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.
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.
Dave Gray, 
Treasurer
(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. 
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.
Jim Clément, 
Director

(Board member since 2019 )

Jim got his start in the financial planning industry at a young age and has held numerous roles and responsibilities over the years. His niche is working with business owners and professionals with strategic Wealth, Estate/Succession and Tax and Risk Planning strategies. His clients appreciate his individualized approach to financial planning. By treating every case with 100% dedication and focus, Jim gives his clients the best opportunities for financial success. His experience working in Start-Up Incubators in the Ottawa region and vast background in Financial Services makes him a great resource for any new and established business looking to grow. After making North Bay his home, he joined NECO to continue helping the economy of his community prosper. Outside of One Life Wealth Management (North Bay Inc), Jim is active in his community, part of the Rotaract Club, NECO Director and loves organizing events and lending a hand to anyone in need. He also has a passion for adventures in the outdoors.

Greg Kirton, 
Director

(Board member since 2019)

Greg joined NECO as a representative for East Ferris, where he is currently working as the Manager of Planning and Economic Development for the Municipality. Born and raised in North Bay, Greg is happy to be back in the area after living and working in the GTA as a land use planner for the City of Mississauga. In addition to East Ferris and Mississauga, Greg also has public service experience with the City of North Bay as well as lifelong knowledge of the area that he looks forward to bringing to the NECO board.
Judy Kleinhuis, 
Director

(Board member since 2019)

Judy grew up in various small communities in Northern Ontario and she and her husband Steven moved to North Bay in 1995. Judy and Steven have chosen to raise their children, Katie and Scott, in North Bay. Judy is a Chartered Professional Accountant and is a Principal with Grant Thornton LLP where she provides assurance and business advisory services to her clients. Using her experience in public accounting, Judy is looking forward to serving on the NECO board and assisting NECO clients with economic development in the region.
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.
Vala 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!
Jennifer Nickerson, Director

(Board member since 2019)

Jennifer Nickerson is the Manager at The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound Inc.; a Not-For-Profit organization that provides support to small enterprises from start-up to expansion, in the Districts of Nipissing and Parry Sound. Jennifer’s position is to ensure that the organization is accessing the funding necessary to deliver programs and services essential to entrepreneurs and business owners, who are key to the region’s economic prosperity. Prior to her management position, Jennifer worked directly with clients at The Business Centre to assist them with business plan development, access to funding and mentorship. She is also part of a network of more than 3000 mentors nationwide with Futurepreneur Canada; a program that matches young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 39 with business experts. Prior to her position with The Business Centre, Jennifer was co-owner of a Muskoka based clothing company which had 6 retail outlets as well as a corporate wear division. In the past, Jennifer was also a professional figure skating coach and operated her grandmother’s pub for 2 years with her sister. Jennifer received her Business Administration/Marketing Diploma from Canadore College and is the proud mom of 2 children.
Mandy Strang, Director

(Board member since 2019)

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