Board of Directors


Board of Directors and Economic Development Officer

The Board of Directors is the governing authority for the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS)

ROY ELLIS is Chair of the Board and Manufacturing Ambassador.  He serves as a Commissioner on Huronia’s Regional Airport (CYEE).   Roy is a seasoned corporate executive with over 30 years of McDonald’s experience in both field operations and Human Resources (HR).  Starting in the restaurant on the ground floor, he worked his way up the corporate ladder advancing steadily into senior HR and general management roles.

Roy had oversight for Canadian and U.S. HR and was the lead person charged with developing overall HR practices and policies supporting McDonald’s business venture into Russia. As General Manager, Western Canada, Roy led an organization of regional, multi-disciplinary staff with responsibility for approximately 450 Restaurants.  Roy moved to Midland in 2005 and has focused most of his efforts on his Management Consulting practice, community engagement and philanthropy.

Roy is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and passionate pilot.

DOUGLAS EWEN is Secretary/Treasurer of the Economic Development Corporation of North Simcoe (EDCNS) and sits on the Board as a community representative.  Doug was also a member of Economic Development Association of North Simcoe (EDANS), a citizens group which helped frame EDCNS.  Doug brings many years of experience as a corporate executive in the manufacturing sector in both Human Resources and Operations.  He has been with Techform, a division of Magna Closures since 1991 and is currently in the position of Vice-President Compliance and HR.  Throughout his years with Techform, Doug has played a central leadership role in the expansion and management of operations in Ontario, the United States and China.

Doug earned his BA in Communication Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, his Certificate in Human Resource Management and is a Certified Human Resources Professional (CHRP).

PIERRE PAUL MAURICE is Vice-Chair of the EDCNS Board of Directors and the Agriculture Ambassador.  Paul was born and raised in the community of Lafontaine in Tiny Township.  For 50 years the Maurice family ran a dairy and cash crop operation.  In 2014, the dairy sector operations transformed to a 26,000 square foot broiler chicken enterprise housing 29,000 chicks which uses an advanced heat exchange system from Denmark.  Paul has been associated with a variety of agricultural and community committees, serving 18 years as Chairperson and Director of the Simcoe District Co-Op and Secretary-Treasurer for the Simcoe Milk Producers.

Paul served two terms on Tiny Township Municipal Council; four years as Councillor and four years as Deputy Mayor.  He also served on the Tiny Township Volunteer Fire Department, finishing his career as Deputy Chief.  He is active in the Church and community choir.

SHARON VEGH is Economic Development Director appointed to work with the Board to implement the Economic Strategy in North Simcoe. Sharon is a seasoned economic development professional experienced in international business and foreign direct investment as Trade Commissioner with the Finland Trade Center from 1995 to 2007.  Sharon is Board Director at the Canada-Finland Chamber of Commerce and Xact Solutions Group, Inc.  She managed the Economic Development and Innovation function supporting the nine York Region Municipalities as Manager, Economic Strategy and Innovation from 2007-2012.  Sharon was Director of an international business development firm, LS Market Strategy.

Sharon graduated with a BA in Political Science and Economics and a Master of Library and Information Studies from McGill University.  She completed the AMCTO Municipal Administration Program (MAP) with honors.

GEORGE CORNELL represents the Township of Tiny.  George was elected Mayor in the recent municipal election and previously served on Tiny’s Council from 2006 to 2010.  His extensive community involvement includes Community Physician Recruitment, Past Chair of the Huronia Community Foundation, Huronia Airport Commission and he currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Georgian Bay Cancer Support Centre.  After over 25 years working in the oil and gas sector, in 2003 George retired and he and his wife Sandy made Tiny their home. George and Sandy have two children and their first grandchild…a girl, Gabrielle!

George is a graduate Civil Engineer from the University of Toronto.

KEVIN COWIE is a community representative and  the EDCNS representative for North Simcoe Tourism.  He also does volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and  Kevin is a retired business executive residing in Midland.  He has a technical background in structural engineering, software engineering, and advanced technology research.  His management experience includes senior management positions with leading providers of information systems and Internet services, as well as launching a successful management consulting practice.  Before retiring toMidland, Kevin was Group Vice-President for Product Development and Management with a multi-billion dollar, global, high-security company.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Engineering from The Technical University of Nova Scotia and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto.

KATHY ELSDON-BEFORT is a community representative on the Board of Directors. Kathy has assisted many private and public sector organizations to develop and implement plans to maximize human resource and strategic organizational effectiveness. Policy development, recruitment campaigns, development and delivery of skill enhancing workshops, outplacement services as well as labour market studies are all part of Kathy’s varied experience. She has worked with a number of executives during tim s of company growth, change, a union vote as well as a company sale. She speaks with many groups on a variety of topics and has traveled internationally – Michigan Governor’s Conference in 1999, and to England to present at the first Annual Deming Forum on quality in the year 2000 (resulting from her co-authoring a published text entitled “Total Quality – A Framework for Skills Development”). Kathy dedicates a great deal of her time as well to her community and has volunteered her efforts to a number of community organizations including Georgian Bay General Hospital Foundation, and Huronia Communities Foundation to name a couple. Kathy formed her own human resource management consulting practice in Midland, Ontario over 20 years ago and brings her 30 years of experience in the human resources field to clients across Central Ontario. Kathy is a resident of Penetanguishene.

