Mariner Partners, the 350-person firm founded by former NBTel CEO and Aliant Telecom President Gerry Pond, along with execs Bob Justason and Curtis Howe, is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The three men founded Mariner in Saint John without a specific market offering, but with a goal of using innovation to increase the prosperity of Atlantic Canada.

Today, Mariner is the umbrella corporation for a company that sells cloud-based energy optimization software for large buildings. It is also a maker of computer networking software, an innovation-focused consultancy and East Valley Ventures angel group.

In a statement, the company said its annual revenue is approaching $50 million, and that it has managed double-digit financial growth over the past decade, hiring about 60 percent of its current workforce since 2020.

“What inspired us from the beginning was to develop a high performance, innovative company and become a great place to work by creating opportunities for talented people to imagine a difference and enable change that matters for our customers, and community,” said Mariner CEO Curtis Howe. 

Mariner describes fostering regional economic development as a corporate responsibility and said East Valley Ventures has helped founders build almost 50 companies so far, providing not just investment, but also coaching.

Mariner also previously incubated one of the most valuable startups in Atlantic Canadian history: social media monitoring specialist Radian6.

The company was incubated within the corporate umbrella of Mariner by Co-Founders Chris Newton, Marcel LeBrun and Chris Ramsey, before they spun it off and eventually sold it to Salesforce in 2011 for US$326 million — at the time an unprecedented exit for an Atlantic Canadian company, and one of the deals that catalyzed the region’s startup community as it exists today.

“Our vision was always to build for the long term, make a difference in our communities and to control our destiny from here in Atlantic Canada,” said Pond, now the board chairman.

Mariner plans to host a slate of community events throughout 2023 in celebration of the anniversary.