Carl Zehr became Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 1997 and is Kitchener’s longest serving mayor. Previously, Carl served as a City Councillor for nine years, and is currently in his seventh term as Region of Waterloo Councillor. In total, he has served and shown his commitment to his community, as an elected official, in Kitchener, for 23 years.
Carl serves on many boards and committees including Kitchener Housing Inc., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and University of Waterloo. As an active member, and past chair of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Big City Mayors’ Caucus, he meets with government officials and industry representatives to highlight municipalities’ opportunities and challenges, particularly those related to infrastructure.
As Mayor, Carl is focused on growing Kitchener into a city that promotes business, is home to numerous economic success stories and offers vibrant careers for all its residents. In order to make this vision a reality, Carl, and City Council, have guided the Kitchener’s Economic Development Department to create KEDS.11 (Kitchener Economic Development Strategy 2011), which focuses on 5 key areas: Start-up City, Leading-Edge Cluster Building, Becoming a Talent Magnet, Dynamic Downtown and Innovation District. As Kitchener continues to grow, this document will be a leading driver, allowing Carl, council and the citizens of Kitchener to continue to foster a compassionate and caring community that builds on their legacy of industry, innovation and investment.
In his professional life, Carl has a Fellow designation as a Certified General Accountant and in 2008 was recognized by CGA Canada as one of the country’s Top 100 CGAs.
By his side in his personal, professional and public service life is Carl’s wife Sandy. They have two adult children and four grandchildren.