Name: Rob McLeese
Home Base: Toronto
Occupation: Entrepreneur, power plant developer and advisor, real estate developer
Robert McLeese is the President and Founder of Access Capital Corporation, a company dedicated to independent power project financing. Along with his late father, Willis McLeese, Robert began developing a portfolio of sustainable energy projects in the 1980s and broke into the Canadian market in the 1990s, providing many small and medium-sized companies the funding and development support needed to invest in environmental projects. Their leadership has allowed for significant advances in the sustainable energy sector.
McLeese’s deep commitment to renewable resources and sustainable development is entrenched in all areas of his life; including his passion project, Cobble Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Owen Sound, Ontario. The 574-acre property set along 1.6 km of Georgian Bay shoreline puts sustainability and the environment at the forefront, with a five-star inn and clubhouse that employs geothermal heating and cooling, as well as an 18-hole award-winning golf course which uses 1/3 of the pesticides, herbicides and water than a typical golf course.
Q: Most visited destination for business
A: Cobble Beach Golf Resort and Community in Kemble, Ontario on the Bruce Peninsula near Owen Sound.
Q: Local knowledge tip
A: Food and wine are amazing at Cobble Beach (but I am biased).
Q: DIY vs. travel agent
A: DIY most of the time.
Q: Preferred luggage
A: One garment bag style suitcase on wheels.
Q: What three things are on your must-pack-or-will-suffer-a-meltdown list?
A: Nothing will cause a meltdown since everything except your wife and family is replaceable.
Q: Preferred airline
A: Air Canada.
Q: Aisle or window
A: Window. I like to see where I am going, plus I tend to be like a camel. I don't like people crawling over me or getting up when I am in the middle of working. I also like the films on Air Canada.
Q: Jetlag strategy
A: Try to feast one day before the flight, famine the day of the flight. No caffeine or alcohol on a long flight. When arrive, have a coffee to kick start your system to the new time zone. Go for a walk in the daylight of the new time zone if possible and eat according to the new time zone schedule.
Q: Staying in shape on the road
A: Try to not eat dessert. Remember to eat breakfast as you would at home. Stick to small portions.
Q: A travel moment that sparked an entrepreneurial idea or solution
A: The Beaver Creek Energy Conference in early February each year has so many energy entrepreneurs attending that invariably one or two good to great ideas surface.
Q: Your preferred conference hotel
A: The Bellagio in Las Vegas. I love the hourly fountain show.
Q: Describe your guitly pleasure when traveling/vacationing
A: Room service breakfast with my wife Rosemary.
Q: What foreign phrase do you most enjoy tossing about?
A: C'est la vie!
Q: Tell us about a great little place you recommend to friends
A: Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles - Hotel Villa Portofino is a real treat! Catalina Island is a great place to snorkel and get away from North American hustle and bustle without traveling for hours upon end. Meribel, France is my other recommendation to skier friends.
Q: Confess to one thing you’ve nicked from your hotel room
A: Soaps and lotions. Doesn’t everybody?
Q: UNESCO World Heritage Site that blows your mind
A: Nathaniel Provincial Park.
Q: A beloved travel book, fiction or non-fiction
A: Fodors. I don’t have a lot of time and I know if I pick up a Fodors Travel Guide on a particular destination, then I’ll have all the information I need.
Q: Favourite island
A: Bermuda. My in-laws have a property there, in Reefsong, Southampton. It’s where I courted my wife. I obviously have fond memories of the place, so it will always be my favorite. In fact, we named one of the suites at The Inn at Cobble Beach after Reefsong.