Rory Baksh, Associate, Dillon Consulting
Rory has almost 20 years of experience working with governments across Ontario, Canada, and internationally to improve institutional capacity and strengthen service delivery. Rory is skilled in continuous improvement across numerous municipal services, business process re-engineering, and stakeholder engagement. Rory was the consultant advisor to North Grenville’s Core Team for its LEAN Service Delivery Review. He has presented twice before at OEMC.
- The LEAN Approach to Service Delivery Review: North Grenville’s Best Practice in “Service Excellence”
- A New Toolkit: The Rural Development Pro Forma and a Case Study from the Village of Portland
Ellen Barton, Human Resources Leader, Procter & Gamble
With 23 years of manufacturing experience including Chemical Process Operator, Quality Assurance Leader & Operational Leader, Ellen has recently moved into an HR Leader role at Procter & Gamble. With the Brockville site being slated for closure in 2020, this role has been created to help separating employees prepare for their next career opportunity. Critical to the success of this role will be collaboration and networking with area employment and community resources, which are key strengths developed by Ellen over her career with Procter & Gamble.
Ani Bekmezian, Community Relations Consultant, Hydro One Networks Inc.
Ani Bekmezian is a Community Relations Consultant with Hydro One Networks Inc., one of the largest electricity transmission and distribution companies in North America. Ani joined Hydro One in 2008 and held various positions in Asset Management, Public Affairs and External Relations, and most recently served in operations as a Forestry Manager overseeing the planning of urban forestry projects across the province.
Ani has varied communications experience in the areas of public affairs, community relations, stakeholder relations, media relations, issues management, strategy development and project planning. She has developed comprehensive communications and risk management plans to effectively de-escalate potential issues and preserve company reputation while supporting large scale infrastructure development projects and vegetation maintenance program. Her focus has been to build effective relationships with industry partners, elected officials, municipal staff and stakeholder organizations to achieve joint goals.
She began to manage high-profile forestry projects and helped share effective communications and work execution strategies to mitigate concerns of government stakeholders, First Nations communities, special interest groups and local residents while fulfilling the organization’s operational and regulatory obligations.
Ani studied economics at the University of Toronto and received Bachelor of Arts. She continued her education in Public Relations at Ryerson University.
Nigel Bellchamber, Amberley Gavel Ltd.
Nigel Bellchamber is the other Principal in Amberley Gavel Ltd, and he and Fred have delivered hundreds of training session, together and individually for over ten years. Also an AMO Honour Roll member, he provides CAO and senior manager recruitment services to municipalities. A former County CAO for two counties and Finance Commissioner for the City of London, he is currently a part-time instructor in the Western University Local Government MPA program teaching Financial Management.
Len Bennett, BA, FCIP, CRM, Risk Management Assessment & Solutions Manager, Frank Cowan Company Limited
Len Bennett is a Risk Analyst specializing in claims prevention and mitigation. Prior to joining the Risk Management team, Len held the position of Senior Claims Examiner for the Frank Cowan Company with expertise in the casualty lines of business. He also worked as a Business Analyst on the Guidewire Claims system implementation project. He started with the company in 2004. Len’s key responsibilities within the Risk Management Department include risk consultations, claims reviews, delivering educational seminars and contributing articles for the Risk Management Centre of Excellence.
Len has a B.A. in Economics from McMaster University. He also obtained his Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional (FCIP) designation from the Insurance Institute of Canada as well as his Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation with the Global Risk Management Institute.
Olivier Berthiaume, Project Officer, United Counties of Prescott and Russell
Olivier Berthiaume studied communication and business administration at the University of Ottawa and quickly integrated the field working as a coordinator for the Hawkesbury and Region Chamber of Commerce. Passionate about rural economic development and project management, the move to the Prescott and Russell’s Economic Development Department was a natural fit. Since 2015, Olivier acts as a project officer and has since contributed to many initiatives aiming to strengthen Prescott and Russell’s investment readiness and business climate. In his free time, Olivier loves to cruise the Ottawa River and discover even more of what the region has to offer with friends and family.
Terry Besner, Economic Development and Communications Officer, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry (SDG)
Terry has over 10 years of economic development experience within SDG. Prior to entry into economic development, Terry worked within marketing, communications and business development roles ranging from a start-up company to large corporate IT firms. Over a 20 year span, she provided sales support, marketing and communications experience in the Information Technology industry; specifically as a proposal and creative-process enabler. Terry provided web support at SigmaPoint, OnX Incorporated, and used her expertise in product sales and marketing efforts at Nova Networks, ePRINTit, LGS (IBM), and the Canadian PC Sales Department of Digital/Compaq (HP). This included: e-commerce setup and evaluation, technical presentations, demonstration of product, follow-up, and proposal writing.
2015 saw over 80,000 visitors attend the International Plowing Match in Finch, where Terry worked to lead the SDG visitor space at the Match and lead the marketing efforts as director on the IPM board.
Kathy Blake, Regional Manager, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, MPAC
Kathy Blake is the Regional Manager for Eastern Ontario, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations at MPAC. During her 35-year career in property assessment, Kathy held key positions in Information Technology before developing a new passion for client management. Kathy believes that open and honest conversation is integral to forging strong working relationships. Since joining stakeholder relations in 2004, she has applied this approach to gain credibility with her clients in the municipal, provincial and federal governments.
Justin Bromberg, Communications and Policy Coordinator, EOLC
Justin Bromberg is the Chief of Staff and Communications Manager for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, where he has worked since 2012. He became the Communications and Policy Coordinator for the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus in January 2014, and subsequently, for the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council in May 2017. His ongoing work with the EOWC and EOLC have made him intimately familiar with the greater Eastern Ontario region and its key municipal, provincial and federal stakeholders and policymakers.
Andy Brown, CAO, United Counties of Leeds and Grenville
Andy Brown is the Chief Administrative Officer of the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville since February 2012. He has more than 30 years of municipal administration experience, including previous positions as the CAO for the Township of North Grenville, the Township of South Dundas, and the Town of Prescott. He has served twice as the Secretary-Treasurer for the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, in both 2012 and 2018, and is also a staff representative on the board of directors for the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council.
Rita Byvelds, Team Lead, Funding Administration Branch, MEDJCT
Rita has worked in regional economic development for many years; first with OMAFRA and now with MEDJCT, since the launch of EODF 10 years ago. She is a past recipient of the Ontario East EDO of the Year award.
- Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade: Helping the Economic Development Community with Business Attraction, Retention and Growth!
Heather Candler, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Heather Candler is an Agriculture & Rural Economic Development Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, where she works with rural communities organizations on community economic development and innovative agricultural initiatives. Candler has worked in economic development for over 20 years with the private, public and not for profit sectors. As General Manager of the Batawa Development Corporation, Candler worked with its residents, business and local government to create an exemplary small town. Candler launched the province’s first non profit CDC in 2004 aimed at recruiting family physicians for the City of Belleville. During her tenure as Manager of Economic Development in Belleville over 1,000 jobs were attracted to the City.
