Carlie Arbour, Economic Development Officer – Community, City of Kawartha Lakes

Carlie Arbour works for the City of Kawartha Lakes as Economic Development Officer for Community, specializing in Downtown Revitalization and Community Economic Development. She is focused on programs and initiatives that help to expand the capacity of local businesses and the organizations that support them. At her time with the City, Carlie has led the development and implementation of four Downtown Revitalization plans, a CIP funding program called the ‘Million Dollar Makeover’ and initiated the development of the Kawartha Lakes Ecosystem Network.

Rob Arkell, Sustainability Specialist, Cambium Inc.

Sustainability Specialist for Cambium, Rob leads the company’s activities in providing sustainability strategies to our public and private sector clients. Previous projects include the development of institutional and municipal government sustainability plans, and community energy plans for small and medium sized communities. More recently his project work and personal education has focused on waste and the circular economy. His project work includes leading the development of waste management plan and strategies for municipalities and First Nation communities. Complimenting his waste related project work, Rob recently developed on online course for Fleming College entitled Transitioning to the Circular Economy, as well as his Masters’ research into the potential to implement the circular economy in rural Ontario communities.
Additionally, Rob’s experience includes development and implementation of a sustainability partnership program; the creation of a customized sustainability toolkit featuring examples of policies, programs, and best practices; leading stakeholder engagement and community consultation initiatives; and, qualitative research analysis. Prior to entering the field of sustainability, Rob spent 15 years managing shopping centres and warehouse facilities where his experience included project management, the development of waste reduction programs, the development of energy and water conservation programs, and his participation in a LEED Silver certified renovation/expansion project.
Rob holds a Masters of Sustainability from Trent University, a Bachelor of Commerce in Business & Economics from University of Windsor, as well as the designation of LEED Associated Professional through the Canadian Green Building Council. Mr. Arkell will be a resource to Ms. Dzurko throughout the project and participate in internal meetings regarding the project to provide input into options and recommendations being proposed. Mr. Arkell will act as a back up Project Manager for this work.

Christos (Chris) Bakalakis, Director, Community Recovery Initiatives, FedDev Ontario

Chris joined the public service of Canada in 2009 and FedDev Ontario in October 2019 as a Manager, Economic Development. In his management roles, Chris worked in supporting innovation ecosystems and communities, while growing and increasing the visibility of Canada’s tourism sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the acting Director, Community Recovery Initiatives he is currently responsible for the (1) Tourism Relief Fund, (2) the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, and (3) the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative.

Prior to joining FedDev Ontario, Chris had held several positions of increasing responsibility at the Canada Revenue Agency and the Canada Border Services Agency where he was a Manager, Regional Programs.

Louis Béland, Eastern Ontario Training Board and Junior Achievement Northern and Eastern Ontario

Louis Béland is an entrepreneur focused on helping others follow their dreams. Raised in an entrepreneurial family and immersed in the community from a young age, Louis’s passion naturally rests in igniting the same enthusiasm for business in others and creating opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. Louis has ventured into many different business sectors, including media production, an integrations startup in New Zealand, and an artisanal roastery and coffee shop for which he earned himself Young Entrepreneur awards two years in a row.

From start-ups to succession planning, from public speaking to mentoring and coaching, Louis loves sharing his experience and passion with anyone who will listen. His most recent successes came as a regional director for the Société économique de l’Ontario where he led youth initiatives and entrepreneurial support initiatives for the francophone communities of Ontario, as well as building the largest GrowthWheel certified business advisors team in Canada, a team specialised helping business owners make the best possible decisions.

You will now find him spearheading workforce development projects and youth entrepreneurial initiatives with the Eastern Ontario Training Board and Junior Achievement Northern and Eastern Ontario, combining his expertise and passion to help communities throughout Eastern Ontario.

Adriana Barbary, Sharbot Lake Downtown Revitalization Coordinator

Adriana Barbary is currently leading the Sharbot Lake Downtown Revitalization.

The project began in July of 2020 (the first summer of COVID), and has since proven her ability to work as a creative and flexible leader.

Adriana studied Business Communications at Brock University, and quickly relocated to Toronto to gain experience in experiential events and marketing. From there she shifted into digital media sales and account management and has lived and worked in both Toronto and Vancouver.

Originally from Perth Ontario, Adriana grew up in a charming small town. She enjoys travelling, hiking, biking, and supporting local food and drink businesses along the way.

Nigel Bellchamber, Amberley Gavel Ltd.

Nigel Bellchamber has been a CAO for two Counties, and a City Treasurer. A former President of the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association, and Past Chair of the Public Sector Accounting Board of Canada, and AMO Board member his municipal association contributions have been significant.

With Fred Dean, he has delivered hundreds of municipal training sessions and continues a consulting practice that includes recruiting CAOs and other senior municipal staff.

Nigel and Fred have been responsible for dozens of Investigations of municipal closed meetings and have also served as Integrity Commissioner through their firm Amberley Gavel Ltd.

Abram Benedict Headshot

Abram Benedict, Grand Chief for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

Abram Benedict is currently the Grand Chief for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. In the position of Grand Chief, Abram leads a dynamic Council of 12 members that govern the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne is an advanced First Nation community that delivers a wide variety of services to its members. Akwesasne is uniquely located on the international boundaries of Canada, the United States and the provincial borders of Ontario and Quebec. As an advanced community government, one of the Council priorities is to improve the services offered to its members. By embracing change through the utilization of modern approaches and enhanced governance structures, the Mohawk Council has set out to modernize the organization through embracing its senior-level management down to its front-line staff to effect positive change.

