Board of Directors

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation is proud to be represented by a Board of Directors that is dedicated to the development and prosperity of Northern Ontario. Chaired by the Minister of Northern Development and Mines and comprising at least twelve directors, appointed by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council at all times, the Board plays an integral role in supporting new business ventures and stimulating growth in the region.

Minister Michael Gravelle

Hon. Michael Gravelle – Chair

Michael Gravelle, as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines is the chair for the NOHFC Board of Directors. Minister Gravelle represents the riding of Thunder Bay – Superior North. He was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 1995 representing the riding of Port Arthur and is currently serving his sixth consecutive term as M.P.P.

Gravelle was reappointed Minister of Northern Development and Mines in June 2014. He has served as the Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, Government Caucus Chair and as a member of the Priorities and Planning Board.

Gravelle has long been a dedicated community member, with an accomplished political and public service record.

To learn more about Honourable Minister Michael Gravelle, please visit his full profile.

David Sinclair

David Sinclair - First Vice Chair

David Sinclair, of Kenora, Ontario, is the President and CEO of Kenora Hydro Electric Corporation Ltd. and has served in senior management for over 25 years. David has also served as a board member and chair of the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA), previously known as the Municipal Electric Association (MEA), the Municipal Electric Association Reciprocal Insurance Exchange, and the LDC Tomorrow Fund and as a member of the Industry Advisory Committee for the Electrical Safety Authority.

David joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2002 and is an outspoken advocate for economic development in Northern Ontario.

“NOHFC continues to be a significant driving force in the north that has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars into the economy which has generated even larger private sector investment. It is NOHFC’s ability to adapt to the north’s changing needs in a nimble manner that makes it indispensable, very effective, and unique.

Northerners are hardy, resilient, and creative. We don’t live in Northern Ontario because it’s easy, we choose to live here because we like the challenge, the lifestyle, and the people.”

- David Sinclair
Lorraine Irvine

Lorraine Irvine - Second Vice Chair

Lorraine Irvine, representing Kirkland Lake, Ontario and the District of Temiskaming, worked as a professor,  coordinator of academic upgrading, employment  consultant and instructional designer at Northern College, with a career spanning 30 years.

Lorraine holds a Bachelor of Education – Adult Education (Bed) from Brock University. Now retired, Lorraine remains active with community volunteering and has been recognized for her contributions to college projects and numerous projects with community partners.

She joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2004.

“It’s a privilege to be part of making Northern Ontario a better place to live and work. The Board is composed of engaged and capable folks from across the North who bring a local perspective to a robust decision-making process. Board members ensure careful deliberations by challenging issues candidly in a respectful environment. They are supported by a superb, dedicated and hardworking staff. We are able to do interesting, complex work, and we’re learning all the time.”

- Lorraine Irvine
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James Beatty

James Beatty, of Parry Sound, Ontario, is the owner/manager of both the William Beatty Company, and Parmoka Management – focused on management services to the tourism industry.

James holds degrees from McMaster University (BA), and Dalhousie University (BSc). James has lengthy experience contributing to boards, previously serving as a member or chair for the Near North Board of Education, West Parry Sound Health Centre, the Regional Economic Development Committee, the Seguin Township Office Plan Committee, Georgian College Parry Sound Campus, and Muskoka Tourism.

James joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2013.

“I am honoured to be a member of a board which is focused on investing and creating jobs in Northern Ontario, and striving to improve our Northern communities, both economically and socially.
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Marielle Brown

Marielle Brown, representing Elliot Lake, Ontario, has been actively involved in economic development projects and has provided support and consulting on projects for several non-profit groups and organizations including the Elliot Lake Residential Development, Retire Miramichi Project, City of Elliot Lake Taxation Study, Society for Animals in Distress, Destination Elliot Lake Project, Elliot Lake Homecoming, Renaissance Seniors Centre and the ATV Pilot Project. Marielle has been a member of the Elliot Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, and is currently on the Physician Recruitment Committee.

Marielle is currently the manager of marketing and sales for the Elliot Lake Retirement Living Corporation, having served with the corporation for 25 years. Marielle holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Having joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2010, Marielle is committed to fostering growth and partnerships with communities and businesses across Northern Ontario.

“I believe strongly that Northern Ontario is a land of possibilities. We may have been founded on natural resources but the North’s most precious resource is its people.”

- Marielle Brown
James Caicco

James Caicco

James Caicco, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, is the Broker of Record and Owner of Century 21 Choice Realty Inc. He is also part-owner of Centum Mortgage Approval Centre and Property One Management. In total, James has over twenty years of experience in the appraisal and real estate industry, specializing in both residential and commercial real estate.

