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Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for governing the affairs of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members. The Board structure and the method for selection are specified in the Aurora Chamber’s bylaws. The Directors are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting.

The 2022-2023 Board of Directors were inducted by Mayor Mrakas at the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on September 27, 2022.

 

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Al Wilson, Chair

Al is the Executive Director of the Workforce Planning Board of York Region, which is located here in Aurora. The Board is sponsored by the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training, and Skills Development, and undertakes local labour market research in York Region in order to determine employment issues and trends in our key employment market sectors. This is Al’s fifth year on the Board.

 

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Harry Asbreuk, Vice Chair & Treasurer

Harry has over 25 years of banking experience with Scotiabank and Meridian Credit Union. He is currently the Branch Manager at the Meridian Credit Union location on Wellington Street. He is also a past Director of the Halton Hills Chamber of Commerce. This is Harry’s fourth year on the Board.

 

Roger

Roger Singh, Secretary

With over 19 years in the Insurance and Financial Services industry, I take pride in leading a sales force of 50 independent Desjardins Insurance Agents by providing business management consulting with an emphasis on leadership, office management, sales and marketing. In addition, I manage the financial side of our local business, Gowda-Singh Insurance Inc. which is primarily operated by my wife, Samantha Gowda-Singh.

I am a “self-proclaimed” foodie and explorer, and my preference is to always support local. In our free time, you will find Samantha and I trying new foods and experiences, although this is quite the luxury these days as we balance our professional careers and personal lives with our newborn daughter who recently celebrated her first birthday!

 

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Hugh Caines, Director

A results-oriented professional with over 30 years of experience in Manufacturing Leadership in businesses in both Canada and the US. Hugh has a successful track record in leading and implementing lean manufacturing principles and transforming organizational culture to support and sustain those principles.

Hugh is a highly effective leader. Hugh’s passion is in providing a great customer experience, by developing employees and delivering exceptional business results through the use of lean principles. Since being appointed to President, he has taken on a broader organizational leadership and mentoring role in order to ensure the organization is well positioned for growth.

 

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Tsungayi Chigwamba, Director

Tsungayi is the General Manager of the Microtel by Wyndham – Aurora, the newest addition to hotels in Aurora. With over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Tsungayi enjoys taking advantage of opportunities to connect with her community members and building positive relationships with her associates  and guests. Tsungayi’ s experience as a volunteer on other boards gave her the opportunity to understand the critical nature of community advocacy in building better communities. She enjoys meeting her community at work and when not working enjoys skiing and road trips. Her name is pronounced “soon – guyi”.

 

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Joe Cornacchia, Director

Joe is the General Manager of New Roads Aurora Toyota, located in Aurora.  This is Joe's third year on the Board.

 

 

Phiona

Phiona Durrant, Director

Phiona is the mom to two boys, with a passion to serve her community.  She’s the CEO of Coconut Village Spa, President of Aurora Black Community Association, a Board Member for the Downtown Aurora Business Improvement Association and a Member of the York Advisory Council.  Phiona enjoys writing and reading inspiring quotes, and one of her favorite quotes that speaks to her as an entrepreneur is, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.  Don’t make money your goal.  Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” Maya Angelou

 

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Scott Harris, Director

Scott Harris is a Wealth & Estate Planning Advisor and co-founder of Stonehaven Financial Group, a boutique planning firm that explores the relationship between life and money. With over 20 years of experience working with top entrepreneurs from across the country and the people that support them, he helps his clients take action on the advantages they have by growing and securing their wealth.

SFG is a full service, multi-advisor firm offering solutions through superior strategic alliances that are experts in Estate and Insurance Planning, Wealth Management and Multigenerational Wealth Transfer, Corporate Planning and Employee Benefit Services. Scott lives in Aurora with his wife and 3 children.

 

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Julien Laurion, Director

Julien is a Real Estate Agent and Renovator with Big Tuna Realty.

I am a fan of nicknames and always have been. Why BIG TUNA? Well, I have always swam a little outside the school, and I am a big guy! I am proud of my accomplishments; but, nothing makes me prouder than where I came from and where I am heading.

I am proud to have both worked and lived in this community for over 20 years and I love what I do working as both a Realtor and Renovator. This is my first time sitting on a board of directors and I am beyond excited to learn and continue to give back to my community and support fellow small business owners in Aurora.

 

John Long

John Long, Director

John is the Vice President of Operations at Ontario Heating and Air Conditioning Ltd. based in Aurora. With over 30 years experience in the Commercial HVAC world, he is an active participant on various industry level committees that foster and promote education, training, safety and industry standards. Over the span of his career, he rose from being a certified HVAC technician, to holding various senior roles in managing frontline employees, operations, sales and project delivery both locally and abroad. John resides in the community with his wife Rose and daughter Rachel.

 

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Nima Khadem Mohtaram, Director

Nima is a Co-founder of several startup companies in Canadian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, and an active business coach, and angel investor, where he is bringing his solid skills in engineering consulting and entrepreneurship to many startup companies. He is currently Chief of Business Development at TriMiS company where they produce Antimold paints for Construction Industries in Canada and the US. He is a seasoned leader who served as President of Canadian Biomaterials Society and currently is a Professor within the Faculty of Engineering at University of Waterloo. Nima is a serial entrepreneur and has over 18 years of experience in developing and leading numerous projects.

 

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David Olesen, Director

David, with a dual professional practice as a business, finance and commercial lawyer while also being an advisor to the management of various enterprises, offers a unique and valuable blend of skills developed throughout a successful career working with a vast array of legal clients and business operators from start-ups and sole proprietors through to small and medium sized enterprises engaged across many different industries and countries, at the same time playing a key role in various large scale real estate developments and with a global seed to sale agriculture corporation. The experience and practical knowledge David brings was also greatly enhanced through his time as an executive officer and President of a company that brought forward industrial technology from a concept and prototype through to a successful market launch, as well, David provides key insight into interacting with governments and the public sector having acted as the Director of Policy and Senior Advisor to Ontario’s Minister of Finance.

 

Max Preston

Max Preston, Director

Max Preston is the General Manager of Smart Attend, a Smart Manufacturing systems designer located in Aurora. Graduating from Georgian College and acquiring field-specific education on Smart Manufacturing from MIT, Max has been overseen management duties of Smart Attend since 2018, and has since joined the executive team at Smart Attend parent company, known as Axiom Group. As Part of the executive team at Axiom, Max has facilitated relationships with local MPs, schools, and other organizations to enhance Axioms community outreach. Part of Max’s initiative as a member of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is to facilitate educational opportunities and growth into the local economy, and to introduce the many opportunities that automotive engineering provides.

 

Marion Tripp

Marion Tripp, Director

Founder of Virtual Option, an event services producer and provider of live and digital events, Marion is a performance-driven, bilingual (English/French) Event Program and Client Operations Support professional with a passion for consistently planning and executing compelling and cost-efficient business incentive and corporate events that boost company visibility and promote corporate branding while protecting the bottom line. Strengths include high-level interpersonal and leadership abilities to forge and sustain third party partnerships and collaborate with internal teams towards a single focus of delivering event outcomes that meet or exceed client expectations of time, money and value.

 

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