Presenters and Speakers – Symposium 2023
Presenters and speakers appearing at the 2023 Municipal Symposium: Framing Our Future.
Dale holds a BSc in Anthropology/Archaeology from Trent University, and a MA in Folklore from Memorial University. For many years he oversaw Heritage NL’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Office which helps communities to safeguard their traditional culture. Dale has contributed as a board member and volunteer to many local arts and heritage organizations. Former newspaper columnist, and author of several books, he is a tireless promoter of local traditions.
Manager of Strategic Initiatives
Choices for Youth
As Manager of Strategic Initiatives at Choices for Youth (CFY), Jen works at the intersection of impact measurement, public policy, and community engagement. Jen has led foundational work at CFY to develop an Integrated Youth Services (IYS) network across NL, building from the existing IYS site in St. John’s, NL, and working with 65+ community partners to build a model that is focused on both mental health and wrap-around service delivery for youth and young families in our province. Jen leads a team that is responsible for impact measurement, research, community partnerships, and public policy for CFY and the NL Integrated Youth Services network. Jen’s background is in the areas of impact measurement, youth engagement, and community-based facilitation. Jen is on the Board of Directors of the YWCA St. John’s, and is the Programming Director for TEDx in St. John’s. Jen holds a Masters in Public Administration (Local Governance) from Western University.
Water Resources Division, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Paula Dawe is a professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland & Labrador. She completed her Bachelors degree in Water Resources Engineering from the University of Guelph, and her Masters degree in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University. Paula worked as a CUSO volunteer with the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission in Fiji for 2 years before starting work with the provincial government of Newfoundland & Labrador. For the past 20 years Paula has worked in various positions with the Water Resources Management Division of the Department of Environment and Climate Change. She is currently the Manager of the Water Rights, Investigations and Modelling Section.
Water Resources Division, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Deneen Spracklin is a professional Engineer (P.Eng.) with the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland & Labrador. She completed her Bachelors degree in Environmental Engineering from the University of Guelph, and her Masters degree in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University. Deneen has worked with the Department of Environment and Climate Change for the past 23 years. During this time she has spent many years delivering drinking water and water treatment courses to operators throughout the province. She is currently the Manager of the Drinking Water and Wastewater Section.
Aquatic Invasive Species Biologist
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
MacGregor (Mac) works with the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) National Core Program at DFO that works to stop the spread of AIS. As a come from away who has lived in NL for over 8 years, the province’s rugged coastline has continued to foster her passion for the ocean and marine conservation. With an educational background in marine biology, Mac has worked with the program since May 2021 and she really enjoys getting out to engage and collaborate with other sectors and stakeholders to raise awareness of AIS.
Senior Restoration Biologist
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Originally from PEI, Lica has called Newfoundland home for over a decade. She is a Senior Restoration Biologist at DFO, and works to provide expertise to fish habitat restoration practitioners in the province, reviews proposed fish habitat restoration projects, and coordinates the funding of restoration projects. She is currently the regional lead for DFO to research, engage on, and develop fish habitat restoration priorities for the province.
Food First NL
Joshua Smee is CEO of Food First Newfoundland and Labrador, a nonprofit organization that works to advance everyone’s right to food. Josh is a community developer with experience in a wide range of nonprofits and social enterprises. He has worked on provincial projects for organizations such as the Community Sector Council NL and Choices for Youth and taken leadership roles on community initiatives such as the St. John’s Farmers’ Market Cooperative, Happy City St. John’s, the Tuckamore Festival, and more.
Food First NL
Sarah Crocker is a program coordinator with Food First NL, Sarah is the first point of contact for community organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador running food security initiatives. With a special focus on the St. John’s city-region, Sarah coordinates Food on the Move, a pop-up affordable food market, and co-chairs the St. John’s Food Policy Council. As a farmer and seed saver, Sarah brings a wide variety of hands-on experience to this role. She loves to explore how food can build community and tackle big issues.