James has extensive community experience, having served on numerous committees and boards including the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Olympic Torch Committee, Municipal Environment Initiatives Committee, City Finance Committee, Algoma University Board of Directors, and ten years on the Sault Ste. Marie City Council.

James prides himself on community involvement; and is committed to serving the greater community of Northern Ontario. James joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2011.

Jason Corbett

Jason Corbett

Jason Corbett, representing North Bay, Ontario, is the Director of Development and Community Relations at One Kids Place Children’s Treatment Centre. Jason also serves as the board chair for the Low Income People Involvement of Nipissing, and previously as a special assistant to the MPP for Nipissing.

Jason holds a degree from the Graduate School of Law and Justice, Canadore College and was a 2013 Premier’s Award Nominee for Outstanding Ontario College Graduate.

James joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2012.

“I believe in the strength of Northern Ontario and even stronger about giving back to my community. Being a member of the NOFHC board is one of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences of my life with a direct “on the ground” impact to northern communities, and has allowed me to play a role in ensuring we collectively make the right strategic investments to sustain, grow and strengthen jobs and economic prosperity across the north”.

- Jason Corbett
Robert Fontaine

Robert Fontaine

Robert Fontaine, representing Sudbury, Ontario, was fortunate enough to have the staff throughout his professional career to allow him to get involved in his national Association. Over the course of his professional career, he was able to contribute to legislative changes in insolvency law and practices.

Robert was awarded the first “Volunteer” award and a “Fellowship” for contributions to their practice Association. Since his retirement in 2013, Robert’s son Gregory Fontaine has taken over as president of Fontaine & Associates Inc.

Robert’s résumé is a testament to his community involvement, having served as a chair or member for nearly 20 organizations and causes including Laurentian University Board of Governors, the Sudbury Foodbank, Salvation Army, Rotary Club, Northern Ontario Cancer Endowment and the Northern Ontario Cancer Research Foundation.

Robert joined the NOHFC Board of Directors in 2004.

“As members of the NOHFC Board, we have been able to contribute to a support network of Northern Ontario interests. I am extremely proud of being a participant in such a flagship of Northern Ontario well-being.”
Michael Fox

Michael Fox

Michael Fox, representing Thunder Bay, Ontario, is certified Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer who has worked with Indigenous communities. In his previous employment, he assisted Northern Ontario Indigenous community members with business and partnership development initiatives within the main natural resource development sectors of Ontario. He has facilitated joint ventures between Indigenous clients and industry. He is a board member of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada and past board member of the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business.

Michael is the President of Indigenous Community Engagement (ICE) – a firm dedicated to building relationships, capacity, and projects by providing strategic services and practical solutions that help Indigenous clients succeed.

He holds a business administration diploma from Confederation College, an honours bachelor of arts degree (HBA) in Political Science with a focus on Aboriginal Law & Resource Development from Lakehead University and has a MBA from the University of Fredericton, specializing in Social Enterprise.

Michael joined the NOHFC board of director’s in 2011.

“As someone from Weenusk First Nation and who travels around and talks to First Nations and Metis citizens, I know there are many indigenous business leaders, young and old, who have and are accessing the programs of the NOHFC to realize their aspirations. I am proud to spread the news of these success stories and it feel good to be part of a team who supports northern entrepreneurs.”
Victoria Hanson

Victoria (Tori) Hanson

Tori Hanson, representing Timmins, Ontario, most recently served as Dean of Trades and Technology and Director of Applied Research, including the On-Campus Entrepreneurship Centre, for Northern College. Tori retired in 2016 after spending nearly 30 years in the Secondary and Post-Secondary Education field.

Tori holds a BSc, Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire, and an MEd, Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University.

She is actively involved in community activities, having served from 2011-2015 as a founding board member of the Productivity and Innovation Centre under the auspices of the TEDC and NeoNet. Tori also served as a board and executive member for the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, including serving on and chairing The Timmins Regional Outlook Conference, the Tourism Committee, and the Workforce Development Committee.

Tori joined the NOHFC Board of Directors in 2008.

“As a firm believer in the toughness and innovative capacity of Northerners, I know that Northern Ontario can provide leadership and compete globally, in areas as diverse as sustainable mining, health research, indigenous relations and so much more. NOHFC supports this vision for the North.”

