• city horizon
  • Board of Directors

  • Justin Ladha
    CEO, KMK Capital Inc.
    Chair, St. John's Board of Trade

    As CEO of KMK Capital Inc., Justin leads one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest vertically-integrated real estate holding, development, and service companies. Throughout his 20-year career, he has accumulated diverse real estate experience, overseeing real estate developments, sales, and construction operations in Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.

    Justin is committed to being a part of a thriving Newfoundland and Labrador business community – to confronting and overcoming the challenges facing business and our province. He is the Chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade, a member of the board of directors for Nalcor Energy – Oil and Gas Inc., a past member of the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club Executive Committee, and actively serves on the school council for Rennie’s River Elementary.

    Outside of work and his volunteer positions, Justin is an avid sailor, and continues to apply his competitive spirit to everything he does.     

    Justin holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and is a licensed Realtor.

  • Norm Dimmell
    Senior Vice Chair

    Norm is Vice President, Corporate Services for Emera Newfoundland & Labrador (Emera NL), a subsidiary of Emera Inc. (EMA:TSX). Norm is responsible for corporate business relations and operational readiness of the Maritime Link Project, one of the most transformative High-voltage electrical interconnection projects currently being developed in Atlantic Canada.

    Prior to joining ENL Norm’s career included a number of leadership, management, & strategic roles for Noble Denton, GL Noble Denton, and DNV GL’s Oil and Gas division spanning almost 20 years.

    Having a love for all things outdoors, Norm is a past president of the Canadian Ski Patrol Terra Nova Zone. He is also a past board member of the International Association of Marine Warranty Surveyors and is currently an acting warden for Iron Ring Camp 20 for Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc.

    Norm holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Ocean and Naval Architectural Engineering from Memorial University and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Newfoundland and Labrador.

  • Alex Gibson
    1st Vice Chair

    Alex’s passion is building teams and bringing out the best in people by providing them with life-changing career opportunities.

    More recently, he worked on his biggest career challenge to date as the Recruitment Lead for the West White Rose Project under SDP’s Concrete Gravity Structure scope.

    Within two and a half years on this project, Alex hired on over 250+ employees. What's more, Alex has recruited and assisted many technical experts to move to NL, helping increase the talent pool and resources for all in this province.

     

  • Kevin Casey
    2nd Vice Chair

    Kevin graduated with a blistering 67% average from Memorial University of NL with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1992. Upon graduation he smartened up and spent six years with M5 Advertising followed by four years as Director of Marketing and Sales with Labatt Breweries (Atlantic Canada).

    In late 2001, Kevin Co-founded the IDEA Factory with Ed Roche. Together, with their team, their agency has been named Progress Marketer of the Year, received the Business Excellence Award  from the St. John’s Board of Trade and in 2011 Kevin was named as one of the Top 50 CEO’s in Atlantic Canada.
    In April 2016, Kevin decided to step away from his day-to-day role with the IDEA Factory and joined Cal LeGrow as Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing as they embarked on a growth strategy in Atlantic Canada. In September 2018, Jeff LeGrow and Rod Vatcher welcomed Kevin as the newest shareholder and partner with Cal LeGrow.

    He is a Paul Harris Fellowship award winner from Rotary International, has kissed Richard Simmons all in the name of raising money for breast cancer and through the Toy Factory has helped donated almost $500,000 to much needed causes in Newfoundland and Labrador. His passion for community investment is now fueled by the Cal LeGrow Foundation with a plan to raise $1,000,000 (the current scoreboard is $260,000 and growing).

    He lives in St. John’s with his wife Linda and daughter Olivia and when he isn’t driving sales and marketing agenda’s you’ll find him somewhere near a tennis court biting his nails watching Olivia compete in a sport he failed miserably as a kid and continues to fail at as an adult.

  • Leanne Kelly
    Treasurer

    Leanne is a Principal with Grant Thornton LLP. She joined Grant Thornton upon graduating from Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1994, after which she obtained her Chartered Accounting designation in 1996.  Leanne has over 25 years’ experience providing assurance, tax and advisory services to clients in a wide variety of industries.  She works closely with her clients to help them grow their businesses and achieve their strategic goals.

