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Robin Bates, Senior Counsel, Ontario Ombudsman

Robin Bates works as Senior Counsel at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. Robin studied history at the University of Wisconsin before coming to Canada to earn her JD at the University of Toronto. As Senior Counsel with the Ombudsman, Robin works with the Office’s open meetings and municipal teams and provides legal support and advice to staff more broadly. She also works regularly on systemic investigations — for example, on “Oversight 911,” into how the Ministry of Health oversees patient complaints and incident reports about ambulance services. In addition to her work with the Ombudsman, Robin is a member of the executive of the Ontario Bar Association’s Public Sector Lawyers group.


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Louis Béland, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Agri-Food Network

There is a change of management here at the EOAN. I finish my mandate on July 31st to move to a private venture. My successor is chosen – Louis Béland. He will make the presentation in my place. The presentation subject does not change and Louis will be full knowledgeable of the subject. I attach his headshot. See his bio here. On July 31st, Louis will take over this email address.

Raised in an entrepreneurial family and immersed in the community from a young age, Louis Béland is an entrepreneur focused on helping others follow their dreams. 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.

Louis’ 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 specialized in helping business owners make the best possible decisions. You will now find Louis spearheading workforce development projects with the Eastern Ontario Training Board and agri-food initiatives with the EOAN, combining his expertise and passion to help communities throughout Eastern Ontario.


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Joanna Bull, Senior Counsel, Ontario Ombudsman

Joanna Bull works as Senior Counsel at the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman. Joanna studied geography and environmental studies at Queen’s University before returning to Toronto to earn her LLB at Osgoode Hall and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies at York University. Before joining the Ontario Ombudsman, she articled and worked as Counsel with Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, a charity dedicated to using legal tools to protect and restore the lake for swimming, drinking, and fishing. Joanna’s interests in maps, cities, municipal law, and public participation have found a home with the Ombudsman’s open meetings and municipal teams.


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.


Kezia Cowtan, Project Manager, Rural Ontario Institute

Kezia Cowtan, Rural Housing Information System Project Manager Kezia brings 20 years of non-profit operations and project management experience to the Rural Housing Information System Project Manager position. The focus of her work has been in community development and capacity building both nationally and internationally. She grew up in Lennox – Addington County and is now located on the North Bruce Peninsula.


Trevor Dauphinee

Trevor Dauphinee, 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.


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.


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Kirsten Gardner, County Councilor, The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

Kirsten Gardner has worked in public service for more than 25 years. From education to victim services, economic development to tourism. Past professional roles have included senior manager with ServiceOntario, manager at the St. Lawrence Parks Commission, and project facilitator with the Upper Canada District School Board.

A passionate advocate for local communities and mental health, Gardner is Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of South Dundas, Counties Councillor at the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry, and a Mental Health Commission of Canada certified mental health first-aid instructor.

Her current volunteer work includes a board member for the Victim Services of SDG&A and director of the Friends of Grand Trunk 1008 restoration group at Upper Canada Village. Currently she also has several council related appointments including the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the St. Lawrence River Institute. She is also parent council chair at Morrisburg Public School and served as that school’s representative during the 2016-17 pupil accommodation review process initiated by the UCDSB. Gardner lives in Morrisburg with her husband Chuck, son Gardner, and daughter Reagan.


Shelley Hirstwood, Director of Business Development, Kingston

Shelley focuses on Business Attraction and Aftercare support by seeking potential business opportunities and foreign direct investment to encourage businesses to relocate to Kingston. She coordinates those opportunities with government, realtors, site selectors and stakeholders to facilitate site selection and business development for businesses that are interested in relocating to Kingston.

Prior to joining Kingston EcDev team, Shelley spent the past 13 years working as an Economic Development Manager in Gravelbourg, SK and Gananoque, ON. Her work has focused on investment attraction, business retention and expansion and community development. Shelley graduated with Bachelor of Science from Trent University, has an Economic Development Certificate from the University of Waterloo, Training for Small Business Counsellors from Acadia University, and completed the Queen’s Executive Program at Queen’s University.

Shelley is the past president for Ontario East Economic Development Commission for the term of 2018 – 2020 and has been sitting on the Board of Directors for seven years.


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Stephanie Jaworski, County Councilor, The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry

Stephanie Jaworski is a first-term member of the Township of South Glengarry municipal council. Elected as Councillor in 2018, Stephanie was appointed Deputy Mayor in December 2021 and is a County Councillor at the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry.

Stephanie is an advocate for preserving rural schools, a passion that was prompted by 2016-2017 Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) Pupil Accommodation Review (PAR). Stephanie was Vice-Chair of the successful Save Char-Lan campaign. This experience led Stephanie to become involved in municipal politics. Stephanie is an active participant on Williamstown Public and Char-Lan District High School Parent Councils and is a member of the UCDSB Parent Involvement Committee. She is also on the Executive of the province wide municipal advocacy group, the Community Schools Alliance.

