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15 cycling events, 15 world class cycling itineraries and cycling education for kids in 2017!


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OCTF09 - Speakers Bios

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  • Justin Lafontaine

    Forum Director, Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum 2009, Transportation Options

    Justin Lafontaine has developed innovative tourism initiatives and collaborative partnerships since 2000. He founded the Toronto-Niagara Bike Train Initiative, a project supported by over 30 organizations and businesses, which was launched to great success in 2007. The initiative won two awards at the 2008 Ontario Tourism Summit for the Best Tourism Marketing Partnership and Tourism Innovator of the Year. Justin is an avid cyclist and actively involved in Ontario’s cycling community. He earned a B.A. with specialization in Urban Studies from Concordia University in Montreal and has travelled extensively.

    Transportation Options is a non-profit organization based in Toronto dedicated to stimulating sustainable systems of transportation that foster ecological balance, social equity, and economic vitality. Since 1992, the organization has cultivated initiatives such as the Bike Train and the Ontario Cycle Tourism Forum through innovative partnerships and industry support.

    • Burkhard Mausberg

      President, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation

      Burkhard Mausberg is the President of the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. He was previously the Program Director at the Ivey Foundation and the Executive Director of the Environment Fund. Mr. Mausberg has over 20 years experience working on environmental issues, including as Executive Director of Environmental Defence Canada and Great Lakes United. He also worked for Pollution Probe and the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy. Mr. Mausberg taught at the University of Toronto for several years, and has written widely on issues related to toxic chemical pollution, genetic engineering and citizen engagement. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three young children.

      • The Honourable Monique Smith

        Minister of Tourism, Province of Ontario

        Monique Smith was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003, but was no stranger to the legislature, having worked from 1997 to 1999 as chief of staff to the Leader of the Official Opposition, Dalton McGuinty. Smith was appointed Minister of Tourism in 2008. She previously served as Minister of Revenue.

        Prior to her recruitment by McGuinty’s team, she practised labour and employment law at McCarthy Tétrault, a Toronto law firm. After the 1999 general election, Smith joined the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) as executive director. The ACP is a national trade association representing over 140 Canadian-owned publishing houses across the country. As executive director she travelled extensively promoting Canadian publishing and was a bilingual spokesperson for the industry both nationally and internationally.

        Since her election, Smith has been working hard on behalf of the people of Nipissing and ensuring the voices of northern Ontarians are heard at Queen’s Park. She has delivered results for Nipissing with the construction of two hospitals underway, the building of a new children’s treatment centre and the continued four-laning of Highway 11.

        Shortly after the 2003 election, she was appointed Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. In May 2004, she completed a province-wide review of long-term care, the results of which were included in her report, “A Commitment to Care: A Plan for Long-Term Care in Ontario.” This report has served as the foundation for the many reforms the McGuinty government has undertaken in long-term care.

        • Jean-François Pronovost

          Executive Director, Vélo Québec Association

          Jean-François Pronovost is the Executive Director of Vélo Québec Association since 1989. In 1992, he acted as chief organizer of the first world-wide conference on bicycling, the Conférence Vélo Mondiale in Montreal. Among the many technical publications he has edited is the Technical Handbook of Bikeway Design (1992, 2003). He is currently engaged by the Route verte development, a 4,000-kilometer bike route across Québec, and by the launch of different active transportation initiatives.

          Trained as a biologist, Jean-François Pronovost has worked as a nature guide, journalist and television commentator. He has also authored numerous books on hiking, cycling, and science. Over the last 20 years, he gave several lectures and presentations for several international audiences in Canada, in the United States and in Europe.

        • Lukas Stadtherr

          Co-director, Velobüro, Member, Management Board, SwitzerlandMobility

          Lukas Stadtherr has been co-owner of Velobüro since 2003. As a member of SwitzerlandMobility management, he holds joint responsibility for the development of SwitzerlandMobility. He is in charge of coordination between SwitzerlandMobilty and cross-border projects, for example the harmonization between Cycling in Switzerland and EuroVelo. As a member of the EuroVelo Council, he is engaged on the strategic further development of EuroVelo on behalf of the ECF.

          Lukas Stadtherr has completed studies in the fields of economics (Executive MBA, Business School Bern), town & country planning (further education course at Aargau College of Higher Education) and geography (University of Freiburg i.Ü.).