    In addition, Leanne is the Professional Standards Principal for Grant Thornton’s Newfoundland and Labrador business unit.  Through this role, she supports her colleagues with assurance and accounting advice, and oversees the practice’s quality initiatives.

    Leanne has tremendous experience working with start-up businesses.  As the Program Coordinator for the Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network, she worked closely with entrepreneurs to present their business pitches to potential investors.

    In the community, Leanne has volunteered on the boards of the Single Parent Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and NLOWE.  She has been a member of the Board of Trade’s Treasurer’s committee for the past 3 years.

  • Andrew Wadden
    Immediate Past Chair

    Andrew has been a Director with the St. John’s Board of Trade since January of 2014. He is a Partner with the law firm, Wadden Peddigrew Hogan.

    Andrew graduated from Memorial University in 1997, and from Dalhousie in 2002. Andrew was recognized as Valedictorian for his graduating class from Dalhousie Law School while also receiving the HG Puddester Award for his demonstrated academic and leadership ability.

    His experience spans many years having worked as an associate in one of the region’s largest firms, as in-house counsel for a large insurance company, and now as a founding partner of Wadden Peddigrew Hogan.

    In the community Andrew has played an active role in the Royal St. John’s Regatta as both a rower, and Committee member. He has also been a member of the Boards of Holy Heart of Mary Theatre, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He has chaired the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section (NL) for the Canadian Bar Association. In addition, Andrew has taught at Memorial University in the faculty of Human Kinetics and Recreation, and the faculty of Business Administration, on the legal aspects of recreation and risk management, and business and the law in Canada.

    In 2014, Andrew was awarded the Rotary St. John’s Northwest Aidan Maloney Young Professionals Award (an award aimed at recognizing two young professionals, aged 25-40 years, who are doing great work in their community and who have potential to positively impact their vocations and communities in the future).

  • Blair Benoit
    Director

    Following graduation from Memorial University with Bachelor’s Degrees in Business and Arts, Blair travelled across Canada in a variety of business development roles with RSA Insurance.  While living in Halifax, Calgary, and Vancouver he worked alongside a diverse range of people and businesses.  Collecting plenty of great stories along the way.

    Blair returned to Newfoundland in 2014 to raise his daughter Quinn with his wife Charlene in their home province.  This meant shifting careers into industrial safety products distribution with Grainger.  In this role, he built strong relationships with municipal fire departments, local construction companies and North Atlantic Refining. Two years later, Blair was awarded Top Account Manager in Atlantic Canada.  A proven result of hard work and family support.

    In 2018, Blair became a Senior Account Manager with the Business Development Bank of Canada where he continues today.  In this role he supports entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey. Blair has worked with small and medium-sized enterprises across the province in retail, tourism, the fishery and other industries.  Often collaborating with multiple teams and resources to help clients grow their business.

    Blair began volunteering with the St. John’s Board of Trade in 2019 as an Ambassador.  He’s participated in outreach campaigns and has helped members make valuable connections. Blair hopes to further his involvement with the Board of Trade and its members as a Director.

  • Byron Chubbs
    Director

    Byron Chubbs is Vice President, Engineering and Energy Supply, for Newfoundland Power Inc., a company that has proudly served the people of our province for 135 years.

    Byron is responsible for energy supply, system planning, engineering and information technology. He also has corporate responsibility for inclusion and diversity.

    Byron joined Newfoundland Power in 2006, holding progressively senior roles including Director, Eastern Region, and Director, Operations Technology. In 2016, he joined our sister company, Maritime Electric, as Vice President, Customer Service, with responsibility for transmission and distribution operations, safety, customer service and communications. Byron rejoined Newfoundland Power in July 2018 as Vice President, Energy Supply and Planning.

    Under Byron’s leadership, the Company is looking to the future with a focus on sustainability and innovation.
    Byron is from St. Lewis in Labrador and holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) Degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has completed the Advanced Leadership Program at Memorial’s Gardiner Institute.

    Byron is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland & Labrador. Byron also serves on the Canadian Electrical Association's Distribution Council and National Emerging Issues Committee.