Stephanie was born in Montreal and grew up in the Laurentians of Quebec. After graduating from McGill University with a Bachelor of Engineering, she began her professional career with Imperial Oil. As a Field Application Advisor, Stephanie provides technical support and guidance to large industrial customers across Canada on the next generation of diesel products, including additized diesel and bio and renewable diesels.

Stephanie moved to South Glengarry, Ontario in 2005 where she was joined by her husband Ron. Together, they own and operate Old 4th Hop Yard, a Certified Organic hop farm. They have three active children – Adessa, Roman and Zena – in elementary school.


Michael Keene, MCIP RPP Principal, Planning + Development, FOTENN

Mike Keene is a Principal of Planning and Development at FOTENN. He has over 17 years of professional planning experience in land development, policy planning and facilitation and has completed land use evaluations and planning approvals for private sector developers. Mike’s policy work is far-reaching and covers a range of topics including: rural and small-town planning, shoreline development and community improvement. His unique approach to planning demonstrates a special understanding for creating appropriate and relevant public consultation opportunities. Mike is also routinely called upon as an expert witness for Ontario Municipal Board hearings.


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Vikram Khurana, Chairman, Toronto Business Development Centre

Vikram (Vik) Khurana is the Chair of Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) – a leading business incubator that has been locally, nationally, and internationally recognized for its efforts in nurturing the growth of new and emerging businesses in Ontario. Mr. Khurana serves on the Board of Trustees of the Canada Post Community Foundation, Board of Directors of Ontario Capital Growth Corporation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. He is the founder of a number of multinational businesses including Prudential Consulting, Inc. and Leading System Consultants and has advised multinational organizations in Information Technology (IT) and IT-enabled services, and business process outsourcing.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Mr. Khurana worked at TD Bank and served on the Board of Directors of Export Development Canada, FinDev Canada, the Dean’s Council of Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority, Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada and the Advisory Board of the Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce. He was an honorary member of the Board of Governors at Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation in Toronto. Mr. Khurana is an active participant in a variety of fundraising activities for development-related causes and Covid relief.


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.


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Denis Lapierre, Senior Business Advisor, Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Denis Lapierre is a Senior Business Advisor with the Ministry of Economic Development Job Creation and Trade, based in Eastern Ontario and covering the Counties of Stormont Dundas & Glengarry, Prescott-Russell, and Leeds-Grenville. Denis is bilingual (English/French) and has over 25 years general business management experience, where he occupied human resources management, project management and business development roles. Denis strives to build strong long-term relationships with established Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Eastern Ontario; helping clients to access programs and services that support business growth and expansion.


Danielle Letang, Data Analyst, Rural Ontario Institute

Danielle Letang, Rural Housing information System Data Specialist Danielle is from Sault Ste. Marie. She has a Master of Science in Forestry from Lakehead University. Danielle has worked for federal and provincial governments on projects related to natural resource management and sustainability reporting. Danielle is currently living in Toronto.


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Nour Mazloum, Marketing & Communications Manager, Kingston Economic Development

Nour is the Marketing & Communications Manager, in her role, she leads the development, writing and production of business collaterals, media strategies, and organizing events. Nour is also a Director at the Economic Developers Council of Ontario’s (EDCO) Board of of Director and the Chair of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee. Nour is the recipient of the 2021 EDCO’s President Award for her commitment to the profession. Nour graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in Philosophy and Political Studies.

Prior to her role at Kingston Economic Development, Nour worked as a Project Intern at Queen’s University and as a Communications Associate for Queen’s IT Services. Nour was the Chair of the Policy Committee at Sexual Assault Centre Kingston and had been on its Board of Directors for two years and was also a Director and Secretary on the Sustainable Kingston Board.


Stephen Morris, Team Lead, OMAFRA

Profile TBC


Ian Murdoch, Director Business Development, Cambium Inc.

Ian Murdoch is a Director, Business Development for Cambium Inc. Ian has been working with the private and public sectors for over 17 years to support and advise in real estate/land and portfolio development across Ontario. Ian’s strategy has always been to approach complex scenarios with an overarching lens that combines industry best practices, financial viability and client end goals to achieve sustainable solutions.


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Jeff Pajot, Health & Safety Consultant & Ergonomist- Government, Municipal & Education Sectors, Public Services Health & Safety Association

Jeff Pajot is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) and Certified Ergonomist (CCPE) with 34 years of experience. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at the University of Waterloo. He joined the Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) in 2007. Jeff has gained experience in a wide variety of industries and at PSHSA he specializes in Municipal and Education 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. Learn more about Jeff at LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/jeff-pajot/76/313/716


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Paulette Prentice, Director General, Business Innovation & Community Development, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Paulette Prentice has been with the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario since its inception in 2009. Paulette was appointed to the role of Director General with the Business Innovation and Community Development directorate in the fall of 2021 after having served in the role for six months where she lead the launch of several Budget 2021 grants and contribution programs related to recovery including the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, the Tourism Relief Fund and the Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative. In addition to the delivery of recovery programming, Paulette has led the delivery of programming related to inclusive growth, as well as the delivery of the national Community Futures Program for rural communities.