ROBERT LAMB  represents the Township of Tay on the Board of Directors.  Robert joined the Township of Tay as their new CAO in October of 2013.  Robert came to the Township from the County of Simcoe where he was the Manager of Economic Development and was hired to establish the County’s new economic development office in 2009.  Prior to that, he spent eight years as Manager of Economic Development for the City of Orillia and 3 years as the Managing Director for the Downtown Orillia Management Board (BIA Association). Robert also spent 5 years as Manager of Marketing Services for Pro-Pharma, one of Canada’s largest contract pharmaceutical sales company and 6 years in Federal politics as a Regional Organizer in Ontario.  Professionally, he was the lead facilitator in the creation of the Lakehead University – Orillia Campus, as well as led the negotiations to bring TeleTech Canada to Orillia.  Robert is a Past-President of the Economic Developers Council of Ontario Board of Directors (EDCO). He was the founding President of Ontario Lake Country Tourism Marketing Consortium and is a past member of the EDCO Tourism Committee.  In his community, Robert spent 4 years as President of the Orillia Figure Skating Club and served on the executive for 7 years in total.  He has also been a volunteer coach for Minor Soccer and Girls Minor Baseball and still coaches his daughter’s ladies’ He is the proud father of two grown girls.

DEBBIE LEVY represents the Town of Penetanguishene and was re-elected as Town Councillor in 2014. Debbie owns a book store and has been a Penetanguishene resident for 21 years.  Debbie served as the President of the Penetanguishene/Tiny Chamber of Commerce, Chaired the Millennium Project (Kitchi Statue) and played an active role in many community events.  Educated in print journalism Debbie was a reporter covering federal, provincial and municipal politics. She is the proud mother of triplet sons and grandmother of two toddlers.

LOIS LIPTON is a community representative on the Board of Directors.  She owns and operates her own commercial real estate development, management and brokerage companies in Simcoe County.  Her background includes planning positions with provincial and municipal governments, as well as senior sales, marketing and leasing positions with national and international commercial real estate organizations. Lois has supported the community through various volunteer activities over the twenty years she has been residing here. She has a degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo, is a licensed real estate broker, and delights in the great boating experiences offered by Georgian Bay.

MARK LOSCH is a community representative  on the Board of Directors. Mark is the General Manager of North Simcoe Tool and Manufacturing. He has a technical background in manufacturing and has worked in the manufacturing industry for over 25 years. Prior to that, he had significant experience with business systems and IT systems for a major national utility company.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from The University of Waterloo and is a licensed Tool & Die Maker.

CHRIS McLAUGHLIN sits on the EDCNS Board of Directors representing North Simcoe Community Futures Development Corporation (NSCFDC) as General Manager of NSCFDC, an organization supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario serving the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the Townships of Springwater, Tay and Tiny, and the Beausoleil First Nation located on Christian Island. NSCFDC supports local economic development by providing entrepreneurs with access to capital – administering a $4-million dollar local investment fund, business coaching and mentoring, as well as assisting in the development of strategic plans for local municipalities and organizations.

Chris holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from Royal Roads University.

MIKE ROSS represents the Town of Midland where he serves as Deputy Mayor.  (biography to come)

EDCNS Board Member Responsibilities

As a member of the Board, a Director acts in a position of trust for the economic health of the community and is responsible for the effective governance of the organization. Requirements of Board members include:

  • Commitment to the objectives of the organization
  • Knowledge and skills in line with the EDCNS competency matrix
  • Willingness to sit on committees
  • Attendance at Board meeting
  • Attendance at meetings of assigned committees
  • Attendance at Annual General Meetings
  • Support of special events

Term of Office:

Appointees of the Councils of Tay Township, Tiny Township, Midland and Penetanguishene serve at the pleasure of the municipality, usually for a 4‐year term on the Board. The remaining Board members serve a 2‐year term.

General Duties:

A Director is expected to be fully informed on organizational matters, and participate in the Board’s deliberations and decisions in matters of policy, finance, programs, personnel and advocacy. Directors must:

  • Consider and make decisions on matters of policy and other recommendations received from the Board, its standing committees and senior staff
  • Monitor all Board policies
  • Review the bylaws and policy manual and recommend bylaws changes as appropriate
  • Review the Board’s structure, approve changes and prepare bylaw amendments as needed
  • Oversee and approve the development of the EDCNS‘s annual work plan including an annual review of same
  • Approve the EDCNS’s operating budget
  • Approve the hiring and release of the Economic Development Officer (EDO), including the EDO’s employment contract (based on the recommendations of the hiring committee)
  • Support and participate in the annual evaluation of the EDO
  • Assist in developing and maintaining positive relations among Board, committees, staff members and the community to enhance the mission of the organization
  • Other duties as required by the Board