and community mentors.
Prior to becoming a city councillor, Berry worked in the city’s clerk’s office and the information technology division.
In 2014, Berry ran for the elected office of mayor and with an outpouring of community support was successful. He is committed to improving the quality of life for residents in Kitchener and throughout the Region of Waterloo.
In addition to serving on all regular standing committees of Kitchener city council, Berry is also an appointee and active participant on many boards and committees, including the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Kitchener Seniors (MACKS), Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc. Board of Directors, University of Waterloo Board of Governors, Kitchener Housing Inc. Board of Directors, Centre in the Square Board of Management, Grand River Hospital Board of Directors and Downtown Kitchener BIA Board of Directors.
Berry is Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments and is President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.