2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Meet the dedicated people behind the scenes
that help keep the Chamber moving!
Meet the dedicated people behind the scenes
that help keep the Chamber moving!
Richard is a Certified Financial Planner with Freedom 55 Financial, a division of The Canada Life Assurance Company. In addition to brokering group insurance and group benefit plans, he develops individual/family financial plans and offers individual insurance products (including Life, Disability, Travel and Critical Illness coverage) as well as individual savings (RRSP, TFSA, RESP and non registered) and income plans (RIF, LIF).
Prior to joining Freedom 55 Financial in 2004, Richard held a number of senior management positions with Johnson & Johnson in Peterborough and was the plant manager at Fenner Dunlop Canada Inc. in Bracebridge.
Richard is an active volunteer in our community, being the current Treasurer, a past President and long time member (20 years) of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge. He is the Treasurer for the Muskoka McConnell Foundation. He has also been a past fundraising chairperson for the local Terry Fox Run, and a member of EDAC (Economic Development Advisory Committee) for the Town of Bracebridge. Richard has been a long time member of the Board of the Bracebridge Chamber of Commerce (13 years and counting).
Richard obtained his Honours BSc in applied Chemistry from the University of Waterloo in 1983.
Matt Balfe is the Director of Business Development for Fowler Construction where he has worked since May 2017. He has spent his entire career working in the construction and building materials industry. He has held a variety of roles in operations, sales, logistics, strategy, marketing and business development with previous careers at Lafarge & Armtec Precast.
Matt and his young family live, work & play in Bracebridge. They firmly believe in supporting local businesses and are becoming active community members.
Louise is a certified bookkeeper/controller offering experience in administration and accounting. Louise shares a passion of the hospitality industry with her husband and 2 boys. She spent over 30 years of her career in Canmore/Banff Alberta. Born and raised in Toronto, Louise enjoyed many summers in Muskoka and is happy to be calling the area home. She is currently working towards building a self sustainable family property in Bracebridge.
Louise has volunteered with other organizations such as Canmore/Kananaskis Chamber of Commerce, Canmore Daycare, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals, Bow Valley and Ontario SPCA.
Louise enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with others and loves to train and mentor owners, managers and staff in hospitality bookkeeping and operational practices.
Nicolette Rushton grew up in South Africa and immigrated to Canada in 1996, she moved to Bracebridge in 2000.
Niki is the Community Manager Muskoka for RBC, covering Gravenhurst to Sundridge. Previous to this she was at CIBC for 14 years.
Niki has been married for 18 years and has 2 children. She believes in shopping locally and is an active participant in most local community events. This is the 3rd board that Niki is on (Bracebridge Soccer and Macaulay Tree House).
In her leisure time Niki enjoys camping with her family, reading, and being involved in the local community.
Co-owner of Davlin Ontario Inc.
Former councillor for the Township of Muskoka Lakes.
Member of the Muskoka Builders’ Association.
Paul founded Muskoka Kia with a partner in the fall of 2000. He, along with his wife Jessica Tickle are the sole owners of the dealership since 2015.The dealership sells new and used vehicles and services and details all makes and models of vehicles.
Prior to moving to Bracebridge in 2000, he worked in Automotive in Toronto and has 30 plus years experience in the industry.
Paul is an active supporter of local charities and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Bracebridge since moving here in 2000 and has been a member of the board a few times in the past. He has also been on the board of Annie Williams Park.
Paul lives in Bracebridge with his wife, the aforementioned Jessica and his two children, Patrick and Zoe.
Paul is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario (now called Western University), class of 2000.
Kristin Moore is the Events & Community Manager at Muskoka Brewery. Kristin moved to Muskoka 3 years ago. However she’s been a Muskoka girl for quite some time! Kristin grew up enjoying cottaging on Lake Joseph at her Grandparents cottage. At age 13 her family bought a cottage on Lake Rosseau. She feels extremely grateful to have grown up surrounded by the beauty of Muskoka.
Kristin graduated from Broadcasting Radio & Television at Conestoga College. She then travelled to Australia where she spent a year on the Gold Coast at Griffith University where she received her Communications Degree. After returning to Canada she moved to Kingston, Ontario. She worked at a local television station, CKWS TV, as the Promotions Director for Corus Entertainment.
After spending many weekends driving back and forth from Kingston to Muskoka, Kristin decided that it was time to make the move full time to Muskoka. If she wasn’t working in television, she had always wanted to work at Muskoka Brewery. She’s been working at the Brewery for 3 years and is loving every minute of it! Kristin is very happy to be a part of the Muskoka Community.
Founder of The Velocity Partners David Perlock has been consulting with clients for over 20 years. In that time he has worked with over 500 clients ranging from gas bars to airlines – independent contractors to home manufacturers – retail stores through wholesale distribution and manufacturers. David has been a 15 year member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants and attended Wilfrid Laurier University for business administration. He is also a graduate of the University of Windsor (Commerce) and the Canadian Tax Academy.
David enjoys helping small businesses save money, defer tax, adopt technology, and grow!
Petroleum Retailer at the Canadian Tire Gas Stations in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst with more than 40 years of experience in the Petroleum and Oil Industry.
Has a Business Degree in Management and a M.B.A. in Marketing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Member of the Bracebridge Rotary Club and Rotarian for more than 30 years. Recipient of The Excellent Retail Customer Service in 2015.
Also, served his country as Reserve Officer in the Army reaching the rank of Major.
Worked for Exxon Coal (Intercor) for six year as a Marketing Coordinator . Worked for four years as Credit and Collections Manager for Eternit Colombiana S.A.
Arrived to Canada in 2002
Audrey van Petegem grew up in Muskoka and after a 20 year absence has returned to put down some roots and raise her family. An entrepreneur at heart, Audrey is planting some deep roots back here in Bracebridge after purchasing the Muskoka Foundry building. Audrey’s vision for the Muskoka Foundry is to make it a destination spot for locals and tourists alike with the addition of a Brew Pub, Restaurant, Coffee Roaster, Chip Manufacturer and Event Venue space for concerts, weddings and corporate events. Her background is in marketing and strategic planning.
Don Smith is serving his second term on Bracebridge and District of Muskoka Councils. Previously, he had been a councillor in the Township of Muskoka Lakes for two terms and had served one term as a trustee on the former Muskoka Board of Education.
A long-time publisher and editor of newspapers and magazines, Don is currently publisher and editor of Unique Muskoka, a lifestyle magazine. While active in newspaper publishing, he was president of the Ontario Community Newspapers Association and was a member of the executive of the Canadian Community Newspapers Association. Don and his wife, Susan, also own a retail store in downtown Bracebridge.
Don holds a certificate in Municipal Administration from Queen’s University.