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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

We are pleased to introduce our 20 industry experts and insightful speakers who will lead the discussion during the 2021 Niagara Economic Summit. Click on any photo or name for more information about our speakers.

The Honourable Perrin Beatty

The Honourable Perrin Beatty has been CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce since 2007, and is a fomer federal member of Parliament and cabinet minister.

Read Perrin’s Bio

The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy

The Honourable Peter Bethlenfalvy is Ontario’s Minister of Finance, before which he served as President of the Treasury Board.

Read Peter’s Bio

Jim Bradley

Jim Bradley has served as Niagara Regional Chair since 2018, is a former Member of Provincial Parliament, and served as a Minister in the cabinets of three Premiers of Ontario.

Read Jim’s Bio

The Honourable Steve Clark

The Honourable Steve Clark is Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and has served as a Member of Provincial Parliament since 2010.

Read Steve’s Bio

Pierre Cleroux

Pierre Cleroux is the Vice-President of Research and Chief Economist at the Business Development Bank of Canada, a post he has held since 2012.

Read Pierre’s Bio

Dr. Kim de Laat

Dr. Kim de Laat is a postdoctoral fellow at Brock University whose research examines gender and racial inequalities in work.

Read Kim’s Bio

Rafiq Dhanji

Rafiq Dhanji is Executive Director of Sustainability Leadership from Sustainable Hamilton Burlington, and works with organizations across Hamilton, Burlington, and Niagara to develop a resilient, low-carbon economy.

Read Rafiq’s Bio

The Honourable Doug Ford

The Honourable Doug Ford is the 26th and current Premier of Ontario, elected both to the Premiership and the leadership of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party in 2018.

Read Doug’s Bio

Robin Garrett

Robin Garrett is an independent consultant, Chair of the Niagara District Airport and former CEO of the Tourism Partnership of Niagara.

Read Robin’s Bio

Mia Huntington

Mia Huntington is Executive Vice-President at Elavon Canada, an international company consistently rated one of the world’s most ethical.

Read Mia’s Bio

Sean Kennedy

Sean Kennedy is the sixth President of Niagara College, joining in 2020, and a member of the College’s senior management team from 2006.

Read Sean’s Bio

Emily Kovacs

Emily Kovacs is CEO of the Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, an advocate for newcomers, and a champion for inclusion.

Read Emily’s Bio

Dr. Mike Moffatt

Dr. Mike Moffatt is the Senior Director of Policy and Innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute, a Professor of Business, Economics and Public Policy at the Ivey Business School, and a former economic advisor to Justin Trudeau.

Read Mike’s Bio

Matthias Oppenlænder

Matthias Oppenlænder is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Grape Growers of Ontario.

Read Matthias’s Bio

George Spezza

George Spezza is the Director of Economic Development at Niagara Region, and recently served in a number of business- and economic-development roles in Toronto.

Read George’s Bio

Michael Sutherland

Michael Sutherland is Director of Urban Solutions at Hatch, developing projects around infrastructure, transportation, and energy for cities across Canada.

Read Michael’s Bio

Sean Vanderklis

Sean Vanderklis is a journalist who co-founded the One Dish, One Mic podcast and is the current host of CBC Radio One’s Superior Morning show.

Read Sean’s Bio

Dr. Lynn Wells

Dr. Lynn Wells is the Provost and Vice-President, Academic of Brock University, currently serving as Interim President.

Read Lynn’s Bio

Jay Wright

Jay Wright is President of Arterra Wines, Canada’s leading wine company, a post he has held since 2016.

Read Jay’s Bio

Debbie Zimmerman

Debbie Zimmerman is CEO of Grape Growers of Ontario, and served as Niagara Regional Chair from 1997 to 2003.

Read Debbie’s Bio

Special Welcome

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau is the 23rd and current Prime Minister of Canada, first elected as national leader in 2015, and has led Canada’s Liberal Party since 2013.

Read Justin’s Bio


EMCEE: Mishka Balsom

Mishka Balsom is the CEO of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce.

Read Mishka’s Bio