FUTURE: Sault Ste. Marie

Community Development Round Table

Josh Ingram

Downtown Development Lead

Josh Ingram is the Executive Director of the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Association and serves as a Board of Director for the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association. Ingram’s intentions are to provide the catalyst for dynamic and vibrant downtown core through strong community collaborations. In addition, he is currently a MaRS Discovery District fellow working on policy recommendations focusing on the implementation of modern re-skilling programs for Ontario's current employment landscape. 
He's the winner of the 2016 Chamber of Commerce Service Award, and the 2018 OBIAA Marketing + Communication Award.

Born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ingram is an Algoma University alum. He and his wife are currently raising two girls in a community that they are all proud to call home

Dr. Ron Common

Member at Large

Dr. Ron Common is currently the President of Sault College. A multi-degree graduate, Dr. Common received Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba. Dr. Common earned his PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Ottawa in 1980. He holds a private pilot's licence and flies his own aircraft throughout Canada.

Dr. Common has worked and conducted educational research in Aboriginal communities around the world, including New Zealand, Amazon, China, Africa and throughout Northern Ontario, Manitoba, the Arctic and Labrador.

Asima Vezina

Member at Large

Asima C. Vezina joined Algoma Universut as President and Vice-Chancellor on October 23, 2017, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience in education.  

Asima is well known to the community of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding areas. She was raised in the communities of Bruce Mines and Desbarats and is one of three siblings of Dr. David and Zahida Croskery.  Asima resides in Sault Ste. Marie with her husband Mitch and two children Eric and Emilie.

Asima believes in the individual and collective strengths within and across an organization, bringing people together collaboratively, in focused action toward a common vision. Her leadership style is characterized by a strong sense of community, teamwork, pride, and accountability, and putting student success and excellence in teaching and learning at the centre of the organization.  

Jody Rebek

Member at Large

As a Leadership and Management consultant for Vive Consulting, Jody leads transformation efforts that bring renewed focus, positive growth and results-oriented action plans to individuals, organizations and communities. Working primarily with nonprofit and government sectors, she organizes leadership and entrepreneurial development opportunities via project or talent management, strategic planning, culture building, and leadership development sessions. Jody has worked for over ten years in community and organizational development building high-level strategies, programs and projects.  She has also served in executive leadership for several years, primarily in nonprofit organizations, and was a provincial representative for business and government boards/committees, such as on Cisco Canada’s True Growth ecosystem development.  She has more than 25 years of facilitation experiences, managerial expertise, and 20 years of entrepreneurial and leadership coaching and instruction experience. 

Jody was awarded a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to complete her Masters of Arts degree in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC.  She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Hon.) and Computer Science Certificate from Laurentian University. Currently, she is completing her PhD in Educational Studies in Leadership and Policy, at Lakehead University and her research focuses mindful leadership development with undergraduates.

Currently, she is an Assistant Professor in management at the Lukenda School of Business teaching leadership, management, organizational behaviour, employee development and training and research practices at Lake Superior State University.  Jody is the inaugural winner of the Algoma Alumni Achievement award, an Athena award winner through the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, and most recently the Innovative Educator of the Year through the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.  Most importantly, she is a mom of two young boys - Mateo, eight, and Gabriel, five years.

Dr. David Nanang

Energy & Environment Lead

Dr. David Nanang was appointed as the Director General at Natural Resources Canada’s Great Lakes Forestry Centre in January 2014. Prior to this appointment he was the acting Director General since February 2012. Dr. Nanang first joined the Great Lakes Forestry Centre as Director of Forest Ecology in March 2009.

Dr. Nanang’s previous experience also includes working as a Senior Policy Advisor from 2006 to 2009 and as an Environmental Policy and Regulatory Affairs Advisor from 2005 to 2006 at Indian and Northern Affairs. He first started his career with the federal public service as an Economist with the Canadian Forest Service in Ottawa in 2003.

Prior to coming to Canada, Dr. Nanang held forestry positions in Ghana such as Deputy District Forest Officer and Lecturer in Forestry at the University for Development Studies. 

