Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Executive Director, Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest
Tracy has spent most of her career in leadership positions within the charitable and non profit sector – with a visit to the corporate world.
She is currently the Executive Director of Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest. Tracy is an avid volunteer within the community and sits on many boards and committees.
General Manager, Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge-Waterloo
Vanessa Stevenson is the General Manager of the award winning Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge Waterloo. Since moving to Cambridge in 2009 Vanessa has involved herself with organizations that make a positive impact on this community. Vanessa joined the Board of Directors in 2011 and has been Chair twice during her time with the organization.
CAO, Township of Woolwich
David is the CAO for the Township of Woolwich and a graduate of the University of Waterloo. He joined the Township of Woolwich in 2007 – in time to be a founding Board member for Explore Waterloo Region. David is actively involved in the KW Community Foundation.
CAO, City of Waterloo
Tim is the CAO for the City of Waterloo and a graduate of the University of Guelph. Tim joined the City of Waterloo in 1990 and became CAO in 2010 and the Board of Explore Waterloo Region in the same year.
General Manager, African Lion Safari
Trish Gerth is General Manager at African Lion Safari, with 15+ years’ management experience in the leisure, travel & tourism industry. Trish brings her skills of Operations Management, Customer Service, Marketing Strategy, Hospitality Industry, and Tourism Management to the Board. Trish graduated with an Honours Business Administration degree specializing in Human Resources from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Trish is an active board member for various organizations including Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Explore Waterloo Region, Hamilton Halton Brant Regional Tourism Association, as well as an active parent on Holy Spirit Catholic School Advisory Council.
General Manager, Region of Waterloo International Airport
Chris Wood landed at the Region of Waterloo International Airport in September of 2009 taking on the role of Airport General Manager. Chris was previously employed by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) for 12 years. Chris’s aviation career began more than 25 years ago at the Region of Waterloo International Airport where he spent a summer working at the Waterloo-Wellington Flying Club as a ramp attendant. He currently lives with his wife and two teenage children in Ayr, Ontario.
Mark is the President of Bingemans, a hospitality and entertainment company providing more than 80 years of service in the Waterloo Region. Mark’s passion and vast experience with hospitality complexes, marquee events and continued involvement with economic development within the Region provide a great asset to WRTMC.
CAO, City of Kitchener
Dan was appointed CAO of the City of Kitchener in September 2017. He joined the city in 2005 as director of financial planning, and was most recently deputy chief administrative officer responsible for finance and corporate services.
City Manager, City of Cambridge
David Calder is currently the City Manager with the City of Cambridge. Most recently, he served as the Chief Administrative Officer with the Town of Tillsonburg and President of Tillsonburg Hydro Inc.. He was previously General Manager of Corporate Services with the City of Waterloo and Director of Public Access and Council Services/City Clerk with the City of Cambridge. David is a graduate of the Leadership Waterloo Region Program and has also served on the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation Board of Directors. He joined the Explore Waterloo Region Board of Directors in March 2020.
Director of Cultural Services, Region of Waterloo
Helen Chimirri-Russell is the Director of Cultural Services with the Region of Waterloo. Her enthusiasm and curiosity has guided her through a career in the Cultural sector, from built heritage, libraries, museums and the arts public funding, strategic planning and policy development. Helen has worked across Canada and the UK. She is a firm believer in the transformative nature of the culture and its importance in our community’s recovery from the pandemic.
CAO, Township of Wilmot
Sharon Chambers has served the public sector for over 25 years. She began her municipal career with roles in Public Works, Administration, and Finance. Professional development is an ongoing priority for her through various affiliated organizations such as the Ontario Municipal Administrators’ Association (OMAA), the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO), and the Ontario Goad Roads Association (OGRA).
Executive Dean, Conestoga College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning
Pejman Salehi is the Executive Dean of the School of Applied Computer Science & IT and the School of Creative Industries at Conestoga College. Pejman brings his experience as an academic leader as well as his background in the tech industry. He believes that developing talent in the innovation and creativity sectors will help drive Waterloo Region to a more prosperous and vibrant future.
General Manager, St. Jacobs Market District
Joanna is currently the General Manager of the St. Jacobs Market District – that largest tourist attraction in the region. She has over 15 years of experience in operations management working for a large global consumer goods manufacturer and at the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics at Laurier University running an accelerator program for small businesses.
COO and Governor, Kitchener Rangers
A Kitchener Rangers alumnus, Joe spent 12 years working at the OHL prior to joining the Rangers as the Vice President of Development. He previously spent six years as the Senior Director of Hockey Development & Special Events with the OHL. Joe has played a significant role in developing the national player recruitment strategy for the Canadian Hockey League. Between 2011 and 2013 he served as a NHLPA Certified Agent with Newport Sports Management. Joe has been recognized twice by Hockey News as Top 100 People of Power and Influence. He is currently a member of the OHL Executive Council.