  • Janice Connors
    Director

    Janice is a Senior Manager with KPMG LLP

    A big believer in giving back to the community, Janice is in her 3rd year of serving as Chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Newfoundland, is President of the Kiwanis Club of St. John’s for 2019-2020, and Past President of the St. John’s Kiwanis Music Festival Association. 

    While volunteering and being a contributing member of the community is Janice’s passion, in her professional career, she is a Senior Manager with KPMG LLP and leads the US and Cross-Border Tax Services practice in St. John’s. As a strategic thinker and problem solver, Janice has over 16 years of professional experience helping businesses to grow and succeed, not only in their local markets but beyond the Canadian border as well. 

    Janice is a recipient of various awards with respect to her community involvement and leadership including the 2018 KPMG Swiderski Award for Mentoring and the 2015 KPMG Regional Community Leader Award. In addition to volunteering with multiple organizations within St. John’s, Janice is Chair of KPMG’s Community Leader team in St. John’s. 

  • Paul Currie
    Director

    Paul is the second generation owner of his family’s business, Quikprint Services Ltd. He is a graduate of Memorial University’s B.Comm (Co-op) program (2001), where he was the recipient of the James P. Steinhauer Memorial Scholarship in Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Paul spent a term at Memorial’s Harlow Campus studying international business in 2000 and completed work terms in government in both St. John’s, NL and Ottawa, ON. During that time, he also served as an Officer (Captain) in the Canadian Armed Forces, Cadet Instructor Cadre, working with Cadets across the country and internationally at local units and summer training centres.

    Following his graduation, he went directly to work as the General Manager of Quikprint Services. Under his leadership, since 2001, the company has grown over 300 per cent in sales, and is a recognized leader in their industry for quality and service, having won the Consumer Choice Award six years. He purchased the company from his father and became President of Quikprint in 2013. Paul recently joined with a group of colleagues within Atlantic Canada to revive the Atlantic Printing and Imaging Association to promote and develop the industry during and following Covid-19 in the region.

    Paul has been an active community volunteer and leader, and is the past president of the St. John’s Curling Club and the Business Association of Newfoundland Labrador (BANL). He currently serves as Treasurer at BANL, and sits as a director on the boards of the Atlantic Printing and Imaging Association, Special Olympics NL and St. John’s Minor Baseball Association. He is a member of Canadian Progress Club St. John’s and has volunteered with the Vera Perlin Society. Paul has also volunteered in coaching and leadership roles with the Guards Athletic Association, St. John’s Amateur Baseball, and currently coaches his son’s Avalon Celtics Minor Hockey and St. John’s Minor Baseball teams.

  • Heather Dalton
    Director

    Heather has been a driving force behind the continuing success story that is the m5 group of companies. In fact, she’s spent the last twenty years helping to influence and grow the marketing sector both here and abroad. Visionary. Strategic. Creative. Her talent has helped the agency grow to be the largest marketing and communications firm in Atlantic Canada by gathering together an impressive client list that includes Subway Canada, General Motors, Tourism Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada and Fortis.

    Heather tackles each challenge with methodical insight and ten-level-deep thinking that inspires creative answers for every audience. Along with her team, Heather has led the implementation of marketing programs throughout Canada and the United States. Her approach is based on a commitment to using data, analytics and research to build strong understanding and a focused strategy powered by the digital space. Her experience has led to key sector strengths in tourism, energy, retail, seafood and education.

    Prior to assuming ownership of m5, Heather served in multiple senior management roles within the organization including Chief Management Officer with group m5, President of m5 Interactive and Executive Vice-President of m5 marketing communications. She is frequently asked to share her knowledge on the latest in the marketing space at conferences, industry panels and webinars.

    Keeping her busy outside the office are two kiddies, Molly and William and a rambunctious Boston terrier named Bowie. Here, Heather plays the role of chief scheduler, chauffeur, official snack maker and avid cheerleader.  She also sits on the Board of Directors for Team Broken Earth and the Quidi Vidi Rennies River Development Foundation. In 2018, she was nationally recognized with the Canadian Senate 150th Anniversary medal for her volunteer work.

