Board of Directors

Collective Leadership: Board of Directors

The Institute of Southern Georgian Bay (TISGB) is a regional community “Think and Do Tank” established to explore and provide new and innovative opportunities for prosperity by engaging the experience and knowledge of the community. By collaborating with the community across multiple sectors, it hopes to identify, research, understand and facilitate stimulating dialogue and strategic thought leadership on economic, cultural, social and environmental issues and opportunities in Southern Georgian Bay.

Dale Biddell

Social Justice Lead

In a career almost entirely spent in the nonprofit sector, Dale has experience in executive, consulting and community-leadership roles. She began an independent consulting practice in 1996 following development and advancement roles in higher education, community services and public sector.

Dale is CEO of United Way Simcoe Muskoka. Since joining United Way as CEO in 2013, she has undertaken an organizational restructure and developed a new business model with an aligned growth strategy. She initiated and has completed a collaborative process that has welcomed the District of Muskoka creating a regional United Way. Adept at organizational review and transformation; governance, strategy and human resource planning and an experienced facilitator and public speaker – she is an advocate for collaboration and solving social issues through the intersection of the private, public and nonprofit sectors.

In a volunteer capacity, she has served on numerous boards, in the children and youth sector, health, education, sport and recreation and social services and has a passion for children’s mental health. She is ex-officio and Board Secretary to the United Way Simcoe Muskoka and is active within the national community of United Ways through the United Way Centraide Canada and is a director on the board of the South Georgian Bay Community Health Centre. She volunteers her time locally to social justice issues.

Dale has established four charitable foundations and earned an M.A. in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary’s University, MN.

June Porter

June is a visionary health care professional focused on creating and delivering significant improvement in health systems grounded in measurement and outcomes. Her international health care career included nursing, operational administration, and consulting at local, provincial and national levels.

From a volunteer perspective, she is a board member of North East Grey Health Clinics, Chair of the Joint Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee, Town of The Blue Mountains, and Reviewer for the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario.

She has a Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of London, and a MBA from Ashridge Business School, England.

June and her husband Terry retired in 2019, and transitioned from being weekenders for over 10 years to being permanent residents of Thornbury.

Larry D.S. Hogarth

Treasurer

After graduating from Ryerson in 1968, Larry moved to Collingwood and started a 46 year career as a Civil Technologist in consulting engineering, with 2 local firms. His focus was on civil projects ranging from road, drainage, water, sewage and solid waste management projects to housing developments acting for both Municipal and private clients.

A 2 year sabbatical, working for the Department of Water Affairs in Botswana as a CUSO volunteer provided a different perspective on engineering design, construction and project management..

Larry volunteered with a number of local boards/organization including the Remedial Action Plan for the Harbour, Waste Management Plan Committee, E3 Community Services and Optimist Club (Charter Member).

Melanie Rodriguez

Melanie Rodriguez

Melanie is an education advocate who has worked with over 30 nonprofits and social enterprises around the globe. Raised in the Town of The Blue Mountains, her experiences have ranged from evaluating the risks of a $200 million portfolio to leading an international children’s foundation to advocating for equitable education access at the G7 summit. Today, she is a Senior Director of Social Impact for the social enterprise Hoot Reading, a Fellow for the International Women’s Forum, a Board Director at Social Planning Toronto, and a mom to two little ones. She looks forward to applying her passion for engaging youth and fostering social impact collaboration as a Board Member of the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay.

Mel Pockaj

Mel Pockaj

Mel Pockaj (She/Her) is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) with over ten years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, coordinating annual fundraising campaigns, grant writing, and managing special events and donor relations. As an active member of the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals, the South Georgian Bay Fundraising Group and a recently renewed CFRE, Mel is committed to ethical, effective best practices and continued learning. She is passionate about building connections and fostering partnerships and collaborations to minimize duplication of services and maximize desired impact and outcomes.

For more than a decade, she held various positions with YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka, ending her career there as the Manager of Major and Planned Gifts. She currently works as the Senior Manager of Philanthropy for the Georgian Triangle Humane Society.

Her passion for event planning has allowed her to work on everything from local galas and educational series to major expos such as the Fall and National Home Shows in Toronto. Her professional experience also includes communications and design working both on and off camera in television shows such as Georgian Bay Life on Rogers TV, House of Bryan, and the Decorating Adventures of Ambrose Price 2 on HGTV.

Mel has deep roots in the Georgian Triangle and is proud to be the fourth generation of her family to call Collingwood home. She is passionate about serving and stewarding this beautiful community and enjoys volunteering with several organizations, including The Rainbow Club of South Georgian Bay, the Collingwood Optimists and most recently the Institute of South Georgian Bay. She looks forward to sharing her lived experiences, professional expertise and local networks as a new member of the TISGB Board of Directors.

 

Melanie Rodriguez

Eric Ennis

Eric Ennis is finishing his master’s degree in Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo. He grew up in Mississauga, but now lives on a small homestead in Meaford. His family produces chicken, beef, eggs, fruits, and vegetables for themselves, family, and friends. Eric committed to this lifestyle change as a way of aligning his life with what humans need to thrive.

Before starting at Waterloo, he studied Psychology at the University of Toronto and fell in love with learning about how to maximize wellbeing and happiness by making changes to day-to-day life. To get started learning about general business and how people make career choices, he worked in executive recruiting for 4 years within the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. During this time, he also studied Sustainability and Behavior Change through the University of California.