Mrs. Candler holds both an M.Sc. in Rural Planning & Development from the University of Guelph and a B.A. from Carleton University.
Brian Carré, CAO, Municipality of North Grenville
Brian has over 28 years of professional municipal management and land use planning experience at both the local and provincial levels. Brian has the ability to anticipate the need for change in policy, programs and the delivery of services using innovative tools and business practices. As CAO in one of the fastest growing municipalities in Eastern Ontario, Brian sees the need, now more than ever, to continuously review service delivery through the empowerment of staff.
Clara Chan, Director, Funding Administration Branch, MEDJCT
Clara Chan is the Director of the MEDJCT Funding Administration Branch. Since starting in the Ontario Public Service in 2000, she has demonstrated considerable expertise and leadership in policy development and program administration, in the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Education, Economic Development and Growth and Treasury Board Secretariat/Ministry of Finance. She is currently responsible for the Ministry’s business support programs. Clara has a B.A. (Honours) in Economics from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Administration from Queen’s University. Away from the Ministry, she spends a great deal of time in the summer in Omemee, where her in-laws live.
- Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade: Helping the Economic Development Community with Business Attraction, Retention and Growth!
Jason Davis, Manager of Forestry & GIS, County of Renfrew
Jason has been involved with GIS, trails and forestry work with Renfrew County for the past 16 years. The Forestry & GIS Division includes the management of the County’s 6,500 hectares of County Forests, Weed Control, Corporate GIS/Mapping, Civic Addressing & 911 and County owned trails.
Most recently Jason has been instrumental in the acquisition of the 296 km CP rail line and the development of the Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail/Algonquin Trail through Renfrew County. Jason will continue to work with staff and community groups to complete the Algonquin Trail for the public to enjoy.
Fred Dean, Amberley Gavel Ltd.
Fred Dean is a municipal solicitor who provides advice to municipal councillors and staff. A member of the AMO Honour Roll, Fred was formerly City Solicitor for the City of Sudbury, and advises municipalities in all parts of Ontario. He is a principal in the firm of Amberley Gavel Ltd. which is the closed meeting Investigator through LAS for over 130 municipalities, and which has also been Integrity Commissioner for a number of municipalities. Fred has been a member of the Michael J Smither Question Box panel at ROMA for over 25 years and is currently the Chair.
Nadia De Santi, MCIP, RPP, Senior Project Manager, WSP
Nadia De Santi, MCIP, RPP has 18 years of professional planning experience including designing, leading Official Plans, Zoning By-law, Community Improvement Plans, and Age-Friendly Community Action Plans for numerous municipalities in Eastern and Northern Ontario. Nadia is the Project Manager and Lead Policy Planner for the County of Frontenac Communal Services Study. Nadia is a trained facilitator and has completed the IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation (Planning + Technical Modules) in 2018. She has also obtained a Certificate of Completion “Working Effectively with Aboriginal PeoplesTM or Governments”.
Alysha Dominico, Project Coordinator, EOMWDP
Alysha is an economic development and tourism sales & marketing expert. Her team at Tangible Words uses the written word to help your organisation get in front of, and create meaningful relationships with, your target audience. She co-built Tangible Words on a foundation of over ten years of writing, editing, teaching, and copywriting experience, and specializes in all forms of online communication like, full funnel sales support, website content and development, inbound marketing strategy, as well as, sales & marketing training.
Gina Dragone, Food and Agriculture Development Office
Gina Dragone is the Food and Agriculture Development Officer for All Things Food and coordinates the Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Cornwall, and Akwesasne Food and Agriculture Advisory Council. Gina has a background in branding and promotions having previously worked for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for 5 years. She is passionate about building agri-tourism in this region and helping to increase local procurement by building and strengthening new partnerships with community members, producers, and businesses.
Stephen Duff, Chief Economist, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Coming from dairy and beef background in Northumberland County, Steve completed a Masters in Ag Economics from the University of Guelph in 1996. Steve joined OMAFRA in late 1997 after a year as a policy researcher with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. For close to 15 years, Steve was OMAFRA’s lead on business risk management programs such as AgriStability and Crop Insurance. Steve is currently OMAFRA’s Chief Economist. Steve is an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph teaching 4th year Agricultural Economic Policy. Steve and his wife Robyn also operate a beef and cash crop operation near Colborne Ontario.
Eric Duncan, Mayor, Township of North Dundas
Eric Duncan currently serves as the Mayor for the Township of North Dundas and a United Counties of SD&G County Councillor. He previously served as a two-term Warden of SD&G and Chair of the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus.
In addition to his 12 years of municipal experience, Eric has worked for his local Member of Parliament (9 years) and his family’s trucking business JED Express. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Carleton University (2010) and enjoys volunteering for dozens of local organizations in his community and region.
Mike Dwyer, CAO, Township of Rideau Lakes
Mike Dwyer, CAO of the Township of Rideau Lakes, has been a long-time advocate of innovative approaches to serve the needs of small and rural communities. He is currently spearheading a number of strategic initiatives to support economic development and liveability in Rideau Lakes, and helped conceptualize and obtain funding to support the creation of the innovative Rural Development Pro Forma. Mike is involved in a number of cross-jurisdictional and knowledge-building activities throughout eastern Ontario including the Rideau Canal Landscape Corridor Steering Committee, last year’s inaugural “Teeny Tiny Summit” in Seeley’s Bay, and 2014’s Eastern Ontario Active Transportation Summit in Almonte. Mike holds a Master’s of Arts in Planning from the University of Waterloo, and was formerly the Township’s Manager of Development Services.
Kristin Eliot, B.A. (Hons), LL.B., LL.M., Templeman
Kristin Eliot joined Templeman LLP in 2016 after serving for seven years as a Provincial Labour Arbitrator and Mediator.
Called to the Bar of Ontario in 1996, Kristin has twenty years of experience with a broad range of clients and stake-holders in all types of labour relations, employment and human rights matters.
Kristin has appeared regularly as counsel on cases arising in both the public and private sectors before provincial boards of arbitration, the Ontario Labour Relations Board, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the courts.
Kristin has extensive experience as a Workplace Investigator in complex labour, employment and human rights matters. She is on the list of approved provincial Workplace Investigators for the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services— Ontario Shared Services.
Kristin also is an expert in alternative dispute resolution and continues to operate her province-wide mediation practice. She currently serves as the Integrity Commissioner for the Township of Tay. She is a former Adjunct Professor at Queen’s University, and a faculty member of the Centre for Industrial Relations at Queen’s, where she taught labour law, mediation and collective agreement administration.
After undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, Kristin graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School where she received her LL.B. in 1994 with multiple awards, and went on to complete her LL.M. in Labour Law at the London School of Economics in London, England, graduating with Distinction.