ReCreate Consulting Services
Jennifer is the Lead Consultant and Owner of ReCreate Consulting Services. Throughout Jennifer’s education, professional and personal life she has had the opportunity to develop a strong knowledge and skill base in the areas of research, report writing, consulting, community and stakeholder engagement and project management. She is a practitioner that can view the field through a theoretical lens, adapt and put into action. Jennifer has great experience working in public organizations and knowledge of government processes; she has worked in recreation/social services in the provincial, municipal, and social service sectors. Jennifer’s background and skills have provided her with a unique perspective which contributes to the success of her projects.
Dr. Deatra Walsh
Director of Advocacy and Communications
Deatra holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Memorial University in St. John’s, a Master of Rural Development from Brandon University in Manitoba and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal. She began her studies at Carleton University in Ottawa as a journalist. Deatra’s career stretches across employment in the post-secondary, government and now, non-governmental sector. She worked with the Government of Nunavut for four years, first as the manager of territorial labour market programming and later as the Director of Poverty Reduction. She has held teaching and postdoctoral research positions at Mount Allison, Memorial, York and Dalhousie University in Canada. She has also worked abroad at UiT: The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø as a postdoctoral researcher and an associate professor in methodology. She remains affiliated with UiT. Deatra uses both quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences and conducts research on wellness among aging populations, environmental change, labour mobility, homelessness and popular culture. She has had a long history of working and researching with rural communities in Canada.
Director responsible for the Crown Lands Division
Government of N.L.
Tara has been the Director responsible for the Crown Lands Division since the fall of 2017 and worked with the Land Resource Stewardship Division (Agriculture) prior to then with a focus on environmental and land management. Working as part of a team, she enjoys working with people and especially enjoys helping people resolve challenges. Tara was born in St. John’s and has lived in various places throughout the province, and has also lived in Ontario and Nova Scotia where she attended Dalhousie University before returning to the west coast.
Municipal Assessment Agency
Don Hearn is Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer at the Municipal Assessment Agency, responsible for leading the organization as it continues to provide assessment services to 233 municipalities throughout the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. With more than thirty years’ experience, Don has vast knowledge and experience with stakeholders and Boards while building diverse, high-performing, talented, and engaged teams. Throughout his career, Don has been involved in all aspects of real property assessment and valuation of residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional properties. He currently oversees the Agency’s operations while providing direction to the executive team and supervisors. Don graduated from the Appraisal/Assessment Technology program at the College of the North Atlantic in 1990. He began his career with the former Newfoundland Department of Municipal Affairs, Assessment Division the following year. Don is an accredited member of the Institute of Municipal Assessors and holds the M.I.M.A. designation. He has held several positions on the local executive, including Chair and District 10 Director. Nationally, Don is Vice-Chair of the IMA’s Accreditation Committee.
Town of Dover
Tony Keats is the Mayor of the Town of Dover. Keats is serving his eighth term on council. He was first elected in 1996 after having been a Town Councillor since 1992. Mayor Keats is the past president of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador where he served in that role from 2017-2019 and had a total of nine years with the board in various leadership capacities. Keats, who was educated in business administration and holds many certificates in professional development, is currently employed by Canada Post. Keats has served on various committees and boards throughout our province, and country such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Board and Executive Committee, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador Board of Directors where he also served as president, Keats, also served as a Member of the Atlantic Mayors Caucus, The Gander and Area Chamber of Commerce, The Rural Secretariat NL, Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation and the Kittiwake Coast Tourism Association, where he also served as President. Keats is also a founding member of the Atlantic PTA Chair Working Group, the Dover Fault Committee, and the Dover Tidy Towns Committee, where he along with local volunteers achieved many provincial Tidy Towns awards for their community.
Keats started and hosts “THE CHAMBERS” podcast, which focuses on municipal issues. The podcast can be accessed on Twitter and anywhere great podcasts can be found. Keats has been the recipient of numerous awards, such as the Outstanding Contribution Award from The Right Honourable Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General of Canada, and he received a Torngat Municipal Achievement Award for Municipal Awareness.
Dr. Patrick Parfrey
Deputy Minister of Health Transformation
Government of N.L.