- Tori Hanson
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Geordi Kakepetum

Geordi Kakepetum, representing Balmertown, Ontario, currently serves as the chief executive director for the Keewaytinook Okimakanak, the leader in Indigenous broadband, connectivity and community-based applications such as KO Telemedicine, the Keewaytinook Internet High School and the KO Research Institute. As the founding Chief of Keewaywin, he negotiated a number of agreements with the federal government for a land-base, housing and an airport. Mr. Kakepetum is the former executive director of the Sioux Lookout Indian Friendship Centre.

Geordi is a Keewaywin Indigenous band member who has dedicated much of his professional career to the betterment of the Keewaytinook Okimakanak communities, working to develop strong working relationships with area municipalities and organizations to improve Information and Communications Technology access.

Geordi joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2010.

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Genevieve Catherine Knauff

Genevieve Knauff, representing Thunder Bay, Ontario, has over a decade of experience as a dedicated economic and business development consultant for municipalities, Indigenous, and private sector businesses. Genevieve is driven to bring prosperity to the communities of Northern Ontario and established gck Consulting in 2009. Based out of Thunder Bay, she oversees all operations of her firm, which provide business, facilitation and economic development consulting services.

She holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) – Forestry from Lakehead University and previously served as the president of GreenForest Management Inc.; one of the largest forest management planning companies in Ontario.

Genevieve joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2017.

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Carolyn Lane-Rock

Carolyn Lane-Rock, of Gore Bay, Ontario, is a retired high school principal who also spent time as a coordinator with N’Swakamok Alternative School, and served in the Sudbury Secondary School system for 17 years.

Carolyn holds degrees in Household Science (BHSc - University of Guelph), and Education (BEd - Nipissing University. MEd – University of Toronto) and specializations in Special Education, Adult Education and Co-op Education.

Carolyn received the Phyllis Meiklejohn Award in 1998. The annual award recognizes family studies educators for their active leadership and scholarly endeavours combined with their substantial improvement of Family Studies Home Economics Education, at any level.

Carolyn brings a diverse background and strong working knowledge of the North and its people to the NOHFC Board. Carolyn joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2007.

“I have watched the economy of Northern Ontario change and diversify as economic pressures exert themselves. I believe the north is much more able to cope with change because of NOHFC. I have been proud to serve.”

- Carolyn Lane-Rock
Theresa Mudge

Theresa Mudge

Theresa is a health care executive with 15 years of experience in health authority, hospital, long-term care and palliative settings. She is a values-based leader who builds relationships with community, government, business and other stakeholder groups with strengths in strategic planning, risk management, fiscal management, governance and change leadership. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Dalhousie), Master's Degree in Health Administration (Dalhousie) and is a Certified Health Executive (CHE) through the Canadian College of Health Leaders. Theresa serves in a leadership capacity on provincial, regional and district health care committees, as well as post-secondary learning institution governance.

Theresa joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2017.

Bob Norris

Bob Norris

Bob Norris, of New Liskeard, Ontario, is a retired Commercial Banker who joined the NOHFC board in 2010. Bob previously served on a number of community boards including board member and chair of Temiskaming Child and Youth Services, Temiskaming Hospital and Northern Shores District Health Council.

Bob’s background in commercial banking, agriculture, and board governance has anchored his contribution to the NOHFC Board.

Bob believes that, like all volunteer work, the reward is making a difference. Bob joined the NOHFC board in 2010.

“In the case of the NOHFC, we get the opportunity to have a positive impact across the North, in both economic development and community betterment.”

- Bob Norris
Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry

Jeff Perry, representing Sudbury, Ontario , graduated while on an athletic scholarship from the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame in 1983. Jeff is the founding partner of Perry + Perry Architects Inc. which he established 30 years ago. His 35 years of practice in Sudbury have given Jeff a keen understanding of the design and construction practices in Northern Ontario. In addition to architectural experience, Jeff has extensive local experience with project and construction management services.

Jeff also brings an extensive résumé of community involvement, having served as an Ontario Association of Architects councilor and as a member or chair with the St. Joseph’s Foundation, the Regional Development Liaison Advisory Committee, the Local Architectural Conversation Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Business and Services Committee for the Sudbury Regional Development Conference.

Jeff joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2016.

John Simperl

John Simperl

John Simperl, representing Thunder Bay, Ontario, has over 40 years of experience, currently serving as Vice President – Finance for Bruno’s Contracting (Thunder Bay) Ltd. John previously served as a senior commercial account manager for the Bank of Montreal.

John has a strong commitment to community and volunteer work, having volunteered or served with the Kiwanis Club, Kinsmen Club, the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium Finance Committee, United Way, and the Thunder Bay Homebuilders Association. He is a two-time winner of the National Outstanding President Award.

John joined the NOHFC board of directors in 2003.