Abram has spent the last 13 years in community leadership, more recently, in the position of Grand Chief for Akwesasne. The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne has recently undertaken initiatives to redefine its service delivery methods using design thinking and performance measurement outcomes. Under Abram’s leadership as the Grand Chief, he has lead negotiations with federal government partners to obtain financial support for the organization to support the preparation and the implementation of change initiatives. The change initiatives included the review of governance structures and system reviews, and analysis of a workforce of 800 employees predominantly made of Mohawks of Akwesasne. Abram and his council recognize that the workforce is the catalyst for implementing change, and organizational improvements would only not only benefit the organization but the community of Akwesasne as well. As the Grand Chief of Akwesasne, Abram has built a healthy relationship with federal and provincial government partners that support Akwesasne and support the community’s initiatives for change.

As the Grand Chief for Akwesasne Abram has successfully led several successful negotiations, including two significant land claims that will help advance Akwesasne’s priorities with proceeds of over $280 million. Other negotiations include cooperative land use agreement, union negotiations, government contribution agreements, and civil disputes.

Before joining the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne in 2006, Abram managed the workforce for Four Directions Petroleum, a First Nation company that exported fuel from Canada into sovereign tribal nations within the United States. Four Directions Petroleum oversaw the management of two fuel stations and a home heating fuel company located in the United States. Abram was responsible for monitoring and directing a senior leadership team that managed the day to day operations of the retail establishments.

Abram Benedict is a lifetime resident of Akwesasne and is a father to his twenty-year-old daughter, Havana. Abram studied business administration at Algonquin College, severs as a Governor for St. Lawrence College and is a current member of the Chairperson’s Indigenous Circle of the Parole Board of Canada. Abram’s excellent community leadership and political experience have allowed him to lead a community government, to meet the need of its people, raise the positive profile of his community and enhanced relations between Canada’s second-largest First Nation Community of Akwesasne and the Governments of Canada, Ontario and Quebec.

Myles Buck, Economic Development Specialist, Business Development Branch, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Myles Buck is an Economic Development Specialist with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Myles leads several community economic development programs, including Performance Measurement Resources, Analyst, and the Rural Economic Development Program. Myles has practiced community economic development for approximately 15 years and has experience delivering services to clients in both the public and private sector. A proud resident of Wellesley Township, Myles enjoys fishing and mountain biking many areas in rural southwestern Ontario.

Rita Byvelds

Rita Byvelds, Manager, Funding Administration Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Rita Byvelds is a Manager (A) with the Funding Administration Branch, MEDJCT. She has worked for the Ontario government for more than 25 years, first at OMAFRA and now with MEDJCT. She holds an Ec. D. designation and has completed an MBA. She is a strong proponent of regional economic development and collaboration.

Dan Cardinal, Community Outreach & Engagement Coordinator, Skills Ontario

With over 20 years of experience in the field of employment and education, Dan has worked with many employers and education representatives. Whether it was through Employment Ontario as a Job Developer, or as representative of 2 major colleges in Ontario (Algonquin College and Collège La Cité), those of you who have had the opportunity to work with Dan, or meet him, are aware of his passion and enthusiasm for helping others achieve their employment and educational goals! For the past five years, Dan has worked tirelessly with Skills Ontario to promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies!

David Cormican, President & Co-Founder, Don Carmody Television (DCTV)

David Cormican is an Emmy®-nominated producer. He is Co-Founder and President of Don Carmody Television (DCTV) and a member of the Producers Guild of America. DCTV projects include the Netflix-CBC original series Northern Rescue, and the first ever Rogers-Netflix original series Between, the Emmy®-nominated The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe for Lifetime, ShadowHunters for Freeform and the Emmy®-nominated mini-series Tokyo Trial for Netflix and NHK. Cormican’s Dutch-Italian-Canadian co-production from two-time Academy Award® winning director, Mike van Diem, Tulipani, recently premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival and festivals around the world celebrating multiple audience choice and festival prize wins.

Trevor Crowe, Certified International Economic Developer (CEcD), Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Trevor Crowe is a International Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) working at OMAFRA as an Agriculture & Rural Economic Development Advisor. He covers Northumberland, Peterborough and Haliburton Counties. Prior to starting with OMAFRA in 2020, Trevor worked in Economic Development for Prince Edward County having created their award winning resident and investment strategy Trevor also grew up farming on his families 6,000 acre cash crop farm. As technology advances in farming, he continues to support the farm with precision agriculture practices. Trevor is also a board member on Ontario East Economic Development Commission.

Wade Coulter, Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA), Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP)

Wade is an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) for Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and is tasked with identifying innovative, growth oriented SMEs that can benefit from the advisory and funding services offered by that program. For 20 years prior to IRAP Wade worked in Kingston as an electrical engineer for Engineering Seismology Group Canada Inc. During his tenure at ESG he was responsible for product development, implementation and field installations for mining and petroleum industry projects at locations around the globe including China, South Korea, Germany, Australia, Oman, North America, and Chile.