Dr. Nanang has a BSc in Natural Resource Management from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. He has an MSc in Forestry from Lakehead University and a PhD in Forest Economics from the University of Alberta. He has authored one book, co-authored another, and co-edited a book on natural resources. He has approximately 35 peer reviewed articles, reports and book chapters.

Lucia Reece

Education Lead

Lucia Reece is the Director of Education for the Algoma District School Board and an executive member of the Council of Ontario Directors of Education (CODE).  Previously, Lucia was Superintendent of Program (K-8) which included curriculum implementation and supervision, school and Board improvement planning, the Board’s leadership development strategy, school organization and staffing, capital planning, negotiations and implementing healthy schools/character education initiatives.  Lucia is an Education Partner with the Education Research & Development Corporation and served on the Board of Directors with Curriculum Services Canada.  She is currently the co-chair of the Algoma Leadership Table and a member of the Ontario Public School Board Association’s Labour Council.  She has been an avid supporter of the Community Christmas for Children, Healthy Kids initiatives and Safe Community events.  Passionate about learning and leadership, she is always seeking opportunities to grow herself and to support the learning and leadership of others.

Tim Lukenda

Member at Large

Tim Lukenda has been leading Extendicare as its President and Chief Executive Officer since joining the organization in April 2008. Tim oversees all aspects of the business including having responsibility for the company's network of 118 owned and managed senior care centres and related healthcare divisions as well as Canada's largest provider of home healthcare services. Tim is committed to a vision of delivering high quality care and service throughout the healthcare continuum to meet the needs of a growing seniors' population in Canada. He leads a highly trained and qualified workforce of over 23,000 individuals who are dedicated to helping people live better through a commitment to quality service and a passion for what they do.
For 11 years before joining Extendicare, Tim was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Tendercare, the largest provider of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in the State of Michigan. Before joining Tendercare, Tim was Vice President, Investment Banking with RBC Dominion Securities in Toronto and Calgary, Canada where he was involved in numerous private and public financings and acquisition and divestiture transactions. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance (with Honors) degree and achieved a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business. Tim also serves as the President/Govenor for the Soo Greyhounds Hockey Club. 

Chancellor Shirley Horn

Member at Large

Shirley Horn is the first-ever Chancellor of Algoma University, effective June 13th, 2015. She was sworn in at the University’s annual Convocation ceremony, thereby commencing her five-year term.

Horn is from Chapleau, Ontario, and at the age of five was sent to St. Johns Indian Residential School. She was then transferred to the Shingwauk Indian Residential School at the age of seven, where she remained for six years. In 1981, she helped found the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association (CSAA), a constructive organization that has been a leader at the national level on the residential school issue. She remained in a leadership position with the organization for 34 years.
In 2005, Horn returned to the Shingwauk Indian School Residential School site – now the home of Algoma University – to enroll in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program.  As a rare graduate of both the Residential School and the University, she received a standing ovation at Convocation in 2009. In 2015, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from the Algoma University Alumni Council.

Horn has been Chief of her own community, the Missanabie Cree First Nation for 10 years, and has also been a member of the Missanabie Cree Elders’ Council. Horn is also Co-Founder of the Echoes of the World Drum Festival, a former member of the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET), and an accomplished artist. Her piece, Project of the Heart, is on permanent display outside of the Doc Brown Lounge at Algoma U.
Chancellor Horn serves as the titular head of the institution. She participates in major ceremonies and events, including the annual September Induction as well as Convocation. Horn confers all degrees. By acting as an ambassador of Algoma U, she also helps to raise the profile of the University as well as assist in both relationship-building and fundraising initiatives. Horn provides support to the University President, as requested, and promotes the University’s special mission in regards to Anishinaabe education.

Ralph Barker, PMP, P. Eng

Economic Growth & Diversity Lead

Ralph Barker is an accomplished executive and senior business leader, with over 30 years of experience effectively managing the development and delivery of innovative, visionary Information & Communication Technology (ICT) services and solutions to a broad spectrum of organizations throughout North America, ranging from small private enterprise to Fortune 1000 companies.

