Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce

Current Board Members

Melody Knott 

CHAIR

TD Canada Trust
Small Business Advisor    
 

Melody is a born and raised Kingstonian living in the west end with her
husband, son and daughter.

Melody grew up in a local small business operated by two entrepreneurial parents. Eventually she had the opportunity to start her career at a local company for which she was able to tap into a variety of different roles from book keeping and administration to purchaser, general manager, special operations coordinator, project manager and leaving the organization as Director of Finance.

After over eleven years Melody shifted her focus and joined TD Canada Trust, where today she is dedicated to helping local businesses and business owners continue to be successful by providing advice, products and/or services that will align with the strategic plan, financial goals and operational objectives of the organization.


Andrew Sapiano

    1ST VICE CHAIR

    Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham Lawyers
 
 

Andrew is an Articling Student at Cunningham, Swan, Carty, Little & Bonham LLP. Andrew returned to his family's hometown in 2013 to attend law school at Queen’s and graduated on the Dean’s List in 2016. Andrew worked with the Bank of Canada, advising senior management on risks to the financial system and spent two years with IBM Canada, advising domestic and international corporate clients. Andrew has volunteered with the Chamber on the Business Achievement Awards Committee, Chamber Classic and provides members with legal seminars through Pro Bono Students Canada. Andrew comes from a family of entrepreneurs and lives downtown with his wife. He is an avid health enthusiast, runner, hiker, cyclist, kayaker, movie-goer and traveler.


Wendy Bellamy   

2ND VICE CHAIR 

Upper Canada Office Systems 
Owner & Operator
 

Wendy has been active in the Kingston Community for the past 30 years, and has owned Upper Canada Office Systems since 2006.

Throughout her career, Wendy has continued to show support for the Kingston community through her numerous volunteer board positions. In 2001, she was awarded the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the year, then served as a member of the Board of Directors from 2002 to 2006 and was President of the Board in 2005.

Since that time, Wendy has continued to be active within the Chamber through her participation in committees and volunteer opportunities. Wendy is excited for the opportunity to continue her service to the Kingston business community through a position on the Chamber Board of Directors.


Krista LeClair,

3RD VICE CHAIR

Easter Seals Ontario- 
South Eastern Ontario Region
Senior Development Office

 

Krista LeClair is a dedicated, energetic young woman who is passionate and enthusiastic about her community. Krista moved to Kingston 12 years ago and has been an active community member since. Krista volunteers with many charitable organizations, works in the non- profit sector, and has become involved with local service clubs and associations- all to give back and serve the Greater Kingston community. Krista has been an active member of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce since graduating from St. Lawrence College with a business diploma in Hospitality and Tourism Management in 2007; serving on committees, attending mixers, breakfasts and luncheons, The Gala, and Golf Tournaments. Krista is excited for the opportunity to continue serving the Kingston business community and would bring a fresh perspective to the Board of Directors.


Jennifer Baker

Past CHAIR

Jennifer Baker Consulting
Owner & Social Media Trainer
 

Jennifer provides social media training and consulting services to businesses of all sizes. She goes beyond explaining the importance of social media and gives her clients the skills and confidence they need to attract and retain customers. Through careful attention to each client’s needs, time constraints, and skill levels, Jennifer trains individuals to make social media work for their business.  She is also a part-time instructor at St. Lawrence College, facilitating hands-on social media courses for businesses.

Jennifer joined the Chamber’s Board of Directors for the opportunity to make a difference in her business community.


Aleisha Proudfoot

DIRECTOR

Postmedia     
                                                                               

Aleisha is a vibrant young woman who is both energetic and enthusiastic.

After graduating from St. Lawrence College here in Kingston with a diploma in Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communications, Aleisha decided to settle in Kingston where she now resides and has been working as an Account Executive with Postmedia for over four years. Aleisha currently sits on three committees with the Kingston Chamber of Commerce and actively participates in community events.

Throughout the year you will also likely find her at networking events in and around the Kingston area. Aleisha will bring a new and fresh outlook to the Board of Directors but at the same time is eager to listen, learn and share ideas.

 


 

Brent Hoffman

DIRECTOR

KPMG
CPA, CA, Senior Manager
 

As a lifelong resident of Kingston and the surrounding area and a graduate of the Queen’s School of Business, Brent has continuously been involved with the Kingston economy and its various businesses for many years.

