May 31, 2005
establishment of Business Advisory Board
Identifying the challenges and optimizing the
opportunities in the business community are key to the future success of
Newfoundland and Labrador, said Premier Danny Williams today as he announced the
establishment of the Business Advisory Board. The board will provide advice to
the Premier and government regarding matters of economic development and
business in the province.
"The establishment of this board will complement the Department of Business and
will perform the important function of advising government of the trends of
today�s economy and the future possibilities for our economy," said Premier
Williams. "I am very pleased that some of Newfoundland and Labrador�s most
dynamic, experienced and successful business people have agreed to participate
on the Business Advisory Board. Membership consists of a wide cross-section of
regions and industries such as IT, tourism, communications and the service
The newly established Business Advisory Board will report to the Department of
Business and will meet throughout the year and provide advice and
recommendations to government.
"As part of our Blueprint commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,
we promised to develop strong business initiatives and advocacy groups, and I am
confident that the new Business Advisory Board is a significant step in
fulfilling that commitment and moving our business prospects forward," added the
Premier. "These individuals will help government recognize the direction of
global markets and will provide strategic advice on how we, as a government, can
most effectively and efficiently assist business in the province.
"Our province experienced a renewed sense of pride and place when we signed the
new Atlantic Accord deal. We were all filled with a new optimism and confidence,
and I believe this new board is well-positioned to contribute to the future
direction of Newfoundland and Labrador."
The board will be comprised of 15 individuals, representing various industries
and regions of the province. Gary Gorman, Dean of Memorial University�s School
of Business, will serve as chair of the board.
"I am delighted that Mr. Gorman has accepted my invitation to serve as Chair of
the Business Advisory Board," said Premier Williams. "Mr. Gorman brings
extensive knowledge of the business community of our province, particularly
small and medium-sized businesses. Ms. Shelia Kelly-Blackmore, vice-chair,
brings vast experience in the business world, especially in our rural regions
which are critical to the future of our province. I thank all of our new board
appointments for their willingness to contribute their knowledge and experience to serve the people of Newfoundland and Labrador in this capacity."
Biographies of members of the Business Advisory Board are attached.
Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500,
Gary Gorman is Dean and Associate Professor with the Faculty of Business
Administration at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He completed his
undergraduate degree in Business Administration at St. Francis Xavier University
in Nova Scotia, his MBA at the University of Western Ontario and his Ph.D. at
Stirling University in Scotland. He joined the university in 1977 from the
private sector where he owned and managed his own business. Mr. Gorman has held
a number of administrative appointments in the university over the past 28
years, including seven years as a co-ordinator in the Business Program. He has
also held appointments as Assistant Director of the Division of Co-ordination,
Director of the Centre for Management Development, and Assistant and Associate
Dean in the Faculty of Business Administration.
Mr. Gorman has conducted workshops on a variety of small business management
topics in Canada and overseas and has written a number of articles in areas such
as co-operative education, entrepreneurship education and financing
knowledge-based businesses. He is co-author of the 1996 and 1998 editions of the
State of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Atlantic Canada. His recent
research focuses on lending to small and medium-sized firms in the
knowledge-based sector and on business development support to knowledge-based
Ms. Kelly-Blackmore has been involved in business management, community and
international development work for more than 30 years. Over the past 11 years as
General Manager of St. Jude Hotel in Clarenville, with a staff of 40+ employees,
she has been recognized with a number of provincial tourism business excellence
awards. Most recently, the property received national recognition from the
Tourism Industry Association of Canada with the CTHRC Award of Excellence in
Human Resources Management.
A past President of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, Ms. Kelly-Blackmore
continues to serve on the provincial executive and board. She was
personally recognized by the provincial tourism industry with the H. Clayton Sparkes "Accommodator of the Year Award." Her business management background is
coupled with several years serving as a Community College Administrator in St.
Anthony and the Yukon and international development work in Suriname and Sri
Ms. Kelly-Blackmore resides in Sandy Cove, Bonavista Bay where she serves on the
local town council. Ms. Kelly-Blackmore has been involved with numerous
community volunteer organizations. Her years of volunteer international
development work in Canada and overseas were honored with the James Robinson's
Award from Canadian Crossroads International.
Mark D. Dobbin
Mr. Dobbin is the founder and President of Killick Capital Inc., a private
equity investment firm headquartered in St. John's. From 1998 to 2003, Mr.