Tony Fleming, Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little, and Bonham LPP
Tony Fleming is our firm’s Associate Managing Partner and is also a Partner in the Land Use Planning and Development Group, the Environmental Law Group and the Municipal Law Group. The Law Society of Upper Canada recognizes Tony as a Certified Specialist in Municipal Law for his demonstrated expertise in the fields of Municipal Law and Land Use Planning and Development Law.
Tony provides advice and counsel to numerous municipalities in eastern Ontario on all aspects of municipal governance, by-law drafting, and freedom of information, conflicts of interest, servicing, procurement, strategic planning and media relations. Tony negotiates and drafts a wide variety of agreements for our municipal clients, including cost sharing and front end agreements, Municipal Responsibility Agreements, shared services, encroachments and licences.
Tony regularly provides advice to municipalities and private sector companies on all aspects of land use planning and development, including subdivision control, zoning, condominiums, official plan polices, brownfields and community improvement plans. Tony provides advice to ensure planning processes meet all the requirements of the Planning Act in addition to reviewing and revising draft documents to ensure they are enforceable and represent Council’s intent. Tony appears before the Ontario Municipal Board and the Assessment Review Board. In addition, Tony appears in all levels of Ontario Courts on administrative law matters, including defending challenges to municipal by-laws.
Tony has acted for municipal and private clients in environmental law matters on a broad range of issues, including contaminated land transactions, contaminated land litigation, managing the liability associated with landfills and other contaminated lands, defending against prosecutions and appealing Ministry orders. Tony has defended large and small corporations and municipalities against Ministry of the Environment orders and manages regulatory investigations and prosecutions (Environment, Labour, Natural Resources, and Fisheries and Oceans).
Tony acts as prosecutor for municipalities, Conservation Authorities and Public Health Units under a variety of by-laws and statutes including the Building Code Act and the Municipal Elections Act.
Prior to joining Cunningham Swan, Tony was Senior Legal Counsel with the City of Kingston. Tony focused on providing advice on land use planning and development and environmental law with the City of Kingston, building on his experience in private law firms in Toronto where Tony practised as a land use planning and environmental lawyer.
Tony has developed and delivered training for expert witnesses at the OMB for a number of Conservation Authorities and land use planners. Tony speaks frequently in the areas of land use planning, municipal law and environmental law at the invitation of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as the Ontario East Municipal Conference, Law Society of Upper Canada continuing legal education programs and private legal education conferences. In addition, Tony regularly delivers specialized training to municipal councils and their staff.
Martine Gallant, PhD Student, Research Team Lead at Carleton Immersive Media Studio (CIMS)
Martine Gallant is a PhD student specializing in Building Information Modelling [BIM] of the tangible and intangible of cultural heritage. Her doctoral research focuses on the potential link between BIM and the art of storytelling – to develop modes of architectural representation that are in flux and responsive to the people, history, materials, and environment that contribute to the making of architecture.
In parallel, Martine is a researcher and project lead with the Carleton Immersive Media Studio [CIMS], leading such projects as the West Block BIM of the Canadian Parliamentary Precinct and the Ontario Eastern Economic Development digitization amongst others. She has also lent her experience on international projects such as the Irish Parliament, the archaeological site of Pompeii and other ventures across Ireland, Italy and the UK.
Joe Gallivan, Director of Planning and Economic Development, Frontenac County
Joe Gallivan is the Director of Planning & Economic Development for Frontenac County and a member of the County Planning Directors of Ontario.
He has over 30-years’ experience in planning with municipal, regional and provincial governments in both Nova Scotia and Ontario.
Joe has a Master’s Degree in Urban and Rural Planning from Dalhousie University.
Lorraine Godden, Queen’s University
Lorraine Godden is an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) in the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University. Lorraine’s research is rooted in understanding how different levels of educational policy actors interpret policy to make sense of education and career/life planning, co-operative education, experiential learning, and other multidisciplinary work related policies. Lorraine is particularly interested in how all professional practice can be supported, and policy implementation facilitated, through these complex interpretive processes. Lorraine has successfully completed many collaborative, empirical and community-based research projects that have informed theory, policy and practice-based initiatives for at-risk youth populations navigating school-to-work transitions. Lorraine teaches a variety of Educational Leadership courses at bachelor and graduate level, and is a Practicum Supervisor for teacher candidates at Queen’s University. Prior to becoming an educator, Lorraine ran her own business and these experiences ground her academic work.
- International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy International Symposium and Workforce Development in Eastern Ontario
Kim Goodman, Recreation Coordinator, Township of Leeds & Thousand Islands
Kim is a driving force within her community; she leads a proactive Recreation Department with a focus on delivering quality experiences. She has contributed to other strategic corporate initiatives such as facility and park planning, infrastructure projects, economic development initiatives, culture and heritage programming, youth outreach, and community development such as Age-Friendly Community Planning. An experienced grant writer and partnership builder, Kim brings the right people and resources together to realize success for the benefit of township residents and businesses. Currently pursuing her Executive Diploma in Municipal Management, Kim sits on the Executive Board for the Rural Recreation Association and volunteers with several local non-profit organizations.
Kurt Greaves, CAO, County of Lanark
Graduate of the University of Waterloo accountancy program with work experience in manufacturing, high tech and public accounting. He has worked at Lanark County for 11 years, 6 as CAO. He owns an ATV, two snowmobiles and is a daily cyclist and avid cross country skier.
Lynne Groulx, Regional Manager, Ontario Investment Office, MEDJCT
Lynne Groulx is the Regional Manager with the Ontario Investment Office. Prior to taking this role she worked as a Senior Business Advisor with the Ministry and with OMAFRA as a Rural Business Consultant. Lynne has worked with many of the EDO stakeholders and with many businesses across the region.
- Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade: Helping the Economic Development Community with Business Attraction, Retention and Growth!
Brad Hewton, P.Eng., Morrison Hershfield Limited
Brad Hewton is a Transportation Engineer with 12 years’ experience in design of transportation infrastructure throughout the province of Ontario. He has been involved in many active transportation projects to enhance the provincial cycling network in both northern and southern Ontario to meet an increased demand for cycling.
Jean-Frédéric Hübsch, Counsel, Ombudsman Ontario
Jean-Frédéric (J-F) Hübsch is Counsel with the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. He provides support to early resolutions and investigations staff through advice, research and training. His most recent work with the Office has focused on education law, municipal law, and administrative tribunals. He also regularly participates in outreach activities for the Office.
J-F was called to the Law Society of Ontario in June 2015. He articled with the Ontario Ombudsman in 2014-2015, after obtaining his B.C.L. and LL.B. at McGill University. He is also a Certified Translator, with a B.A. and M.A. in Translation from the University of Ottawa.
