Board of Directors

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Karen Grant

Karen Grant

Position on the Board: President 2019-2020 | Company: Kiers Marketing

Karen Grant, President of Kiers Marketing, has been a member of the Fredericton business community since 1984.

Karen joined Kiers Marketing in 1990, a full-service marketing and graphic design agency providing marketing and design services in Fredericton for 35 years. In 2002, Karen purchased Kiers with Doug Daley and Paul Thompson.

Kiers Marketing received a Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award in 2011 and was a finalist in the same category in 2017. Karen was the recipient of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 2015.

Karen very much enjoys being involved in and volunteering in her community. Community involvement includes past treasurer for Fredericton District Soccer Association for 12 years (and at one point was also the competitive program director for two years), past member of Soccer New Brunswick’s competitive league, was a member of Fredericton’s Women in Business Network and, prior to joining the Chamber board, a member of several committees of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce.

Karen is married to Kirby, they have two adult sons – Matt and Adam – who both live and work in Fredericton.

Ryan Boyer

Ryan Boyer

Position on the Board: Past President | Company: Cain Boyer Benefits Group

Ryan joined the family business, Boyer & Associates, after graduating from UNB in 2001.  Ryan moved on to be president of Boyer & Associates, and is now the senior benefits consultant with Cain Boyer Benefits Group.  Currently enrolled in the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist program {CEBS} through Dalhousie University Ryan continues to grow the business, adding new advisors and growing their clients, while striving to provide exemplary customer service and counsel.

Locally born and raised, Ryan does his best to give back to his community.  Ryan is Past President of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce as well as chair of Ignite Fredericton’s Creative Sector Task Force.  He is a former member of the York Sunbury Search and Rescue Team and past director with the Fredericton Community Foundation, Fredericton Executive Association, and Falls Brook Centre.  Ryan also enjoys assisting with kids programs through the YMCA.

He stays busy with beekeeping and sustainable, organically-minded agricultural initiatives, all things outdoors, and is an avid music lover.

Ryan and his wife Jacqueline’s ambitions ultimately focus on their three wonderful boys, Henry, Holden, and George.  They cherish spending time with the boys.

Bob Chisholm

Bob Chisholm

Position on the Board: 1st Vice President | Company: McDonald's Restaurants

Attended McMaster University in Hamilton from 1974-1978 and graduated with an Honors Degree in Commerce.

In 2002 Bob and Jan left the corporate world and joined the McDonald’s franchise system by purchasing one restaurant in Caledonia Ontario. While in Caledonia Bob was active in Rotary and became the President of the Chamber of Commerce.

In 2005 they sold the Caledonia location and moved to North Bay, Ontario where they purchased four McDonald’s locations. After seven years in Northern Ontario Bob and Jan were approached by McDonalds to move to Fredericton and in 2012 sold North Bay and purchased the seven restaurants in Fredericton & Oromocto.

Wanting to get involved in our new community they began fundraising for the Chalmers Hospital Foundation, Camp Rotary and the Atlantic Ronald McDonald House.

In December 2013 working with KHJ radio they founded a Xmas toy drive and in just 3 years have collected over 2000 toys for the Fredericton Salvation Army.

Bob is the past-president of Business Fredericton North.

Bob has been active in McDonalds as the National Chairman of the Customer Value Committee and is the elected representative on the National Business Forum, for the Atlantic McDonalds Owners.

Jeff Saunders

Jeff Saunders

Position on the Board: 2nd Vice President | Company: Teed Saunders Doyle

A Fredericton native, Jeff is a Tax Partner with Teed Saunders Doyle.  Jeff is a Chartered Professional Accountant and received his Bachelor of Business Administration from UNB in 1996.  He has also completed the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants In-Depth Tax Course.  He loves the challenge of working on clients’ complex tax issues such as corporate reorganizations, succession planning, family trusts or planning for the purchase or sale of a business.  Jeff enjoys travelling, playing golf and spending time with his wife, Shauna, and their daughter, Ella.  He has served as a committee member for various committees of the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and the Chalmers Regional Hospital Foundation.

Jill Stairs

Jill Stairs

Position on the Board: Treasurer | Company: Daye Kelly & Associates

Jill is a partner with Daye Kelly & Associates and enjoys working with a diverse group of clients, providing business advisory, assurance, and tax services for individuals, not-for profits, municipalities, and small businesses across a wide range of industries.

Jill holds a Chartered Professional Accounting designation, and has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from UNB as well as a technical diploma from NBCC.  With an educational background in Computer Science, Operations Management, and Human Resources, she has worked in both the Information Technology and Energy sectors before moving to Public Practice in 2008.

