Board of Directors

The Halifax Partnership is governed by an independent board of public and private sector leaders.

Board of Directors

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Rob Carruthers (Chair)

Partner, Deloitte LLP

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Rob Carruthers (Chair)

Partner, Deloitte LLP

Rob has over 20 years experience as a management consultant, technologist, internal auditor and strategic advisor. He is responsible for national and regional industry roles including the National Consumer and Industrial Products industry leader in Deloitte's Risk Advisory practice.

Rob had deep project management experience through his 20 years of IT and business transformation project delivery. He has delivered projects across the Consumer & Industrial Products, Energy, Public Sector, and Telecommunications industries. Rob is an active public speaker and supporter of community fundraising initiatives. He is actively involved in many major fundraising events including Mental Health, Childrens Wish, Cancer, and United Way.

Rob is a member of the Board, Past Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Corporate Governance Committee for the Halifax Partnership, past President of the Maritime Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors, and has recently been a member and the past Chair of the Acadia University's Manning School Advisory Board.

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Cory Bell (Vice Chair)

President & CEO, Lindsay Construction

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Cory Bell (Vice Chair)

President & CEO, Lindsay Construction

Cory Bell is the President & CEO of Lindsay Construction since 2009. Starting as a Project Engineer, Cory progressed through all operational positions within the organization. Under Cory's leadership, Lindsay Construction has grown into one of Canada's leading diversified construction firms and named one of Deloitte's Best Managed Companies in each of the past five years.

Widely regarded for his commitment to philanthropy and community, Cory is a long-time supporter of causes around children and cancer. He co-founded Trailblazer for Cancer, a flagship community fundraiser. He sits on the Board of Directors of both the IWK Foundation and Children's Wish Foundation, and is also an active supporter of the United Way, Queen Elizabeth Health Sciences Centre, Habitat for Humanity and Halifax Hospice. In 2016 he received the Courage to Give Back Award from Family S.O.S. and in 2017 he received the Inspire Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Cory has been named a five-time Top 50 CEO by Atlantic Business Magazine, and in 2019 was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He also received the 2018 EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Business to Business Category. Cory is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science and of the Technical University of Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering.

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Donna Alteen

CEO, Time + Space

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Donna Alteen

CEO, Time + Space

As the founder of Time + Space, Donna is a seasoned entrepreneurial executive, leading the business strategy for the organization. As well, she is an active consultant with organizations and internal teams providing strategic counsel grounded in measurable business outcomes. Her professional experience spans a broad scope of industry sectors; both nationally and internationally, including Tourism, Energy, Economic Development, Telecommunications and Consumer Packaged Goods. Donna leads the business strategy for Time + Space.

A dedicated lifelong learner, Donna holds a BBA with a major in Marketing, as well as a number of additional credentials in leadership, digital business models, coaching and corporate governance. Donna is a frequent speaker at colleges, universities and industry organizations. She is an active volunteer in the local and national NFP community serving on a number of committees and boards. She is also a recipient of the Women of Excellence Award for Entrepreneurship.

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Sarah Buckle

Executive Director and Chief Climate Investment Officer, EfficiencyOne

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Sarah Buckle

Executive Director and Chief Climate Investment Officer, EfficiencyOne

Sarah is an experienced sustainability leader with over 20 years effecting positive and transformative change through strategy and innovation. Sarah was recently appointed as the Executive Director and Chief Climate Investment Officer leading the newly established Halifax Climate Investment, Innovation and Impact (HCi3) Fund. HCi3 is one of seven Centres that make up the Low Carbon Cities Canada (LC3) network, in collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Green Municipal Fund. A subsidiary of EfficiencyOne (which provides cost-effective electricity efficiency and conservation services in Nova Scotia), HCi3’s goal is to help Halifax reach its full emissions reduction potential and unlock co-benefits for local communities.

Prior to joining the LC3 network, Sarah held a variety of private and public sector roles providing strategic direction and overall leadership in the development and implementation of sustainability programs, including climate action plans and low-carbon fleet strategies, carbon credit programs and the green bond and sustainable investing programs.

