Meet our Board
Colleen Martin, Interim President
Colleen Martin has worked with Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund since 2001, first as Senior Executive Assistant and then as Loans Manager. She was previously employed by Nishnawbe Aski Nation from 1991 to 2001 in several positions; the last being Business Manager. Colleen graduated from Carleton University with a Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting. With her experiences working with First Nations in northern Ontario, she is familiar with the challenges and opportunities faced by Aboriginal people and communities. Colleen's on-going professional development and experiences assist her in facilitating business and economic development projects in the region.
Paula Sanders, Secretary
Paula is Senior Development Advisor with the Atikokan Economic Development Corp. She has been employed there for over 20 years, and has obtained her Economic Development designation from EDAC. She has also worked as Executive Director for the Atikokan Chamber of Commerce. Paula’s educational background includes University of Toronto, Confederation College, and proud survivor of the Katimavik program. She enjoys working with the clients, and finds it especially rewarding to attend the grand openings and post the “ Open for Business” signs. Paula’s passions include being involved in the activities of her two sons, get-togethers with family and friends, drama, walking/biking, and playing the piano.
Judy Sander, Treasurer
When Judy isn't cross-country skiing, canoeing, playing hockey, enjoying time spent with her family, she is managing the Innovation Centre. Judy provides overall leadership and financial accountability. In addition, Judy takes a lead role on managing innovative projects and applying to various funding programs.
Anne-Marie Bourgeault, Director
General Manager, Superior North Community Futures Development Corporation
Terrace Bay, Ontario - 807-825-4505 Ext 1 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Anne-Marie brings over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience, in sales and management, gained in banking and small business. As well, she has played key roles in several communities in economic development by serving on Chambers of Commerce and numerous community groups. Anne-Marie's passion is the Superior North region: its communities, residents, businesses and future.
Geoff Gillon, Director
Geoff Gillon, Regional Economic Development Officer for the Rainy River Future Development Corporation (RRFDC), has been involved in community and economic development since 1989. During his tenure at the RRFDC, he has been involved with and supported numerous economic development projects, such as the regional broadband initiatives, Go Local project, and many private sector projects.
In addition to pursuing development projects, Mr. Gillon has served two terms as President of the Northwestern Ontario Development Network (NODN), as well as serving as the President of the Economic Developer’s Council of Ontario (EDCO).
Prior to his career in economic development, he was the owner/operator of Bear Pass Trading Post Ltd., a resort/marina located on Rainy Lake, for sixteen years.
Mr. Gillon has a deep attachment to the Rainy River District, its people and its resources, and has spent many years working to make the district a more progressive and vibrant place to live.
Jeff Port, Director
Jeff was born and raised in upstate New York, where he completed his undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. He moved to Canada in 1981 to pursue graduate studies, and received a degree in planning and economic development from the University of Guelph.
Jeff has worked in Northwestern Ontario for the past 25 years, and has experience in both the public and private sectors. His experience ranges from land use planning and economic development, to tourism, strategic planning, urban design, infrastructure development and local government.
Jeff lives just north of Sioux Narrows on Blindfold Lake, with his wife Pam, who has put up with his endless rants on economic development. He sometimes gets some work done when not fishing.
Piero Pucci, Director
Development Officer, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission
Thunder Bay, Ontario - 807-625-3965 - email@example.com
Piero commenced employment as Development Officer for CEDC in June 2012. He has over 14 years of experience in business and community development, including 10 years in Small Business with Scotiabank. Piero is a graduate of Lakehead University and holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Political Studies and History. He is also a graduate of Confederation College with a Post-Diploma in International Business and Trade.
Cathy Quesnel Loessl, Director
Cathy Quesnel-Loessl has a B.A. in Economics from Wilfred Laurier University. She has numerous years of experience in the accounting field at the senior management level and has been employed with the Chukuni Communities Development Corporation for the past 16 years as the manager. Cathy has been actively involved in her community and has held the position of President for the Red Lake District Chamber of Commerce as well as other executive positions within the organization. She has also held an executive position on the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Hospital Foundation. For a number of years Cathy was the Vice President of NODN and remains a Director of the Board. Cathy and her husband Dave enjoy living in Red Lake and participating in all the various outdoor activities the area has to offer.
Garry McKinnon, OACFDC Representative
Garry McKinnon is the youngest of twelve children born to a farming family in northwestern Ontario. He is proud to be the first member of his family to attend university and was successful in securing a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Guelph. After graduation he returned to the northwest and worked in hospitality management for a number of years. Subsequently Mr. McKinnon worked in retail management and managed a small manufacturing firm before accepting a position with the Atikokan Economic Development Corporation, a Community Futures Development Corporation for the past 21 years.
He was elected to the Atikokan Township Council in 1988 and was re-elected in the following four municipal elections. In 2000, he was elected as President of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) by his colleagues in the region. As President of NOMA, he served as vice-president of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario. Mr. McKinnon served two years as President of the Northwestern Ontario Development Network. He has served as a board member of the Network for fifteen years. In 2003, Garry was elected by his peers to represent the Northwestern Ontario region on the Ontario Association of Community Development Corporations board of directors and in 2006 he was re-elected to a second three year term. Garry was asked to return to this board for another three year term in 2012.
Garry is married to Dawn, his wife of twenty-two years. In their free time Garry and Dawn love to golf, camp, and fish and explore the area’s magnificent lakes in the summer.
Ryan Reynard, Past President
Ryan was born and raised in Kenora until Hockey and School took him to Colorado Springs, Colorado. While attending Colorado College on a full hockey scholarship, Ryan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He also completed his MBA in Global Management. Ryan played professional hockey for 1 year after graduating college. During his time in Colorado, Ryan worked in the Hi-Tech industry for SCI Systems & Agilent Technologies. Colorado was home to Ryan for nearly 10 years until he and his family decided to return to Northwestern Ontario, where he worked for Weyerhaeuser. Ryan joined LOWBIC as the Executive Director in early 2006. Ryan has had a significant impact at LOWBIC, helping the corporation regain stability and rebuild the trust of the business community and government agencies! Ryan has also been President of the Northwestern Ontario Development Network (NODN) since 2009.