Jon Dearden is currently studying computer and information science at the University of Guelph. Jon grew up in Etobicoke, Ontario. He studied theology at Master’s College, receiving a bachelor’s degree. Jon spent a few years as a youth minister and since then has been involved in television production, graphic arts, and technology.
In the early 1990’s Jon co-founded and served as president of “Software Online Inc”—one of Canada’s first Internet-based retail businesses, operating in Quelph. Software Online sold computer software all over the world via e-mail in the early days of the Internet before the Web became popular. The company later added computer hardware to its product lineup, offering over 40,000 items. Software Online was one of the original “virtual” companies. It carried no inventory of its own, used its suppliers’ distribution and shipping capabilities and managed everything with only a small staff.
In 1999, Software Online was acquired by Toronto-based Hip Interactive Corp (TSX: HP) and became part of this new publicly traded corporation. Jon served as president of the Software Online business unit for the new company. Hip Interactive is now a $360 million company.
Jon is active in Conservative politics in Guelph. He was campaign co-manager for the Canadian Alliance in the 2000 federal election. After the election, Jon served as a director and then president of the Canadian Alliance constituency association. In 2001, Jon was welcomed to the board of directors for the local Ontario PC party. He served as returning officer for Guelph-Wellington for the Ontario PC leadership election the following year. Jon was also a facilitator for the Ontario PCs’ Seizing Tomorrow’s Opportunities policy initiative. In 2003, Jon played a key role in the Brenda Elliott campaign. As a newspaper columnist, Jon is an active communicator of Conservative values in the riding. He began writing for the Guelph Tribune’s From the RIGHT column in 2002. Jon now writes for the Guelph Mercury as a member of their Community Editorial Board.
Jon enjoys playing guitar, listening to jazz and classical music, drawing, photography, software development, and writing. He lives in Guelph with his wife Deb and children, Michael, Kristen and Andria.