Mr. Barker is a registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario (Waterloo ‘87), as well as a certified Project Management Professional.

He has wide ranging experience in a variety of industry sectors, including Information & Communication Technology, Software & Product Development, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Natural Resources, Lottery & Gaming, Professional Services, and Consulting Engineering.  He also has a diverse background working in a variety of organizational types, including private sector (Fortune 1000, startups, rapid growth), government (public sector, broader public sector), for-profit, not-for-profit, and charity.

Mr. Barker is an acknowledged builder of high performing teams, with a proven track record of bringing an entrepreneurial perspective, along with a focus on innovation, to help enterprises successfully achieve demanding corporate objectives.  Ralph has a successful history of coordinating joint ventures, partnerships, and strategic alliances.  He is considered an expert in the delivery of projects, programs, and large, complex, multi-disciplinary project portfolios.

In 2014, Ralph was honoured to be selected as the Innovation Leader of the Year.  He was also co-founder of The Barker Group International, a successful mid-sized software products and engineering services consulting firm that was awarded the “Ontario Global Traders Award” for one of the fastest growing export firms in Ontario.

Ralph has been actively involved in the community throughout his career, including his volunteer work as a member of the Sault Area Hospital Board (1st Vice Chair & Chair-elect, chair and member of several committees), the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation Board (as well as many of its committees), Destiny Sault Ste. Marie, and other volunteer groups.  He is a provincially licensed soccer coach (Provincial B certification) and has been a volunteer coach for many years. He spends any extra time pursuing numerous leisure activities and hobbies.

Donna Hilsinger

Arts & Culture Lead

Donna Hilsinger has over 40 years of experience in the tourism and hospitality industry and was General Manager of The Water Tower Inn in Sault Ste. Marie from 2000 to 2016.  The Inn will celebrate its 44th Anniversary this year and is considered one of the finest in Northern Ontario.

Very involved in her community across multiple areas, Donna has volunteered her time over the years in tourism, economic development, trail development, arts and culture, education, health care, child welfare, social services and LGBTQ advocacy.  She is a 2008 Northern Ontario Business Influential Women Award winner, Past Chair of the Tourism Sault Ste. Marie Management Board, Past President and Current Executive Director of the Algoma Fall Festival, Chairperson of the Sault Trails Advocacy Committee, Past Secretary of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, Board member of Destination Ontario, member of the Board of the Welcome Friend Association, member of the Regimental Senate of the 49th Sault Ste. Marie Field Regiment, RCA and current Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services Board. 

In 2012 Donna was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for community service and the Chamber of Commerce Athena Award.  In 2013 she received the Leading Women Building Communities Award from the Province of Ontario and in 2014 was awarded an Honorary Member of Algoma University and was the honoree at their annual John Rhodes Scholarship dinner.  In 2015 Donna was recognized both by the Chamber of Commerce and The United Way for outstanding contribution to the life of the community.  She is a passionate believer in the city of Sault Ste. Marie as the best place in Canada to live and work.

Brenda Stenta

Member at Large

Brenda is a communications and public relations professional with over twenty five years experience in communications, public relations, and event management in both the private and public sectors. A graduate of the University of Western Ontario with a degree in Administrative and Commercial Studies and a concentration in finance and economics, she joined Algoma in February 2004. As Manager of Corporate Communications and Branding, Brenda is accountable for internal and external communications and public relations, and serves on committeess with her industry peers at AISI and SMDI. 

As a founding partner of a receptive tour operation, pasat president of the Sault North Rotary Club and former Assistant Manager of the Chamber of Commerce Brenda has spent many years working in the community promoting the virtues of the Algoma region. Today she is a registered member of the International Association of Business Communicators, an active member of the Saut Ste. Marie Community Development Round Table, avid reader, outdoor enthusiast and a proud mother to two teenage children. 

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