Paulette began her career with the Federal Government in 2001 with Industry Canada and has held increasingly senior managerial and executive positions within the Agency in recent years. Paulette has extensive experience in the administration of grants and contributions programs and working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders including not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, post secondary institutions, Community Futures Development Corporations, Official Language Minority Communities and Indigenous organizations. She is a leader and strong advocate for talent development, workplace culture and employee wellness.

Paulette holds a Diploma in Business Administration – Human Resource Management and is certified as a PROCI Change Management Practitioner. Paulette is also a commissioned naval Lieutenant with the Canadian Armed Forces where she serves as a part-time reservist with the Cadet Instructor Cadre of the Primary Reserves.


Jason Presement, Regional Vice President, Calix

Speaker Profile TBA


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Jennifer Savini, Partner, Templeman LLP

Jennifer Savini (Gibb) is a municipal and planning lawyer with Templeman LLP.

Jennifer is Certified Specialist in Municipal Law (Local Government/Land Use Planning and Development). She advises clients on development agreements and by-laws, provides legal opinions on municipal, planning and environmental issues, regularly represents clients before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), and the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

Jennifer has extensive experience in municipal enforcement proceedings such as zoning and property standards by-law prosecutions and court proceedings relating to the enforcement of statutes such as the Building Code Act, Fire Protection and Prevention Act and the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Jennifer regularly appears before the Provincial Offences Court and Superior Court of Justice on behalf of Municipalities,Conservation Authorities, Health Units and other government institutions, and has also appeared before the Divisional Court and the Court of Appeal.

Also experienced in civil litigation matters, Jennifer represents clients in contractual and property disputes as well as insurance defence matters involving municipal liability issues.

Jennifer has been with the firm since her articles and was called to the Ontario Bar in 2009.

Originally from Campbellford, Jennifer obtained her Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Guelph in 2002. After graduating, Jennifer worked at Environment Canada studying vehicle emissions and smog patterns, and as a chemist for a private pharmaceutical testing and consulting company in Toronto. Jennifer attended law school at Queens’s University, where she obtained her J.D. in 2008.

Jennifer is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association, the Hastings County Law Association, the Frontenac Law Association and the Rotary Club of Belleville, and sits on the volunteer Board of Directors for First Adventure Child Development Centre.


Iain Storosko, Program Development Specialist, Rural Ontario Institute

Iain Storosko, Rural Housing Information System Program Specialist Iain comes from a background in agricultural research, client support, and business development. His interest in rural development comes from years working in the agriculture industry and supporting research program development in a variety of different rural settings across the country. He holds a BSc in Environmental Geography from the University of Guelph and enjoys a good mountain hike, long bike ride, or playing the mandolin. Iain is currently living in Ottawa. .


Richard Webster, International Education Manager, Community Development St. Lawrence College

Richard Webster is currently St. Lawrence College’s (SLC) first International Education Manager, Community Development and part-time faculty member. Prior to this, he was SLC’s Internationalization Lead where he developed the College’s first Global Engagement Strategy. Richard has over 15 years of professional experience, including leadership and senior advisory roles for the City of Kingston, a number of provincial ministries and international organizations, including the Ontario Public Service’s Diversity Office, the Office of the Fairness Commissioner and UNICEF Canada, among others.

Richard’s background, experience and education is steeped in inclusivity, community development and global engagement. He holds a BA (Hons) in Political Studies and International Political Economy from Trent University, a Graduate Diploma in Public Administration from Humber College, three European Masters (cum laude) in such concentrations as migration, social cohesion and ethnic studies from the Universiteit van Amsterdam, Universidad de Deusto and University College Dublin as well as a Certificate in Leadership and Inclusion from the Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion at Centennial College.


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Martha Woods, Executive Director, Eastern Ontario Training Board

The EOTB has been supporting workforce development activities for almost 25 years. Its mandate is to ensure access to quality local labour market information, identify gaps /job opportunities / training needs and help job seekers obtain skills and employment. The agency also addresses the needs of newcomers to our community.

Martha’s history with the Eastern Ontario Training Board (EOTB) began over 15 years ago; she handled the agency’s day-to-day activities, alongside a handful of co-workers. Her dedication, determination and vision for the EOTB was evident from the beginning, and when the Executive Director’s position became available in 2017, the decision to transition Martha into this new role was a no-brainer. The organization has since grown significantly. The EOTB now employs 15 staff members and currently administers a dozen projects which have had a demonstrated impact on the workforce in the area.

Martha works closely with our community partners to help address all levels of workforce development and is also a board member of the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA), the Cornwall Planning Programs Evaluation Group (CPPEG) and the Cornwall Police Association.