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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Jim Bradley, Chair, Niagara Region


Jim Bradley was elected as Niagara Regional Chair on Dec. 6, 2018.

Previously, Chair Bradley served as a St. Catharines city councillor from 1970 to 1977 and a member of provincial parliament for St. Catharines from 1977 to 2018. During this time, he held roles as a provincial minister of:

  • Environment
  • Transportation
  • Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Tourism and Recreation
  • Community Safety and Correctional Services
  • Seniors

Before entering politics, Chair Bradley was a teacher with the Lincoln County Board of Education. He has contributed to the Niagara community as a hockey and baseball coach, manager and referee; member of Grantham Optimist Club; and as an active supporter of the Rankin Run, Gillian’s Place, Start Me Up Niagara, Community Care, Bethlehem Place and other volunteer organizations.

Julie Rorison, Chair, Women in Niagara Council

 Julie Rorison is a lifelong Niagara resident and Brock University graduate where she is currently working as the Manager of Community Relations on secondment from her role as Chief of Staff in the Mayor’s Office at the City of St. Catharines 

Julie has a Masters Degree from McMaster University in public policy and international relations. She brings her skills and leadership to several local organizations as President of the Board of Directors of the YWCA Niagara Region, founder of the Niagara Leadership Summit for Women, and chair of the WIN Council of the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce. 

Phil Verster, President & CEO, Metrolinx

Prior to joining Metrolinx, Phil Verster was one of the UK’s rail leaders, having managed train operations, infrastructure builds and infrastructure management for passenger rail systems in England, Scotland and Ireland. 

Phil has a Bachelors of Engineering and a Masters of Engineering, both from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He has an MBA from the University of Newcastle Business School and an LLM Post Graduate Diploma (Commercial Law) from the University of Northumbria. 

Dr. Mustafa Hirji, Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner, Public Health, Niagara Region

Dr. Mustafa Hirji is the Acting Medical Officer of Health for Niagara Region and was appointed to the position in January 2018. In this capacity he is responsible for protecting the health of Niagara’s 450,000 residents and 15 million visitors through Public Health programs  

Dr. Hirji holds an MD from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Toronto. He completed specialty training through McMaster University, earning a specialty certificate in Public Health and Preventive Medicine from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. 

Alicia MacDonald, Senior Economist, Deloitte

Alicia Macdonald is a Manager in the Economic Advisory practice at Deloitte Canada, based in Ottawa. Alicia has over 15 years of professional experience as an economist with specializations in forecasting, econometric modeling, economic impact studies and policy analysis. Prior to joining the Economics and Policy Advisory group, Alicia was the Associate Director of Economic Forecasting at the Conference Board of Canada. Alicia has extensive experience across a broad range of subjects including projecting labour demand and supply, industry analysis, building econometric forecasting models, economic impact analysis and using input-output models. Alicia has an MA in Economics from the University of Victoria and an HBCom degree in finance and economics from Lakehead University. 

George Spezza, Director Economic Development, Niagara Region

George Spezza brings with him more than 20 years of experience in the economic development sector, and in his new role will be responsible for leading Niagara Region’s Economic Development team. The team promotes Niagara on a global scale and works in partnership with the region’s 12 local area municipalities to provide effective, innovative services that encourage investment in the region.  

Over his career, George has focused on business retention and expansion, community economic development and investment marketing within a municipal setting. Most recently he held the position of Senior Advisor, Business and Strategic Relations with Crosslinx Transit Solutions focused on the Eglington Crosstown LRT expansion project. Prior to this, he held the position of Director, Business Growth Services within the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture office.