While studying at Waterloo, Eric has been working with the local Métis community and has learned how major infrastructure development affects daily life for all members of our communities. Building on this, he is also interning with the Marine Biomass Innovation project on Western Newfoundland. This work has shown him how rising tides do not always lift all boats and that significant changes must be made to correct this; a combination of small patches and changes, retrofits, new builds, and new designs are all required. He believes we have strayed far off the path to sustainability, but change is achievable with our current knowledge and set of tools.

Through his volunteering experiences in Scouts Canada, Rotary, community gardening, and local politics, he has come to believe that home-grown local economics is the key to figuring out how the world around us could be adjusted to better match what makes humans happy, such as fostering community connection, relationships with the environment, and meaningful and productive work.

Eric is very excited to be joining the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay’s work on Sustainability and the Green Economy to figure out how to put everything together. He believes our community and the Institute are perfectly positioned to lead the charge on developing a better way of life informed by the lessons of the past, and we can make it happen by working together!

 

Jennifer Armstrong

Jennifer is a finance executive experienced in customer experience, strategic planning, financial analysis, risk management, operations, and compliance in the financial services industry. Most recently, she served as Head of Operations at a full-service brokerage firm where she worked in retail brokerage, investment banking and trading.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Commerce (finance) degree from Ryerson University as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Strategic Management from Wilfred Laurier University. As a volunteer, Jennifer has previously served as a Board Member for MumNet which is a volunteer not-for profit offering an opportunity for mothers to meet and help face the challenges of motherhood by fostering their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. She is currently a volunteer member of the Social Finance Housing team through the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay working on corporate partner engagement and strategy to raise capital, seek investment opportunities, and housing strategies.

Born and raised in Collingwood, Jennifer is passionate about engaging the community to collaborate and think outside the box as a Board Member of the Institute of Southern Georgian Bay.

 

Head shot of Tori

Tori Ronney

Tori is a Sustainability Analyst at Blue Mountain Resort, leveraging her expertise in environmental science, earned through an Honors Bachelor of Science from Queen’s University. Her role at Blue Mountain Resort reflects her dedication to sustainability, where she pioneers innovative approaches to further the organization’s environmental initiatives.

Tori’s professional acumen is complemented by a creative mindset, adaptability, and a collaborative spirit. Her role within the resort demonstrates her ability to flexibly adapt to new challenges and collaborate effectively for positive change.

In addition to her professional and personal pursuits, Tori is deeply passionate about animal welfare. Her volunteer work with various organizations, including the Oakville and Milton Humane Society, Dog Rescuers Inc, and her current involvement with the Life of Brian Farm Sanctuary in Meaford, underscores her dedication to supporting and caring for animals in need.

Tori’s enthusiasm extends beyond her professional and volunteer engagements. She is driven by a vision to witness the region’s sustainable growth while prioritizing the protection of communities and the environment we live and play in. A commitment to fostering a harmonious balance between environmental conservation and community well-being.

 

Head shot of Jordie

Jordie Burton

Jordie Burton Social Impact Designer, Strategist, and Community Engagement Advocate

Jordie Burton is dedicated to social impact with a passion for crafting innovative strategies and fostering community engagement. With an academic background that includes an MA in Applied Imagination and a Bachelor of Education, Jordie brings a unique blend of creativity and a pursuit of learning to the world of social impact.

Jordie is an active member of The James A. Burton and Family Foundation. This philanthropic endeavor represents a shared commitment to serving communities and facilitating innovative solutions to social issues.

 

Rosalyn Morrison

Chair 

Rosalyn Morrison is passionate about the beautiful Southern Georgian Bay region. Her family has had deep roots in the Simcoe Muskoka district for generations. Recently retired, she and her husband now live in Craigleith.

Roz is also passionate about the power of community. Formerly, as Senior Advisor to the CEO at the Toronto Foundation, she was involved in connecting philanthropy to community needs and opportunities. She was responsible for the Foundation’s research, community convening, and partnerships relating to 100 Resilient Cities, an initiative pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation, which focuses on urbanization, globalization, and climate change. She most recently led the Foundation team on a survey project to benchmark Social Capital – Trust, Social Networks, Civic Connections, and Neighbourhood Support.  

Previously, as Vice President of Community Initiatives, she led the development of Toronto’s Vital Signs, an annual quality of life Report; Community Knowledge Centre, an online portal of over 200 community organizations working on solutions to city issues; and Vital Toronto Fund grant programs and collaborative projects.

She has also held leadership roles in the arts and culture sector, in particular, contemporary craft and design, where she focused on strategy development for provincial and national organizations and establishing partnerships with businesses, educational institutions, public galleries and museums, and private and public funders.

Her community involvement includes serving as Vice Chair, Board of Governors, Ontario College of Art and Design University; Chair, Ontario Summer Games Legacies Committee; and Chair of the Playing for Keeps collaboration, a social legacy inspired by the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games. In addition, she has served on advisory committees for ArtReach, Metcalf Foundation, George Brown College, Community Foundations of Canada and the City of Toronto.

Currently, she serves as Chair of the Board of Directors, Institute of Southern Georgian Bay and as a Board member of the Blue Mountain Village Foundation.