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PJ Mercanti - Carmen's Group
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Chief Executive Officer
About This Project

PJ Mercanti


Chief Executive Officer


A proud Hamiltonian and passionate family man, PJ serves as CEO of Carmen’s Group and is the driving force in revolutionizing the business his fearless uncles and father started as a bakery in 1978. Under PJ’s leadership Carmen’s Group has grown from a single event venue into one of Southern Ontario’s most dynamic and admired hospitality and entertainment companies with interests in boutique event venues, hotels, restaurants, convention facilities and celebrity event productions.


The company’s impressive portfolio includes the operation of Carmen’s Banquet Centre, Best Western Premier C Hotel, Baci Ristorante, The Lakeview, Hamilton Convention Centre, and Dundas Valley Golf & Curling Club, as well as its new corporate headquarters on James Street in Downtown Hamilton. His unrelenting focus in positioning Carmen’s Group as a culture-focused, performance-driven enterprise committed to delivering extraordinary experiences has enabled these venues to earn numerous local and national industry awards and allows them to consistently rank amongst Hamilton’s favourite hospitality destinations.


Early in his career PJ achieved success as an associate producer for “The Season: Notre Dame Football”, an ESPN show produced by Intersport Productions in Chicago. Upon returning home in late 2003, he quickly immersed himself in community activities and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Community Foundation and the United Way. During this time he founded Hamilton’s first young professional organization, GenNext United Way, and also served on numerous event committees supporting City Kidz, Good Shepherd, Canadian Diabetes Association, Joy and Hope of Haiti and Theatre Aquarius, among others.


He is currently the Vice-Chair of the Hamilton Tourism Development Investment Group, serves on the Board of Director’s for the Charity of Hope and Industry Education Council, is a member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats TigerTown Council and co-chairs the annual Charity of Hope Gala as well as the annual Amici Cup golf tournament in support of the CYO, Food4Kids and Cystic Fibrosis. PJ served as the co-chair and lead fundraiser for the Hamilton Sign initiative at City Hall, and spearheaded Carmen’s Group’s efforts to save the Hamilton Cardinals Baseball Club. National media outlets Maclean’s, Hello Canada Magazine, Toronto Star, ET Canada and CBC National have profiled charitable events PJ has produced with prolific entertainers and personalities such as Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Chicago the Band, Sarah Palin, Olivia Newton-John, Tony Bennett, Jann Arden and Wayne Gretzky. These various events have collectively raised over $2.5 million for local children’s charities, community organizations and regional health care initiatives.


A cum laude graduate from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Finance and Business Economics, PJ was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 45 Entrepreneurs by The Globe and Mail in 2016 and as one of the 30 Most Influential People in Hamilton by Urbanicity Magazine in 2015. He has written many published articles and short stories, is a keynote speaker for LeaderImpact Group and is an award-winning filmmaker. His critically acclaimed short documentary “Harley: Welcome to America” premiered at numerous film festivals around the world and in 2017 won the Best Documentary Award at the Plymouth Film Festival in London, England.


He enjoys classic movies, oldies music, Route 66, all things Walt Disney and running full and half marathons. In his spare time he cheers for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and New England Patriots but only if his favourite local sports teams are not playing: The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Hamilton Bulldogs and Hamilton Cardinals. He lives in Hamilton with his lovely wife Diana, energetic son Matthew and beautiful daughter Gloria, and is often seen walking throughout the city with his three loves.