The Canadian Canoe Museum Board of Directors
john ronson, CHAIR
John Ronson is an executive with TELUS, and a lawyer by training. He previously held the position of Chief of Staff to Ontario’s Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. John has served on the Waterfront Toronto Board, and on both provincial and national boards for the Canadian Cancer Society. A Peterborough resident, he is an avid canoeist and camper.
BILL MORRIS, Past CHAIR
Bill Morris is the primary shareholder and CEO of the Stewart Group, a private investment company with actively-managed interests in Canada, the United States, Ireland and India. Bill is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business. He serves on the boards of the United Way of Peterborough and District and the Lakefield College School Foundation. The Morris family spends as much time as possible at its cottage at Nares Inlet, Georgian Bay.
KEN POWELL, PAST CHAIR
Ken Powell has had a national and international business career as an executive with Imperial Oil, Exxon Corporation and Esso Inter-America. Subsequently, he was a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand Consulting, Associate Director of the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School, taught business and public policy courses part time at Seneca College and worked with CESO, consulting in Malaysia. He has served as Chair of the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Board of Directors and has volunteered with a number of other organizations including Junior Achievement of Canada, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Corporate- Higher Education Forum, Toronto and Atlantic Symphony Orchestras. He has canoed many lakes and rivers of Canada and is passionate about travel and photography.
ROB CLARK, TREASURER
Rob Clark, CPA, CA, ICD.D, is the President and CEO of DLF Pickseed Canada, a private company that is a leader in the development, production and distribution of turfgrass and forage crop seed. Rob previously held senior management positions in the poultry farming, food processing and beer industries. Rob is a proud member of the Métis Nation of Ontario with voyageur ancestral roots.
Wendy Cecil was installed as the 13th Chancellor of the University of Toronto’s Victoria College in 2012. A graduate of U of T, previous positions include Vice-President of Business Development for Brascan Ltd., Director of Great Lakes Power Inc., and Chairman and President of Brookmoor Enterprises Ltd. She is affiliated with a number of organizations including St. Michael’s Hospital, St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation, The Fraser Institute and The Olympic Trust of Canada. Wendy holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from U of T and is an Associate Senior Fellow at Massey College. She is a recipient of the Thérèse Casgrain Volunteer Award, having been recognized by the Government of Canada for her many years of voluntary service.
Peter Elmhirst is President of Elmhirst’s Resort in Keene, where he works with his two sons and their families. Peter is the third generation in the family business, as well as the Owner and Chief Pilot of Elmhirst Vacation Air Ltd., an air charter business specializing in adventure flights to Canada’s North. A graduate of the Ryerson School of Hospitality, Peter continues to enjoy playing an active role in national tourism industry associations.
Board of Directors
David Goyette is a Communications and Public Affairs Consultant. A graduate of the University of Toronto and of Queen’s University, David has provided counsel to the leaders of Canada’s government, political and business communities, including each of the major Canadian banks. He has served as a director at eight Canadian non-profit organizations. He is also a published author, playwright, lecturer, journalist, recorded musician and artist.
Deborah Jacobs is a Councillor with Curve Lake First Nation and an active member of her community. Having lived in Curve Lake all her life, Deborah worked for many years at the Curve Lake Day Care Centre and also taught early childhood education classes for the Anishinabek Education Institute in North Bay. Her parents, Aileen and Amos Irons, are full-blooded Ojibway, both from Curve Lake. Deborah’s family is her “pride and joy.” She has been married for 46 years and has three sons and 10 grandchildren. She has always enjoyed the water; fishing, boating and canoeing at her family cabin on Dead Horse Island have played a significant part in her life.
Dianne Lister is a lawyer and has held executive roles in Canada’s charitable sector since 1986, including immediate past CEO of ROM Governors, Vice- President External Relations at Trent University, and President and CEO of Sick Kids Foundation. She is the Principal of The Dianne Lister Group, which provides services to the non-profit sector, and a senior associate of the Hutchinson Group, an executive search and talent development firm. Dianne is an author, as well as a sessional instructor at the University of Victoria. She has volunteered for many organizations, and is currently a founding director of the Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and founding member of the CKL Arts & Cultural Roundtable.
