The Board

As a non-profit organization, the North Superior Workforce Planning Board is governed by a Board of Directors who represent the community and various Labour Market Partner Groups. The Directors serve on various committees volunteering their time and expertise to workforce development issues. Each Director is expected to be a liaison between the community and the Board. Being a Board Member on the NSWPB provides several unique challenges simply due to our local geography, however through teleconferences and substantial travel, NSWPB Directors make it work. We thank them for their dedication and commitment to their position on the Board.

The Board is comprised of representatives from Business, Labour, Francophone, Indigenous, Women, Persons with Disabilities, Educator/Trainers, as well as a member representing municipal government.

Board Member

John DeGiacomo

Over thirty years of management experience in the education and training sector, has served him well in his work with a variety of professionals in the private and public and not for profit sector. As the Executive Director for Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS), John manages human resource development programs and services to on and off reserve members of nine participating First Nations Communities. In addition to his experience with AETS, John is a certified and experienced Teacher of Adults with a degree in Marketing.Prior to working at AETS, John was responsible for leading successful career services as well as new partnership initiatives at Lakehead University. He is experienced managing in multi-faceted and multi-functional organizations and has volunteered as a member of the Board of Directors for Leadership Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce - Education Committee, regional Education at Work Ontario and the national Canadian Association for Career Educators and Employers. John is the Past President (2004-2008) with the Human Resources Professionals Association of Northwestern Ontario and in 2008 completed a provincial term on the Human Resources Professionals Association Chapter Governance Committee.

John achieved Job Search Strategy Employment Counsellor Certification early in his career from the Canada Employment Centre followed by a Human Resources Management Systems Certificate from the International Association for Human Resource Information Management and then a Canadian Campus Recruitment Certificate from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers. In 2005, he earned a Certificate in Canadian Career Centre Management from the Canadian Institute for Career Centre Management.In 2006, he was the first Lakehead University Leadership Thunder Bay Program participant to complete the program and later that year also received a Level 1 and 2 Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution from the Stitt Feld Handy Group. John remains active as a volunteer on a number of boards and has recently completed a certificate of Indigenous Leadership, Governance and Management as well as Mental Health First Aid and Personality Dimensions.

John has worked as a highly productive and collaborative service provider/facilitator with the Thunder Bay Canada Employment Centre and Confederation College. At the University, his leadership role in experiential learning programs such as internship and co-operative education programs coupled with his four years of sessional teaching has made him appreciate the integral role that faculty and the employer community play in the education of tomorrow's leaders. John has authored articles that have been published in Canadian Journals (such as How Co-ops and Internships can enhance your Workplace noted in the HR Professional Magazine) and remains active by teaching occasional classes in Marketing, Human Resources Management Systems and Human Resources. John is a proud father of three boys and is originally from Thunder Bay.

Board Member

David Farrell

Dave contracts his expertise as an Organizational Coach and Facilitator for Angelo Peta Consulting, as an Executive and Leadership Coach for Superior-Strategies, as an Executive and Mindfulness Coach for his own company, and as a Senior Management Consultant and Business Coach for Arbora Management Services. Leading by example is one of the reasons Dave spent a number of years with Lakehead University (Distributed Learning and Career Services). As a union member, Dave takes pride in having over 30 years of experience leading management system projects for manufacturing and service companies. Dave has graduated with distinction from Lakehead University (Honours 2007), graduated from Confederation College (Graduate Awards 1973) and attained a Graduate Level Certification in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University (4.0 grade point in 2011).

Putting vision into practice, sharing creative ideas and empowering people through organizational activities is why Dave is ready to help lead the charge to make good things happen. Recent projects include: a Brand Coaching Workshop: Digital Marketing Solutions, a Coach Approach to strategic planning for the Township of Dorion; a Coaching Proposal Writing Success for the Red Rock Indian Band; Community Leadership Coach Workshop for the Greenstone Economic Development Corporation; Coaching Board of Directors' Development Session for the Superior North Community Development Corporation and Executive Coach Training that can lead to a professional designation. His strategic planning skills are evident in the organizations and companies he helps stretch well beyond their perceived potential. Executive coaching sessions for individuals is ongoing and he coaches management teams individually and as a group for success. As a catalyst for exceptional outcomes, he has built a solid reputation for success, which included being a member of the Canadian delegation to NAFTA for being a leader in implementing environmental management system.

Dave demonstrates his commitment to his community by serving as a the Labour Co-Chair of the North Superior Workforce Development Board and the Chair of the Quality Management Committee for the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce. His past volunteer activities is an enviable list of contributing to a Regional Career Fair (Chair), Regional Skills Competition, Business / Education Committee, Youth Advisory Committee, Strategic Advisor to the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championship, Immigration Task Force and other initiatives including a local Innovation Think Tank.

Board Member

John Hatton

John is presently working for Confederation College as Director of Training & Workforce Development. He has a Masters Degree from Central Michigan University in Organizational Development. John is a certified D.D.I. facilitator and has worked with numerous groups on strategic plans and business improvements strategies. His academic background is enhanced by practical management experience in various leadership roles. Other strengths include strong facilitation skills, governance models and the ability to produce results with people.

