MEET OUR

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Narry Paquette, 
Chair
(Board member since 2005)
Narry Ellen Paquette was elected Chair of our Corporation in November 2017, a position she finds most interesting and challenging. She has a long history of public service. In 1994, Narry was elected as a Councillor for the Corporation of the Township of Bonfield where she served on many committees of Council as well as on many committees throughout the community. She was known for volunteering her time tirelessly wherever a helping hand was needed. In 2000, she was elected the first female Reeve of the Township; in 2003 she was acclaimed for her second term as Reeve and in 2004 she made history again by becoming the Township of Bonfield’s first female Mayor.  In 2006 she was once more successful in the electoral race for Mayor and served for the next four years. Narry was one of the five founding directors of the Mattawa Bonfield Economic Development Corporation and one of three founding directors of the Madadjiwan Economic Development Corporation. Both organizations play an important role in the economic growth of the region. In October 2003, Narry decided to take an early retirement from the law firm of Valin Partners as a Legal Assistant to spend more time within the municipality and to dedicate her time to her position as Mayor.  Narry has since returned to work as a consultant on a part time basis where she is as busy as ever, just the way she likes it. She has also returned to her old pursuits, and to the enjoyment of country life in the Rutherglen and Bonfield area.
Dale Robinson, 
Vice Chair

(Board member since 2014)

As a resident of North Bay and Callander, Dale has been involved in various volunteer activities such as driving for Red Cross and the Children’s Aid Society, and coaching in the children’s softball league. Dale is proud to have served one term on the Callander municipal council. His career spans from teaching high school auto mechanics, working in his family’s business, and then on to operating his own businesses, including Seymour Car Wash and Durham Mobile Wash. Dale is an asset on the NECO Board; having successfully been through the loan process himself, he clearly understands the client’s perspective. Dale is also the proud grandfather of five.
Doug Brydges, 
Treasurer
(Board member 2004-2014 and since November 2017)
Before retiring and moving back to the North Bay area in 2001, Doug owned and operated a weekly newspaper and commercial printing plant for 20 years in northwestern Ontario. During that time, he served in public office as a school board trustee (1988-94) and two terms as a municipal councillor (1985-87, 2000). Doug was instrumental in a regional process that led to activation of two regional economic development corporations, one being the Greenstone Economic Development Corporation (a CFDC) and serving as founding president and chair of both. Doug’s extensive community volunteer service in the Greenstone Region included 20 years with the Geraldton Rotary Club, a shoreline reclamation project, development of a public waterfront park (Barton Bay) and two years as a community liaison member with the Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Task Force. Since moving to Callander, Doug has served two terms as a Callander Councillor (2007-2014), and as Callander’s representative with the North Bay-Mattawa Conservation Authority (2011-2014). He currently serves as chair of Callander’s Planning Advisory Committee and as a director with Blue Sky Net (since 2005).
Barbara Laplante, 
Chair IRC Committee
(Board member since 2001)
Barbara joined NECO as a representative of the former BIA (Downtown North Bay) board. She served 2 terms on the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and 2 terms as an Ontario Trillium Foundation Board member. Barbara retired from owning a successful downtown North Bay business (Follis Shoes Ltd). She and her husband Dan Laplante have resided in North Bay for 50 years and have 3 children: Christopher, Geoffrey and Jillian.
Juanita Allan, 
Director

(Board member since – )