In 2019, Sarah was a recipient of Canada’s Clean50 award recognizing her leadership in sustainability. Prior to relocating to Halifax, Sarah served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Urban Transit Research Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) and the BC Environmental Managers Association.

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Carrie Cussons

President & CEO, Events East Group

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Carrie Cussons

President & CEO, Events East Group

Carrie Cussons is President & CEO of Events East Group managing the Halifax Convention Centre, a 120,000 sq. ft. Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Halifax, Scotiabank Centre, the largest multipurpose facility in Atlantic Canada with a seating capacity in excess of 10,000 and Ticket Atlantic, the region’s primary ticket provider.

Since joining the organization in 2009, Carrie has been a strategic lead in all areas of the business with a core responsibility for ensuing the efficient delivery of corporate and operational initiatives to support business growth and success.

Prior to her appointment as President & CEO, she was Chief Financial Officer and led the Corporate Services group, including finance, human resources and technology. In this role, she was responsible for the strategy for the new Halifax Convention Centre and the lead executive who championed the development and activation of the organization’s approach to prepare its team and operations for a successful transition to the new corporate structure and opening of the new Centre. This included a particular emphasis on change management and process improvements. Having been involved since the new convention centre project began, she was instrumental in the facility’s design and has worked closely with the organization’s partners, and employees to ensure the facility meets client and community expectations.

Carrie brings a diverse business background, including over two decades of management experience with a concentration in financial and operational leadership. She has held executive leadership and finance roles in a variety of public and private sector organizations including the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, the CCL Group and Ernst and Young. She has played a lead advisory role on business strategy, measurement and financial reporting. A graduate of Acadia University, she received her CPA, CA designation in 1991, and in 2015, she completed the Director’s Education Program through the Institute of Corporate Directors. Carrie is currently a member of the Women’s Leadership Collaborative and the International Women’s Forum of Canada, Secretary of NAIG 2023 (North American Indigenous Games), and Past Chair of the 2020/21 IIHF Women’s World Championship. Carrie also holds international memberships in IAVM (International Association of Venue Managers) and AIPC (International Association of Convention Centre Centres) and ICCA (International Congress & Convention Association) and in 2020 was named a Canadian Progress Women of Excellence Award Winner.

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Patrick Fitzgerald

Partner, Cox & Palmer

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Patrick Fitzgerald

Partner, Cox & Palmer

Patrick is a partner in the Halifax office of Cox & Palmer, one of the largest law firms in Atlantic Canada. He has practiced business law and delivered strategic advice in Halifax and across the region for more than 20 years and has been involved in many transactions that have helped shape the economy in Halifax Regional Municipality.

Along the way, Patrick developed a particular interest in the technology industry and developed a client base centered on innovation based businesses in Atlantic Canada. He is actively involved in Nova Scotia’s start-up ecosystem having championed Cox & Palmer’s participation in a number of incubator and accelerator programs and hubs, as well as providing pro-bono advice to various start-ups across Nova Scotia.

Patrick has served in a number of leadership roles within Cox & Palmer and is currently a member of Cox & Palmer’s Halifax Executive Committee with specific responsibility for leveraging its innovation culture and identifying, assessing and implementing innovative processes, improvements and technologies to Cox & Palmer. Patrick is also in the final year of a multi-year commitment as a director of the Canadian Technology Law Association.

A firm believer in an active lifestyle, Patrick is a member of the Halifax Triathlon Club, is a running and cycling enthusiast and has completed dozens of cycling, running and triathlon events.

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Monica Foster

Vice President, College Services and Chief Financial Officer, NSCC

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Monica Foster

Vice President, College Services and Chief Financial Officer, NSCC

Monica Foster is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Francis Xavier University and a Diploma in Management Accounting from Saint Mary’s University. Monica has served as the Vice President, College Services and CFO for Nova Scotia Community College for almost a decade. She joined the College in 1996, over which time she has also served as Manager, Financial Services and Director, Financial Services. Before joining the College, she held various positions at the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, including Treasurer and Policy Analyst. Prior to that she worked for Toronto Dominion Bank.