Keith J. Davis, Account Manager, Emsi Burning Glass

Former soldier and peace officer with a desire to use data to improve lives. Keith graduated from University of Idaho with his bachelor’s in Operations Management and is working on his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He served ten years with the US Army in the Reserves and National Guard, spending his last six years as a combat medic. He also served as a local sheriff’s deputy and a local city peace officer for twelve years combined. During his time as a peace officer he put his education in analytics to work to evaluate trends and demands in police response. Keith left public service in 2020 and began his tenure at Emsi Burning Glass as an account manager to help others use and integrate data into the decisions to improve people’s conditions.

Trevor Dauphinee

Trevor Dauphinee, Interim CEO, Invest Ontario

Trevor brings over 20 years of progressive experience in both the private and public sectors. Most recently, Trevor was Assistant Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Leading the Industry and Sector Strategy Division, Trevor played a fundamental role in the government’s efforts to secure key investments in the manufacturing, technology and life sciences sectors. He also held roles at the province’s Treasury Board and the Ministry of Infrastructure, where he specialized in capital planning and the development of social and health infrastructure.

Trevor’s private sector experience includes more than a decade in the automotive, chemical, and consulting sectors, including extensive sales and account management with Dow Chemical.

Trevor is a graduate of the Rotman School of Management’s MBA program, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University.

Fred Dean, Amberley Gavel Ltd.

Fred Dean is a former municipal solicitor with over forty years of experience in the field. He spent 23 of those as solicitor for the City of Sudbury and over twenty years as a sole practitioner serving municipalities. He has served Councils across Ontario and continues to provide in person and electronic training for Councils and staff as the situation warrants.

Craig Desjardins, City of Kingston, Director of Strategy Innovation and Partnerships; Chair, EOLC Workforce Development & Deployment Working Group

Currently Director of the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Partnerships at the City of Kingston, Craig was Executive Director of the Community Futures of Prince Edward and Lennox & Addington, the Prince Edward Lennox & Addington Institute for Rural Development, and the Upper Canada Equity Fund. Craig has served as an Adjunct Professor at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and the Royal Military College of Canada. He was a Councillor in the City of Quinte West for more than a decade. Craig holds a BA in Economics from Western University and an MBA from Queen’s University. He has served as the Chair of the EOLC’s Workforce Development and Deployment Working Group for several years and simultaneously has nurtured the development of workforce strategies in the City of Kingston. Most recently, he has led the development of a skills-based labour market AI project in partnership with Workforce WindsorEssex.

Robin Di Tosto

Robin Di Tosto, Senior Export Advisor with the Export Growth Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Robin Di Tosto is a Senior Export Advisor with the Export Growth Branch at MEDJCT. Robin currently works on developing and delivering exporter preparation and education sessions for companies across Ontario. She also provides 1:1 exporting consulting to clients, providing information, connections and pathways forward in their exporting journey. Robin has enjoyed a career in government economic development that has spanned nearly 2 decades; starting with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and now 16+ years (and counting!) with MEDJCT that has included work in FDI attraction, strategic international and domestic marketing, communications, Premier’s, Minister’s and business missions and export programs and services. Robin holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science from the University of New Brunswick, a Bachelor of Journalism from University of King’s College and a Master of International Relations from Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia).

Mike Dwyer, Chief Administrative Officer, Rideau Lakes CAO

Mike Dwyer, Chief Administrative Officer, Rideau Lakes has called rural Eastern Ontario home for all his life. Building on his rural values, Mike gained a BA from Queens University and a MA in Planning from Waterloo. He was fortunate to be able to return to Rideau Lakes, where he grew up, and join the municipal team as the junior planner in 2010 and then department manager in 2011. By 2014 Mike had assumed the role of CAO, and has guided the organization ever since as it delivers on Council’s strategic approach to ‘progressive rural governance’. Rideau Lakes is a community of 10,500, which doubles in the summer due to its 33 lakes, 5300 waterfront properties and 750km of shoreline. Located between the major markets of Kingston and Ottawa, Rideau Lakes is well positioned to provide a high quality of life with urban access.

Gabrielle Ferguson, Leadership Programs Director, Rural Ontario Institute

Gabrielle Ferguson is the Leadership Programs director at the Rural Ontario Institute. Gabrielle has more than 25 years of industry and government. She inspires and supports leaders in agriculture, food and rural community networks on their journeys of self-discovery and in the development of skills they can use to contribute to the future of Ontario. Gabrielle has extensive experience in public speaking, teaching, program management, policy development, research team building, agronomy, on-the-ground implementation, procurement, contract negotiation and farming. She is an alumnus of the Advance Agriculture Leadership Program (AALP) Class 15, and lives on a grain farm in Lambton County.

Lora Field, PhD – Team Leader – Production Industries/Strategic Industry Intelligence Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Lora Field has been working with Ontario’s cleantech, water and various manufacturing sectors at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade for over eleven years. Based on her in-depth knowledge of Ontario’s cleantech sector and relevant government policy drivers, she engages with foreign and Ontario based companies to assist their growth in the province. Lora also works closely with partner ministries, such as the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks, on industry-relevant initiatives, including Ontario’s upcoming Low-Carbon Hydrogen Strategy. She has a PhD in chemistry and is currently a Board Member of the Waterloo Institute of Nanotechnology.