Prior to his studies in law, J-F worked for the federal public service in Ottawa. He worked in translation and program operations at Service Canada; in tribunal administration, training and communications at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; and in project and regulatory approvals at the Department of National Defence.
J-F is currently working toward a LL.M. in administrative law at Osgoode Hall Law School.
David Hyndman, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Industry Partnerships, Office of Partnerships and Innovation, Queen’s University
David Hyndman, PhD, is an Assistant Director, Industry Partnerships within the Office of Partnerships and Innovation at Queen’s University. In this role, he develops and manages collaborations between Queen’s University researchers, student training programs and Queen’s technical resources that will support local and regional technology companies. This support covers Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and multi-nationals with technical needs in the engineering and health science areas as well as business development support through interactions with programs in our Smith School of Business. David also provides network connections with regional support services such as the Queen’s Technology Transfer Unit, Launch Lab, Ontario East Economic Development, Kingston Economic Development, IRAP and various government ministries. David is also active in the regional entrepreneurship community supporting an IRAP-sponsored program that hosts incubating companies and delivers a startup accelerator program at our off-campus location at Innovation Park. David brings to the portfolio previous industrial experience in the renewable energy sector as an independent consultant and as a manager within the Biofuel Division of Performance Plants Inc., a biotechnology company based in Kingston.
James Jarrett, MCIP, RPP, Manager, WSP
James is the Manager of WSP’s Planning group in Ottawa and has over 12 years of environmental and transportation planning experience in Canada and the UK. James has either led or has worked on a wide range of Environmental Assessment studies following the Class EA, Individual EA and Transit Project Assessment Process. James has conducted EA studies across several infrastructure types including light rail transit, commuter rail, highways, water, waste, and wind energy. A key component of James’ work is helping colleagues to understand the EA process and some of those frequently asked questions have formed the basis for his presentation.
Romi Jaszczynski, Senior Export Advisor, MEDJCT
Romi Jaszczynski is a Senior Export Advisor with the Government of Ontario. In this role, he assists Ontario businesses export by delivering export preparation workshops across the province. He also assists SMEs develop personalized international market entry strategies. Prior to this role, Romi worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw and U.S. Consulate in Toronto. In this role, he was involved in U.S. commercial advocacy efforts, white house level visits, governor led trade missions, B2B facilitation services, and international buyer programs.
Trish Johnson, Practice Lead, Small Municipal, Change Leaders Lab, WaterTAP
Trish Johnson is the Practice Lead for Small Municipalities for WaterTAP’s Change Leaders Lab. Trish has over 30 years of environmental management experience with all levels of government and has managed numerous environmental assessments.
Darryl Julott, Program Manager, Digital Main Street, Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA)
Darryl Julott is currently the Senior Manager in charge of the Digital Main Street initiative. Darryl oversees the execution of Digital Main Street as well as all growth/expansion plans. Through his work with Digital Main Street, Darryl has been able to engage over 6,000 main street businesses in the City of Toronto to help them with Digital Transformation. Darryl is often a guest speaker at local events as well as with municipalities, helping to craft programming and digital transformation training for main street businesses.
Ann-Marie Kelleher-Byers, Senior Economic Development Officer, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
Ann-Marie Kelleher has been a Senior Economic Development Officer with FedDev Ontario since 2010. Prior to that she worked as an Economic Development Consultant with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs, eastern region and was the Director of Rural & Tourism Development for the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation.
Ann-Marie works with Community Futures Development Corporations, The Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation; communities and economic development partners from across eastern Ontario to access funding and collaborative partnerships with FedDev Ontario.
Craig Kelley, Manager of Forestry & GIS, County of Renfrew
Craig has a governmental history as an Certified Economic Developer, CAO/Clerk, and community-builder. He’s an active trail user, and can often be seen clearing trails and developing new routes in his home community near Madawaska Valley. Currently the Director of D&P at Renfrew County, the department responsible for Planning, Economic Development, Tourism, Property, and GIS/Forestry/Trails.
Richard Kidd, Reeve, Township of Beckwith
Richard is a lifetime resident of Beckwith Township. He has been the Chair of the Beckwith Recreation Committee since 1996 and was first elected as Reeve in 2000, a position which he still holds today. He has served as the Warden of County of Lanark in the past.
Richard is one of the founding members of the Rural Recreation Association and is the vice chair of the association.
Richard is proud of the innovative way the Township has enhanced the quality of life for its residence by creating a Healthy Active Community for all ages with the many opportunities at the Beckwith Recreation Complex, Multi-Purpose Sports Field and the Beckwith Trail Network. He credits Beckwith’s recreation programs as one of the factors in making Beckwith one of the fastest growing municipalities in Eastern Ontario.
Tara Kirkpatrick, Economic Development and Communications Officer, Township of North Glengarry
Tara has over a decade of experience working within the County of Stormont-Dundas-Glengarry. She first came to work in the region as a print journalist, covering a wide range of topics including politics, agriculture, the local economy and community events. As a journalist, Tara was actively present in the community and she served as a voice for the population. She won numerous awards for her work, including a Second Place “Certificate of Excellence” for “Best Agricultural Story” from the 2016 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards.
In April 2017, Tara joined the municipal staff at the Township of North Glengarry. Entering a new field represented the opportunity for her to utilize her skills in a new way, while still serving the greater public.
Tara is active in the community and social development of North Glengarry, as well as the Economic Development of the region. She participates on numerous committees, including the Township of North Glengarry’s Arts Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee, the Community Improvement Plan Advisory Committee and the newly founded Agri East Lowlands working group. Tara is also an active supporter of local history and volunteers with the Glengarry Pioneer Museum.
Kasper Koblauch, MPl, Planner, WSP
Kasper Koblauch has over three years of professional planning experience in both the private and public sectors. His current projects include the development of Community Improvement Plans, Official Plans, and Secondary Plans as well as land development and planning approvals. Before joining WSP, Kasper spent time working in the Greater Toronto Area and in Northern Ontario with the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, where his focus included policy analysis, development review, and delivering training on various land use planning topics.
Carole Lavigne, Director of Economic Development and Tourism, United Counties of Prescott and Russell
Carole studied in accounting and operated a dairy farm for 20 years before starting a winery (Château Bourget) and a pick your own orchard in Eastern Ontario (Prescott and Russell).
She then completed a course as Chocolatier (graduate from Barry Callebaut Institute) and would conduct Porto and wine tasting at the winery.
She obtained a certificate in horticulture at Algonquin College and took different workshop courses on apple tree pruning and culture at Brock University
As the first to establish a winery in Eastern Ontario, she became a well known speaker for vine growing, winemaking, apple cultivation and the sub-produce, marketing of products, and how to successfully grow your produce and at the farm and market it.
After divesting of her interest in the winery she became business consultant at the Prescott and Russell Entrepreneurship Center and the move as a Project Officer in Economic Development and Tourism for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell was a natural. She is now Director of that Department since 2015.