Through the years, Jill has served on a number of not for profit boards and committees for a variety of causes.  She and her husband both grew up in the Fredericton area and are happy to be raising their two girls in the community.  Jill’s personal and professional goal is to build strong, meaningful relationships that make our community a better place to live and work.

Mark MacKenzie

Mark MacKenzie

Position on the Board: Executive Member | Company: Green Imaging Technologies Inc.

Mark has lived in Fredericton for over 30 years, attending UNB before graduating from Mount Allison University. Mark has made a career in business development and sales, working at several IT companies over the last 20 years. Since 2009, Mark has helped build Green Imaging Technologies from a fledgling start up to a well-established and stable petroleum software company. Mark heads up the sales team and is charge of finding, establishing and growing new markets for GIT’s ever expanding product range.

Mark has laid down deep roots in Fredericton, and he and his wife Melanie are focused and motivated by their two young daughters.

Mark has put action behind his desire to help community development through support of local entrepreneurial initiatives, several mentorship programs and public consultation on economic development. This will be Mark’s second stint on the Chamber Board, having served on the 2010-2012 Board.

Ken Critchley

Ken Critchley

Position on the Board: Executive Member | Company: Morneau Shepell

Ken came to New Brunswick from Western Canada, and after completing his Bachelor of Business Administration in 2002 at UNB, chose to make Fredericton his home.  He has spent his career in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.  After working several years with the Government of New Brunswick`s Office of Human Resources in pensions and insured benefits, he joined a local management consulting company where he provided financial, strategic, and program design services to clients in both private and public sectors.

While working and starting a family, Ken returned to school at UNB and completed his MBA in 2014. In 2017 he joined Morneau Shepell as Senior Business Consultant. Ken also lectures part-time for the Economics Department at St. Thomas University.

Ken`s community involvement has included volunteering at a number of Fredericton arts and cultural events. He is a Past Chair of the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival and continues to volunteer as Director of Bar Operations on the Harvest Board.

In his spare time he enjoys cycling on the Fredericton trail system, supporting UNB Varsity Reds athletics, and spending time with his wife, Stephanie, and twin girls, Robin and Piper.

Adam Peabody

Adam Peabody

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Planet Hatch

Adam Peabody is a passionate member of Fredericton’s economic development and business community. He grew up in Fredericton and returned to his hometown to begin his career after graduating from Bishop’s University (Sherbrooke, QC) with a Bachelors degree in economics & politics. Throughout Adam’s career, the focus has been on economic development through international business. He has worked at and volunteered for several not-for-profits dedicated to supporting youth, business, and international trade.

Currently, Adam is the Director of Planet Hatch, New Brunswick’s flagship startup acceleration centre. In this capacity, Adam is responsible for the strategic vision and direction of the centre. He focuses on supporting entrepreneurs and new venture creation by developing dynamic programming, services, partnerships and innovation.

Before joining Planet Hatch, Adam was the Investment Attraction & Growth Specialist at Ignite Fredericton. At Ignite, Adam supported local job creation by working with stakeholders and partners to attract foreign direct investment to the Fredericton region and supporting local companies seizing international opportunities for export.

Prior, Adam worked for national not-for-profit organization, Global Vision. As Global Vision’s project manager, Adam organized youth entrepreneurship and leadership programs across Canada and abroad through the Junior Team Canada trade mission program, where he organized teams of high school and university students for trade missions to China, Malaysia and Peru. Before joining Global Vision as staff, Adam was involved for years as a student ambassador and volunteer.

Lori Clarke

Lori Clarke

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Lori Clarke Interior Design Inc.

Lori Clarke, President of Lori Clarke Interior Design Inc., has been a member of the Fredericton Chamber since 2015.

Lori Clarke studied interior design from the Interior Design Institute in 2013 and created the award-winning Lori Clarke Interior Design Inc. in the fall of 2014 – while working full time as the New Brunswick Department of Health (DH) Laboratory Medicine Consultant.

Within her 35-year career as a public servant, Lori added much value to the province’s medical laboratory world. She provided analytical and decision support to many programs and branches within government and developed numerous policies and procedures – both at the provincial and national levels – relating to a wide range of topics, from the National Blood supply to the development of H1N1 Laboratory testing best practices.

From a personal lens, her greatest achievement is the successful implementation of a new provincial laboratory accreditation system to ensure New Brunswick residents benefit from the highest possible levels of quality and competence for all their laboratory tests. This new system is recognized internationally as the highest quality system for laboratory accreditation.