Karen Fischer, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Karen Fischer Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Karen Fischer is an Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, working as part of a very dynamic team in Eastern Ontario. Her role is to assist rural municipalities, rural food and beverage businesses, rural business organizations, sector organizations, and community groups through coaching, training, building partnerships and providing resources and tools to help increase economic and community development capacity. Prior to this position, Karen was Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Provincial Specialist with OMAFRA, as well as Economic Development Manager for Frontenac County and the Town of Petawawa. Karen has worked in small rural communities for most of her career. She has an in-depth knowledge and is very passionate about business retention and expansion, strategic palnning and organizational development, business and community development, Teeny Tiny communities, local food, and helping build vital rural communities. Karen graduated from University of Guelph, with a major in Environmental Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. She attained a Certificate in Municipal Administration from St. Lawrence College. She resides in the rural Village of Consecon on beautiful Wellers Bay, is an avid volunteer in the community and beyond, and has a great love for the outdoors, kayaking, motorcycling, camping, and photography.

Tony Fleming, Cunningham Swan LLP

Tony Fleming is a Partner in the Land Use Planning and Development Group, Environmental Group and the Municipal Group at Cunningham Swan. Tony is recognized by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Certified Specialist in Municipal Law (Local Government/ Land Use Planning and Development). As a Certified Specialist, Tony has demonstrated expertise in the fields of municipal law and land use planning and development law.
Tony provides advice to municipalities and private sector companies on all aspects of land use planning and development as well as environmental law. Our municipal clients consult Tony on all aspects of municipal governance and complex land use planning matters. Tony appears frequently before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal to defend decisions of municipal Councils and Committees of Adjustment. Tony also appears regularly before the Assessment Review Board and the Environmental Review Tribunal. In addition, Tony appears in all levels of Ontario Courts on administrative law matters, including defending challenges to municipal by-laws.
Currently, Tony is appointed as the Integrity Commissioner for more than 45 municipalities. 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.

John Galway, President, The Harold Greenberg Fund, CEO, Corrib Entertainment

An MBA graduate with over twenty-five years of experience in film and television, John’s career has ranged from film festivals, to film and TV development, production and financing.

After leadership positions at TIFF, Ontario Creates, The Canadian Media Fund and Telefilm Canada, he joined The Harold Greenberg Fund as President and Board Member. As President, he is responsible for the strategic and financial management of the organization, as well as industry and board relations. During his time at the Fund, he has overseen investments of more than $40 million and has helped develop over 1500 feature film projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, John has overseen partnerships with film festivals, script writing labs and film promotion initiatives as well the support of documentary and short film projects.

In 2019, he founded Corrib Entertainment to develop and produce fiction, non-fiction and genre focused film and TV properties and to consult on film industry projects.

He is also the co-Founder and Executive Director of the Toronto Irish Film Festival. He has facilitated producer delegations to the Jerusalem Film Festival (partnering with the Israeli Government and the Jerusalem Foundation), the Galway Film Fleadh (partnering with Screen Ireland and the Festival) and an Ireland-Canada co-production lab (partnering with Screen Ireland and the Canadian Embassy) and is the Facilitator of the Producer’s Lab at the Whistler Film Festival.

He is a member of the Producers’ Roundtable of Ontario and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and sits on the board of the Canadian Film Festival.

Brian Gordon, Regional Manager, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, MPAC

Brian Gordon is a stakeholder management professional with years of experience in both the public and private sector. He is passionate about real estate and has dedicated most of his career to property tax management, municipal stakeholder relations and strategy development. Currently, Brian works for MPAC where he combines the use of his passion for real estate and his ability to strategically plan, and work collaboratively with municipal partners and industry associations.

Brian is a graduate of the Real Property Administration program and has a Masters Certificate in Strategic Management.

Heather Haldane, Producer / EP, H-Is4 Production

Heather’s producing career began with a groundbreaking film -‘Where the Spirit Lives” – the first drama shattering the silence on “Indian” residential schools. Besides winning BEST TV movie, a slew of other International awards followed. CUT TO: producing MOWs , series and mini-series for over 20+ years – many productions capturing awards along the way. And most recently a theatrical feature MAUDIE (2017) starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Released by Sony Picture Classics- and by Mongrel Media in Canada. An International co-production with Irelands Aisling Walsh (Director), Maudie received (7) awards in the 2018 Canadian Screen awards including BEST PICTURE, BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTING and BEST PERFORMANCES for Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke. Maudie continues to bring festival notice and ongoing critical praise. Current work includes developing new series and features.

Heather has been a Big Sister, is active in curling, gardening, sailing and cycling. And is resident in Prince Edward

Danielle K Harris, Economic Development Officer-Workforce Development, City of Kawartha Lakes Ecomomic Development Department

Danielle is a proud mother, a settler-Canadian of Jamaican and Irish ancestry and proud member of the Kawartha Lakes EcDev community and team. A recent graduate of the Trent University, Master of Sustainability Studies program, Danielle focused on Indigenous Economic Development where she explored meaningful collaboration and partnership development throughout Canada and across the world. A traveler at heart, Danielle is happy to have returned home to the Kawarthas with her family.
Danielle seeks to prioritize different perspectives and the voices of those that may not traditionally be heard in economic development and considers herself a continuous learner of her own position in the development of our land, communities, and economy.

