Dr. Teresa MacNeil (Chair) grew up in Johnstown, Richmond Co. She returned there to live fifteen years ago upon retiring from St. Francis Xavier University where she was a professor and, at times, a senior administrator. She has been active in issues relating to adult learning and community economic development locally, provincially and nationally.
She holds master and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin in educational policy studies. While maintaining a primary commitment to the role of lifelong learning in Canadian society, she participates in a wide range of community-related programs. She chaired a task force on behalf of the governments of Nova Scotia and Canada to make recommendations to improve the economy of Cape Breton Island. She was Chair of the Cape Breton Development Corporation and of Sydney Steel Corporation. She served as a one-person Commissioner to conduct a public review of the potential effects of offshore oil and gas exploration, offshore Cape Breton.
The range of Dr. MacNeil's voluntary activity is reflected in her role as president of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, board member of the Canadian Cooperative Association, the Nova Scotia Voluntary Planning Board, the Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia, and Chair of the Board of the Bras d'Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association.
Dr. MacNeil received the Order of Canada in 2004, and is an inductee in The International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. She holds honorary degrees from two Canadian universities, and in 2006 was inducted in the Hall of Honour of St. Francis Xavier University.
Dr. J. Colin Dodds (Vice-chair) is President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary's University and a director on the board of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.
Dr. Dodds joined the faculty of the Saint Mary's Sobey School of Business in September 1982, became Departmental Chair (Finance and Management Science) and MBA Director in 1984. He was appointed Dean of the Sobey School of Business in 1987 and Vice President, Academic and Research, in 1991. He assumed the Presidency in 2000.
Dr. Dodds is a former Chair of the Board of the Canadian Bureau of International Education and past Chair of the Board of the Canadian Scholarship Trust. He is on the board of the Asia Pacific Foundation and chairs the boards of the Better Business Bureau for Atlantic Canada and the Greater Halifax Partnership. He has been named one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs, and has received many other awards. Recently Dr. Dodds was appointed to the Canadian Government's Advisory Panel on International Education Strategy and is Vice Chair of the Nova Scotia Provincial Boundaries Commission.
He has published many books, journal articles and conference papers, particularly on financial Markets. He continues to teach international finance to graduate students at Saint Mary's University. Educated in the United Kingdom and holding BA, BSc, MA and PhD degrees, Dr. Dodds has taught at many universities in the U.K. (Sheffield, Birmingham and Hull), Asia and Canada (McMaster and Brock).
Dr. James Bickerton is Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of Development Studies at St. Francis Xavier University. He is the author or editor of over 50 publications, as well as several commissioned studies. His research has focused on federalism, regionalism, and regional development, and party politics in Canada. In 2003-04, he served on the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nova Scotia. He is currently on the national executive of the Canadian Political Science Association.
Barbara Frances Feeney is a graduated of Mount Saint Vincent University. A resident of Mahone Bay for almost 34 years, Barbara is a member of the board of directors for the Mahone Bay Founders Society and serves on the fundraising committee, and chairs the membership committee at the Mahone Bay Centre.
Barbara began her career as a social worker for the Children's Aid Society of Halifax. After she moved from Waverley to Mahone Bay, she served on the Board of the South Shore Tourism Association. She was a recipient of the Lighthouse Award for support of the Tourism industry. She opened and operated the Whirligig Handcrafts and Supplies and was a charter member and Vice President of the Mahone Bay Business Association.
Barbara was the first Executive Director for the Atlantic Association of Women Business Owners, where she developed programs to support women entrepreneurs throughout Atlantic Canada. She went on to work with the Business Development Bank of Canada as the Program Advisor for Management Services and continued to assist start-up and existing businesses.
Barbara recently retired from Nova Scotia Community College where she worked in Student Services for twelve years supporting students' success. She has been the Mahone Bay contact for CBC Radio's Information Morning "Community Contact" for over 15 years.
Doug Peach, CMA, has worked for 40 years in the accounting profession, in public accounting, the private sector and 33 years in public education finance. He is the past Secretary -Treasurer of the Northside-Victoria Amalgamated School Board and the retired Director of Finance with the Cape Breton Victoria Regional School Board. During his career in public education he served as a member of the Education Funding Review Work Group and for several years as a member of the board of directors of the Nova Scotia School Insurance Exchange. Upon retirement, he co-authored the Report on School Board Members Stipends and Expenses. He is a past member of the Association of Nova Scotia Education Administrators and past Chair of the Society of Management Accountants, Cape Breton Chapter. He has served on the board of directors of the Cape Breton County Economic Development Association and the Sydney Ports Corporation. Most recently, he served as Treasurer of the J .A. Douglas McCurdy Sydney Airport and as assumed the position of Chair in January 2012.
Rustum Southwell is a passionate leader and tireless advocate for economic diversity and capacity building. Originally from the island of St. Kitts in the West Indies, Mr. Southwell has called Nova Scotia home for more than 39 years. As one of the first Black franchise operators in Nova Scotia, he understands and appreciates the entrepreneurial landscape in this province. As the founding CEO of the Black Business Initiative (BBI), a business development initiative that addresses the unique needs of the African Nova Scotian business community, Mr. Southwell's "it can be done" attitude led to the BBI to becoming the strong, vibrant, and well respected organization that it is today.
Described as having a quietly innovative and highly effective management style, he has been instrumental in enhancing the credibility and success of Nova Scotia's growing Black business community. He is responsible for the management and leadership of BBI staff and strategic planning of the organization. He also leads BBI operations, which includes a loan program, development fund, consulting arm, business summit, and training department.
Mr. Southwell is a board member of the Waterfront Development Corporation Limited, United Way, and The Nova Scotia Government Poverty Reduction Working Group. He sits on many other boards, including the Community Consultative Committee of the Halifax International Airport Authority and Prostate Cancer Canada's Atlantic Regional Advisory Council. Recently, he was featured as Progress Media's 20 "Progress People" in Atlantic Canada, and was also recognized by the Black Business and Professional Association of Canada (BBPA) in the category of "Distinguished Black Men".
In his spare time, Mr. Southwell enjoys reading, golf, and writing poetry. He lives in Bedford N.S., with his wife Gracey and his two sons.
Paul Gaudet was the Executive Director during the first years of the Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia. He holds degrees from Université Sainte Anne, Université Laval, Université Ottawa, and a Masters in Education from Université Moncton.
He taught as a professor at Université Sainte Anne, and was previously Superintendent of Education and Business Manager for the Acadian School Board in P.E.I. He also worked as Executive Director of Acadian Affairs for the Province of Nova Scotia. He has taken courses in Paris, France and Louvain, Belgium.
Mr. Gaudet has held several elected positions. He served on Clare Municipal Council, the Clare School Board, Clare Argyle School Board, and on the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.
Mr. Gaudet was part of delegations abroad to Brussel (bilingual duality in Belgium), and Hanoi, Vietnam for the Francophony Summit, as well as a liaison officer for the French delegation at the G8 Summit in Halifax.
He was president of an interprovincial committee for distribution of cultural and artistic events across Canada, and was recently decorated by the International Assembly of French Speaking parliamentarians.
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