Mark Marissen, campaign manager
At 40, Marissen is the new wonderkid in Canadian politics – joining a leadership campaign that nobody expected to win and managing it through to victory. Marissen, a St. Thomas, Ont., native who makes his home in Vancouver, cut his political teeth as national youth director for the Liberals in the 1990s, as an aide to former cabinet minister David Anderson and as British Columbia campaign chairman for Paul Martin’s leadership.
Marissen said the decision to work for Dion came after Dion spoke to a group of Liberals at the home Maris- sen shares with his wife, former B.C deputy premier Christy Clark.
Marissen said he has long been impressed with Dion, including his guts and determination defending Canada in the wake of the 1995 referendum and the way he approached politics.
“He was somebody who could bridge the party and be the person who could unite the party.”
Now that the campaign is over, Marissen has returned to his job as a founding partner of the Vancouverbased strategic communications firm Burrard Communications – that is, at least until the next campaign.