Philip Hicks, Founder and CEO of

Philip Hicks is the CEO and founder of
Philip is passionate about improving governance in municipalities to drive better outcomes for residents and administration. With over 20 years of experience, his focus has been on improving planning, processes, automation, records management, and corporate performance reporting.
As the creator of the Local Government Framework (c), the adoption of this framework now helps thousands of users daily in Canada, USA, Australia, and New Zealand.
Philip enjoy’s the steep powdery slopes of the rocky mountains during winter and the long green fairways of the golf courses during the long Canadian summer days.

Michelle Hjort, Director, Business Development – Canada, StreetScan

As StreetScan’s Director of Business Development in Canada, Michelle has helped over 100 communities implement a pavement management program. She has extensive experience in working with municipalities to coordinate infrastructure and asset management initiatives providing project management support and liaising between operations and municipal stakeholders. She is skilled at providing effective communication with and between staff, councils, and citizens to understand new technologies and to quantify the benefits and value of the project. Her experience also includes working with over sixty Ontario Municipalities to complete their LED street light conversions.

Arie Hoogenboom, Mayor, Township of Rideau Lakes

Born and raised in Eastern Ontario on a dairy farm.
Married to Betty for more than 40 years with four adult children and ten grandchildren.
B.A. in Urban Geography, and diplomas in Municipal Administration and Public Administration.
More than 25 years of experience in municipal administration, including 12 years as Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Smiths Falls and 9 years as City Manager in Dryden, before early retirement.
Elected in 2014 as Councillor for South Elmsley Ward, and in 2018 as Mayor of the Township of Rideau Lakes.
Member of Maple View Lodge Board of Management.

Oliver Jacob, Rural Change Makers Cohort 2020, Renfrew Ontario

Oliver Jacob was elected as a Municipal Councillor for the Township of McNab/Braeside in the 2018 Municipal Election. A young community leader and advocate for youth involvement in politics, Oliver brings proven leadership experience through both professional and volunteer engagements including as the Chair of the Acadia University Students’ Union, a Youth Facilitator with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the inaugural Co-Chair of the Renfrew County Youth Network. Responsible, dedicated and hard-working, Oliver also brings a wealth of knowledge about municipal government as a result of employment with a neighbouring municipality, professional development courses in municipal administration and as a member of the Town of Wolfville’s Planning Advisory Committee.

Alex Jansen, Film Commissioner, the Kingston Film Office

Alex Jansen leads the development and growth of the local film and media industry for the City of Kingston. Since launching the Kingston Film Office in 2018, Jansen has developed multiple new initiatives including local training opportunities and incentive programs, and has been instrumental in increasing filming access in Kingston. Notable recent productions in Kingston include “Locke & Key” (Netflix), “Murdoch Mysteries” (CBC) and “The Mayor of Kingstown” (Paramount).

Jansen has spent more than a decade running his own successful Toronto-based multimedia production company where he produced award-winning films, video games, graphic novels and interactive experiences, featured at Cannes, TIFF, SXSW, The New York Times and many others. Prior to that, Jan- sen built and led the Home Entertainment division at Mongrel Media.

Alex is a resident of Kingston and founder of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary and teaches part-time with Queen’s Film and Media.

Maral Kassabian Headshot

Maral Kassabian, Senior Advisor of Partnerships and Innovation, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)

Maral has 15 years of experience in the electricity sector and is currently a Senior Advisor of Partnerships and Innovation at the IESO. She leads the initiative to translate learnings from strategic research and development activities into meaningful regulatory, policy and market evolution for improved electricity system reliability and affordability.

Prior to this, Maral led updates to the provincial energy efficiency regulation at the Ontario Ministry of Energy, and held roles at SNC Lavalin’s Energy division. Maral holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering from Queen’s University, and a Masters in Sustainable Energy Engineering from KTH in Stockholm.

Philipp Kornitzky, Senior Executive – Cybersecurity, Advanced Technologies Branch, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Philipp Kornitzky is a Senior Account Executive covering the cybersecurity sector part of the Advanced Technologies Branch at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
In his role, Philipp works closely with Ontario cybersecurity companies, the cybersecurity innovation ecosystem and industry stakeholders to support growth in the sector across the province of Ontario. He provides assistance to foreign parties interested in investing in Ontario, sourcing Ontario products, technology and services and supports Ontario companies and organizations to access and expand in international markets by establishing partnerships and distribution channels. Prior to his current assignment, Philipp covered trade development for the ICT and Advanced Manufacturing sectors in Western Europe as well as Eastern/Southeast Europe & Israel where he led export development programs and initiatives in subsectors including cybersecurity, fintech, mobile/communication, robotics and AI. Before joining the Ontario Public Service, Philipp held progressively senior roles in the banking sector in international business development & credit risk management at Northstar Trade Finance, Canada/Luxembourg. Other professional assignments included Enbridge Pipelines, Canada and ThyssenKrupp Services, Germany. Philipp holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Calgary

Brad Labadie, Executive Director, Centre for Workforce Development

Brad Labadie’s career includes over 20 years in the public sector and 6 years in the private sector food industry. For the past 13 years, he has been involved with labour market research and workforce development through both the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin and currently as the Executive Director of the Centre for Workforce Development. He has lead some very innovative projects that addressed various labour market concerns as well as engaged communities to focus on issues such as youth unemployment, misperceptions of manufacturing, providing an inclusive community and immigrant employment.
Brad is married to his wonderful wife of 12 years, Chanakan Kalpukdee, who immigrated from Thailand in 2007. He has two grown children who live in the GTA area and are on the road to their own career paths!