Dobbin was the Chairman and CEO of Vector Aerospace Corporation, a
globally-recognized aviation repair and overhaul company. Prior to the formation
of Vector, he was employed for 17 years as Senior Vice President at CHC
Helicopter Corporation, the world's largest helicopter company. Mr. Dobbin is a
1981 graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland�s Bachelor of Commerce
(co-op) program and also holds an MBA from Dalhousie. Mr. Dobbin is a past
member of the board of directors for Stratos Global Corporation, Newfoundland
and Labrador Hydro, Aerospace Industries
Association and twice served on the CHC board, once as a member of management
and once as an outside director. He is a member of the Advisory Committee for
the Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University.
Mr. Dobbin is the recipient of a number of awards including Canada's Top 40
Under 40, was named one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada and also received
the Alumni of the Year from the Faculty of Business at Memorial University. Mr.
Dobbin has lived and worked in the United States, Scotland and France, as well
as a number of Canadian cities. He is currently a resident of St. John's with
his wife and their three children.
Mr. Ellsworth is the owner and president of Cablelync Inc. He has obtained a
Business Management Diploma from Keyin Tech College, as well as a CIM (Certified
in Management) designation from the Canadian Institute of Management. Mr.
Ellsworth has been working in the telecommunications industry for almost 20
years. He started working in this field in 1989 as manager of information
systems for N1 Cable Systems. In 1996, he moved on to district manager for
CableComm. In 1999, he started his own business in the cable industry which was
incorporated in 2002 as Cablelync Inc.
Mr. Ellsworth is involved in a number of businesses. He owns 100 per cent of the
shares of Cablelync Inc., a cable/IT contracting company operating in both
Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Cablelync currently employs approximately 40
employees. Mr. Ellsworth is also the sole shareholder of Canduit Electric Inc.,
an electrical contractor which completes both residential and commercial work.
Canduit employs approximately 17 employees. He is also the sole shareholder of
Ellsworth Investments Inc. which rents commercial property in both St. John�s
and Mount Pearl.
Mr. Ellsworth is also part owner of Stairs Plus Inc. which manufactures and
installs hardwood stairs. He also holds shares in Blueline Innovations which is
an innovation company that supplies technology for real time feedback on
electrical usage. Blueline is also currently working on a host of
Mr. Steele was born in1965 in Bethesda, Maryland and grew up in Gander. He
attended Memorial University from 1982-1987 and began working for NewCap Radio
in 1988. Mr. Steele became Vice President of NewCap Radio in April 1999. He is
the President of Steele Communications which operates 26 radio licences in
Newfoundland and Labrador and employs 150 people. He is also the President of
Steele Hotels which employs 200 people.
Ms. Bartlett is presently owner/operator of McDonald's Restaurants in Central
Newfoundland with her husband Barry. She was born in Bonavista and is a graduate
of the General Hospital School of Nursing and Memorial University of
Newfoundland�s Community Health Program. Working for 15 years within the health
care field, Mrs. Bartlett joined McDonald�s Restaurants of Canada in 1990.
Currently, she is the franchisee for McDonald�s in the towns of Gander, Grand
Falls-Windsor and Lewisporte, with approximately 200 employees.
Ms. Bartlett presently holds membership in many diverse groups: Association of
Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, Hospitality Newfoundland and
Labrador, Exploits Valley Tourism Association, Chambers of Commerce for
Exploits, Gander, and Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Women
Entrepreneurs (NLOWE) and the Central Status of Women. Ms. Bartlett currently
serves on the board of directors of Newfoundland Power, the Ronald McDonald
House Charities, CNIB (Central) and the Central Status of Women. As an active
volunteer with both school and community events, Ms. Bartlett has served on the
boards of Dr. Charles A. Janeway Child Health Center Foundation, ARNN, South and
Central Health Foundation. Ms. Bartlett was the recipient of the NLOWE 2000
"Provincial Business Woman of the Year " (Central) and a past winner of the
Atlantic Canada Award for "Outstanding Small Business Philanthropist."
Mr. Coleman is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Coleman Group of
Companies. This company is a large provincially-based retail firm with
supermarkets, furniture and clothing operations throughout Newfoundland. Mr.
Coleman graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Francis Xavier
University in 1974 and received a Masters in Economics from Dalhousie University
From 1976 to 1983, Mr. Coleman was a Senior Economist/Manager of the Economics
Department with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro. Prior to joining Coleman�s, he
was the President of the Atlantic Consulting Economists Ltd. from 1983 to 1986.
