Emerging Leaders & Innovators Advisory Board

The Advisory Board provides young business and community leaders an opportunity to act as an advisory council, bringing new and diverse perspectives to Halifax Partnership's Board of Directors. Advisory Board members will be provided opportunities to learn governance best practices and protocols.

Advisory Board

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Rilla Banks

Lawyer, Municipal Group of Companies

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Rilla Banks

Lawyer, Municipal Group of Companies

Rilla Banks is a lawyer with the Municipal Group of Companies. Prior to joining Municipal, she worked in-house with a local university and before that she was an associate lawyer in private practice. She also has several years of experience serving on not-for-profit boards. Rilla is proud to live in Halifax and believes in the potential of both the city and the province of Nova Scotia.

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Chantal Brine

CEO, EnPoint

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Chantal Brine

CEO, EnPoint

Chantal is a builder of people and businesses. This started with her own building in leaving Bermuda to attend Saint Mary’s University to study Psychology, Business, and Human Resources. Chantal then made NS and Atlantic Canada home #2 and began supporting leaders in the private and public sector as a Consultant. This led to work in a North American technology company, where Chantal led their people strategy for four years as the company size tripled.

After reconnecting with her passion of helping others find careers that they love, Chantal started the journey to what would become EnPoint. Now she leads a team committed to helping organizations leverage mentorship as a tool to support their people’s career development. Working with post-secondary institutions such as NSCC, nonprofits such as EduNova and BBI, and employers, such as Dillon Consulting, Chantal is on a mission to help 1,000,000 people lead fulfilling careers.

Outside of ‘work’ Chantal supports a number of groups with a similar passion for helping people be their best selves, including: Women in Communications and Technology Canada, Halifax Partnership, Unity Charity, and Techsploration to name a few.

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Peter Gale

CEO, Aycoutay Technologies

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Peter Gale

CEO, Aycoutay Technologies

Peter is the CEO of Aycoutay Technologies, a deeptech startup that combines advances in electrophysiology with data analytics to offer unparalleled insights into the relationship between biolelectricity and health.

Previously, Peter was the Chief Commercial Officer at ReelData, a high-growth aquaculture AI technology company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was responsible for business operations globally, leading the sales, marketing, customer service, field engineering, & project management divisions. During Peter’s tenure, ReelData grew from 3 to more than 45 employees and served clients in Canada, the USA, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, and the Netherlands.

Peter is a member of Life Science Nova Scotia's CEO Circle, a peer mentorship group of 15 leading CEOs which focuses on navigating the trials and tribulations of biology-based business. Peter also previously held an advisory board position for the BlueFoods Innovation Summit in London, England advising on applications of artificial intelligence to seafood production.

Peter earned an Honours Bachelor's degree in Economics with minors in Mathematics, Commerce, and Environmental Studies from Mount Allison University.

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Alyssa Hill

Director of Finance and Operations, Armbrae Academy

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Alyssa Hill

Director of Finance and Operations, Armbrae Academy

Alyssa is a business valuation specialist who works with shareholders and entrepreneurs to answer the question: what is my business worth? She also works within the legal community to provide expert reports that help inform the court of financial implications relating to disputes, such as the quantum of business value, economic losses, or personal earnings.

Alyssa has over 10 years of experience working in public accounting, with a focus on performance measurement, assurance and risk management, and Canadian taxation practices for privately owned companies and individuals. She is a Chartered Accountant (CA), Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and Chartered Business Valuator (CBV), and holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts (Honours), Minor in English for Teachers, and Certificate in Writing from the University of Western Ontario.

As a mother of two young children, Alyssa is motivated to provide sustainable opportunities for the next generation. She is a financial literacy volunteer with CPA Canada, and the Director of Finance and Operations at Armbrae Academy.

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Tianshu Huang

Director of Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI, Climative

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Tianshu Huang

Director of Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI, Climative

Tianshu is the Director of Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI of Climative and she is responsible for research and development of data-driven energy efficiency solutions. Tianshu is a leader in data science in low-carbon building analysis. Her research is leading the way to make the transition to a low carbon economy more inclusive not only in Atlantic Canada, but throughout North America.

Tianshu has diverse experience in the field of energy efficiency, property assessment, and academia, as well as strong environmental and entrepreneurial interests.

Tianshu is actively involved in the Women in STEM community, and has been recognized Top 30 under 30 innovator by Atlantic Business Magazine in 2019. Tianshu is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a Master of Science in Statistics.

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Sharon Ishimwe

Executive Director, MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning

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Sharon Ishimwe

Executive Director, MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning

Sharon Ishimwe was born and raised in Kampala Uganda where she worked with a global development agency and owned businesses including a Public Relations and marketing consultancy, and a bridal store until she moved to Halifax five years ago.

She is currently the Executive Director at MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning and serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of YWCA, Halifax. Prior to joining MacPhee, she worked at the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship (ONSIDE) and the Government of Nova Scotia.

A proponent of radical trust, Sharon is passionate about connecting people and building meaningful relationships. She enjoys questions more than answers and her super power is spotting silver linings.