Martin Lacelle, Locali.T

Through 20 years of organizational management in tourism, arts and business development sectors, Martin’s broad range of expertise, from fluently bilingual communications and marketing to strategic thinking and responsible management, comes from working directly with rural and small businesses across Eastern Canada…where collaboration and versatility is key to success.

His style of leadership is structured by business strategy acumen learned through an Executive Master’s degree in Business Administration. Martin focuses on building community/destination growth through strong partnerships and building on opportunities that may sometimes be disregarded by others, bringing an on-the-ground approach to critical and creative thinking to the process.

Jennifer Lamantia, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Development Board

Prior to joining the Workforce Development Board in 2017, Jennifer Lamantia spent many years in the educational publishing industry supporting workforce development and career pathways through her work in education textbook development, acquisitions and sales. Following her career in publishing, she worked for 12 years in business development for a national not-for-profit where she managed the development and implementation of new and innovative services for the K – 12 and post secondary education sectors. For four years, Jennifer has enjoyed the opportunity to work locally as the CEO of WDB where they deliver responsive workforce development solutions through a range of services, resources, and partnerships. Jennifer and her husband Chuck have lived in City of Kawartha Lakes for 22 years. Jennifer is actively involved with her local community through her participation in 100 Women Who Care Kawartha Lakes, Lindsay Community Garden, and teaching yoga and fitness classes at the Lindsay Recreation Complex.

Mike Lynn, General Manager, WTC Communications

Mike Lynn, General Manager, WTC Communications, has been in telecommunications most of his life. Mike started working for WTC as a student before becoming a software engineer and working in the tech sector. Mike has been back with WTC for over 10 years helping to lead their expansion of fibre to the home and fixed wireless networks. In business for almost 90 years, WTC Communications started out as telephone company and has grown into a telecommunications company that offers internet, TV, phone, and security services. WTC’s focus is on improving internet connectivity with higher bandwidth technologies and improving the in-home customer experience. WTC has found a lot of success in improving broadband connectivity in small towns and rural areas through Eastern Ontario.

Carrie Manchuk, Manager of the Site Selection Unit, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Carrie Manchuk is the Manager of the Site Selection Unit at the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, where she leads the Ministry’s site selection and location advisory services for global investors interested in establishing new footprints in Ontario. She also oversees Ontario’s Industrial Land Development programs; the Investment Ready: Certified Site, Job Site Challenge and the Site Readiness Programs. She has worked for the Government of Ontario for over 15 years in a variety of senior policy and program delivery roles. Carrie has a Master of Public Administration from Queen’s University and a Bachelor of Commerce from the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.

Tom Manley, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Agri-food Network

Tom Manley spent his youth on the family dairy farm in Berwick, Stormont County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the Royal Military College St-Jean. His diverse career includes a position with Bell Canada as a telecommunications design advisor to universities and industrial customers. For over 20 years, he managed the family business, Homestead Organics, which was a pioneer in the organic food industry in Canada. Currently, Tom is a freelance agri-food business consultant, including a current mandate as the Executive Director of the Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network. Tom also produces organic sourdough bread which he sells at a local farmers’ market.

Darrell Mast, Associate, Templeman LLP

Darrell is a senior associate with Templeman LLP’s Municipal and Planning Law Department, assisting clients with a variety of issues including land development, planning policy, by-laws, environmental issues, brownfield development, and other general municipal law matters. Darrell has appeared as counsel before the Superior Court of Justice as well as frequently representing clients before administrative tribunals including the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), the Assessment Review Board (ARB), Conservation Review Board (CRB), and the Environmental Review Tribunal (ERT).

Prior to joining Templeman in March of 2021, Darrell had worked as in-house counsel for the City of Guelph and City of Cambridge. He has advised municipal clients extensively in the areas of development and policy planning, expropriations, real property matters, inspections and orders under the Building Code Act and zoning by-laws. He has also provided opinions and advice on a wide range of issues related to municipal liability, governance and procedures including council procedures and operating procedures related to pandemic response and recovery.

Originally from the Town of Carleton Place, Darrell received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Political Science and Mass Communication from Carleton University in Ottawa in 2001, and worked as a legislative assistant and policy advisor at the Senate of Canada for several years before obtaining his LL.B. From the University of Ottawa. Darrell completed his articles and worked as an associate with an Ottawa firm specializing in municipal law and land development. He was called to the Bar of Ontario in 2011 and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Hastings and Prince Edward Law Association, and the Ontario Bar Association. Darrell is a member of the Ontario Bar Association’s 2021-22 Municipal Law Section Executive.

Maggie McBride, Rural Change Makers Cohort 2020, Exeter Ontario

Maggie is the Treasurer of the Exeter Community Food Bank where she is heavily involved in the day-to-day activities. Maggie was recently recognized at the South Huron Business and Community Excellence Awards with the Youth Excellence award for her work with the Food Bank. After completing her diploma in Business Accounting from Fanshawe College, Maggie moved back to South Huron where she has been working full-time with her local municipality since. Maggie is passionate about sharing information regarding food insecurities in rural Ontario.

Tracy McIntyre, Regional Manager, Municipal and Stakeholder Relations, MPAC

Tracy McIntyre has been a Regional Manager with Municipal and Stakeholder Relations at MPAC since 2019. She leads a team of professionals responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with municipalities located in Eastern Ontario.