She completed with success her year two in Economic Development program in Waterloo.
Rebecca Mackenzie, President and CEO, Culinary Tourism Alliance
Rebecca loves Canada and local edibles and that her career enables her to explore Canada and the globe, connecting people across the agriculture and tourism industries to grow a “taste of place”.
Passionate about the interrelation between food, agriculture, tourism, arts and culture, Rebecca has been instrumental in developing tourism products including Prince Edward County’s award winning Taste Trail and the CTA’s Feast On certification program. She and her team at the CTA are proud to be managing the annual Terroir Symposium and working with clients around the world to Grow Food Tourism.
Rebecca contributes her expertise to a variety of industry Boards including Destination Ontario and the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s Gastronomic Tourism Network.
Born and raised in Toronto, Rebecca spent her summers in rural Ontario. In her grade 12 year of high school, Rebecca sailed on a 156-foot tall ship to 20 countries in Europe and Africa – an experience that rooted her passion for travel and adventure! She still splits her time between Toronto and Prince Edward County, and practices her craft for food tourism with her own experience – the Terroir Run. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CanadaCulinary
Lisa Maddock, Vanguard EMC Inc.
Ms. Maddock graduated from Queens University, in Kingston, Ontario with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science degree. She joined Vanguard EMC in 2007 and over the ensuing years has worked through all company administrative and consulting positions with enthusiasm and a strong customer focus. Lisa and her team of highly regarded professional consultants provide coaching, turn-key development as well as best-in-class training services to a wide variety of private and public-sector organizations.
Jon Marriott, Forestry Manager, Transmission & Distribution Programs, Hydro One Networks Inc.
Jon Marriott is the Manager of Transmission and Distribution Programs within the Forestry Work Management department at Hydro One Networks, Inc. In this role, Jon supports a team responsible for the planning and oversight of vegetation management work programs across Ontario. This includes operational planning, right-of-way stewardship, vegetation management standards, policies, procedures and program reporting.
Jon joined Hydro One in 2009 as a Vegetation Management Planner for transmission rights-of-way, responsible for business planning, rate filing support and program oversight. Since then, he has held various positions related to vegetation management, involved in both planning and field support roles.
Jon has an Honors Bachelor of Science in Forestry degree from Lakehead University, and worked in the forest management field in both the private sector and government prior to joining Hydro One. A resident of the Quinte region, in his free time Jon enjoys spending time outdoors with his young daughters.
Kay Matthews, Executive Director, Ontario Business Improvement Area Association (OBIAA)
Kay Matthews is the Executive Director of the Ontario BIA Association representing 300+ BIAs in Ontario. She has spent 20+ years in BIA management; 10 years in an Urban BIA and 5 years in a Rural BIA. Having worked in the Heritage and Arts sectors in Mississauga for 10 years, this brings her total Community Development experience to more than 30 years.
Kay has overseen two Accessibility Projects for OBIAA and the Investment of BIAs Project. Kay speaks at various events, facilitates Strategic Planning as well as teaches Governance to BIAs.
Kay additionally has organized and executed large scale events such as the Bread and Honey Festival, Mississauga’s Carassauga and Santa Claus Parades and the National BIA Conference.
Alison McDonald, Manager of Planning, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Ms. McDonald started her career in policy research with OMAFRA which lead into a rewarding position working on policy development for local Source Protection Plans. She currently acts as the planner and approval authority in SDG. She is currently focused on modernizing County planning processes, renewing the County’s Official Plan, and enhancing regional economic development planning.
Eleanor McGrath, Owner, Springfield Farm
M. Eleanor McGrath is a fourth generation Canadian fascinated and drawing creatively from her Celtic heritage as a published author, documentary filmmaker and writer/photographer. Eleanor McGrath has worked as a professional fundraiser for over 17 years and was an Investment Advisor at RBC Dominion Securities. She and her husband raise their four children in Toronto, while being challenged by their organic farming life in Apple Hill, Ontario.
For the past two years, they have worked hard to establish Springfield Farm in the growing Agri-tourism economy. By seeking mentorship of traditional farmers, community and funding resources, Springfield Farm has begun to establish itself in the region as a”Glamping”destination and in 2019 will expand to the”field to table” experience and source for unique local artisan items. Eleanor McGrath and her family are proud to own a small family farm, and even prouder to have returned to the region of her Scottish ancestors.
Nathalie Méthot, Ph.D., Manager, Office of Applied Research and Innovation, La Cité collégiale
Nathalie Méthot, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Ottawa with a doctorate degree in biochemistry in 1999, and has been with La Cité since December 2000. She first taught for 14 years in the Bachelor’s in Biotechnology program, while being involved in the development of the applied research. Since 2014, she is the Manager of the Office of Research and Innovation, and dedicates her time to the development of the College’s research capacity, including securing federal and provincial funds for the establishment of a Technology Access Center and the development of research laboratories, including dedicated equipment.
She is responsible for all research activities at the College in the three main areas (bio-innovation, smart prototyping and agrifood), management of research funds and the responsible conduct of research. Her work in applied research has been rewarded twice by the Collegiate Merit Award at La Cité. Ms. Méthot is a member of NSERC’s Colleges and Community Innovation (CCI) Grants Evaluation Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Tech-Access Canada Network Executive Board.
On a personal note, she is the mother of three children, including two daughters graduates from La Cité College.
Katie Nolan, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Katie Nolan is an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). She is responsible for delivering OMAFRA’s rural economic development programs to the counties of Leeds and Grenville, Lanark and Frontenac.
Cristy Nurse, B.A. (Hons), J.D., Templeman
After completing her articles with Templeman’s Belleville office, Cristy joined the firm’s Labour and Employment Group on her Call to the Bar in 2018.
Cristy holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and attended the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, graduating cum laude in 2013. While in Ottawa, she completed placements with the Department of Justice and the Adjudication Board of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as an internship in the office of the Honourable Michael Chong, Member of Parliament for Wellington-Halton Hills.
Both during and after completing her law degree, Cristy trained and competed with Canada’s national rowing team and is an Olympian and former Rowing Canada athlete of the year.
David Osmond, Manager, Skills, Training and Economic Development, Innovation and Business Engagement, St. Lawrence College
Spent roughly the last 15 years with MTCU as an Employment and Training Consultant and Service Delivery Manager and is now with St. Lawrence College as Manger Skills, Training and Economic Development and is basically just here in case Ellen gets delayed in traffic.
Jeff Pajot, Public Services Health & Safety
Jeff is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and Certified Ergonomist (CCPE) with over 30 years of experience. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, specializing in Ergonomics. He joined the Public Services Health & Safety Association in 2007.
Jeff worked as an Ergonomist for Canada Post, and then joined the WCB/WSIB where he was an Ergonomics Specialist for nine years. He also operated a private health & safety and ergonomics consulting business for several years, and then joined the health safety associations working in prevention. Jeff has gained experience in a wide variety of industries and specializes in Municipal Government Health & Safety.
