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Agency Members Biographies


Janice Thomson is Executive Director of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce & Visitor and Convention Bureau. She has over 30 years of senior management experience including extensive marketing, public relations, conference planning, market research and sales training experience gained primarily in the import automotive industry, most recently as National Sales Manager for BMW Canada for six years, following a 13 year career with Jaguar Canada Inc. and Saab Canada. Representing Niagara-on-the-Lake's Destination Marketing Organization and 500-member Chamber of Commerce as Executive Director, Ms. Thomson serves on regional and provincial tourism committees and is presently co-Chair of the Tourism Partnership of Niagara and Chair of the Niagara Parks Commission.

Joan Andrew is a Public Servant in Residence Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. She was the Deputy Minister of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration and Women's Issues from 2005 to 2009. Ms. Andrew's community work includes the United Way of Greater Toronto and serves as a member of the Amethyst Awards Selection Committee for the recognition of outstanding achievement for Ontario Public Servants. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Glendon College, York University.

Virginia West was a former Deputy Minister for the Province of Ontario, serving in five successive portfolios - Solicitor General, Public Safety and Security, Environment, Labour and Natural Resources. She has also held leadership positions at the municipal level as Commissioner of Property for the City of Toronto, Chief Administrative Officer of the Borough of East York and the first Commissioner of Urban Planning and Development Services of the amalgamated City of Toronto. Ms. West is a lawyer by profession and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Toronto. Her volunteer work includes past and current service on community and hospital boards.

Michael Goodale had a career with the Ontario Public Service (OPS) which spanned over 32 years. He retired in 2013 as the Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services Division and the Chief Administrative Officer for the Ministry of Transportation. Mr. Goodale represented Ontario and Canada as a member of the World Road Association (PIARC) where he shared his knowledge of infrastructure financing and contracting in Ontario with developing nations from around the world. Mr. Goodale has been an OPS employee member of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission since 2008. He holds a combined honours degree in Economics and Urban Geography from McMaster University.

James Detenbeck is Chair of Niagara Power Incorporated and serves on the board of Grimsby Power and Grimsby Energy. He served for seven years as Vice-Chair of Niagara Regional Broadband Networks and holds a managing role with Grimsby Energy providing green energy development in the western Niagara Region. His career began with 18 years in software development where he held executive roles with Solect Technology Group, CIBC and QuickPlay Media. Mr. Detenbeck's experience comes from providing solutions to tier one telecommunication companies in over 30 countries. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Brock University.

Lois A. Giles worked for the Corporation of the City of Guelph from 1983 to 2011, including the position of Director of Information Services/Clerk from 1987 until retirement in April 2011. Ms. Giles completed the Municipal Administration Program and the Municipal Law Program at the Niagara College of Applied Arts and Technology. Other professional development includes the Management Excellence Program at the University of Virginia, Emergency Public Information at the Canadian Emergency Preparedness College, and Dale Carnegie training. She is a canvasser for the fundraising campaigns of the Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society, and a volunteer for Communities in Bloom.

Ian Nielsen-Jones holds a Master of Arts (Economics) from McMaster University and is currently Senior Competition Expert with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. He has previously held several senior positions including Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Competition with the Competition Bureau of Canada, President and CEO of Entertainment Management Group Limited and Online International Corporation, President and COO of CUE Network Corporation, Managing Director of The Rank Organisation Plc, President of the Ontario Lottery Corporation, and Deputy Director of Investigation and Research with the Bureau of Competition Policy. Mr. Nielsen-Jones was an Advisory Member with the Consumer's Council of Canada from 2006 to 2011. Previous community involvement includes serving as a Board Member for the Economic Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie, Algoma University College Foundation, Plummer Memorial Hospital, and the United Way of Sault Ste. Marie.

Eldon Bennett is a Partner at Aird & Berlis LLP. He is a former Lecturer at York University. His community involvement has included serving as a member of the Toronto Hospital Foundation and of the Toronto Hospital Research Foundation. Mr. Bennett holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University, a PhD from Duke University and a J.D from the University of Toronto.