In addition to her work at the College, Monica serves on the Board of the Halifax United Way where she has held the role of Board Chair and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee. She is the current Chair of the Collaboration for Research, Education and Technology (CARET), an Executive Steering Committing member of the Higher Education Information Technology Shared Service partnership and a member of Inter-University Services Board of Directors. She has also served on the Board for the Certified Management Accountants of Nova Scotia, Hope Blooms and the School Insurance Program.

An avid hockey fan, Monica is currently the Treasurer of the Charles P. Allen Hockey Team and has volunteered for the Bedford and District Minor Hockey Association, serving since 2004 in roles that ranged from Executive member to team manager.

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Louis Lawen

President & CEO, Lawen Group

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Louis Lawen

President & CEO, Lawen Group

Louis is the CEO of the Lawen Group that includes Dexel Developments, Dexel Architecture and Paramount Management which provide services to the family business of 1,200 residential units and 300,000 sq. ft. of commercial property in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

With 25 years of focusing on urban mixed-use projects, Louis has had the opportunity to develop, design, construct and manage several premier award-winning buildings. In 2010, Dexel was awarded the Business of the Year Award by the Canadian Lebanese Chamber of Commerce. Louis won the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year (Real Estate). With his brothers John and Peter, Louis was awarded the Pillar of the Community 2013 Award from IPOANS.

Currently, he is a member of YPO, on the board with the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia. Louie gained his engineering degree from Dalhousie University and his professional status in 2000.

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Winston Morton

Chief Technology Officer, SimpTek Technologies Inc.

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Winston Morton

Chief Technology Officer, SimpTek Technologies Inc.

Winston is an experienced technology business leader with a career spanning 25 years working with global companies such as IBM, Marconi Communications, Cable and Wireless, and Nova Scotia Power.

As an active community leader, Winston and is an active mentor for many startup companies in the region as well as member of a number of advisory boards including Volta Labs, Futurepreneur Canada and has served as the past Co-Chair of Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada Spring Sprint Campaign.

As a founding member of several startups in Internet security, telecommunications and next generation data centers, Winston is adept at understanding business need and translating this into a technology plan. Winston was tasked with the expansion of LinkBermuda’s product portfolio of International networks and Data Center services to include Bermuda’s first Hybrid Cloud service for the International banking and re-insurance industry in both North America and Europe.

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David Noel

SVP, Atlantic Region, Scotiabank

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David Noel

SVP, Atlantic Region, Scotiabank

David Noel is the SVP, Atlantic Region for Scotiabank. He assumed the position on January 1st, 2021 and he is responsible for Scotiabank’s branch network across Atlantic Canada. Prior to this role, he was the President & CEO of Scotiabank Jamaica and SVP & Head Caribbean North where he was responsible for Scotiabank’s operations in Jamaica, Bahamas, Cayman, and Turks & Caicos Islands. David has also served as the Managing Director for the Caribbean East region with responsibility for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean.

David is an experienced banker, attorney-at-law and CFA Charterholder. He completed his Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the West Indies (Cave Hill) and was called to the bar in Jamaica in 1997. He started his career as an Attorney at Myer Fletcher & Gordon, the largest law firm in Jamaica, where he practiced mainly commercial litigation on behalf of financial institutions.

He joined Scotiabank Jamaica in 2001 as an Attorney in the Corporate & Legal department. He was appointed Senior Legal Counsel & Corporate Secretary in 2003 with responsibility for the Legal, Compliance and Corporate Secretarial Departments and was the principal legal adviser and head of compliance for the Scotiabank Jamaica Group. In June 2008, David moved to Toronto on a leadership development program and worked in Commercial Banking, Retail Banking, Global Risk Management and various International Banking departments.

David has previously worked in Atlantic Canada as District Vice President in East New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. While in Atlantic Canada, he was the Chairman of the United Way Campaign for South East New Brunswick and served on the Board of Directors of the Atlantic Ballet Theatre Company. He has also served as President of the Barbados Bankers Association, and the Jamaica Bankers Association, and has chaired or served on several Scotiabank subsidiary boards across the Caribbean. David currently serves on the Board of Directors for the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation and Hope Blooms.

