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2019 Board Election

In accordance with Section 4:17 of the By-Laws of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors has approved the following slate of nominees to fill (4) four positions open for the 2019-2022 term.

  • Andrew Berringer – Halfway Motors Power Sports
  • Melissa Hardy-Giles – Origin
  • Jeff Heney – Grid Link
  • Matt Pearson – Sleeping Giant Brewing Co
  • Erin Sisko – BDC/Business Development Bank of Canada
  • Jason Thompson – Superior Strategies
  • Katie Trigg – TD Bank

Electronic ballots for the 2019 Board Election will be emailed to the primary representative for each Chamber Member during the week of September 9th.

The deadline for ballots to be submitted is by end of day Monday, September 30th.

Candidate Profiles:

Andrew Berringer - Half Way Motors Power Sports

Andrew Berringer has been a sales consultant for the past two and half years with Halfway Motors Power Sports.  He has worked hard to ensure all clients are taken care, finding the units required, providing his new and old clients with a great experience.

During the last year Andrew has taken on a role as an ambassador with the Chamber which allowed him to become more involved and meet new people. Andrew works hard to assist all members, new and existing to mingle, become more active and come out of their comfort zones.

With your approval Andrew feels that he can be a great asset to the board and will represent the Chamber to the best of his abilities.

Melissa Hardy Giles - ORIGIN

Mrs. Giles was born and raised on Lake Helen Reserve, an hour Northeast of Thunder Bay, ON.  She is married to Paul Giles and a Mother to 3 adult children. She is a graduate of Executive Office Administration and Human Resource Management. She has several years of experience as a Senior Administrator and as a Human Resource Practitioner. Her interests have included kickboxing, marathons, mud runs, women’s cycling team, a love for yoga and most other athletics. In addition to owning/operating a successful business, she spends her ‘spare’ time, as a volunteer in the Kidsmin at Redwood Park Church, a Committee Member of the Walking Together Group at Redwood Park Church, a Youth Fusion Ambassador/Mentor, she’s been spotlighted as a City of Thunder Bay, ‘Heart of The City’ community member by the Intercity Mall Initiative as well as being a Mentor for their ‘BE YOU’ annual campaign focusing on youth of our community, a Board Director of Magnus Theatrea member Anti-Racism Accord – Chamber working group, a Board Member of Thunder Bay Ventures and a volunteer for Thunder Bay’s Local Wake The Giant Initiative, as well as being invited to speak on many panels regarding being a Women Entrepreneur and also in being in the field of offering technology experiential learning modules in order to connect job seekers to industry. She is very proud to be an active member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business as well as the first Indigenous Company to become Procurement Champion with the CCAB. 

Melissa and her husband Paul started Hardy Giles Consulting, a First Nations consulting and training company over 10 years ago.  The company specializes in developing “outside the box” innovative approaches and solutions for training, planning and other specialized projects.  They built on that experience to create ORIGIN, a company that works together with job seekers, Aboriginal communities and employers in Northern Ontario to enable Indigenous workforce participation. Origin’s “First-People-First” process involves engaging, enabling, connecting and transitioning Indigenous people and communities for current and future labour market opportunities. 

Melissa has a passion to help women find and love their ‘true selves’ Once in a position as a single mother and limited education, she appreciates some of the barriers women face today Melissa believes women must always be there for each other and not break one another down. There are enough barriers out there for women without having to fight each other. Together we are strong. She wants to help carry on her late grandmother, Agnes Hardy’s love of her people and empowerment of people whenever, however she can. 

Awards: Partnership of the Year Award from the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund, Game Changer Award with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Entrepreneur of the Year of Northern Ontario. ** Melissa will be accepting the Canadian Business Excellence award for Private Business on September 19th, 2019 in Toronto, ON. She’s also been chosen to represent the Confederation College for the Premier’s Award in Toronto, ON, in December. 

Melissa would be a huge benefit to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce as you can see. She’s been proven to be a successful role model in both her own home community, her city and now that reach is Nationwide. 

Jeff Heney - Gridlink

I was born and raised in Thunder Bay, graduated from Lakehead University and gained all of my professional experience and earned my CPA designation in the city.  I am dedicated to ensuring that businesses can continue to succeed and create employment opportunities in the city. 

Prior to my position at Grid Link, the majority of my experience was in public accounting, consisting of servicing various forprofit and not-for-profit audit and review clients by providing assistance in financial statement preparation, providing recommendations for improvement of internal controls, analyzing financial information and profitability ratios, and providing guidance and leadership for audit teams throughout audit engagements.  I have several years of experience in working with various accounting software programs as well as preparing financial statements and tax returns for large organizations under many different financial reporting frameworks.   

I am currently working as the Chief Financial Officer of Grid Link, a position I’ve held since January 2014.  In that time frame, Grid Link has grown exponentially and I have played an integral role in controlling cash flow, managing debt loads and implementing the policies and procedure necessary to facilitate the growth and maximize profitability.   

