2016 Board Members Bios
I am a North Bay native, who returned home to join the City’s Economic Development Department after 6 and half years with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (now known as Futurpreneur Canada). As Director of Ontario, I was responsible for the implementation of CYBF’s business start-up financing and mentorship program, overseeing 4 staff members and 40 vital community partners throughout the province. In August of 2012, I started as the Economic Development Officer and I am now focusing my efforts on various client and community development projects as well as building the cultural industries portfolio. I am heavily involved in community outreach initiatives, was recognized as one of the City’s Top 40 Under Forty and have been a Director of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce since 2011.
Born and raised in North Bay, I became a Certified General Accountant in 1985 and following the merger of the different accounting designations in Ontario, I am now a Chartered Professional Accountant. I have been employed at Yes Employment Services since 1986 and have been the CEO of this community organization since 2004. First elected to the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in 2009, I have participated in many committees including Membership Committee, Finance/Administration Committee, and the Small Business Week Committee, which I have been chairing for the last few years. On a provincial level I am the French Service Provider Representative on the board of directors of First Work: Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres.
Anna Iati is a graduate of Canadore College majoring in Business Administration Marketing, which enabled her to launch her business career and secure a position within General Motors of Canada in Oshawa as an Operation Coordinator for six years. After realizing that North Bay (her hometown) was where she wanted to be, she moved back where she had the opportunity to launch her career in Economic Development. She has a passion to deliver excellent customer service, and helping people achieve their goals. Through her Small Business Advisor role within The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound Inc. she was able to do just that. Currently Anna is employed with Union Gas. She was awarded Top 40 under Forty, and received the Young Professional of the Year Awarded for 2010. Anna is also currently completing her Masters of Business Administration.
I am a business development consultant with a focus in economic development for Karen Jones Consulting Inc. I have experience providing professional business counseling, completing funding applications, developing business plans, completing market research, organizing various events and seminars as well as creating partnerships within the community. I have attained my Business Administration Diploma with Honors’, Event Planning Certificate, and is currently working on my Certificate in Economic Development with the Economic Developers Association of Canada and University of Waterloo. I also took part in the New Exporter to Borders States Program offered through the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, which offered an in depth two day course of exporting/ importing into the USA. I am an active member of the community and currently sit on the Young Professionals Committee and Awards committee through the Chamber of Commerce.
Upon completion of my post secondary education, earning an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, and my Business Admin (Marketing) Diploma from Algonquin College in Ottawa, I jumped at an opportunity to return to my hometown of North Bay to work. I started with Kennedy Real Estate in 1986 and joined Kennedy Insurance Brokers Inc. in 1995 as a personal lines insurance broker. In 2002, I was proud to became an owner/partner with Kennedy Insurance, the firm that my grandfather started in 1912, and I currently hold the position of Vice-President. My experience with both operating my own firm and working, from an insurance perspective, with other independent area businesses has given me valuable insight into the local business environment. This experience helps me identify and deal with both threats and opportunities facing North Bay & area businesses.
Irene Smit is a current Chamber Director; has devoted multiple years to volunteerism, believes in the economic growth of her community, the important issues that the Chamber addresses on behalf of our local business owners and the challenges they face. She formerly held the position of 2nd vice president as well as sitting on a variety of internal committees. Irene also donates her time to the North Bay and District Real Estate Board. Her long time commitment to real estate volunteerism spans more than a decade. She has been president of her local board, is a successful real estate instructor and facilitates registration courses throughout the province. She believes in devoting herself to volunteering for the organizations she belongs to.
I was born and raised in North Bay and graduated with my Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Nipissing University in 2013, streaming in marketing and organizational studies. After graduation, I worked at The Business Centre Nipissing Parry Sound Inc. for 2 years where I administered a variety of youth entrepreneurship programs such as Summer Company and Starter Company. I am now the Eastern Regional Manager for the In.Business Program through the Purdy Crawford Chair in Aboriginal Business Studies in partnership with Nipissing University. I have been an active member of the Chamber for 2 years by joining the Young Professionals Committee, attending YP Dinner Clubs and as many Business After Hours as possible.
I have been a Realtor since 1983, and in 2003 became part of C21 Blue Sky Region Realty team. I deal with residential and commercial properties in an area covered by the North Bay Real Estate Board. In 2006 I was appointed to the Planning & Advisory Committee for North Bay – “a first step in the planning process by advising City Council on a wide variety of land use issues related to specific development proposals”. As a member, I am aware of zoning and new land developments in the city, and the issues that arise when developments impact property owners. From 1999 – 2004, I was a partner in Valenti’s Restaurant, a long time establishment in North Bay that began in 1950 with my father Fred Valenti and his brother Edward (Lou) Valenti. As an owner, I was acutely aware of the benefits & difficulties associated with small businesses.
*** Directors are elected by the membership.