David is married to Francene and they are the proud parents of two children, Zachary and Eden.

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Anita Swamy

Vice President, Operations, Medavie Blue Cross

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Anita Swamy

Vice President, Operations, Medavie Blue Cross

Anita is an Executive with over 20 years of progressive experience in business transformation, operations, complex project management and process optimization. She is consistently recognized as an influential leader who creates high performing teams through establishing a clear vision, collaborative partnerships, and effective communication.

As Vice President of Operations at Medavie Blue Cross, Anita provides strategic leadership and oversight of Customer Experience and operational activities, including individual and group administration, claims and contact centre to deliver a superior customer experience as defined by shifting customer demand.

Over her distinguished career, she has led large-scale transformation programs, championed Customer Experience program design and implementation, and led Contact Centre and Back office Operations. She has also consulted in the Financial Services, technology, utilities and telecommunications space on business transformation, M&A integration and project management.

A graduate of Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Commerce she holds the designations of Project Management Professional (PMP) and Project Management Institute’s Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP). She currently holds positions on the Board of Directors at Halifax Partnership and De-Cell Technologies.

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Vinita Savani

President RBC, Atlantic Canada Region

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Vinita Savani

President RBC, Atlantic Canada Region

Vinita Savani is responsible for ensuring best in class performance and delivery of RBC’s advice, products and services to more than 800,000 personal and business clients in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.

Since joining RBC in 1997, Vinita has held a wide range of diverse roles in Branch Sales, Finance, Procurement, Canadian Banking Strategy, Group Risk Management, Home Equity Finance, and Personal Savings and Investments. Prior to assuming her current role in 2021, she was Vice President, Retail Delivery Model and Advisor Role Strategy, where she led the development and implementation of the retail distribution model which included leader and advisor role strategy, practice management, skills and capability development, performance management and incentives, as well as sales conduct and controls.

Vinita holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto, an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and is a CFA charter holder.

A believer in giving back to community, Vinita has been involved in numerous volunteer activities. She has been involved with the Epilepsy York Region board for 16 years, as a member and as Chair. She currently sits on the boards of the QEII Foundation and the Halifax Partnership.

Vinita, her husband and two sons live in Halifax.

Representing Halifax Regional Municipality

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Paul Russell

Councillor, Halifax Regional Municipality

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Paul Russell

Councillor, Halifax Regional Municipality

Elected in 2019 and re-elected in 2020, Paul Russell serves as the Councillor for Lower Sackville/District 15. Prior to his position as councillor, Paul worked in software development for 35 years building websites for Fortune 500 companies.

Paul has lived in Sackville for more than 20 years and has been a dedicated community member, both personally and professionally. He is an elected member of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, part of the Sackville Community Development Association, and was named the Sackville Volunteer of the Year in 2017.

His mission is to work alongside the community and the government to help make Sackville, the Halifax Regional Municipality, and Nova Scotia an even greater place to live. This mission is recognized in his core values of community, professionalism, and collaboration.

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Waye Mason

Councillor, Halifax Regional Municipality

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Waye Mason

Councillor, Halifax Regional Municipality

Waye Mason is an activist, entrepreneur and educator and municipal councillor. First elected to Halifax Regional Council in 2012, re-elected in 2016, he is known for his social media savvy and relentless constituency work. Waye has grown businesses, led member organizations and developed the arts and culture sector in Nova Scotia for over two decades. His career in the music industry spanned artist development to live event production, and he has become a well-known business and strategic consultant both inside and outside the cultural sector.

As councillor, he currently serves as Chair of Halifax’s Community Planning and Economic Development standing committee and as a Police Commissioner, as well as being a member of several other boards and committees. Waye is currently Deputy Mayor as well as Vice President of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities.