Bill Lockington is a partner and business lawyer with LLF Lawyers. He has been an active member of the Peterborough community for decades through his involvement on a number of boards and with community projects. He serves on the Community Foundations of Canada Board and is the Founding Chair of the Community Foundation of Greater Peterborough. Bill has also been involved with organizations including the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster, Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation, YMCA Canada and Peterborough, Festival of Trees, Jr. Lakers Lacrosse and the Art School of Peterborough. Has been recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary for outstanding community service and was chosen Peterborough’s Business Citizen of the Year in 2009.
Hugh Macklin is the President of Linmac Inc., a third-generation family business that owns and manages commercial properties in Cobourg. After graduating from Ryerson School of Business, Hugh spent many years as a partner and manager with Schickedanz Bros. Ltd., a company that creates residential and commercial developments in Canada and the United States. Hugh enjoys spending time on the land and on the water as well as with family and his wife, Sharon. Together they have four children and presently five grandchildren.
Vicky Martins is a member of the management team of Canada C3, a signature project for Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary of Confederation. This initiative is led by the Students on Ice Foundation, an award-winning organization that offers unique educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, with a mandate to educate the world’s youth about the importance of the Polar Regions. Prior to this position, Vicky was the Vice-President Corporate Affairs and Operations at Aonix Advanced Materials Corporation, a research, development and manufacturing company that focuses on composites and advanced materials. Vicky has also worked as a consultant in education policy and technology in various countries in Latin America and Africa. She holds a Masters in Education from Harvard University and considers the outdoors to be one of her passions.
Val McRae grew up in Toronto and attended the University of Western Ontario. After teaching for four years, she turned her attention to raising their four children. Meanwhile, Val’s involvement in the Peterborough community has focused on education and health care, including work with Lakefield College School, Festival of Trees, School for Young Moms, Beaver Club Gala, and the Osteoporosis Ladies Golf Classic. She currently serves on the Peterborough Regional Health Centre Foundation Board and the Osteoporosis Peterborough Chapter Board. She and her husband, John, enjoy spending time in Whitney on the edge of Algonquin Park.
The Hon. Andy Mitchell, P.C. is senior advisor to the Honorable Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. In 2006, he served as Chief of Staff to the Hon. Bill Graham, P.C., leader of the Official Opposition. After re-locating to the Peterborough region, Andy was appointed president of the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation and later, the Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster. He also joined Trent University as an adjunct professor in Political Studies. Andy was first elected as the MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka in 1993, a position he held for more than 12 years. He also served as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and Secretary of State for Rural Development, Fed Nor, and Parks Canada. He is the Chair of both the Otonabee Regional Conservation Authority and the local Workforce Development Board. He and his wife operate a company specializing in strategic planning and development. Andy has five children and two grandchildren.
Heather Stelzer is currently in Business Development with PEAK Benefit Solutions and is involved in an array of activities that further the respect of the land and the water. She has brought extensive experience in fundraising, business development and strategic planning to numerous community organizations including the Greater Peterborough Area Economic Development Corporation, Community Care Access Centre, Fleming College, YWCA and Stony Lake Cottages Association, as well as to political campaigns at all three levels of government. She is on the board of Voices for the Trent-Severn Waterway, a member of the Age-Friendly Business Academy, and a Partner in Nordixx Pole Walking Canada. Her outstanding contributions to her community recently earned her the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Ron Whetung has been a consultant specializing in business development and finance since 2004, bringing his expertise to various projects and political campaigns following many years of heading up commercial and residential building projects. After providing administrative support at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, he began his career in real estate in 1985, became a Commercial Sales Representative in 1999 and, in 2008, was inducted into the Re/Max Hall of Fame. Ron is a graduate of Lakefield College School and Ryerson University who grew up in the First Nation Community of Curve Lake. His pride and support for his heritage and community are evident through dedicated volunteerism, philanthropy, and participation in local and national events. Among many notable contributions, he has been a director for the Curve Lake First Nation Economic Development Corporation, a volunteer on numerous local boards, was a torchbearer for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, and is a sponsor for the Plan Canada foster child program.