John has a wealth of experience in working with business's and groups to improve performance through problem solving and group organizational development. He has trained in the areas of leadership, team building, training needs analysis, business improvement, problem solving, Aboriginal Competency, Project Management, Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.), Team Building and Presentation Skills.

Recent clients have included, Weyerhaeuser Canada, Domtar, North American Palladium, Goldcorp, Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, City of Thunder Bay, Bombardier, Leadership Thunder Bay, Municipality of Schreiber, Town of Marathon, Township of Atikokan, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Harbourview Family Health Team, , Wasaya Group Inc., Nishnawbwe Aski Nation, Fort William First Nation, Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, Fort William Family Health Team and O.P.P.

He has also been actively involved in the community serving as President of Big Thunder Sports Park, Chair of the Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Race Festival and Chair of eh Thunder Bay Physician Recruitment & Retention Council.

Board Member

Crystal Olson

Crystal Olson comes from an education and economic development background. She was born and raised in a farming community in Southern Ontario and moved to Northern Ontario in 2000. Crystal completed her Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Bachelor of Education Degree at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay in 2005. Since that time, she has spent her career working and travelling across Northwestern Ontario in education, community economic development and workforce development. In 2018, Crystal was elected as a municipal Councillor with the Township of Conmee, which has been her home since 2008; along with her husband and two children, where they operate a small hobby farm. She has a strong desire to support community economic development in rural communities and work collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of the realities of living and working across Northwestern Ontario.

Board Member

Doris Rossi

Doris has been a Nursing teacher/professor in the health sciences with the Ministry of Education & Confederation College for the last 30 years. She has been an advocate for the education and training of all, with equity being a priority.

She has served on various organizations & Boards over the years, including OPSEU women's committee, representing over 40,000 women in Ontario, St. Joseph's Care Group's (SJCG) Board of Governors for 9 years as well as SJCG's Advisory Committee for Long Term Care for 3 years, Confederation College's Board of Governors for 5 years, LOSDI for 18 years, the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (Local Chapter), as well as other numerous voluntary groups. Her main goal is to identify and meet the needs of education and training for all in our community.

Board Member

Roger Shott

From December of 2000 to November 2018, Roger was a Councillor for the Municipality of Neebing. Over the past eighteen years, he has been on various boards representing the Municipality. Roger was on the board of the Thunder Bay District Municipal League and was the league’s representative on the NSWPB. Roger has been in the trades since 1973 and has over thirty years of experience in the Forestry Industry. Roger’s main focus now is promoting the trades.

Roger believes that the apprenticeship opportunities of today are going to allow our youth to become the best tradesperson’s and leaders she or he can be. This is what we need to build the workforce of tomorrow and meet the demands of the future. This is a time of opportunity for today’s youth and the future looks bright.

Board Member

Uli Walther

Uli holds a business degree from Germany and worked in several managerial positions prior to his immigration to Canada. For more than 20 years, he headed GRK Fasteners, first as a Vice-President and General Manager for the German screw manufacturer Reisser and, beginning in 1993, as Co-owner and Chairman.

Uli is a firm believer in being different from your competitors, so together with his former wife Gerda and his two sons Dr. Mirco Walther and Dr. Thorsten Walther (deceased 2003), here in Thunder Bay, they developed at GRK numerous patents and fasteners which built the backbone of today's GRK. Through his knowledge, Uli has extensive experience of practices from other countries and continents.

In 2004, the Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Business Person of the Year award. For the last 12 years he has been co-chairing the Chamber of Commerce's Education Committee, and served on the Chamber's Board of Directors for the past 9 years, and as such he was elected Chairman for the 2013/2014 period. He also believes that Northwestern Ontario (NWO) is at the threshold of great things to come, especially if we make sure that every willing person in NWO access to training in the career of his or her choice. Regardless of University, College or Trades, it is our obligation to lay the foundation for our future generations. Uli believes that the future is ours; we only have to take our chances. With the right foresight, this will be the best place to work and live in all of Canada!

Board Member

Annemarie Wesolowski

Annemarie Wesolowski is the Executive Director of Literacy Northwest, one of sixteen regional networks in the province of Ontario that are funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to support and promote the delivery of the adult Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program. The LBS program is one of the suite of programs and services offered by Employment Ontario.

Annemarie has been involved in the adult literacy field since 1991; in the capacity of program and project coordinator, literacy practitioner, and regional network administrator. She has gained years of policy governance experience through her participation on the boards of numerous local, regional and provincial organizations and advisory groups.

In her regional network role, Annemarie has access to a large pool of information and expertise from a diverse network of local, regional and provincial contacts that represent Aboriginal, Anglophone, Deaf, and Francophone adult literacy learners and service providers.

Annemarie firmly believes that strong literacy and essential skills create the foundation needed for successful lifelong learning experiences. As such, she is committed to actively informing and supporting endeavours that will enhance access to education and training opportunities that will help adults achieve their goals and full potential at home, in school and in the community and workplace.


This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.

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