Observers to the Board of Directors

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Jacques Dubé

Chief Administrative Officer, Halifax Regional Municipality

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Jacques Dubé

Chief Administrative Officer, Halifax Regional Municipality

Jacques Dubé became Halifax’s Chief Administrative Officer in September 2016, and in doing so he realized one of his most ambitious career objectives—leading the largest municipality in Atlantic Canada and contributing to its growth and progress. With a strong background in economic development and a participative approach to leadership, Jacques is focused on delivering Regional Council’s strategic priorities by working with staff and community partners to make a difference through diverse ideas and inclusive actions.

Jacques has more than 30 years of senior-level experience from all levels of government, most recently as city manager in Moncton where his strong background in customer service and economic development helped that city prosper. He has served as president of Service New Brunswick, as well as Deputy Minister responsible for economic development, trade policy and population growth. He also served as Chief of Staff to the Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs and on numerous boards including the United Way, New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Atlantic Lottery Corporation.

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Chuck Maillet

Vice President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency - Nova Scotia Region

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Chuck Maillet

Vice President, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency - Nova Scotia Region

Chuck Maillet was appointed the Vice-President for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency for Nova Scotia in 2017. He joined the Agency in 2002 as a Community Economic Development Officer and, in 2005, became Manager of Community Economic Development. He was appointed Director of Community Development in 2008 and, subsequently, assumed the position of Director General for Regional Operations at ACOA Nova Scotia in 2010.

Before joining ACOA, Chuck spent a number of years working in both the private and non-profits sectors, where he gained valuable insights into the challenges of starting and growing businesses. Chuck is passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship and supporting innovation and technology development in Nova Scotia. He feels privileged to be helping businesses benefit from ACOA programs, and enhancing economic opportunities for the province.

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Mayor Savage

Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality

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Mayor Savage

Mayor, Halifax Regional Municipality

On October 15, 2016, Mike Savage was elected Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality for a second term based on a platform of sustained progress in making the Halifax region a place where residents can live, belong and thrive. Mayor Savage was first elected on October 20, 2012, running on a platform to make Halifax the most liveable, entrepreneurial and inclusive city in the country; principles that continue to shape his work at City Hall and in the community.

In the fall of 2015, Mayor Savage became president of the World Energy Cities partnership, an international organization of cities with significant energy sector interests. Prior to his election as Mayor, Mike Savage served as Member of Parliament for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour from 2004 until 2011. Mayor Savage has also had a career in business as General Manager of S. Cunard and Co., Director of Sales and Marketing for Nova Scotia Power Inc., Vice President at Knightsbridge Robertson Surrette, and Vice President at M5 Communications.

Mayor Savage has demonstrated community leadership in social, health and cultural organizations, as a board member for the IWK Health Centre and Neptune Theatre, as a former President of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, and through his involvement with Junior Achievement, The Red Cross, Canadian National Institute for the Blind and the United Way. Mayor Savage and his wife Darlene have two children, Emma and Conor, and continue to make their home in Dartmouth where Mayor Savage grew up and attended school before graduating from Dalhousie University.

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Captain A.S. Williams

Base Commander, Maritime Forces Atlantic

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Captain A.S. Williams

Base Commander, Maritime Forces Atlantic

Captain Williams joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1997. After graduating from the Royal Military College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and completing his initial phase training, he joined his first ship, HMCS REGINA in 2002. During his time in Regina, he deployed to the Arabian Sea as part of Operation Apollo and achieved his Head of Department qualification.

He has also performed numerous staff roles in National Defence Headquarters, including serving as the Auxiliary Vessel Class Manager and Fleet Management Senior Staff Officer in DGMEPM, as the Naval Technical Officer Career Manager, the Canadian Surface Combatant Senior Supportability Engineering Manager, and most recently as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of the Defence Staff.

A graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Program, he holds a Masters of Engineering from the University of Ottawa and a Masters of Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He was promoted to his current rank and was appointed as the Commander of Canadian Forces Base Halifax in 2020.

Captain Williams is supported by his wife, who is also a member of the Canadian Armed Forces, and their son. He enjoys camping, skiing, cycling and other outdoor pursuits with his family.

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