After 35 years as a dedicated public servant, Lori retired from Government in the fall of 2017 to focus full time on her interior design business and become more involved in various committees and organizations in the greater Fredericton area. As a result of the full time focus on her business, and the growth of her brand, she recently hired an associate to the business.

Lori is very committed to the Chamber and has utilized chamber members to provided expertise and support to create her award-winning brand. Lori Clarke Interior Design Inc. was finalist at the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards in 2018 in the Start Up Business of the Year.

Kim Nash McKinley

Kim Nash McKinley

Position the Board: Board Member | Company: Saint Mary’s First Nation

Kim Nash-McKinley, B.A. is a Maliseet woman, a Former Chief and recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, which she received for her commitment and dedication of over twenty years to issues that affect the off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples; provincially in New Brunswick, regionally in the Maritimes and nationally in Canada through participation in the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.

Nash-McKinley has twenty-five years of serving on a variety of Boards and Commissions at the local, provincial, regional and national levels; experience as Chief Executive Officer for various non-profit organizations and currently a board member on the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and on New Brunswick Health Council. Nash-McKinley is a member of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network since May 2017;  this is a collaborative network designed to support Indigenous communities embarking on clean energy projects.

Nash-McKinley has served on the Advisory Council for Violence Against Aboriginal Women and has served as the inaugural Anglophone Co-chair for the New Brunswick Voices of Women’s Forum; and is an advocate for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls.

Nash-McKinley has shared her skills and knowledge with her communities in a variety of sectors and is currently employed as the Director of Economic Development for Saint Mary’s First Nation.

Lori Stickles

Lori Stickles

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: New Brunswick Liquor Corporation

Lorie is employed at ANBL (Alcool NB Liquor), as Vice President, CFO.  Lori is past Director of Finance with Luminultra Technologies. Ltd. Prior to returning home to Fredericton, Lori spent several years with Enbridge, both in Fredericton and Toronto.

Lorie holds a Chartered Professional Accounting designation, and has earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from UNB.  Throughout her career, she has worked for private as well as not-for-profit companies, in positions where she has provided senior leadership in areas including project management, corporate services & financial management and regulatory compliance.

Lorie has previously held positions on the Fredericton chapter CGA Board as well as the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival Board.  She grew up in the northside of Fredericton and has two children who also call Fredericton their home.

Mike Melvin

Mike Melvin

Posiiton on the Board: Board Member | Company: McInnes Cooper

Mike is a corporate-commercial lawyer and a partner with the regional law firm of McInnes Cooper.  In addition to his regular corporate-commercial law practice, he is recognized as a leading Canadian franchise lawyer in The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and in the Chambers Canada 2018 Guide. He is also an experienced Registered Trademark Agent.

Mike served as a consulting mentor in the Chamber’s Business Immigrant Mentorship Program from 2011 until it moved to its new home at Ignite Fredericton in 2019. He also sat on the Steering Committee for the Chamber’s Succession Connect program throughout its initial three-year pilot.  Mike is active in the start-up space, having served as a member of Ignite Fredericton’s Start-up Visa Committee and as a participant in office hours at Planet Hatch (giving free legal advice to start-up entrepreneurs).

Originally from St. John’s, NL, Mike studied music before going to law school.  He studied classical guitar performance and music history at Mount Allison University, The San Francisco Conservatory of Music and The University of Arizona.

Outside of work, Mike’s new found passion is physical fitness and he regularly attends personal training sessions throughout the week. He also enjoys quiet nights at home with his wife, Carol Ann, his back deck and fire pit, DIY projects around the house, good coffee and the occasional cigar.

Dhirendra Shukla

Dhirendra Shukla

Position on the Board: | Company: University of New Brunswick

Dhirendra is Professor and the Dr J Herbert Smith ACOA Chair in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Canada. Dhirendra utilizes his expertise from the telecom sector and extensive academic background in the areas of entrepreneurial finance, masters of business administration, and engineering, to promote a bright future for New Brunswick. Passionate about entrepreneurship, design, engineering, innovation, and leadership, Dhirendra ignites this same passion in others through his teaching at UNB, local entrepreneurial community outreach, and the creation of programs such as the Masters of Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (MTME) program, Technology Commercialization Program, Summer Institute and Energia Ventures. Recognition of his tireless efforts and vision are demonstrated through UNB’s 2014 award from Startup Canada as “Most Entrepreneurial Post-Secondary Institution of the Year”, his nomination as a finalist for Industry Champion by KIRA, and his nomination as a finalist for Progress Media’s Innovation in Practice award. Dhirendra was nominated for the RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award and selected by a panel of judges as a Top 75 finalist. Most recently, he received the Entrepreneur Promotion Award by Startup Canada (2017), as well as the Outstanding Educator Award by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick in 2018.