        • Eric Nijland

          Director, Dutch National Cycling Platform

          Eric Nijland is the director of Fietsplatform (Dutch National Cycling Platform), the umbrella organization for recreational cycling in the Netherlands. Cycling is one of the most popular activities for outdoor recreation in the Netherlands and an important item for tourism. A lot of public and private organizations are involved with this item. Fietsplatform was founded in 1987 to co-ordinate activities and projects on this field. Aim of Fietsplatform and its partners/ member organizations is to promote recreational cycling in the Netherlands and to further improve the facilities. Fietsplatform is responsible for the development, maintenance and promotion of the Dutch national cycling network.

        • Richard Bonds

          Executive Director, Pennsylvania Tourism Office

          Richard Bonds is not only a graduate of Penn State University, his friends and peers might also call him a connoisseur of all things Pennsylvania. Known for his sharp memory, Richard never forgets the places he’s been and is the unofficial expert on quirky facts and figures about the state.

          Before joining the Pennsylvania Tourism office in 2003, Richard worked in the advertising and agency business for close to 30 years, most recently as a vice president of media at Tierney Communications in Philadelphia, Richard’s agency experience makes him a hot commodity among the powers that be in state government, and he is often called on for marketing counsel across state lines as well. He oversees the marketing efforts for all of Pennsylvania’s tourism initiatives. One of his passions has been the development, growth and evolution of the visitpa.com website.

          His imaginative mind has helped launch four new creative campaigns for the Pennsylvania Tourism Office over the past five years, where he serves as executive director of tourism marketing for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

        • Marlaine Koehler

          Executive Director, Waterfront Regeneration Trust

          Marlaine Koehler is the Executive Director of the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, a charity committed to the completion, enhancement and expansion of Ontario’s Waterfront Trail and Greenway. Since 1989, the Trust has been coordinating a productive partnership involving over 50 municipalities, conservation authorities, community groups, service clubs and corporations who share the goal of a regenerated waterfront.

          The signature project of the partnership is Ontario’s Waterfront Trail and Greenway, a 740 km route, connecting 41 communities along the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River from Niagara to Quebec. In 2008, the Trust launched the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure—an annual 8-day family bike ride of the entire Trail.

        • Councillor Brian Baty

          Chair, Regional Niagara Bicycling Committee

          Regional Councillor Baty has served in major leadership roles in the Niagara region and the province through his profession as an educator. He was a founding member of the Ontario Principals' Council, served on the Provincial Executive, and as a Provincial Councillor for the Niagara Region. Brian has served as an educator and administrator in eight of Niagara's 12 municipalities. He retired in June 2003 as Principal of E. L. Crossley Secondary School in Pelham.

          He is the Founding Chair of Port Cares and Port Colborne/Wainfleet Healthy Lifestyles Coalition. He was named Honourary Citizen of Port Colborne in 1995. He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Public Health and Social Services Committee. He is also a member of the Integrated Community Planning and Public Works Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority and Chair of the Regional Niagara Bicycling Committee. In addition, he serves on the Agricultural Committee, Agricultural Task Force, Niagara Hamilton-WastePlan Joint Working Group Committee, Waste Management Planning Steering Committee, and the Planning Review Committee.

        • Jean Charbonneau

          Manager, Lands (Quebec and Capital Pathway), National Capital Commission

          Jean Charbonneau is a Land Manager at the Urban Lands and Transportation Division at the National Capital Commission, a federal crown corporation that has the mandate to plan, develop, maintain and animate Canada’s Capital Region. He is responsible for the coordination of the Capital Pathway, a multi-use pathway network of 170 km linking various points in Canada’s Capital Region. He has a bachelor degree in Urban Geography and a Master in Project Management.

        • Daniel Egan

          Manager, Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure, City of Toronto

          As Manager of Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure for Toronto Transportation Services, Daniel is responsible for planning and implementing infrastructure improvements for walking and cycling. Daniel coordinated development of the Toronto Bike Plan, and his group is responsible for implementing the Bikeway Network, bicycle parking, cycling promotions and cyclist education elements of the Plan. On the pedestrian front, Daniel is leading development of the new Toronto Walking Strategy, which included hosting the Walk21 international conference in Toronto in October 2007.

        • Michael Lawley

          Executive Director, Muskoka Tourism

          Michael has over 20 years of senior management experience in Ontario’s tourism industry specializing in destination marketing, creating partnerships and tourism business development. He has been responsible for planning and implementing four-season destination marketing campaigns including research and branding strategies. Michael’s planning background includes regional strategic plans, feasibility studies, annual business and marketing plans for the tourism industry.

          On the product development side, he lead a team of consultants that coached tourism business owners, investors, industry groups and municipalities about planning, marketing, improving day to day operations, financial management and capital investment decisions. He was responsible for managing annual budgets of up to $10 million supporting product development and marketing initiatives in the tourism industry.