He is a Senior Manager at KPMG, a national chartered professional accounting firm with a local office. Brent has been with the firm for over 26 years and works extensively with private companies in the Kingston area providing financial management advice, tax management, and audit and review services. Brent has previously been a board member for Earth Day Ontario and Junior Achievement. 

He has been extensively involved in coaching of minor hockey and baseball in the Kingston area over the past 14 years. He and his wife Lisa have two sons, the youngest of which has moved on to university this year. He is excited for the opportunity to be part of the Chamber Board of Directors.

 

 

Kathleen Vollebregt

DIRECTOR

Avenue Strategy
Founder 


Kathleen has always been an active community member since moving to Kingston in 2000, both through her position as Director of Marketing at Queen’s University and various volunteer capacities including school council president for Winston Churchill Public School, Chair of Feb Fest’s Limestone Classic, and board member of Kingston Canadian Film Festival. In March 2015, after 9 years at Queen’s University, she launched her own firm Avenue Strategy.

The experiences with Avenue Strategy clients, ranging from injury law to engineering manufacturing, have deepened her understanding of the opportunities and challenges for Kingston businesses.

It is with these insights and her expertise in strategic planning, marketing and research that she would like to contribute to the business community as a board member for the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce. Kathleen is a mother of two sons, an avid runner and her personal philosophy is to stay curious.

 

‚Äč

Sunita Gupta

DIRECTOR

Facilitator at Kingston Immigration Partnership 

Sunita has been an active member in the Kingston Community for the past twenty years. The Kingston Immigration Partnership is mandated to attract, welcome and integrate newcomers to the Kingston community. This role fits nicely with her passion to welcome and support immigrant entrepreneurs in their business endeavours. Immigrants are entrepreneurial by nature which is evident from the high number of successful businesses operated by immigrants. The value in attracting foreign investors to Kingston is tremendous in positioning the city in a global market. Through the work of Kingston Immigration Partnership, Sunita is connected with over twenty ethno-cultural associations, and is an active member of the Immigrant Entrepreneur Network and the Employer Advisory Group. Throughout her career she has shown her support to the community as a volunteer on several boards. She is the Past President of the India-Canada Association of Kingston and currently serves on the board of the Tett Centre. Sunita is excited for the opportunity to serve Kingston’s business community by bringing a diverse perspective to The Chamber Board.


Rick Frasso

DIRECTOR

Response I.T., Canadian Cloud Backup
Owner

 

A die hard entrepreneur, Rick has established himself as owner and partner of various companies in the technology field serving both Kingston and throughout Canada. Rick is firmly embedded in the Kingston Community by sitting on the Kingston Chamber Membership Committee, the Rotary Membership, Communications and Auction Committees and sits on the Board for the Bereavement Families of Ontario. He can be seen attending many networking groups throughout the year. Rick mentors for KEYS, KEDCO and his company is a member of the KCA and KHBA. Response IT also proudly supports and sponsors many non-profit organizations and events throughout Kingston; Breast Cancer, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers and the Seniors Association to name a few. Rick looks forward to contributing to the Chamber and Kingston businesses as a member of the Chamber Board and looks forward to meeting and assisting Kingston business owners. 

 


Rebecca Darling 

Director

Rebecca Darling Consulting
Owner
 

Rebecca advises clients on starting new enterprises and growing existing small businesses. During her career she has worked with both large corporations and small businesses with a focus on sales, marketing and training.  Networking, developing business connections and supporting business success in Kingston come readily to Rebecca.

She has taught business communications, sales and marketing and is co-founder of Kingston Connections, a local networking group. A life-long learner and advocate of education she is currently pursuing a community economic development masters degree part time through the Shannon School of Business. 

Rebecca is well acquainted with the value that the Chamber of Commerce brings to business owners and welcomes the opportunity to broaden her service to the Kingston Business Community through the Chamber. She and her family moved to Kingston fourteen years ago having chosen the city as the ideal place to live, learn and enjoy.

 

Randy Scott

DIRECTOR

Iron Mountain Canada
District General Manager of Eastern Ontario

 

Randy’s main focus is to motivate staff, energize the operation, enhance market performance, and drive continuous improvement initiatives at the corporate level for his area of responsibility including Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

Randy is an honors graduate of Algonquin College with a Double Major in Finance and Accounting, and is currently completing his degree in Public Administration at Ottawa University while remaining engaged in the eMBA program through Athabasca University. Randy can be found volunteering for any position where the Chamber of Commerce has an event that requires assistance [most notably the Annual Chamber Classic, Ladies Day on the Green, and the Procurement Advisory Group].

