2009 Winners

Northeast Young Entrepreneur

Khouri Long - North Bay

Dee Adrian

Core strength: It’s a term used often by athletes.

It’s the place from which all one’s power comes. Young entrepreneur Khouri-Lynn Long has used this philosophy to bring a new and growing business to North Bay, and a centre for sports therapy professionals in Northern Ontario.

Cor Maximus, which translates literally to “the best centre” is Long’s health, fitness centre and sports therapy clinic.

Starting out with two full-time massage therapists and a part-time chiropractor, Cor Maximus has since doubled in size and developed into a full service health facility.

Long said she was one of the lucky ones. Growing up in North Bay she found her calling early in life.

At the age of 15, she attended an athletic camp and hurt her knee.

“Students from Sheridan College were working at the camp treating injured athletes,” Long said.

“I ended up hanging out with them a lot. The athletic trainer started teaching me about my injury and then showed me books on human anatomy.”

When Long returned home from the camp she began volunteering at a physiotherapy centre in the morning before school and at lunchtime.

The 30-year-old entrepreneur’s journey to reach her goal would take her across the pond, then back home again.

After high school, she applied to Sheridan College, “but I was declined. You needed a degree to get in. I had a moment of devastation, there was no way to get in at Sheridan, so I had to look at other options,” she said.

Her boyfriend at the time, now husband, Marc is of English decent and was trying to play professional hockey in England.
So Long said, “I applied and got in (University of North London) and went a year before him.”

During her time in the UK, Long connected with a coach from North Bay working with the London Racers Ice Hockey Team. She also reunited with Marc.

After six years in England, the couple felt it was time to return home.

“We decided to move home, be adults and have a family,” Long said, explaining she gave birth to her first son three months after returning to North Bay.

Long never thought her path would lead her back home, but here she was, a young unemployed mother.

“I moved home pregnant with no job, and my husband didn’t have a job either,” she said.

The situation was a great opportunity for Cor Maximus to be born.

“Initially it was, ‘I need to have a job so let’s make one,’” Long said. “I never wanted to do clinic work. It was more- there were no opportunities for me in sports medicine.”

Long took the initiative and sat down with a local business owner who taught her what he knew. Ironically, he became her first investor.

Long caught a break when she was awarded a Northern Ontario Heritage Fund grant for $25,000.

Cor Maximus opened its doors with limited staff, space and the major investor volunteering as the business secretary.

“He sat and taught me the business for the first year,” Long said. “I don’t think it would have flown without him.”

Cor Maximus quickly grew out of their space and had to double its size after 18 months of operation.

Today, with five full-time and two part-time practitioners, two front desk staff and 12 fitness trainers, Long has created a centre for sports therapy professionals.

“That was the goal all along,” she said. “We were trying to pull people back who left the North, to provide the health care jobs needed in the North.”

It’s a difficult task, Long said, “by all means we are getting better and creating connections, but it’s tough.”

As of mid April, Cor Maximus was advertising on their website two employment opportunities, a massage therapist and an acupuncturist.