PJ is a proud Hamiltonian and passionate family man who serves as the CEO of Carmens Group, one of Southern Ontario’s most dynamic hospitality, entertainment, food-service and development companies. The company’s impressive portfolio includes award-winning venues Carmens Banquet Centre, C Hotel by Carmens, Baci Ristorante, The Lakeview, Fig & Lemon and the Hamilton Convention Centre, as well as Mercanti Specialty Foods. Carmens Group is also the General Partner of the Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group, a private consortium that secured the rights to renovate and operate FirstOntario Centre, FirstOntario Concert Hall and the Hamilton Convention Centre for 49 year, with PJ serving as the consortium President.
An engaged community leader, PJ is currently President of Hamilton100 Commonwealth Games Bid Corporation, a not-for-profit community organization working to bring the 2030 Commonwealth Games to Hamilton, and also chairs the Hamilton Cardinals, a semi-pro baseball team in the Intercounty Baseball League (IBL). As past Chair of the Hamilton Tourism Development Investment Group, he assisted Tourism Hamilton in securing the 2019 Canadian Open and the 2021 CFL Grey Cup Festivities.
National media outlets including Maclean’s, ET Canada, and Hello Canada Magazine have profiled events that PJ has produced through Carmens Group’s “An Evening With” celebrity series featuring prolific personalities that have included Al Pacino, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Douglas, Olivia Newton-John, Tony Bennett and Wayne Gretzky, among others. Coupled with his work as chair of the Charity of Hope Gala for the past 10 years, these events have collectively raised over $2.5 Million for local charitable organizations.
Through his holding company Mercanti Enterprises, PJ produces much of his creative works. 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 & in 2017 won the Best Documentary Award at the Plymouth Film Festival in London, England.
A cum laude business graduate from the University of Notre Dame, PJ started his career as an associate producer for “The Season: Notre Dame Football”, an ESPN show produced by Intersport Productions. He was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 45 Entrepreneurs by The Globe and Mail and as one of the 30 Most Influential People in Hamilton by Urbanicity Magazine in 2015.
His love for nostalgia is displayed through his enjoyment of classic movies, oldies music, and all things Route 66 & Walt Disney, while his love of sport is seen through his passion for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, New England Patriots, Hamilton Tiger-Cats & Hamilton Cardinals. His ultimate love is his family – his lovely wife Diana, energetic son Matthew, beautiful daughter Gloria and precious son Michael – and he is often seen walking through Hamilton with his four loves.