He has taught ergonomics and occupational health and safety courses at Algonquin College for many years. Jeff completed his certificate in Occupational Health and Safety at Algonquin College in 2007.
He is a member of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists (ACE) and past president of the Ontario Region of ACE. Jeff is the co-founder and former co-chair of the Ottawa Ergonomics Group. Jeff is currently co-chair of the Peterborough chapter of the “Health & Safety System Partners of Eastern Ontario (HSSPEO)”
Christian Perreault, Principal and CEO, Explorer Solutions
Christian Perreault is the Principal and CEO of Explorer Solutions. He has extensive experience of economic development practices around the world. Christian is the co-founder of the “Strategic Positioning Initiative” a unique methodology to develop sub-sectors industry clusters. He is the driving force behind many cluster development projects and major economic development initiatives like the Innovation Alliance Longueuil Technology Park, the Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition, the ROC Living Lab, the Longueuil Agri-food Logistic Platform, the Unmanned Aerial System Center of Excellence and the Green Military Vehicle Research and Test Center among others.
He has worked all over North-America and abroad on technology driven economic development projects such as strategic planning, supply chain management, facility development investment attraction, community development, economic development training, international trade, Business Retention and Expansion and is a guest speaker at various conferences annually.
Bradley Pinch, Director of Municipal Needs, AccessE11
Brad is a graduate of Carleton University with more than 30 years’ experience in the technology sector. His extensive understanding of open source and freemium software solutions has been called upon by Not for profits, Business Groups and Government departments.
He is currently the Director of Municipal Needs and the case management specials with Netfore, the developers of AccessE11, a solution for smaller municipalities to support citizen complaints, internal service request and Job tracking.
- Free or Near Free Solutions for your Municipality: Open Source and Freemium Solutions for Local Government
Jim Pine, CAO, County of Hastings & Co-Chair of ONWARD
Jim is the Chief Administrative Officer of the County of Hastings. Jim has been in the municipal affairs business for 38 years. He has worked as chief administrative officer in small municipalities, as a city administrator and for the past sixteen years has been the CAO for the County of Hastings. Jim started his career with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing and served in various positions in his 9 years with the Ministry including as Regional Director for Eastern Ontario.
Jim is also currently the Co-Lead of the Eastern Ontario Regional (broadband) Network. EORN is an ambiguous $175 million dollar project completed in 2015 to provide access to high speed, high capacity Internet services to more than 425,000 homes and businesses throughout the 50,000 square kilometers that make up Eastern Ontario. A project of the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, Jim has been a part of the Project since its earliest days. As Project Co-Lead he is a senior member of the EORN leadership team and works to support EORN’s ongoing efforts to expand access to and utilization of high-speed internet services across the region.
Jim is currently co-chairing the ONWARD Initiative which a group all the major municipal staff organizations in Ontario dedicated to staff training and improvement. ONWARD also counts the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) as members of the group. Together ONWARD has a mission to raise awareness of the need for succession planning among Ontario’s municipalities especially in light of the demographics of the municipal workforce.
Over the course of the past three decades Jim has taken an active role in municipal advocacy through his work with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario where he served in a number of roles including as Secretary-Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Directors. Jim is also a past president of the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association. He has participated in many municipal reform projects including the Provincial-Municipal Fiscal and Services Delivery Review. He also authored along with his two panel partners a wide ranging review of Ontario’s water and waste water sector entitled: Watertight: A case for Change.
Elijah Raji, Economic Growth Coordinator, Townfolio
Elijah is the Economic Growth Coordinator for Townfolio. Prior to joining Townfolio, Elijah spent about 2 years working for Shopify helping entrepreneurs start online businesses. At Townfolio, Elijah is primary responsible for making sure our clients are able to get the best out of Townfolio for their communities. This involves reaching out to our clients to understand the issues in their community and finding ways for Townfolio to offer assistance.
Chris Rancourt, P.Geo., Senior Project Manager, Cambium Inc.
Chris Rancourt has over 18 years of experience providing a broad range of environmental services to industrial, municipal, federal and private clients. He is a Hydrogeologist and a certified member of the Association of Professional Geoscientist of Ontario, the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists and the national Groundwater Association. Mr. Rancourt’s extensive experience includes hydrogeologic studies; landfills and industrial contaminated property groundwater plumes; and soil and air contamination issues, to name just a few. Chris is also experienced in a full range of contaminant remediation options and has lead a large joint industry/academic and joint federal, university and industrial remediation research project (IRAP). Chris has served as technical advisor to the local conservation authority groundwater protection implementation committee. Chris has provided expert services to clients in both Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT) and Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) matters.
Anika Rasheed, Senior Business Analyst, Immigration Selection Division, MEDJCT
Anika Rasheed is a Senior Business Analyst in the Immigration Selection Division at Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. She has been with the program since September 2016 starting as a Processing Officer in the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program Unit where she worked on various immigration streams from Human Capital Priorities to Employer Job Offer. Then she moved onto the Business Immigration and Stakeholder Unit where she focusses on the operationalization of Ontario’s Business Immigration streams and assist employers to attract global talent through the Global Skills Strategy.
Sue Rauth, Deputy Director, Regional Office of the Trade Commissioner Service, Ontario Region, Global Affairs Canada
Sue Rauth is a Trade Commissioner working within the Ontario Regional Office of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service of Global Affairs Canada. Always a “fed” – Sue has worked within international business development for 20 years and has never had a dull business conversation in her career. She leads the Physical Technology sector team at the Ontario Regional Office, located in Toronto but serving all of Ontario. In this role she manages a team of officers who support Ontario-based companies as they internationalize their business. She has served short assignments at both the Canadian Consulate General in Mumbai, India and at the mothership in Ottawa.
Terry Rees, Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations
An outspoken advocate for Canada’s freshwater resources and the communities that surround them, Terry has been the Executive Director of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations (FOCA) since 2004. FOCA is the largest waterfront landowner organization in Canada, representing over 50,000 member families in 520 community associations.
Terry is FOCA’s government relations spokesperson on issues ranging from the protection of water, to land use planning, to electricity pricing, and property taxes.
Terry a member of the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Water Protection Committee, the Ontario Biodiversity Council, the Stewardship Network of Ontario, the MNRF Southern Region Advisory Committee, and the Ontario Minister’s Mining Act Advisory Committee.
Terry is a leading partner with the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change on the long-standing citizen-led “Lake Partner” program, and a frequent panelist and presenter at rural community events across Canada.
Prior to his current role, Terry held numerous resource and environmental management positions with several of Canada’s leading mining and petroleum companies.
Terry has a degree in Economics from University of Western Ontario, and a Certificate in Environmental Management from Ryerson University.