Sharon holds a master’s degree in Public Relations from Mount Saint Vincent University where she graduated Valedictorian and received the Senate Medal of Distinction. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

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Jeff Kielbratowski

Co-Founder & COO, Harbr

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Jeff Kielbratowski

Co-Founder & COO, Harbr

Jeff Kielbratowski is Co-Founder & COO, of construction tech startup Harbr. Jeff has brought his entrepreneurial, real estate and construction knowledge into the tech sector to help his team create industry changing products in the FinTech space. He continues to provide consulting services to his family’s businesses at Kiel Group and holds a real estate license in the province of Nova Scotia, where he started the Realty Partners Consulting Group.

Additionally, Jeff has co-founded a local golf brand “Social Golf Co” which is a lifestyle brand focused on the social aspects of the game of golf, and is a partner at TMAS Ventures which makes investments into early stage companies.

Previously, Jeff spent time as a Director of UDI of Nova Scotia and competed as an entrepreneur in the Creative Destruction Labs. Jeff is a graduate of St.FX university, where he earned a Bachelor in Business Administration with a Major in Enterprise Development. Jeff was also an elite athlete, finishing his career at St.FX following an ACL replacement. He has a passion for giving back to his community, one way he does that is through coaching minor hockey in Cole Harbour.

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Stephanie Langille

Senior Manager Business Performance, Atlantic Canada, RBC

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Stephanie Langille

Senior Manager Business Performance, Atlantic Canada, RBC

Stephanie Langille is the Senior Manager Business Performance for Personal and Commercial Banking in Atlantic Canada. Stephanie has been with RBC for 13 years and prior to taking on her current role she worked in a variety of leadership and advisor roles within Personal and Commercial Banking. Stephanie is passionate about leadership and in addition to her role with RBC, she currently chairs RBC’s NextGen employee resource group which supports the development and career growth of early to mid-career employees and she co-chairs the committee for the annual RBC Diversity & Inclusion Week.

Stephanie holds a Bachelor of Arts with Major in Music from St. Francis Xavier University, her Personal Financial Planning Designation from the Canadian Securities Institute, and her MBA from Heriot-Watt University.

In her free time, Stephanie enjoys travelling with her husband Matt and living an active lifestyle.

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Nicole MacNeil

Manager, Strategic Planning, Irving Shipbuilding

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Nicole MacNeil

Manager, Strategic Planning, Irving Shipbuilding

Nicole MacNeil is a Manager, Strategic Planning within Irving Shipbuilding’s Strategy Team. Irving Shipbuilding, a division of J.D. Irving, is North America’s most modern shipyard, providing Canada with needed shipbuilding capability through the construction of Canada’s future naval combatant fleet. Since joining Irving Shipbuilding in 2014, Nicole has held a variety of progressive roles in Human Resources, most recently as the Manager, Talent Management focused on the development of Irving’s team of Shipbuilders.

Nicole is passionate about community leadership and is proud to have founded Irving Shipbuilding’s Young Professionals Network – providing an opportunity for young professionals to network, develop and leverage experiences of their peers and Senior Leadership. This network has enjoyed significant success and is still running today for its over 200 members.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University, a Certificate in Human Resources from Keyano College, as well as a number of additional credentials in talent development and change management. After four years of playing for St. FX’s Varsity Women’s Soccer Team, Nicole remains an avid soccer fan, supporting Liverpool Football Club. Nicole and her husband, Bruce, live in Halifax.

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Katie Newcombe (Chair)

Director of Organizational Development, Davis Pier

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Katie Newcombe (Chair)

Director of Organizational Development, Davis Pier

Katie Newcombe moved to Halifax from Virginia to attend Dalhousie University in 2008, fell in love with the city, and never looked back. She completed her undergraduate degree in Political Science followed by her Master’s in Public Administration and started at Davis Pier Consulting in 2014 as their first employee.

Working in Halifax over the past eight years, Katie’s love for the city has grown and her passion for making a difference while developing, mentoring, and supporting talent has been a significant driver in her career.

In 2022 Katie shifted her focus to organizational development within Davis Pier, as the Manager of Organizational Development. Prior to this, she spent much of her time with the organization as a management consultant, seeking out projects focused on supporting vulnerable populations. Outside of work she enjoys volunteering with the Kids Help Phone and the Ronald McDonald House as well as spending time with her husband and two children.

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Beth Smith

Sales Manager and Customer Connections Specialist, Alexander Keith’s Brewery

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Beth Smith

Sales Manager and Customer Connections Specialist, Alexander Keith’s Brewery

Beth Smith is a businesswoman currently employed by Labatt Breweries of Canada as the Sales Manager of the Alexander Keith’s Brewery in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She completed a Business Administration undergraduate degree at Memorial University of Newfoundland in the Spring of 2021 and has chosen to return to Halifax to build a career in Nova Scotia. Passionate about collaboration, Beth is eager to engage with young leaders of diverse perspectives and experiences to together, contribute ideas and insight to the future of the Halifax Regional Municipality.

PEOPLE. PLANET. PROSPERITY.

Co-led by Halifax Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax’s Inclusive Economic Strategy 2022-27 is a shared roadmap for economic development over the next five years, founded on the values of engagement, inclusion, alignment, and collaboration. Collectively, this strategy is ours to own and implement to achieve our vision for Halifax.

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