May 31, 2005
(Executive Council)

Premier announces 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 industry."

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.

Media contact:
Elizabeth Matthews, Office of the Premier, (709) 729-3960, 690-5500,


Gary Gorman
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 businesses.

Sheila Kelly-Blackmore
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 Lanka.

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.

Ron Ellsworth
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 consumer-friendly products.

John Steele
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.

Peggy Bartlett
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."

Frank Coleman
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 in 1981.

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 seven children.

Kathie Hicks
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 stature.

Paul Hatcher
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 telecommunications provider.

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 daughters.

Dean MacDonald
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 connection.

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.

Jason Brake
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 Fisheries Co-operative.

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.

Alec Snow
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 City.

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.

Scott Stirling
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).

Charlene Johnson
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.

Paul Oram
Mr. Oram, son of Dawson and Elizabeth Oram, Glovertown, completed primary and high school education at Glovertown. As well, he completed a business management program.

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.

2005 05 31                                                  11:25 a.m.

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