Lidy Romanuk, B.A., EcD. CEcD., Manager, Economic Development & Tourism, Economic Development & Tourism, Haldimand County
Lidy Romanuk has the pleasure of working for Haldimand County, the community where she resides for the past 10 years (is a single tier rural municipal entity located on the north shore of Lake Erie in Southwestern Ontario with a population of 45, 608.)
In 2008, Lidy began her career with Haldimand County as the Rural Development Officer and then promoted to Senior Economic Development Officer and is currently the Manager of Economic Development and Tourism. In her various roles with Haldimand County, she has led the implementation of numerous programs to further business, tourism and agriculture development. Notable accomplishments include: the implementation of the 2017 Economic Development and Tourism strategies, a successful Community Improvement Program, the development of a local food marketing program branded Harvests of Haldimand, establishing the Caledonia Farmers Market, and leading the creation and facilitation of a Tourism Network for local tourism businesses to network and develop partnerships. Additionally, Lidy has launched a cycling tourism strategy for Haldimand County and recently oversaw the construction and redevelopment of the Dunnville Farmers Market/Waterfront Park project. Her private sector background includes running two successful small businesses, Project Manager for the Canadian Farm Business Management Council as well as working for two large musical theatre producers in Toronto coordinating overnight, multi-day itineraries for the U.S. tourism market.
Lidy is an active member of EDAC (Economic Developers Association of Canada), IEDC (International Economic Development Council, and currently sits on the Board of Directors with EDCO (Economic Development Council of Ontario) as Secretary. Lidy is graduate of Queens University and has proudly completed her EcD and CEcD through EDAC and IEDC.
While Lidy has worn many hats and worked with all of the sectors within Haldimand County, one of Lidy’s proudest accomplishments was as the recipient of the 2009 Advancing Agricultural Award from the Haldimand County Federation of Agriculture and being introduced by the local agricultural producers as “the best thing that has happened to the agricultural in Haldimand County”.
Brian Rosborough, Director, Membership Centre, Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO)
Brian Rosborough is Director of the Membership Centre at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO). Prior to rejoining AMO in April 2018, Brian was the Senior Executive Officer of the Brantford Campus of Wilfrid Laurier University, and was previously the university’s Director of Government Relations from 2009 to 2013.
Brian has been working in the public sector in Ontario for 27 years, including as AMO’s Director of Policy from 2004 until 2009. As a public servant in the Government of Ontario, Brian worked as a policy advisor and senior manager in the areas of social and environment policy. Brian has also consulted for public sector clients.
Valérie Roy, General Director, Axtra
Valérie Roy is the Executive Director of AXTRA, the Alliance of Employment Counseling Centers. Valérie works with AXTRA members and partners to develop best practices and expand the knowledge base in the employability and training sector. She also sits on various boards of directors and committees at the Quebec, Canadian and international levels. She has worked in recent years to promote the career development sector and has coordinated several Quebec and pan-Canadian projects aimed at improving employability practices for under-represented groups in terms of employment.
- International Centre for Career Development and Public Policy International Symposium and Workforce Development in Eastern Ontario
Lianne Sauter, M.A., Dipl.M.A., Acting Clerk/Economic Development Coordinator, Town of Bancroft
Lianne Sauter is the Town of Bancroft’s Acting Clerk and Economic Development Coordinator. She has been involved with Community Safety and Well-being planning in Bancroft since 2012. In 2014, Lianne worked closely with the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services on a CSWB pilot project, which went on to inform “Ontario’s Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Framework: A Shared Commitment in Ontario,” which was published in 2017.
Lianne continues to work closely with elected officials and community partners on CSWB initiatives and is the co-chair of the North Hastings CSWB Planning Coordinating Committee. Lianne holds a BA (Hons) and MA in Canadian Studies from Trent University and a Diploma in Municipal Administration (Hons) from AMCTO.
Louis Savard, Program Leader – RiverLabs, River Institute
Louis has 5 years’ experience developing and delivering applied research projects in the bio/enviro field. Striving for a problem to solution methodology, Louis’ team works closely with clients to understand their needs to better assess their research requirements. Louis’ strengths lie in stakeholder engagement, successful project management and experimental design. Louis works closely with St. Lawrence College’s Industry Liaison maximizing both the resources of the River Institute and St. Lawrence College bringing added value to each undertaken applied research project.
Bonnie Schnittker, Public Health Nurse, Leeds Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Bonnie has been involved and chair of the Rural Recreation Association since its creation in 2012. She has been working closely with municipalities since 2005. She brings very different skills to the table primarily made up of municipal elected officials and staff. Quality of life and health are very much influenced by what municipalities offer to their residents and visitors which has influenced Bonnie’s work as a Public Health Nurse for many years.
Susan Shannon, Founder & Principal, muniSERV.ca & muniJOBS.ca
For over twenty-five years, Susan has worked in and with municipalities – both as a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and in her consultancy, she held a long-term contract as Project Coordinator working with the CAOs, heads of HR and the Mayors/Regional Chairs of Ontario’s large urban municipalities.
Susan is a municipal specialist with hands-on experience and in-depth knowledge of municipal operations. Due to her public and private experiences, she founded muniSERV.ca – an online platform to “Connect Municipalities and the Businesses that Serve Them!”
Her two newest ventures offered through muniSERV are:
• muniLEARN – a collaborative learning management platform for municipalities, and now,
• muniJOBS – Canada’s only 100% municipal online recruitment and career platform that provides municipalities with access to a pool of qualified candidates all in one location, to help them recruit tomorrow’s municipal leaders.
Because of her public and private sector experiences she is in the unique position of being able to bring an innovative business perspective to municipalities, while at the same time bringing a first-hand understanding of the municipal perspective to the private sector.
Timothy Simpson, CAO, United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
Mr. Simpson has been the CAO of SDG County since 2011, having served in similar roles in two Lanark County municipalities between 2003 and 2011. Between 1990 and 2002, he held a variety of planning and administrative roles in local municipalities. For 22 years, he has been a registered professional planner, and has extensive knowledge of municipal planning processes, including community improvement planning.
Harsh Sodhi, Senior Advisor, MEDJCT
Harsh Sodhi, Senior Advisor, Regional Economic Development Branch, joined the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade in August 2017 – since then he has worked on stakeholder facilitation and strategy development in the regional economic planning sphere. Harsh Sodhi holds a bachelors degree in Economics and History (Williams College) and an MBA (Rotman School of Management) – he has a range of experience working in multiple industries including hospitality, finance, and education.