Dr. Patrick Parfrey is the Deputy Minister of Health Transformation with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Having co-chaired Health Accord NL, Pat’s new role as Deputy Minister is to work across government departments to engage in the implementation of the Health Accord to improve health outcomes in the province. Pat is a clinical epidemiologist and John Lewis Paton Distinguished University Professor at Memorial University and has an international reputation for patient related research in kidney disease and in genetic disease. He is an officer of the Order of Canada, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. His extra-curricular activities include coaching and management of rugby in the province and in Canada.
Director of Programs
Bradley Power is a well-known community leader who has served as a champion of local government and organizations that are committed to building stronger communities and preserving the traditions of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Before joining the team at Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador, Brad spent two years as the Board Clerk and Outreach Coordinator at the Eastern Regional Service Board, providing support and guidance for the Board and numerous joint councils, regional committees and mayors’ associations throughout the Eastern Region of Newfoundland. He served as a communications director and manager within the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for eight years before that.
A consummate professional, Brad is eager to build new relationships and take on new projects. He is usually the first person to volunteer for something locally, and he maintains a deep love for this province and its people. He has brought his energy and enthusiasm to Municipalities NL as Membership Development Manager, responsible for sponsorships, external partnerships, member service development, and training.
N.L. Program Manager
Atlantic Used Oil Management Association
Mona Rossiter is the NL Program Manager for the Atlantic Used Oil Management Association. She worked with the offshore energy sector for over 20 years. Mona holds a M.A. from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. She is a past-president of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and has served on the Board of Directors of the East Coast Trail Association.
Director, Region 3
N.L. Association of Fire Services
Addison Quilty first joined the Fire Service as a Junior Firefighter in Masset, B.C. in 1990 at the age of 16, where he served for 1 ½ years. Addison moved back to Newfoundland and graduated from St. Paul’s High School in 1993. He then joined the military in 1995 in the Reserve Force as a Firefighter; with the downsizing of 9 Wing Gander and the closure of the Base Fire Department, he transferred to another trade to become a Mobile Support Equipment Operator (Trucker). Addison spent 13 years in the military and retired in 2008. He joined Gander Fire Rescue in November 1998 as a Volunteer Firefighter, then in 2006 started as a career firefighter, then became the Town of Gander’s Fire Inspector and Emergency Plan Coordinator in 2007 while still serving as a volunteer. Over the past 25 years, Addison has accomplished many training goals, and is now Director of Region 3 with the NL Association of Fire Services.
N.L. Association of Fire Services
Duane Antle is a 29-year veteran of the fire services as both a volunteer and career firefighter. Currently, Duane serves as Fire Chief of the Come By Chance Volunteer fire department, and has been a board member with the N.L. Association of Fire Services since 2008. He is currently serving a third term as President. In 2020, Duane was presented a lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Volunteer Fire Services Association for his volunteer work in the Fire Service with critical incident stress management, autism awareness program for first responders, and the promotion of safety in the fire services. He is the first Newfoundlander and Labradorian to receive this award.
Chief Brendan Mitchell
Qalipu First Nation and Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Newfoundland
Interim Regional Chief Brendan Mitchell was born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland where he continues to reside with his wife, Sheila LaSaga. His first involvement in the aboriginal movement in Newfoundland dates to the early I 970’s. While he currently is serving his third consecutive three-year term as Chief of Qalipu First Nation, Brendan is also the Interim Regional Chief for Newfoundland at the Assembly of First Nations of Canada.
Brendan is the great-grandson of Mattie Mitchell, a well-known Newfoundland Mi’kmaq guide and prospector, who in 2002 was recognized by the Province and was designated as a person of national historic significance.
Interim Regional Chief Mitchell has extensive work experience in the areas of project management, materials management, transportation, and procurement management. He holds Bachelor of Science (Biology) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland. His organizational involvements are many, having served on boards and committees locally, provincially, and nationally. Brendan serves as a member of the Independent Appointments Commission for the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and is currently the Honorary Lieutenant Colonel for the Second Battalion of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Additionally, at the Assembly of First Nations, Chief Mitchell represents Newfoundland and Nova Scotia on the National Chiefs Committee on Charter Renewal, he represents Newfoundland on the National Chiefs Committee of Emergency Management and is a member of the AFN subcommittee on Additions to Reserve.