Juanita operated a family business in the Niagara Peninsula prior to moving to Kearney in 1974. Since this time, she operated a tourism resort, raised three sons and has worked hands on in tourism marketing. Her volunteer time began with sitting on the Board of Directors for The Near North Tourism Area and also NECO. Juanita is proud to represent all business and economic development in South Almaguin.
Jacques Bégin, 
Director
(Board member since November 2017)
Jacques has lived and worked in Mattawa since February 18, 1980 and just recently retired after 38 great years of employment with the Corporation Town of Mattawa as Director Tourism and Recreation.  He was previously the first Recreation Director for the Town of Moosonee from June 1976-1980.  Graduated Fanshawe College June 1976.  Co-Chair Mattawa Voyageur Days for first 20 years.  Co-owner 24/7 Fitness Centre.  President Voyageur Curling Club.  School Board Trustee and presently Vice Chair Nipissing Parry Sound Catholic District School Board. Jacques is an avid snowmobiler, loves golf and the great outdoors.  He has always believed and promoted the total Nipissing Region serving on many Boards and Committees.  Jacques was proud to be appointed to the NECO Board of Directors to assist business and community development and employment opportunities.
Roman Brozowski, 
Director

(Board member since 1987)

Roman Brozowski has been a resident of North bay since he arrived to take a position teaching at Nipissing University College in 1973. His background experience has included serving as Dean of Arts and Science at Nipissing, Grievance officer, President and Vice President of the Nipissing University Faculty Association. During his term as President he served on 4 Faculty/University Negotiating Committees and also assisted the Part-time Faculty to Unionize. His participation outside the University has included spending 7 years working closely with the MNR as Chair of the Temagami Advisory Council and the Comprehensive Planning Council in developing a comprehensive land use plan for the Temagami region. With changing governments, he reported to three different Ministers of Natural Resources, each representing one of the 3 Ontario Political parties. He had the opportunity to work with the TAA First Nations and Chaired the town hall meetings held throughout the region by the Treaty Negotiating parties of the TAA First Nations and the Ontario Government. Roman has been a long-standing Board member of NECO where he served as Vice Chair and Chair and on several other Committees. He also serves as a Board Member of Innovation Initiatives Ontario North. As a Board member of NECO he has always worked towards growth and development of North Bay and the municipalities of the Nipissing East region. This includes investing in diverse business enterprises while working closely with all municipalities. Creating jobs and supporting healthy prosperous municipalities continues to be an important goal.
Caren Gagné, 
Director
(Board member since 1987)
Dave Gray, 
Director
(Board member since November 2017)
Having been raised in the Burk’s Falls Area in the Almaguin Highlands region, Dave has always had a deep appreciation for community and small, local businesses.  He studied business management in the hopes of one day returning home and establishing a business of his own and a foundation for his family.  Dave has served the Burk’s Falls area and the Southern Almaguin Highlands since 2013 and has dedicated himself to helping build capacity within the various communities, their businesses and organizations.  He joined the NECO board to promote growth and development within the Almaguin Highlands region and its many diverse businesses as well as to further his knowledge in business development and finance. 
Jerry Knox, 
Director
(Board member since November 2017)
Jerry and his wife Janet live in North Bay. Janet and her family originate in North Bay while Jerry moved here in 1980 to accept employment at DuPont Canada. After a 4-year transfer to southern Ontario they returned to North Bay where Jerry worked for Ontario Northland Transportation Commission and most recently retired from the City of North Bay. As a converted Northerner, he truly believes in North Bay and the surrounding region and often thinks we underestimate our capabilities and what we have to offer the world. Recognizing the role NECO plays and wanting to contribute to the growth and sustainability of the region, he accepted the invitation to submit his name as a Board Member. With his knowledge of the municipal world, experience in working on economic development initiatives, as well as strategic development, Jerry is committed to working with the NECO Board and our partners in the development of the region.
Valla Monestime-Belter, 
Director

(Board member since February 2018)

Vala is pleased to represent the Mattawa, Papineau Cameron, Mattawan and Calvin areas as well as all the people of East Nipissing and East Parry Sound. Vala is a highly motivated, efficient and effective businessperson; knowledgeable in organization, staffing and management. With a background in healthcare, she is a community advocate and experienced in local, regional and provincial for profit and not-for profit organizations. She looks forward to hearing the needs of the community and supporting the success of new and existing businesses and projects!

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Future.

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