Krishna Khaitan

Krishna Khaitan

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: AV Group NB Inc. | Aditya Birla Group

Krishna Khaitan is Vice President and Chief Finance Officer (CFO) of AV Group. Krishna Khaitan has over 25 years of global experience working in different manufacturing and service industries. Prior to joining AV Group in 2006, Krishna worked in India and South East Asia assuming increasingly responsible roles which have extended well beyond finance and accounting. With an Honors Degree in Commerce, Krishna continued with his education to become a Chartered Accountant. He received his MBA in 2013.
Krishna is a part of the senior management team of AV Group which owns two dissolving grade pulp mills in New Brunswick and a paper grade pulp mill in Ontario. The Group acquired the first mill in Atholville in 1998 and the second mill in Nackawic in 2005 and converted them from bankrupted paper pulp mills into economically sustainable dissolving grade rayon pulp mills. Rayon pulp is exported to make viscose fiber. AV Group employs over 650 direct employees. AV Group was recognized by the NB export award and Atlantic Canada’s Best Employer in the past.

Krishna moved to Fredericton in 2006 with his wife and happily raised their two kids in the community. He has volunteered as a Board member for the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. Krishna’s engagement with the local community is through volunteering with Mactaquac Country Chamber of Commerce, Indo Canadian Association, Forest NB, Canada Forest Product Association Tax Committee, Fredericton Art Alliance etc.

Cassandra Blackmore

Cassandra Blackmore

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Just Better Styling

Casandra has worked in the clothing and administrative industry for seven years. She has been the administrative manager at Robert Simmonds for those seven years and is currently transitioning to becoming an entrepreneur herself!

Cassandra is deeply passionate about being involved in her community; from animal welfare to empowerment through dance, Cassandra spends her time meeting new people and learning new skills as much as she can.

During the day, Cassandra hones her skills in business, administraiton and clothing at Robert Simmonds. She manages everything from financials to web design. When asked to describe her position, Cassandra will often say that she is a “jack of all trades”. She enjoys learning and growing on a daily basis and is happiest when she comes across a task she doesn’t know how to tackle. Cassandra views these as opportunites to grow and become better.

From this mindset and passion for learning grew the brand Just Better Styling. The Just Better Styling experience focuses on helping clients to tune into their individual style while teaching them the skills to pair down their wardrobe and start shopping intelligently and with purpose. The Just Better Styling experience includes online consultations and styling, closed audits, one-on-one shopping and glam photo shoots to help her clients not only celebrat their successes but truly take ownership of who they are and what they want and most of all, to become Just Better. For business, for life.

Cassandra has served on the New Members Committee for the Fredericotn Chamber of Commerce for the past two years. She is looking forward to dedicating her time to the board this year and hopes to utilize her skills and passions to better the business community through the experience.

Geoff Phinney

Geoff Phinney

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Fredericton Toyota

Geoff grew up in Moncton NB and enjoyed numerous sports and a love for cars. He started washing cars after school and in the summer at a local car dealer. He progressed through the different departments before landing a role as a business manager.

Geoff worked in this role for many years before chasing his dream of becoming a professional chef. One summer while vacationing in PEI he enrolled in the Culinary Institute of Canada and went on to graduate and work in the food industry.

Travelling was a passion and Geoff’s new career path enabled him to travel and work as a Chef in numerous locations; Iqaluit, Bermuda and Australia to name a few. Geoff landed a role as a Sous Chef onboard a cruise ship where he spent 2 years travelling around the world seeing all its beauty.

Atlantic Canada kept calling him and eventually he moved home in 2003 where he went back in the car business with Toyota. In 2017 the opportunity to move to the capital city and take over the reigns of Fredericton Toyota presented itself and Geoff jumped at the opportunity.

Geoff is a recent Graduate and class president of the NADA Academy in Tysons Virginia.

Geoff and his wife Tracy believe strongly in community involvement and have been immersing themselves since their arrival in 2017. Through the years Geoff has been involved in coaching both hockey and football and loves the life lessons sport can teach.

Shannon Dion

Shannon Dion

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Bringloe Feeney

Born and raised in Fredericton, Shannon graduated from the University of New Brunswick in 1999 with a BBA and achieved her CA designation in 2002. Shannon became a partner of Bringloe Feeney in 2019 after joining the firm as a Senior Manager in 2012.