Mr. Coleman has served on the following boards: Newfoundland Light and Power;
board member and Chair of Fisher Institute of Applied Arts and Technology;
founder and Chair of Immaculate Heart of Mary private Catholic School; board
member on the Council for Canadian Unity. He is currently a board member of
North West Company, Fishery Products International Limited, Canadian Council of
Grocery Distributors, and United Grocers Inc.
Mr. Coleman, born in Corner Brook, is married to Yvonne (Hennebury); they have
Ms. Hicks is the Chief Operating Officer of Spirit of Newfoundland Productions
-- a dynamic entertainment company that delivers year-round high-quality musical
stage shows and boasts a vibrant catering operation. Most of the shows take
place at the company�s Majestic Theatre in downtown St. John�s and at O�Brien�s
Whale and Bird Tours in Bay Bulls. For the summer of 2005, the company has added
a third location for shows � The Wilds Golf Resort in Salmonier. The company is
now in its ninth year of operation and has a staff of almost 100 during its
summer peak. Its name embraces its objective: the development of productions
that celebrate and enhance the rich spirit, culture and talent of Newfoundland
and Labrador. The group has toured across Canada, performed on several national
television broadcasts and has two CDs - Even Seagulls Dream and a new Christmas
CD I�ll be There for Christmas. Spirit of Newfoundland has received many awards
including the 2002 Cultural Tourism Award for Newfoundland and Labrador, the
1999 City of St. John's Event of the Year Award, the 1999 Hospitality
Newfoundland and Labrador Ambassadors Award and the 1998 Tyrone Guthrie Award
from the Stratford Festival.
Ms. Hicks and her business partner Peter Halley bring solid backgrounds in
media, business and the arts to the company. She has been a radio and television
journalist for 12 years and has an extensive background in accounting and
business, including a successful career as financial controller of major events
such as World Cup of Skiing 1982-84 and other public events of international
Mr. Hatcher joined Persona in November of 2004 as its Chief Operating Officer.
In this role, he has P&L responsibility for the organization and will help plan
and implement their aggressive transition from a cable company to a broader
Mr. Hatcher has nearly 20 years experience in the telecommunications industry in
the areas of cable, internet and telecom. Prior to joining Persona, Mr. Hatcher
was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales at 360 Networks and was
responsible for all revenue generating areas of the Canadian operation. Previous
roles included Vice President and General Manager for Group Telecom�s Atlantic
division and Vice President and General Manager of Cable Atlantic Inc., a Cable
MSO operating in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Mr. Hatcher earned an undergraduate degree in Engineering from Memorial
University of Newfoundland in 1986. He has since completed executive management
training at the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario)
and Queen�s School of Business. In addition to his accomplishments in the
telecommunications industry, he is also active in the local community. He is a
past Chairman of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology
Industries. His past and present board memberships include Stellar-Schools,
Newfoundland Science Centre, Operation Online, PB Tech and PlayTime Sports.
He and his wife Gail live in St. John�s and are the parents of two young
In August 2004, Mr. MacDonald became President and Chief Executive Officer of
Persona Communications Corp., a privately-held company with national outlets in
cablevision and Internet services. In the past, Mr. MacDonald has served in the
capacity of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Rogers Cable
Inc. and President of Cable Atlantic Inc., where he was a Director and minority
shareholder for 18 years. He is Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Television
Association (CCTA) and also currently sits on the Board of the Cable Public
Affairs Channel (CPAC). Mr. MacDonald is past Chair of Canadian Cable in the
Classroom, past Chair of Canadian Standards Foundation and past President of
CTAM of Canada. He is a Director of Airborne Entertainment, a wireless content
provider and a past Director of Oceanex (1997) Inc., a reliable and efficient
ocean carrier recognized as North America�s Newfoundland and Labrador
In addition to his cable endeavors, Mr. MacDonald is Chair of Newfoundland and
Labrador Hydro Corporation, Churchill Falls Labrador Development Corporation,
Lower Churchill Development Corporation Ltd., Twin Falls Labrador Corporation
and Gull Island Power Limited. He was a Director of Operation ONLINE, Ireland
Business Partnerships and Memorial University Faculty of Business. Mr. MacDonald
chaired SoftWorld �98, an international IT deal making event held in St. John�s.