Tracy has over 32 years of property assessment experience with MPAC. She has had various roles throughout her career, including 29 years in the valuation of commercial and industrial properties. She has led a variety of projects and teams over the years, and she brings a wealth of valuation knowledge to the Municipal and Stakeholder Relations team.

Simon McLinden, Project Manager, Cornwall & The Counties Community Futures Development Corporation

Simon joined ACCfutures in early 2017 as the Project Manager for the Cross Border Partnership Program. Passionate about relationships and strengthening community bonds, his goal is to break down barriers and foster strong, trusting relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities.
He has worked on a multitude of economic development and workforce development projects in the area including the Tri-Chamber alliance, Port Lands, and a RED-funded grant for analysis of regional collaboration opportunities. The Cross Border Partnership program has been the successful recipient of over $75,000 in funding that has been directly distributed to the Akwesasne community and is a recipient of an Economic Development Council of Ontario achievement award for best Cross Border Collaboration.
Simon is also a volunteer director for the Eastern Ontario Training Board and Cornwall Community Hospital Foundation. He has been fortunate enough to speak at conferences around the country and in the United States.
A New Zealander and somewhat of a world traveler Simon lived on 3 continents before he turned 2. Immigrated to Canada in 2009 where he lived in Nova Scotia for 7 years eventually ending up in the Cornwall area, his wife’s hometown. They live with their two young daughters Annie and Nora. If Simon isn’t with his girls or at the office you’ll likely find him on a golf course or doing very average stand-up comedy for charity. Where he has raised over$25,000 for local organizations.

Aude Morel, Account Representative – Client Relations – Outreach, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Aude graduated in law and project management after pursuing her studies in Lyon, Glasgow and Montréal. She has since been supporting projects benefiting communities, mainly at the planning and initiation stages. She likes working in environments with high collective values and wants to contribute to projects bringing about deep social transformation. This naturally led her to join the affordable housing sector where she worked for an association of housing co-operatives and then, the Community Housing Transformation Centre. Outside of work, Aude enjoys travelling and discovering new things.

Joseph Muhuni

Joseph Muhuni, Deputy City Treasurer, Revenue

Joseph Muhuni is the Deputy City Treasurer, Revenue for the City of Ottawa. He is responsible for ensuring that all revenue functions at the City of Ottawa are undertaken with a strategic corporate outlook, reflect industry best practices, and comply with statutory regulations. He oversees Tax Policy, Tax and Water Billing, Customer Servicing, Collections, Assessment Base Management, Corporate Payment Strategy and Operations for over 250,000 Water Meters.

Joseph has been actively involved in setting Tax Policy for the City of Ottawa for the last 7 years and implementation of transformational change within the organization; the most recent being the implementation of a New Water Billing System, implementation of a New Water Rate Structure, deployment of New Tax and Water e-Billing functionality and Online Change of Ownership Portal for lawyers.

He is a Certified Public Accountant and worked in the private sector for 11 years before joining the City Ottawa where he has been for the for the last 11 years.

Katherine Orr, Business Development and Operations Manager, Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB)

Katherine Orr is the Business Development and Operations Manager for Canada at Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB). TBB is the first organization worldwide to help employers meet their labour shortages by recruiting from a pool of displaced talent. Katherine is a purpose-driven business operations and marketing professional with more than ten years’ experience helping employers achieve their business and corporate social responsibility goals.

Her B2B engagement experience crosses many sectors, from consumer packaged goods and food and beverage to healthcare and financial institutions. As an operations strategist, she helps organizations grow and optimize existing processes, and has been instrumental in advancing innovation and systems change throughout her career.

Laura Pettigrew, Ontario Ombudsman

Laura Pettigrew, General Counsel for the Office of the Ombudsman of Ontario, graduated from Carleton University in 1981 and the University of Toronto Law School in 1985. She began her career at the firm of Goodman and Carr and later entered the public sector, working first for the Human Resources Secretariat and then for the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. She returned to the private sector to practice at Campbell, Pettigrew in Oakville, Ontario, before joining the Ombudsman of Ontario in 1992.
Ms. Pettigrew has been involved in a number of the Special Ombudsman Response Team’s systemic investigations, and is active in the drafting of the Ombudsman’s reports and recommendations. As General Counsel, Ms. Pettigrew co-directs the Legal Services team and is a member of the Ombudsman’s executive management team.
Ms. Pettigrew has conducted training in Canada and internationally on such subjects as complaint intake, administrative and oversight investigations and investigative report writing. She has also frequently appeared as a speaker and panellist to discuss the work of the Office of the Ombudsman.

Eric L. Payseur, Canadian Organic Growers

Eric L. Payseur has taught courses on local, sustainable food systems at McMaster University, the University of New Mexico and St Lawrence College and serves on the board of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario and the Ontario Historical Society. Currently, he manages a regional project, Growing Eastern Ontario Organically, with the Canadian Organic Growers in Ottawa.

Carolyn Puterbough, Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

Carolyn Puterbough has worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs since 2009 and her current role is as an Agricultural and Rural Economic Development Advisor. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture degree from the University of Guelph, is a member of the Economic Development Council of Ontario (EDCO) and has Economic Development training from the University of Waterloo. Carolyn has worked with many communities since 2014 to support their Downtown Revitalization efforts and will co-moderate the session while providing insights from her experiences.