Special Projects and Research
AFN Office of Regional Chief, Newfoundland & Nova Scotia
Angelina Amaral, BA, MEd:LLL, JD, is a L’nu Lawyer, a proud mother of two young men, and a member of Miawpukek First Nation. Angelina has focused her legal career on exercising Mi’kmaw rights and title, through models of Mi’kmaw governance and jurisdiction by engaging in community development, engagements, and capacity building. Angelina has played an active role in supporting and building governance capacity and strategic directions for the Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia.
She has led the development and community engagements behind several Mi’kmaw self-determination and self-governance initiatives. Angelina continues to work collaboratively with different stakeholders and interest groups to effect change and develop programs and initiatives aimed to enhance governance, self-determination, and decision-making for Indigenous peoples.
Today Angelina is working for the AFN, Office of the Regional Chief – Newfoundland & Nova Scotia as the Special Projects and Research Coordinator where she continues to engage with the First Nations of Newfoundland to identify their priorities and advocate on their behalf.
Energy Solutions Engineer
Peter Upshall is a Professional Engineer and graduate of Memorial University. He has worked with Newfoundland Power in a number of roles; including power system design and operations, power plant controls, and in his current role he uses his passion for energy efficiency to serve the needs of Newfoundland Power customers. Peter works with commercial customers to provide technical and takeCHARGE program guidance from project assessment to project completion. He has been a long serving member of the Building Owners & Managers Association, finishing his service as Past President.
Dr. James Baker
Senior Manager, Programs
Association for New Canadians
James Baker is the Senior Manager, Programs for the Association for New Canadians. He has spent nearly 20 years working in the immigrant settlement sector and is responsible for overseeing program development. He holds a PhD in Sociology from Memorial University, and, from 2016-2018, was a Banting Fellow at McMaster University.
Acting Manager for the Satellite Offices
Association for New Canadians
Stefanie Kao-Fowler is currently the Acting Manager for the Satellite Offices with the Association for New Canadians. She is a newcomer from Taiwan who moved to L’Anse Au Loup nearly 12 years ago. As Acting Manager, she oversees eight Satellite Offices whose role is to help newcomers successfully integrate into rural Newfoundland and Labrador.
Manager of Settlement, Integration, and International Student Engagement
Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Maggie Peyton is the Manager of Settlement, Integration, and International Student Engagement with the Department of Immigration, Population Growth and Skills, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. She has held multiple of positions within the public and non-profit sector with areas focused on newcomer settlement and immigration, gender equity and healthy policy. Maggie holds a Bachelor and Masters of Arts from a Memorial University with a research background on the development of public policies for diverse populations. Maggie and her team have led the coordination of settlement supports for Ukrainians since March 2022.
Drive Electric NL Resource Centre
Kira has been a small business and management consultant for over 20 years. As the Coordinator of the Drive Electric NL Resource Centre she has been tasked with finding ways to spread excitement and reliable information about electric vehicle (EV) adoption provincewide.
Kira has owned an EV for 5 years and has driven more than 200,000 km without gas throughout the US and Canada.
City of St. John’s
Edmundo Fausto is the Sustainability Manager for the City of St. John’s, focusing on the City’s efforts to address energy use and climate change. With over 10 years of experience in environmental, energy, and climate change has worked with local, national, and international teams and experts to deliver energy and climate action. His experience includes policy, energy efficiency projects, climate change risk assessments, as well as the development and implementation of corporate and municipal plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Jonathan’s litigation practice includes having provided assistance to numerous municipalities across the Island and in Labrador on virtually all matters where the law intersects with municipal operations and governance. He has acted for municipalities at all levels of Court in the Province and at the Regional Appeal Board. Some of the areas of his municipal law experience include: representing municipalities on construction and commercial disputes, including matters regarding subdivision development, tendering/RFPs, municipal infrastructure and third-party services; assisting in the drafting and revision of municipal regulations; resolution of expropriation compensation claims and responding to allegations of constructive expropriation; and, representing municipalities at Regional Appeal Board hearings and any subsequent appeals to the Supreme Court in upholding municipal decisions respecting, for example, development approvals and denials and remediation orders.
