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Board of Directors

  • Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
    Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
    Board Member
  • Councillor Paul Sharman
    Councillor Paul Sharman
    Board Member
  • Ruta Stauskas
    Ruta Stauskas
  • Dr. David W. Conrath
    Dr. David W. Conrath
    Board Member
  • Gary D. Graham
    Gary D. Graham
    Board Chair
  • Michael Hanna
    Michael Hanna
    Board Member
  • Gordon Kack
    Gordon Kack
    Finance Chair
  • Bonnie Prior
    Bonnie Prior
    Governance Chair
  • Randall Smallbone
    Randall Smallbone
    Board Member
Mayor Marianne Meed Ward
Board Member

Mayor Marianne Meed Ward is honoured to serve as mayor of the City of Burlington. First elected to City Council in 2010 as Ward 2 Councillor and Regional Councillor, Mayor Meed Ward believes “the best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of community members and welcome many different perspectives.”

With a strong background in communications developed over 21 years as a print and broadcast journalist, Mayor Meed Ward served 10 years as editor of a national magazine before launching a full-time communications business in 1998 (Meed Ward Media). She was a weekly columnist with the Toronto Sun for 11 years, a commentator on Vision TV, and a regular panelist on the Michael Coren Show, CHCH Square Off and others. She also taught at Tyndale College and Ryerson University.

Prior to becoming a member of City Council, Mayor Meed Ward founded Save our Waterfront, a grassroots movement of Burlington residents committed to preserving access to the city’s waterfront and protecting it from development. She also served as vice-chair of the Burlington Transit Advisory Committee, as a citizen member of the Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital Board of Governors, and as a founding member of BurlingtonGreen Environmental Association. She was also an active volunteer in her local church and public schools.

A resident of Burlington since 2000, Mayor Meed Ward makes her home in downtown Burlington with her husband Peter, their two daughters and son.

Councillor Paul Sharman
Board Member

Paul Sharman was first elected to serve on Burlington City Council as the Ward 5 representative in 2010, and is now serving his second term in office. He is thankful and honoured to have been given the opportunity to represent citizens’ interests and serve members of his community

Prior to being elected Ward 5 Councillor, Paul had a successful career in accountancy. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants(FCMA), registered in England. He held a number of management accounting roles at Levi Strauss and Northern Telecom, including controllership positions. He set up a consulting business in 1988 and continued serving clients throughout North America and around the world until 2004, when he assumed the role of President and CEO of the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), one the world’s largest accounting associations, based in New Jersey. He was named as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential People” in the US accounting world in 2005, 2006 and 2007 by “Accounting Today”.

Ruta Stauskas

Ruta Stauskas is a Human Resource professional with over 25 years’ experience in progressive HR positions in Canada, in addition to international responsibilities.  She has worked in all areas of HR, including Labour Relations, Organizational Development, Compensation and Benefits and Training & Development. 

She began her career with Unilever Canada where she worked for almost 10 years in 3 different divisions of this global consumer packaged goods company – the meat division, oil/margarine division and finally with Thomas J. Lipton.  Ruta then moved to Transcontinental Printing, a leading Canadian printing/publishing business based in Montréal, Québec.   

She joined Boehringer Ingelheim Canada Ltd. in 2001, where she has held the position of Vice President, Human Resources.  Boehringer is the world’s largest privately held pharmaceutical company, based in Ingelheim, Germany, with sales of over 13 billion Euros and an employee base of over 45,000 worldwide.  

 

Ruta is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, and resides in Mississauga, Ontario with her husband, and is proud to have 2 sons who have recently joined the working world.

Dr. David W. Conrath
Board Member

Dr. Conrath is an accomplished senior executive, comfortable in both the academic and corporate worlds.  He graduated with Great Distinction from Stanford University with a degree in economics.  After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy, he continued his education with an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University, and an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the University of California – Berkeley. He is also a member of Professional Engineers, Ontario.

David’s academic career began at Berkeley. He then joined the faculty of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He moved to Canada to teach and conduct research at the University of Waterloo, where he stayed for 25 years.  Before retiring, he became the Dean of Business at McMaster University and then held the same position at San Jose State University in California.  In addition, he spent several years at the Universite d’Aix-Marseille in France.

David established Conrath Communications Ltd., and has done consulting with both private industry and government organizations in North America and Europe, primarily to provide advice in the design, implementation and evaluation of information/communication systems.

David has served on a number of boards in the academic, arts and culture and private sector industries. He is currently on the Royal Botanical Gardens board of directors and is a member of their Audit and Finance committee.