  • Chad Decker
    Director

    Chad is a HR Partner and Owner of People Stuff, an adaptable HR consulting firm. Chad is a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and has over 20 years experience in the field of human resources and has worked for such companies as Irving Oil, CentreBeam and Triton Data. Chad is also a former owner and HR/Financial Director for Paradise Animal Hospital and Wellness Centre. There he received 10 years of extensive experience in business growth and development and growing the team from a five-person team to a 50-person team. Chad is now helping grow and develop HR solutions for other businesses.

    Outside of work Chad is also a board member at Lakecrest Independent school and president of the Business Association of Newfoundland.

  • Clarah Germain
    Director

    Clarah Germain comes from a long family tradition in the hotel and restaurant industry that started back in the 1950s in Quebec City. Germain Hotels now owns and operates a total of 18 hotels across Canada (Le Germain Hotels, Alt Hotels, and Escad Hotels).

    With a strong background and training in Communications from the University of Montreal, Clarah started her career in public relations at National PR in 2006, a renowned marketing/communications company based in Montreal. In 2011, and following her very popular food blog in the Metropole, Clarah was hired as a content creator and became manager of global communications for Sid Lee, one of Canada’s biggest creative agencies. In 2015, after having supported corporate communications and digital presence for an important Quebec TV studio for over a year, Clarah joined the family business as a content and social media manager for Germain Hotels, overlooking social media for the Le Germain, Alt, and Escad Hotels.

    Clarah has always been involved in her community and would find ways to give back wherever she could. While living in Montreal, she was on the board of directors for Le Garde Manger pour tous, an organization that feeds kids in need in their school. Over the years, Clarah also worked with charitable organizations dedicated to stopping homelessness and addressing food security. For her, being connected with the local community and acting as a good corporate citizen is a must.

    Clarah’s love for St. John’s and its people started a few years back when she visited the city with her partner for the first time. She would say that on that day forward, her «secret dream» was to move there one day. Needless to say that's when the Germain Group expanded its operations in St. John’s with the Alt Hotel, and her partner was offered to become chef and partner at Terre Restaurant, that was all she needed to make the move and reconnect with her roots/DNA in the hotel-and-restaurant business.

    After an intensive operations training in a few of the company’s hotels, Clarah is now the Guest Services and Housekeeping Manager at Alt Hotel St. John’s. In this capacity, in addition to overseeing guest and room related services, she helps to manage Terre Café and handles marketing and social media for both Terre Restaurant and Café.

    Clarah is a well-rounded executive whose leadership skills have served her well in achieving results, mobilizing her teams, collaborating with partners, or innovating and creating. Above all, strong core values are part of Clarah’s DNA. To top it off, her warm and spirited personality have greatly contributed to her success and do reflect a true passion for people and relationship building.

  • Geoff Spencer
    Director

    Geoff is the Office Lead Partner in McInnes Cooper’s St. John’s office. As a regional leader, Geoff oversees many of the firm’s business activities and community involvement. Geoff is a proud supporter of the McInnes Cooper “Start up” program, which lowers the barriers to legal assistance for budding entrepreneurs in our community and he frequently attends and supports local start up events with the firm.

    Geoff has a well-respected corporate/commercial practice that focuses on commercial financings and secured transactions. He manages a commercial litigation practice as well, where he provides advice to creditors and trustees/receivers on issues involving commercial insolvencies and related litigation. Geoff also has significant experience dealing with commercial fishery matters and has appeared in all levels of court in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Geoff’s work has received the attention of major legal publications in Canada. He is listed in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory and has been recognized by Best Lawyers™ in Canada for his practice in Insolvency and Financial Restructuring Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, and Transportation Law. He was also named the Best Lawyers® 2020, 2018 and 2014 Insolvency and Financial Restructuring “Lawyer of the Year” in St. John’s.

    Geoff is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and he is past chair of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency section. He is also a member of the Insolvency Institute of Canada, a member of the Law Society of Newfoundland and Labrador and a presenter at the Newfoundland and Labrador Bar Admission Course.

    Geoff has experience serving on various boards, including the Canadian Transport Lawyers Association, where he was appointed to the Executive and served as President in 2007-2008, and CALOS Youth Orchestras Inc. (formerly Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra), where he was appointed to the Executive and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Directors.