Mr. MacDonald is also a contributing editor to Cablecaster Magazine.
Through his work with the cable industry, Mr. MacDonald has received the
Frederick T. Metcalf award for Innovation in Marketing, the cable industry�s
highest award for marketing excellence. In 1996, he was recognized as Gonzagas�
Alumnus of the year and selected in 1998 by the Financial Post as one of
Canada�s top 40 Under 40. More recently, Mr. MacDonald was awarded the
Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries 1998 Leadership
Award. In the same year, he was awarded Memorial University of Newfoundland�s
Faculty of Business 1998 Alumnus of the Year.
Mr. MacDonald and his wife Susan have four boys and reside in St. John�s.
Mr. Brake graduated from Prince of Wales Collegiate in 1989 and went on to
become a graduate of the 1st Royal Newfoundland Regiment (Militia) in 1990 with
GMT and BTT.
He also has concentrations in economics, business and physics from Memorial
University of Newfoundland. He has 15 years experience in the food and beverage
industry and more than nine years experience as a commercial sea urchin diver.
Mr. Brake helped develop the sea urchin fishery in Newfoundland and spurred the
start of the fishery in Labrador through exploratory dive work with the Torngat
He has management experience in the retail food sector and has worked in sales
and in the construction industry.
Mr. Brake is former owner/operator of At Wits Inn Bed and Breakfast in St.
John�s and has built and operated three successful restaurants in St. John�s (My
Brother�s Place, co-founded restaurant, business sold in 2000; Magnum & Steins;
Blue On Water).
He currently operates Browler Construction and Pentagon Holdings Ltd., a real
estate holding company.
Mr. Snow was born in Millertown Junction.
In 1964, he moved to Labrador City and was employed by the Iron Ore Company of
Canada for 10 years.
An entrepreneur at heart, in 1974, Mr. Snow opened a family-operated business
and is currently a Tim Hortons franchisee. Apart from his real estate holdings,
he is a shareholder and director of several local companies, providing direct
employment for 60 people.
Mr. Snow is active in community life. He has been involved in municipal
government for 25 years, serving in the capacity of councilor and mayor. He
served as MHA for seven years and presently serves as deputy mayor of Labrador
He and his wife Anita (Lannon) have been married for 37 years, have two
children, Darren and Shannon, and are the proud grandparents of Peyton and Alec.
Mr. Stirling was born in St. John�s in 1951. Following his graduation from
King�s College in Halifax in 1969, he began his career in broadcasting. Today,
he is the president and CEO of Stirling Communications International (NTV, OZ
FM, Stirling Press, The Newfoundland Herald).
Ms. Johnson, MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, is the youngest woman ever elected to
serve in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly. She is passionate
about sustainable development and the protection of our natural resources. Born
in Carbonear and raised in the Conception Bay community of Gull Island, she
holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Engineering from the University of
New Brunswick and a Masters of Applied Science degree in Environmental
Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is currently working
towards a Masters in Business Administration on a part-time basis.
Ms. Johnson has been active in consulting work and, immediately prior to the
start of her political career in October of 2003, was employed with a regulatory
agency where she worked with electric and water utilities. She has also been
involved in the family business at Northern Bay Sands Park where, among other
things, she organized major entertainment events. She has volunteered with the
North Shore Volunteer Fire Department at fundraising events such as telethons
and has also served as a consultant with the North Shore Regional Development
Association where she developed a proposal for recycling collection, a major
success story that created employment for a dozen individuals.
During her academic years, Ms. Johnson held work placements not only in
Newfoundland and Labrador, but also in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British
Columbia and California; yet, she has never been far in spirit from her home
province. She strongly believes Newfoundland and Labrador's most valued resource
is its people and is determined to help put an end to the exodus of our people
and resources through the creation of new, sustainable opportunities.
Mr. Oram, son of Dawson and Elizabeth Oram, Glovertown, completed primary and
high school education at Glovertown. As well, he completed a business management
Mr. Oram married Karen (Greenham) and has two daughters. He is a successful
business entrepreneur; he co-founded and was a partner in D & P Quality Builders
Ltd., and he established Oram�s Funeral Home and Birchview Manor.
Mr. Oram has been very involved with local community issues; he has served on
the Health and Community Board (Central), was deputy mayor of Glovertown and
served on numerous church boards.
He was elected to the House of Assembly as MHA. for the District of Terra Nova
on October 21, 2003.
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