Gary D. Graham
Board Chair

The founding partner of Gowlings’ Hamilton, Gary Graham is a business law lawyer with executive management experience. He has been actively involved, advising clients in the manufacturing, energy and broader public sectors for over 25 years. Gary is a former Sir James Dunn scholar.

For five years in the 1990s, Gary served as president of Westinghouse Canada Inc. He has been involved in takeover bids, lock-up agreements, major international share and asset transfers and a broad range of customer, supplier, employee, inventor and other contracts over a wide variety of businesses, including the defence, energy and broader public sectors of the economy.

Outside of his practice, Gary has been actively involved with the Canadian Manufacturers’ Association (Chairman 1995), the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce (President 1998-99), Hamilton Utilities Corporation (2000-2004), Burlington Golf & Country Club (Director 2002-2008), Burlington Hydro Inc. (Chairman 2009-2011), McMaster Innovation Park (Chair 2005 -), McMaster University (Board of Governors 2003 -2014), and Hamilton Club (Director 2014-).

While he continues in his legal practice, Gary recently acquired an interest in a long-established manufacturing company in our region, putting to the test his experience and expertise in the sector.

Michael Hanna
Board Member

Originally a Commerce graduate of McMaster University in Hamilton, Michael went on to obtain his Chartered Accountant’s designation with what is now Ernst & Young. Michael also completed the Senior Executive Program at the University of Western Ontario in London. He followed that with the completion of the Financial Management Program at the Columbia University-Graduate School of Business in New York and the Executive Program for Smaller Companies at the Stanford University -Graduate School of Business in Stanford California.

Michael eventually left the accounting profession to join a large construction and development company. He then spent the next 25 years as a senior executive in the development industry, establishing and managing real estate, development and construction companies throughout Ontario. Michael has developed industrial, commercial and residential properties throughout Ontario and the USA. Michael now manages a private Real Estate Fund, which invests by way of partnerships in the development, construction and management of commercial income properties.

Gordon Kack
Finance Chair

Gordon Kack is the Vice President of Operations for Colliers Project Leaders (formerly MHPM Project Leaders). As the VP-Operations, Gordon is responsible for Colliers Project Leaders’ client services and field operations across Canada. Colliers Project Leaders is Canada’s largest real property project management consulting company.  For more than 25 years, Colliers Project Leaders has provided project delivery, strategic program management, and advisory services to both public sector and private sector clients – delivering certainty on more than 10,000 real property development projects from coast to coast.  One of Colliers Project Leaders’ largest offices is located in Burlington, which is the head office for the Central Canadian business unit.

Gordon has more than 30 years of experience within the construction industry, including the establishment of two successful consulting practices.  To date, Gordon has led the successful delivery of more than 500 commercial, municipal, institutional, and retail projects throughout Canada. He has extensive expertise in the delivery of specialized project management services that incorporate rigorous quality, cost, sustainability, and schedule control.

Gordon has a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering, is a Project Management Professional (PMP), and a LEED Accredited Professional.  He and his wife, Marilyn have lived in Burlington since 1996, where they have raised three daughters.

Bonnie Prior
Governance Chair

Bonnie Prior is a Sales Representative with Royal LePage Burloak Real Estate Services. Bonnie recently served as the Executive Director of the Appraisal Institute of Canada – Ontario providing services to 2,000 appraisers in the Province. Bonnie has also served as Director of Commercial Member & Association Executive Relations at the Canadian Real Estate Association and as President of the Canadian Brownfields Network.

Bonnie has many years experience as a commercial real estate broker and appraiser in the Hamilton and Burlington marketplace providing leadership on Boards and committees throughout her career. In 2013, Bonnie was honoured with the “Brownfielder of the Year.”

She is also certified under the Canadian Society of Association Executives and has a certification in Change Management.

Randall Smallbone
Board Member

Randall Smallbone is a registered Exempt Market Dealer for Portland Investment Counsel, selling investments such as mutual funds and exempt market products to high net worth individuals and accredited investors.  In addition, he is a Board member and Chairman of the Audit Committee of TSX listed Hanwei Energy Services Inc., a Board member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, a Board member of the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation, and an Advisor to private SME’s. Randall has been Chief Financial Officer of TSX listed companies, Migao Corporation, KCP Income Fund, Decoma International Inc. (Magna International Inc.), Chairman of the Board of Inceptum Research and Therapeutics and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Norcast Income Fund.

Randall is a financial executive with more than 35 years of operations experience in global manufacturing of consumer goods, contract manufacturing, automotive and aerospace parts. Randall has significant experience in financial management, capital markets, M&A and board governance.

Randall has lived in Burlington for over 30 years and has always been active in the community.  He served as a Board Member on the Burlington Arts Centre and is a member and past President of the Rotary Club of Burlington Central.