          He is currently Executive Director of Muskoka Tourism, a not-for-profit membership based organization responsible for marketing Ontario’s leading four-season resort destination.

        • Leslie Bruce

          Chief Marketing Officer, Butterfield and Robinson Inc.

          For over 40 years, “slow down to see the world” has been the guiding philosophy of Butterfield & Robinson, the world’s premier active-travel company. Crafters of unique biking and walking trips around the globe, B&R delivers one-of-a-kind travel experiences to discerning travellers.

          Possessing a 360-degree, inside-out knowledge of both B&R and the highly competitive active-travel industry, Chief Marketing Officer Leslie Bruce commands the company's sales and marketing teams. After first joining B&R as a guide in 1994 to lead cycling trips in France, she returned in 2002 and worked her way up through the organization, and currently oversees all of B&R’s sales and marketing initiatives.

        • Anne Marie Forcier (Harbec)

          Executive Director, Rideau Heritage Route

          Anne Marie is the Executive Director for the newly formed Rideau Heritage Route Tourism Association, which is a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) mandated to promote all the tourism experiences along the entire Rideau corridor between Kingston and Ottawa.

          Prior to her work with the Rideau Heritage Route, she was Manager of Visitor Services with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) for eight years and she spent nine years as the Supervisor of Recreation for the Township of Kingston.

          She holds a Marketing Certification from Queen’s University, a Municipal Administration Designation from the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCT), a Recreation Practitioner Certification from the Parks and Recreation Federation of Ontario and a Sports & Recreation Administration Diploma from Algonquin College.

        • Patricia Macdonald

          General Manager & CEO, St. Lawrence Parks Commission

          Pat joined the Commission in 2007 after more than 25 years of senior management experience in the U.S. and Canada, where she held senior leadership roles in entertainment, tourism/destination development, and consumer packaged goods.

          Pat has a strong track record for revitalizing businesses and achieving customer and revenue growth. She is passionate about strategic alliances and creating new programming that engages, entertains and educates. Career highlights include achieving record revenues/attendance at Canada’s Wonderland, CN Tower’s $26-million revitalization, creation of numerous multi-media, educational and live special events, and the CRTC licensing of Treehouse and Teletoon television channels. In 2006, she co-founded the successful Toronto Student Film Festival, celebrating youth achievement in film. Pat has participated on numerous boards, including the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Canadian Women in Communications and Community Care Access Centres. She is currently Chair of St. Lawrence War of 1812 Bicentennial Alliance.

        • Janice Thomson

          Executive Director, Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce & Visitor and Convention Bureau

          A resident of Niagara-on-the-Lake since 1995, Janice has over 25 years of senior management experience, including extensive marketing, public relations, conference planning, incentive travel, market research and sales training experience gained primarily in the import automotive industry, most recently as National Sales Manager for BMW Canada for six years, following a 13-year career with Jaguar Canada Inc and Saab Canada. Representing the Town’s Destination Marketing Organization and 600 member Chamber of Commerce, Janice sits on tourism committees within the Niagara Economic Development Corporation, the Wine Council of Ontario and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership.

          Presently Co-Chair of the Ministry of Tourism’s Destination Niagara Committee, struck to develop and implement an integrated Regional Marketing Strategy, Janice serves as a Board Member of the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) and an interim Board member of Project Niagara, a co-operative effort of the National Arts Centre and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra exploring the feasibility of establishing a National Music Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

          Chair of the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, a bi-national entity serving the interests of both nations with responsibility for three of the border bridges crossing the Niagara River between the United States and Canada.

        • W.R. (Bill) Allen

          President, Tourism Industry Association of Ontario

          Bill Allen is currently the President of the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, an organization whose mandate it is to advocate on behalf of the tourism industry across the province. Prior to joining TIAO, Bill was interim President and CEO of Tourism Toronto. In 2006 he retired from the Ontario public service after a 33-year career with the province, the last three and a half years as Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Tourism. Bill holds a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. from the University of Guelph, and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.

          Throughout his career, Bill has held a number of board appointments including the Canadian Tourism Commission, Ontario Place Corporation, Tourism Toronto and the University of Guelph Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board. He is currently a member of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Board and a member of the Lutherwood Board of Governors. Bill is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, is a Fellow of the Ontario Hostelry Institute and has received numerous industry recognitions.

          Bill is an avid cyclist. Last year he completed the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure cycling from Niagara-on-the-Lake to the Quebec border. He plans to repeat in 2009. In his spare time Bill coaches youth baseball and cross-country skiing.

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