I am very interested in serving as a Chamber Board Director because the Chamber supports local and growing businesses like Grid Link and I want to be part of the continued improvement to the Thunder Bay economic landscape.  I believe that my financial expertise, along with my experiences and perspective on business in Thunder Bay as part owner and CFO of a local utility contractor, makes me a great candidate for the Chamber Board of Directors.  Thank you for your consideration. 

Matt Pearson - Sleeping Giant Brewing Company

As Co-Owner and President of Sleeping Giant Brewing Company, I believe I can bring a wealth of experience and passion to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.  While the brewery is a manufacturing facility first, we also have significant retail and food and beverage operations which enables me to represent multiple types of industry within our community.  I believe this knowledge and experience can be of value to both the board and its membership.  Having now fulfilled a successful three-year term on the board previously, I am seeking re-election so that I might continue to advocate and serve as a director. 

I believe I am a dedicated member of the business community, and sit on numerous boards to make sure our collective interest are being met (Ontario Craft Brewers, Thunder Bay Communications, Thunder Bay Ventures, Thunder Bay Border Cats).   As an active member of the Chamber, I have also been fortunate to sit on the Executive Committee and look forward to continuing that commitment.  Thunder Bay has a tremendous business community; it has been a pleasure working with others who feel the same, and I would be honoured to have the opportunity to do so once again. 

Erin Sisko - BDC

Born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario, Erin has always had a passion for community and giving back starting at a young age through various volunteer organizations. Completing a Marketing Diploma from Conestoga College in Kitchener, she graduated with honours and headed right back home excited to find her career. Still not sure what type of career was for her, Erin cast a wide net and applied for every business job that was available. She got a lucky win when Scotiabank hired her as a personal banking officer which is where she got her first experience learning finance hands on.  

Now firmly planted back in Thunder Bay, the time was right to fulfill another dream which was to become a Big Sister with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Twelve years later, her little sister Autumn will be turning 20 this year, and is an important member of her family.  

Professionally, Erin’s career changed a few times after leaving Scotiabank to go back to Lakehead University to achieve her Business Administration Degree. Seven years ago, she received the opportunity to work as an Account Manager for the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and she has never looked back. She has the privilege of supporting entrepreneurs every day and helping them achieve their dreams. Erin continues to fuel her passion for our community by supporting those that take the biggest risks on Thunder Bay, making it a better place to live. Erin cannot thank her clients enough for all they do and allowing her to be a small part of it. 

Jason Thompson - Superior Strategies

A lifelong resident of Northwestern Ontario and over 20 years of Business and Management experience, I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce Board. My family and I are very proud to call Thunder Bay home.

A very active member of the community; I also volunteer my time to many community groups; these include being a founding board member of the Anishnawbe Business Professionals Association, Committee Member at the Thunder Bay Regional Hospital looking to bring cardiovascular Surgery to Thunder Bay, as well as coaching and volunteering for many sports programs across the city. I am a firm believer that the city and the region are on the verge of some substantial economic prosperity and believe that my dedication to the region in an inclusive way will help create some very positive synergies.

I am once again seeking your support to continue to serve as a board member with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. I believe through my active participation on the Chamber of Commerce Board I can continue to advocate for closer relations between Indigenous Businesses and organizations and local businesses to support prosperity for all. 

Katie Trigg - TD Bank

I have recently moved to Thunder Bay to take on the role of Branch Manager at TD’s Commercial Banking Centre on Memorial Avenue. Previously, I was the Branch Manager for TD Canada Trust in Fort Frances, where I was also a Chamber of Commerce board member. I thoroughly enjoy being an active member of my community, and am proud to work for an organization which supports and encourages corporate citizenship and community involvement. I had the opportunity to take on numerous volunteer positions in Fort Frances, including running TD Tree days events, organizing the town Christmas Parade, and forming part of a committee to develop and support Indigenous Arts workshops, to name a few. I was fortunate last year to have my business recognize these contributions to my community, by awarding me with TD’s Vision in Action Award of Distinction. 

I am a Regional Co-Chair for TD’s Women in Leadership organization, where we passionately create dialogue across our business for gender equality and empowerment of female leaders. I have recently become a Corporate Citizenship Ambassador through TD Canada Trust, with a platform to motivate peers, within my own organization as well as others, to organize and facilitate citizenship activities. These activities are aimed at creating more connected and inclusive communities, aspiring to help people feel more confident in their financial future, and striving to create a more vibrant planet through environmental initiatives. 

Joining the Chamber of Commerce would give me the opportunity to engage and meet with business owners and operators in my new community, so I can understand how we can serve them and their clientele better. As a Chamber board member, I would also have the opportunity to contribute to meaningful dialogue on community involvement and inclusion, which is a passion of mine.  

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