Randy can be found in Kingston regularly developing business initiatives for Iron Mountain, spearheading a new market entry into the Kingston area with a new facility being built in the industrial park, coming on line in 2016.


Tanya Bertrim

DIRECTOR

Union Gas Limited
Manager, Kingston Billing Centre
 

As a lifelong resident of the Kingston area and graduate of St. Lawrence College Tanya is committed to enriching the local community by supporting Minor Hockey, Parent Council, Helping Hands in Action, The United Way and Clothes for Kids.

As Manager of the Kingston Billing Centre, Tanya is accountable for leading and developing her team providing excellent service for natural gas customers.

Tanya is an active Chamber supporter through her committee work with the Ladies Day on the Green, The Chamber Classic and a judge for the Business Achievement awards.

Tanya is an advocate for our community focusing on advancing local business interests devoted to Kingston being Canada’s most sustainable city.

 

 


Donna Dwyre CFRE

DIRECTOR

Hospice Kingston

Communications & Development Officer 

Donna has been active in the Kingston business community for over 30 years working in media and not-for-profit management, sales and development.  Donna is managing Hospice Kingston’s $7.8 million Capital Campaign to build a residential hospice, responsible for all aspects of development, strategic planning, communications, marketing and public relations.

Donna believes in giving to her community and has volunteered for, and served on, many charitable organization’s committees in Kingston.

Donna has been involved with the Chamber for many years and looks forward for the opportunity to share her expertise through a position on the Chamber Board of Directors.

 


Tarek Hussein, BSc Pharm, MBA, RPh, CMgr                                                            

DIRECTOR

Weller Pharmacy

Tarek Hussein, BSc Pharm, MBA, RPh, CMgr, brings 25 years of diverse business backgrounds, both locally and globally, as a serial entrepreneur and healthcare management consultant. He is a local businessman who founded and provided executive oversight to more than 10 organizations/corporations, and has a well-honed interest in turning around struggling businesses as well as online branding and social media management. Tarek enjoys serving his community, particularly as a volunteer mentor with KEYS Job Centre and the Kingston Community Health Centers, and is a strong supporter of local sports, cultural events, and charities. His efforts have been recognized in his nomination of best pharmacist in Kingston in 2017. Weller Pharmacy, the pharmacy he co-founded and currently co-owns, is also nominated as the city’s best pharmacy. In addition to Weller Pharmacy, he worked at Providence Care Hospital and several community pharmacies, including Ongwanada Hospital, and has a keen understanding of how the social and business landscapes of the city intersect. Tarek has an MBA from one of the top-ranked global business schools and is recognized by the Canadian Institute for Management as a Chartered Manager. Tarek is currently a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Advocacy Committee.


Nate Lollar

DIRECTOR

Director of Food Services
Brown's Dining Solutions

 

Nate and his family were born and raised in Kingston. He took after his father by getting his start in restaurants at a young age. Once Nate completed the Marketing/ Hotel and Resort Management programs at Georgian College he moved back to Kingston permanently with his high school sweetheart in 2004. Nate became an Area Coach for Red’s Restaurants, his family’s 7 QSR outlets before selling them in 2012. He joined Sir Corp as the General Managing Partner at Jack Astor’s that same year and found it rewarding operating the Jack Astor’s brand in a city with such a vibrant restaurant scene. Over the years Jack’s worked with numerous charities to help raise money for local causes. Nate is now proudly with local Food Service provider since 1929, Brown’s Dining Solutions, as a Director for their Higher Education operations. Nate was also elected by Downtown businesses to join the Board of Directors for the DBIA! He currently sits on the DBIA’s Marketing Taskforce. When Nate is not working he is coaching his oldest son, Cole’s, hockey team and looks forward to doing the same for his youngest son Eric. Nate is eager and excited to represent the thriving business community by joining the Chamber Board of Directors.


 


Past Presidents/Board Structure

 

Past Presidents/Chairs, Board Structure

The Chamber is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which is elected from amongst its membership. The Board is responsible for establishing the policies and goals which guide the staff in their work. Directors are elected for two-year terms, and may serve a maximum of four consecutive terms.

The Executive Committee is comprised of the Board Chair, Past Chair, and three Vice Chairs, and acts as an advisory body for the CEO, as well as provides recommendations to the entire Board on certain matters.