Local Hero – Mike Henley
Born and raised in Peace River, Alberta, Mike Henley graduated from the University of Alberta with a B.Sc. and MBA. His first career was as a Commercial Lender with Scotiabank before moving into a business role at Novartis Pharmaceuticals. Novartis made the decision to transfer Henley into a new role in their Mississauga office and he took that opportunity to move his family to Guelph, his wife’s hometown and an easy commute to his new office. Around the same time all of this was happening, a business colleague mentioned to Henley that if he needed a lawyer in Guelph, he should contact Robert Berry. That contact went on eventually to shape the direction of Henley’s next career decision, and Berry, an outstanding lawyer named as one of the top corporate lawyers in Canada in both 2014 and 2015, became a close friend and mentor.
After a lot of reflection, Henley made the decision to go to law school and moved the family again, this time to Ottawa where he had been accepted into the University of Ottawa’s School of Law. He realized quickly his experience and passion for business aligned with the practice of Corporate Law and when he was called to the Ontario Bar, there was a position waiting for him at the Guelph Office of Miller Thomson LLP with his mentor and friend Berry. As much as his family really loved Ottawa, the opportunity to return home to Guelph was too good to miss- quite simply it is truly home for the Henley family.
Mike Henley, who recognized he had no interest in litigation very early on, is a solicitor who specializes in what he refers to as “happy law”. Henley’s practice is focussed on the setting up, financing, reorganizing, buying and selling of businesses for clients, as well as residential and commercial real estate transactions and wills and estate work. Henley has managed to turn his past experience as an agricultural lender out West into a role as an Accredited Advisor in the local chapter of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors. He provides advice in the area of farm succession planning and farm business planning to the local farm community.
Outside of his law practice, Henley is always looking for ways to give back to the community. As a father of three, he does his best to combine volunteer time with family time. His children are active in hockey and soccer, so Mike volunteers as a coach, trainer, and/or manager for their various teams. As a trainer, Henley is the go-to person when a child is injured and he handles everything from preliminary testing for concussions to helping the child during his or her recovery. His approach to coaching, not unlike his approach to law, is to emphasize sportsmanship, hard work, camaraderie, and fun and that approach has made him a first choice for many children and their parents.
Mike Henley currently sits as a director on a couple of local boards. One such directorship is with the Guelph and District Homebuilders Association, and in that role he acts as a liaison between the members and the City on issues like development charges, building code concerns, etc. Henley loves working both with all of the members, which include both the home builders and all of their suppliers. Henley also makes the time to act as a director on the Guelph Chamber of Commerce Board. He is proud to be able to promote local businesses and the City of Guelph as a destination for new business.
Mike Henley chose to work with the Ostic Group after meeting Dave Silva at a networking event. He was impressed with Silva’s approach to the business of insurance and elected to move his business to Ostic. As a client of Ostic, Henley continues to feel valued, and appreciates the time spent by the Ostic team in educating him and providing useful information. He also enjoys the alignment of core values and strength of community commitment between the Ostic Group and Miller Thomson LLP. The team members of both organizations have a passion for strengthening and giving back to the community through charitable activities like the Guelph Children’s Foundation Adopt-A- Family fundraiser. Team members of both businesses are volunteers who make a difference in Rotary, the Chamber, and in children’s sports, among other organizations. Working with an insurance company that not only protects him and his family but shares and understands his commitment to community lets Mike Henley focus on what he loves every day- making Guelph a wonderful place to call home.