Shannon works in the assurance and business advisory side of the business and takes pride in assisting clients with their various needs in all aspects of their business. Shannon has a wide range of experience with various types of clients including owner-managed businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Shannon is also involved as a director of Coach NB and holds the honorary title of Director Emeritus from Harvest Jazz & Blues festival. Shannon has previously been involved with the Loyalist Rugby Club and Co-Ed Fred Volleyball club as both a player and Board member. In her spare time, Shannon enjoys playing volleyball and spending time with her husband Dave and son Oliver.

David Shipley

David Shipley

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Beauceron Security Inc.

David is a recognized Canadian leader in cybersecurity, frequently appearing in local, regional and national media and speaking at public and private events across North America. David is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Information and Communications Studies as well as a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Brunswick.

Between July 2012 and May 2017 David helped lead the multi-year effort to transform UNB’s approach to cybersecurity. David led UNB’s threat intelligence, cybersecurity awareness and incident response practices before founding Beauceron Security. In 2018, David contributed to the book The Language of Cybersecurity by XML Press.

His experience in managing awareness programs, risk management and incident response helped shape the vision for the Beauceron platform

Mohamed Khirallah

Mohamed Khirallah

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Roticana Coffee Company Inc.

Mohamed Khirallah is a passionate and committed community leader and a peacemaker.
In 1999, after having his bachelor’s degree in Applied Arts from Cairo, followed by one-year postgraduate studies, Mohamed moved to Dubai with his wife in 2001.

He is the founder and CEO of True Vision Designs, a well-known advertising agency started in 2002 in Dubai. Having over 15 years of experience, the company started by providing consumer promotional concepts for marketing activities. Today, True Vision Designs offers professional expertise in advertising and graphic design in here in Canada.

In 2016, Mohamed had the will to start a new chapter in his life. And that is why he moved with his family to Canada. He continues his advertising business by establishing True Vision Designs in Fredericton.

Moreover, Mohamed has started a new venture in coffee business in 2017, realizing his dream of bringing back his family legacy. He is currently the founder and the general manager of Roticana Coffee Company Inc. This bold and ambitious coffee venture is committed to producing the best coffee from the most exquisite beans imported from across the globe using a unique one-touch “state-of-the-art” automation roasting process.

Mohamed believes that perfection is only possible with consistency and precision. For him, it is paramount to put a smile on everyone’s coffee experience.

Mohamed had the honor to be awarded and named as “Champion for Cultural Diversity 2018” for “Immigrant Business”, by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council.

From his activities and professional experience, Mohamed is a true entrepreneur with a great vision to develop his business. Moreover, he is a proactive leader, who strongly believes in giving back to his community.

Lindsay Bowman

Lindsay Bowman

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Connors Stilwell

Lindsay is a corporate- commercial and employment lawyer at the firm of Connors Stilwell. Connors Stilwell is New Brunswick’s boutique corporate and tax law firm offering a full suite of personalized corporate, commercial, tax and estate law services and advice. They take pride in developing strong relationships with their clients and becoming their trusted advisors. Lindsay has over ten years of experience working extensively with entrepreneurs working in both the public and private sector. She is a passionate advocate for her clients, her community and the Province of New Brunswick . She’s a proud graduate of St. Thomas University and received her law degree from the University of Alberta.

Lindsay and her husband Paul are the owners of Bowman’s Pharmasave, and were honored to win the 2018 Wilson Insurance Ltd. Start-Up Award at the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. Lindsay is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the New Brunswick Community College and a past Board member of BioNB, the Fredericton Multi-Cultural Society, the Greater Moncton YMCA and the Fredericton Chapter of Canada Learning Code. Lindsay is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and Fredericton and Area Women in Business Network.

Lindsay is thrilled to be able to serve the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce and to contribute to a community she is exceptionally fond of.

Shawna Foster

Shawna Foster

Position on the Board: Board Member | Company: Moco Downtown

Shawna Foster is the co-owner of MoCo Downtown. She has a diverse background in restaurant management, public accounting, real estate & team development. Shawna holds a B.Sc. in Biology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. She has also been enrolled in the CGA program and had advanced to the 4th level prior to moving back to New Brunswick. Shawna had always hoped to one day open a restaurant with her chef/ husband Brian. In 2016 with a bit of luck, some help from friends and a lot of hard work, her dream became a reality. Shawna is fully dedicated to the success of MoCo downtown and is extremely hands on in the day-to-day operations. When Shawna isn’t at MoCo, she is spending time with her three children Cole, Morgan & Annabelle.

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