Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is comprised of entrepreneurs, experts and leaders in the fields of business, finance, law, engineering, education and beyond. Together they provide strategic direction as well as oversight of our investment fund and entrepreneurial development programs.
Guided by a commitment to our charter mandate and serving in a volunteer capacity, they work to impact future prosperity in our communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. Drawn from Alderville First Nation and all six lower-tier municipalities in Northumberland County, they reflect and represent the unique contours of their respective communities, sectors and industries.
In the event of an opening, public calls are made for a new Director. Directors serve a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms.
Susan Carmichael Biography
Susan Carmichael is a published author and retired from leadership in the Retail Banking sector. Susan remarks, “Northumberland CFDC mentors and supports entrepreneurs and provides an alternate avenue to financing for ventures that would otherwise not be eligible with other financial institutions. Successful businesses backed by the Community Futures Program effectively strengthen and grow the economy in Northumberland County.” Currently, she also serves as Director and Member of the Executive of the Architectural Conservancy of Canada.
Jason Ewart Biography
Jason Ewart (B.A. Economics, McGill University) is a Director of the Denver-based Attorneys Title Guarantee Fund Inc., Toronto-based Marathon Mortgage Corp, Hank Payments Corp. and Ottawa-based Brane Inc. He has extensive experience in entrepreneurial finance, analysis, equities trading and mergers and acquisitions. Jason remarks, “I am honored to be part of a team of people with the united goal of building a strong environment for businesses to thrive across Eastern and Southern Ontario.”
Jane Kelly Biography
Jane Kelly is the founder and publisher of Watershed Magazine, a large format, beautifully designed publication that taps into a unique blend of rural and urban charm by celebrating the arts, the culture, the issues and the wonderful people who are part of its local landscape. Watershed delivers its message to 25,000 households from Kingston to Clarington in a format that invites readers to share and discover their community. With award-winning writers, illustrators and photographers, Watershed has built a reputation for quality and content that has captured the hearts and minds of a loyal readership.
Pam Russell Biography
Pam Russell (Bachelor of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering, P. Eng) has extensive experience in environmental engineering and management including as Director of Transportation and Waste for the County of Northumberland (now retired). Pam has volunteered with St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program and Northumberland Hills Hospital (Auxiliary and Caring for Generations Committee). “I feel honoured to be a part of the Northumberland CFDC,” Pam relates. “And I am proud of the excellent work the team does to support innovation and business development in Northumberland County and across Eastern Ontario. It is important to attract bright minds to our community, grow new businesses, and provide challenging, well-paying jobs for local youth.”
Gordon Thompson Biography
Gordon Thompson, (B.A., Bishop’s University, LLB, Queen’s University) is a lawyer (with Borden & Elliot in Toronto—now known as Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, from 1969-1995) now retired. His experience and expertise includes corporate, commercial and business law and financial institutions and he holds the AV classification as lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell. He was Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Zurich Insurance Company Ltd and its Canadian affiliates from 1995-2015. Gordon’s service to the community includes sitting as Director and Secretary, Capitol Theatre Heritage Foundation, Director and President, St. Mark’s Heritage Foundation and Member and Treasurer, Heritage Port Hope. In Gordon’s words, “Entrepreneurs are a key element in the continued viability of our economy and must be supported to the fullest extent possible.”
Johanna Allen Biography
Johanna Allen is President of Allen Insurance Group (Trent Hills, Ontario), a Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) and a Chartered Insurance Professional (CIP). She holds a diploma in Human Resource Management from George Brown College. In 2018, Johanna was recognized with the Chamber of Commerce Chair’s Award which recognizes and honours exceptional involvement in business, professional associations and community service that has had a significant impact on the Trent Hills community.
Rhonda Cunningham is a distinguished Fellow of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (FAHP). Since joining the Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation in 1995, Rhonda has helped raise over $50 million in contributions. She is an active member of the Rotary Club of Cobourg and has extensive experience serving the community in a volunteer capacity, most notably with: Trinity United Church, the Cobourg Community Centre, Habitat for Humanity (Women Build), and in founding the Lakeshore Bullets Sledge Hockey Association.
Rob Stevenson Biography
Rob Stevenson is an experienced problem solver with a demonstrated history of building successful businesses in a multitude of industry sectors. Solutions-focused and skilled in Social Entrepreneurship, Wholesale and Management, Rob is a strong business development professional with Police Foundations and Corporate and Commercial Security diplomas. He is currently focused on cannabis and hemp as a tool to inspire the advancement of First Nation Communities.
Dana Johnston Biography
Entrepreneur Dana Johnston is the owner of Johnston Motors (established in Colborne, Ontario in 1955), a Cramahe Township family business and intergenerational employer in the community.
Bradley Robertson Biography
Bradley Robertson (Bachelor of Applied Science, Queen’s University), is an experienced industrial leader and currently Continuous Improvement/Safety, Health and Environmental Manager with WEIR ESCO (an historic and global company that manufactures engineered metals parts and components for machinery used in the mining, construction, oil and gas industries). Brad has thirty-five years’ experience in manufacturing at all levels of management and twenty years’ service on various boards of directors in a governance, oversight and strategic capacity—including: the Northumberland Manufacturers Association (NMA, Director and Past President), Foundry Education Foundation Canada (Director and Secretary-Treasurer), Association for Manufacturing Excellence Canada (Director and Membership Engagement Chair), Canadian Foundry Association (Energy Advisor) and the Canadian Industry Partnership for Energy Conservation (CIPEC, Director and Member of the Executive).
Brad observes, “Business success for companies in Northumberland, Eastern Ontario and Canada are linked by their ability to compete internationally while drawing on both the expertise and skills of the other companies and service providers around them. If we don’t continue to grow new companies, develop our people and promote new ideas, the whole local business community suffers against the global efforts of competitors outside of our regions. The mission and activities of Northumberland CFDC is a fundamental support to that entrepreneurial spark of growth and ingenuity that will keep our region, province and country competitive and protect the way of life we enjoy.”
Chris Gillis Biography
Chris Gillis has been focused on design, operational performance improvement, quality, innovation and customer satisfaction for over 25 years in a wide variety of industries and sectors.
Graduating from Dalhousie University and The Technical University of Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Chris worked in several manufacturing organizations with increasing responsibility until leaving to start his own consulting company. In his consulting practice, he successfully brought practical and tailored solutions to the organizations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom.
Chris now works for Durham College in the Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship as the Manager, Applied Research Business Development. In this role he connects companies with funding, faculty and external experts as well as student teams, to build their innovations and inventions. He is the College lead for autonomous vehicles and smart mobility solutions including advanced technology applications supporting community technology readiness. Chris also leads the Centre for Craft Brewing Innovation which supports Ontario craft brewers and artisan beverage innovators. Chris brings extensive experience, expertise and connectivity to the table in general applied research and development and the advancement of community, industrial and innovation partnerships.
Pat Jossinet Biography
Pat Jossinet (Plant Controller, CpK Interior Products) started her career with Price Waterhouse, obtaining her designation as a Chartered Accountant, after graduating from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. After several years in public accounting, in Toronto and then Peterborough, she joined Johnson & Johnson Medical Products where she held several positions, including Manager of Marketing Finance. After J&J moved to Toronto, Pat joined Textron Automotive, now CpK Interior Products, in Port Hope, where she has been the Plant Controller since 2003. Pat also serves as a Director and Secretary/Treasurer of the Northumberland Manufacturers Association (NMA).