Christopher maintains a civil litigation practice focusing on municipal law, health law, insurance defence, and commercial litigation. Christopher has extensive experience advising clients on matters relating to: Negligence claims against municipalities, enforcement of development regulations, and expropriation matters; Defending insurers in claims for personal injury (motor vehicle accidents and slip and falls) and property damage (oil tank spills, fire loss, flood loss, and sewer backups); and negligence claims against healthcare organizations and their employees.
The Honourable Krista Lynn Howell
Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs
Krista Lynn Howell was born and raised on the Great Northern Peninsula and has lived in the District of St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Meadows throughout her life with the exception of her time attending Memorial University in St. John’s. In 2011, she graduated from Memorial’s School of Nursing with a Bachelor of Nursing Degree.
In 2015, Ms. Howell put forward a successful bid in a municipal by-election in St. Anthony. Learning from experienced members of the Council team and realizing she could facilitate meaningful changes for the people of the town inspired her to run again in 2017 when she became the Deputy Mayor of St. Anthony. In 2019 she made history when she was appointed the first female Mayor of St. Anthony.
In March 2021, she was elected to the House of Assembly, representing the District of St. Barbe – L’Anse aux Meadows and on April 8, 2021 was appointed as Minister of Municipal and Provincial Affairs and Registrar General.
Mayor Mike Doyle
Harbour Main-Chapel’s Cove-Lakeview
Mike Doyle is Mayor of Harbour Main-Chapel’s Cove-Lakeview. He served for six years as a municipal elected official in Quesnel BC where he served as the City representative on the Joint Regional Committee for the Cariboo Regional District. This Committee managed Emergency and Protective Services, Recreation and Leisure, Business and Development, Strategic Planning and Regional Governance.
Mike championed the Conception Bay Center Regionalization Pilot Project which started in 2019.
Mike has been a long term employee with Suncor Energy Inc. and is the Manager for Safety and Emergency Response for Suncor’s East Coast Operations. In 2019 Mike received the Safety Leader of the Year Award from the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety Magazine. He presently serves as the Chair of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Safety Committee, which has four different major oil companies represented.
Mayor Ray Cole
Ray Cole is serving his 6th term on the Town of Colliers council. He was elected in September, 2021 as Mayor. Ray attended DeVry Institute of Technology in Toronto for two years after finishing high school and worked in Vancouver and Smithers, B.C. before returning to his hometown of Colliers in 1982. Ray worked for himself for 23 years in the electronics field before returning to CNA to complete his red seal as a construction electrician. After working in the field for many years he took a job at the College of the North Atlantic in Seal Cove as an Advanced Construction Electrical Instructor where he works today.
Mayor Craig Williams
Craig Williams was first elected to the town council of Conception Harbour in a by-election in 2011 as Deputy Mayor. He was appointed Mayor in 2012 and has been re-elected Mayor since then.
Craig was raised in Conception Harbour and moved to Ontario in 1997 to work as a Financial Analyst of a multinational retail organization after graduation from Cabot College. In 2010 he, along with his wife Cleo, moved back to Conception Harbour to raise their newborn son Creighton. Craig has continued working in the accounting field in both public practice and private organizations since his return.
Mayor Owen Mahoney
Mayor Owen Mahoney was born and raised in Avondale and has a fierce passion for the community. Owen has served on the Avondale Volunteer Fire Department for 35 years. He has also been actively involved in numerous committees, headlining several projects that have been dedicated to restoring the history of Avondale.
Owen joined Council in 2011 and has been mayor since 2013. He was a driving force on moving Avondale forward and implementing property tax with his fellow councillors to help Avondale prosper.
Owen is a provincial government employee with over 30 years of service and is currently an Industry Development Officer with the Department of Industry, Energy and Technology.
Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs
Christopher Stamp graduated from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He has worked in various positions with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador in the Departments of Finance, Health and Community Services, and Fisheries, Forestry and Agrifoods, and the Labour Relations Agency.
Chris joined the Department of Municipal and Provincial Affairs in early 2020, and is currently the Director of Municipal Support, where he is responsible for providing support and guidance to municipalities and local service districts across the province.