Jamie Shipley, C.E.T., Knowledge Transfer Specialist – Outreach, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Jamie has 30 years’ experience in the residential construction industry including over 25 years with CMHC. Jamie’s role at CMHC includes sharing technical and social economic information about aging in place and affordable housing design concepts with builders, renovators, planners, and housing design professionals across Ontario. Jamie is also a member of the Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists.

Katherine Sparkes Headshot

Katherine Sparkes, Director of Innovation, Research and Development, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO)

Katherine Sparkes is the Director, Innovation, Research & Development at the IESO where she is responsible for driving initiatives in support of grid modernization and the removal of barriers to the deployment of cost-effective solutions that enhance the reliability, adequacy and affordability of Ontario’s electricity supply. Katherine and her team work with partners across the IESO and broader energy sector and beyond to understand and evaluate the capability of emerging technologies, services, practices and policies to meet Ontario’s current and future electricity needs. They also deliver a suite of award-winning conservation and demand management programs to Ontario electricity customers. Katherine has worked in the consulting and non-profit sectors and teaches in the Energy & Infrastructure Program at Osgoode Hall Law School. An urban planner by training, Katherine’s volunteer efforts are focused on improving the safety of Toronto’s streets in support of active transportation.

Jo-Anne St. Godard, Executive Director, Circular Innovation Council

Jo-Anne St. Godard has been Executive Director of Recycling Council of Ontario (RCO) since 2004, and plays a key role in furthering waste reduction in Ontario and beyond. Her expertise relates to development of policies and practices that drive positive environmental outcomes under market-based approaches. In doing so, she applies demonstrated best practice on waste policies that balance environmental and economic interests to achieve results. A big part of her role is to facilitate learning and collaboration, which RCO does through its innovative campaigns and programs – many of which bring public and private sectors together to collective solve waste issues.

Todd Storms, Partner, Templeman LLP

Todd Storms is a Partner in the firm’s litigation group. Todd joined the firm after over a decade of practicing at International law firms in Ottawa and Toronto.
Todd practices primarily construction law and commercial litigation. In his construction practice he is frequently called upon to represent owners, subcontractors, suppliers and builders in all aspects of construction and in the areas of procurement, tender issues, contract review, litigation and arbitration.
Todd’s commercial litigation practice includes complex corporate and commercial matters, commercial tenancy, securities litigation, contractual disputes, shareholder disputes, class action, directors liability, injunctions, bankruptcy and insolvency matters.
His experience includes representing and advising major financial institutions, multi-national corporations, corporate clients, large construction firms, general contractors, sub-trades, engineering firms and insurance companies.
Todd has argued cases at all levels of Court in Ontario and a number of Commissions and Boards, including the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, Ontario Securities Commission, Ontario Labour Relations Board, and the Ontario Municipal Board. He has also represented clients at the Federal Court of Canada, and Courts in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. He has also represented clients at public inquiries, including most recently the Elliot Lake Inquiry in Elliot Lake, Ontario, as well as appearing before Parliamentary Committees.
Todd is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Advocates’ Society, the County of Carleton Law Association, the Frontenac Law Association, and the Hastings County Law Association.

Ivano Teti, Customer Support Manager, Streetlogix

With his strong product and technical knowledge, Ivano works closely with our customers from their onboarding of Streetlogix through the long term, ensuring they reach their goals for integrating asset management technologies to enhance their daily operations. He brings over 13 years’ experience in sales and management, with a deep knowledge of the traffic, transit signal and detection industry. Recently, Ivano has helped to implement Streetlogix with La Vista, NE, Brunswick, ME, Castle Pines, CO, Louisville, KY, Keller, TX and Petawawa, ON, to name a few. Prior to joining Streetlogix, Ivano managed accounts and inside sales at Electromega Ltd. where he provided adaptable and cost-efficient traffic solutions to Ontario municipalities alongside external partners such as Leotek, Siemens, and others. Before that, he was a Collection Data Analyst at RealTerm Energy Corp., where he gathered streetlight data through ArcGIS Collector. Ivano is fluent in English and French and has completed management courses at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business in Montreal, QC.

Lesley Thompson, Executive Director, Cornwall & The Counties Community Futures Development Corporation

Lesley Thompson is the Executive Director of Cornwall & The Counties Community Futures Development Corporation(CCCFDC). Lesley acts as an advocate for Akwesasne, Cornwall, and the United Counties and promotes collaboration and partnerships between the three regions. Lesley is responsible for leading a high-caliber team who focus on administering flexible funding solutions, supporting small business with referrals and advice, working with the communities on strategic planning, and directly administering and managing a number of economic development projects and programs across the region.

Kathryn Wood, Project Coordinator, EOLC

In addition to managing her own business for more than 20 years, Kathryn has served as the Project Coordinator for the EOLC for five years. With MDB Insight, she was part of developing both the first-ever regional economic development strategy in 2014 and the ‘refreshed’ version in 2019. Eastern Ontario Through this role and many other consulting assignments, she has developed considerable expertise in regional economic development, market research and data analytics, as well as economic impact analysis, feasibility studies and business modelling.

Kathryn holds a BA in Economics and another in Environmental Science from Queen’s University. She has served as a guest lecturer in both the Commerce and MBA programs at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. She is a former national president of the Queen’s University Alumni Association and the University’s Board of Trustees.