Kara Stonehouse, Principal and Graphic Recorder, AHA! Graphic Facilitation
Kara Stonehouse is the founder of Aha! Graphic Facilitation and author of I Can Draw! and I Can Draw Live! Kara’s background as a patented inventor, sustainability leader and Art of Hosting Meaningful Conversation facilitator places her at the forefront of green innovation thinking in Ottawa. She is passionate about facilitating Collective Impact initiatives, which means hosting diverse stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogue that results in impactful projects, such as the Ottawa Energy Collective Impact and Synapcity’s civic infrastructure project for increased public engagement. As Executive Director for Tucker House Renewal Centre for five years, Kara was instrumental in raising over $800K of funding for sustainability education and capital projects for the learning centre. Kara is excellent at designing meaningful visioning and engagement sessions and capturing the content and emotion of a group’s discussions, and presenting it back in a compelling image and inspirational speech.
Robert Sweet, Mayor of Petawawa/Councillor, County of Renfrew
Mayor Robert Sweet has served more than a decade as a member of County Council. Mayor Sweet has been a very familiar face around the County of Renfrew as he has previously served three consecutive terms as Warden of the County of Renfrew from 2004-2006. As a current member of Council, Mayor Sweet is the Chair of the Development and Property Committee and also serves on the Finance and Administration, and Striking Committees. Bob has been a champion of the CP Rail trail conversion from Day One, recognizing its importance to regional economic development. When he is not busy serving as Mayor of Petawawa and a member of County Council, he is perfecting his golf game and spending time with his wife, two children, and four grandchildren.
Forbes Symon, Director of Development and Protective Services, Corporation of the Town of Perth
Forbes has been a small town/rural planner for over 30 years. Throughout his career he has been an early adopter of innovation and new technology. He is currently employed as the Director of Development & Protective Services for the Town of Perth where he and his family have lived for the past 19 years.
Mike Walker, Assistant Director, Business Development, Innovation Support Services, University of Ottawa
Throughout his career Mike has been drawn to the challenges associated with developing applications from new research discoveries. He recently joined uOttawa as Assistant Director, Innovation Support Services, mandated with ensuring the research community within uOttawa has access to the required resources to discover, develop and deploy new knowledge for the benefit of society. In doing so, he also seeks to foster a supportive framework for the development of students and research associates.
Prior to joining the university Mike had worked at Engineers Canada in the areas of assessment and international mobility; at the National Research Council Canada in intellectual property management, entrepreneurship and business development; and in the private sector with a firm involved in industrial water and process treatment operating globally.
Relating specifically to intellectual property, during his time at NRC he was responsible for managing the IP portfolios of many other government departments including Health Canada, the RCMP, the Canadian Space Agency and many others.
Kevin Walsh, B.A., J.D., Templeman
Kevin Walsh joined Templeman Menninga as a summer student in 2015 and continued as an articling student after graduating from law school. He is now an associate lawyer at the firm, having been called to the bar in 2017.
Kevin received his undergraduate degree from the University of New Brunswick, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Law & Society and History. After working as English teacher in Seoul, South Korea for several years, he returned to Canada and attended Queen’s University Law School. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 2016.
Kevin is an active member of the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Frontenac Law Association, and the Hastings County Law Association.
Cynthia Wenn, Vanguard EMC Inc.
Ms. Wenn graduated from York University, in Toronto, Ontario in 1999 with a Master of Arts degree. She spent several years underwriting a broad range of business risks for the Dominion of Canada and Lombard Insurance while obtaining her Certified Insurance Professional (CIP) and Canadian Risk Management (CRM) designation. In 2003, she joined Cognos Inc. advancing their risk management and business continuity initiatives. Since 2010, Cynthia has supported various project at Vanguard EMC Inc where she currently serves as Associate Director of Operations and Client Relations. She has obtained the Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and the Incident Command 400 level designation.
Jason White, Manager of Information Technology Services, County of Lennox and Addington
The IT Services Manager at the County of Lennox and Addington since 2013 and was responsible for the establishment of the new department for the county. This new team focuses on the delivery of a set of standard services across the organization with specific solutions for unique departmental needs. Previously, the IT Services Manager for the University of Ottawa Health Services supported the delivery of healthcare to ~130,000 patient visits a year. Additionally, has prior work experience with a fortune 500 computer technology company and a fortune 500 healthcare company. In all these roles IT Security has been a core priority incorporated into day to day delivery of services.
Geraldine Wildman, Rural Affairs Office, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development, City of Ottawa
Geraldine Wildman oversees the City of Ottawa’s Rural Affairs Office within the Economic Development Branch. She has been with the City for over 14 years, working in the areas of urban planning and economic development. She is a Registered Professional Planner and member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. Her job involves advocating for rural residents and businesses at City Hall, emphasizing the importance of Ottawa’s rural character, resources and the associated economic benefits. She works on unique rural projects and delivers a funding program to support local rural community building. Presently she is supporting Ottawa’s effort to development a multi-use innovation test bed for smart agriculture at the National Capital Commission’s Greenbelt Research Farm.
Kathryn Wood, Project Coordinator, EOLC
Kathryn Wood is the President and CEO of Natural Capital Resources Inc. since October 2001, and carries a wealth of knowledge and experience of the Eastern Ontario region, particularly with respect to municipal government and policy decisions with the provincial and federal levels of government. She has expertise in strategic leadership, brand fulfillment, and collaboration development, and was instrumental in develop a targeted regional economic development strategy for Eastern Ontario. In June 2014, this strategy was published as the “Eastern Ontario Regional Economic Development Strategy” in June 2014 and, the following year, served as the basis for the creation of the Eastern Ontario Leadership Council, of which Kathryn Wood is currently the Project Coordinator.
Brent Wootton, Ph.D., Associate Vice-President Business Development, Applied Research, Government and Partner Relations, Fleming College
Dr. Brent Wootton has a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from Trent University. He led Fleming College’s Centre for Advancement of Water and Wastewater Technologies (CAWT) from 2005 to 2016 as Director and Senior Scientist. Under his leadership, the CAWT (cawt.ca) grew to become an internationally recognized research institute committed to excellence in water and wastewater research and development. The CAWT has worked with over 150 industry partners and provides specialized services for industry including R&D, technology optimization, validation, and certification. Brent now serves as the Associate Vice-President of Business Development, Applied Research, Government and Partner Relations at Fleming; with institutional responsibility for all college-wide applied research, including oversight of the CAWT. Last year under his leadership Fleming College launched the Centre for Sustainable Municipalities (sustainablemunicipalities.ca) which connects the expertise of Fleming College’s experienced and highly skilled faculty in areas relevant to sustainability, emerging technologies, innovative approaches to asset management, and municipal infrastructure services to technology developers, asset managers, and municipalities. He has been a member of several government boards and commissions, and has worked extensively with government, industry, and community groups on environmental projects around the world.
Peter Young, Director of Planning/Economic Development Officer, Township of South Stormont
Mr. Young is the Director of Planning/Economic Development Officer at the Township of South Stormont. This role includes working closely with the United Counties of SDG and the five other local lower-tier municipalities through the SDG Planning Group and EDO Working Group. He previously worked at the County of Frontenac and contributed to the preparation and consultation for Community Improvement Plans in Frontenac’s four local municipalities.