Gerry Pond, a driving force behind the development of ICT startups in Atlantic Canada, has been appointed to the Order of Canada.

Rideau Hall, the office of the Governor General, named Pond to the Order, one of the country’s highest civilian honours, on Dec. 30.

With more than 45 years of business experience, Pond is best known in the startup community as an investor and the chairman of Mariner Partners, and its investment arm, East Valley Ventures.

“As the CEO of NBTel and the president of its successor, Aliant Telecom, Gerry was at the helm during a period of significant deregulation in the Canadian industry,” said a statement on the Mariner website announcing  the appointment. “Under his leadership, NBTel embarked on a decade of innovation, and in the process transformed NBTel into an international ICT leader.”

Pond is the co-founder of Propel ICT, a start-up accelerator, and the Pond-Deshpande Centre, which encourages emerging entrepreneurs and innovators to create sustainable, scalable enterprises. 

His other accolades include being named the 2011 Canadian Angel of the Year by Techvibes and KPMG and receiving the 2014 Wolf Blass Lifetime Achievement Award from Startup Canada.

Pond recently penned a paper on economic development in Atlantic Canada, calling for the region to nurture more IT startups and social ventures.