With a busy and impactful year of work rapidly advancing into the rearview mirror, it’s time for our annual board election where Oshawa Chamber members assess the list of impressive nominees vying for positions on the Chamber’s 2024 board of directors. Most of the individuals on this list are likely already familiar to many of you, each recognized as a valuable community contributor and builder. We’re incredibly appreciative of their willingness to stand as candidates for our 2024 board.
The following biographies have been graciously provided by the nominees, and we encourage anyone with questions for them to reach out directly.
Our election for the 2024 board will once again be overseen and verified by Andrew Tully of Ritchie, Shortt & Tully, LLP. This year’s board election will be conducted entirely online, ensuring secure delivery and voting through the Survey Monkey platform. A quick reminder: the voting link will be sent via email exclusively to members in good standing, meaning those who are current on their Chamber membership dues. If you have any inquiries or concerns about your membership status, please don’t hesitate to contact Isabelle Foley.
Now, let’s introduce you to the nominees for the upcoming board…
Salman Aslam, a prominent industrialist, leads a multinational conglomerate in Canada, Pakistan, Oman, China, and the UAE. With a Master’s in Marketing and Business Administration, he’s garnered various global certifications. In 2022, he presided over KATI (Korangi Association of Trade & Industry), representing around 7,000 industries. Salman actively contributes to economic discourse in top business forums in Pakistan and Canada, engaging with policymakers on trade, governance, and finance.
His extensive interactions with international financial institutions and government agencies have honed his deep economic understanding. Salman staunchly promotes professionalism, overseeing THE UPS STORE franchises. He brings his banking expertise from roles at Citibank, RBS, and Barclays, focusing on Corporate and Investment Banking. Additionally, he actively contributes to philanthropic efforts as a Rotarian and Lions Club member.
Peter is a dynamic individual whose commitment to community shines through his roles as a Rotarian and as current President of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce. With a passion for service, he exemplifies Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.” Leading the Chamber, Peter fosters economic growth and community collaboration. Beyond his civic duties, Peter is a successful entrepreneur, owning a thriving Benefits / Insurance business in Oshawa. His leadership extends from the boardroom to community projects, embodying the principles of good business, Chamber and Rotary in all realms. Peter’s dedication to the betterment of Oshawa is a testament to his belief in the power of collective action and the positive impact of strong local businesses on community development.
As the President of Conpute, Steve brings over 20 years of technology experience to both large enterprise and small businesses. As a husband and father of two young girls, Steve is an active member of the Durham Region community; where he lives and works. He has participated as a member of the Board of Directors with the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce for the last 6 years including Chair of the Golf Committee for the last 3 years. Steve is also involved in and supports many local charity initiatives, including Ignite Durham Learning Foundation, Lakeridge Health, Grandview Children’s Centre, Oshawa Senior Citizens Centres, and Epilepsy Durham, to name a few. Steve is involved in multiple industry associations, where he works with manufacturers and distributors to create policies and procedures that help to shape the future landscape for technology partners across Canada.
Amber Derby is a community-driven individual with a passion for helping others. She is the General Manager of the Holiday Inn Express Oshawa, working all the way up from her first hotel position as a banquet server.
She is the 105th President of the Rotary Club of Oshawa. She chairs the BODs and is a member of the BOD of the Club’s Charitable Fund. Amber’s other commitments are BODs for Attractions Ontario, Chair of the GOCC’s Tourism Advisory Committee, Chair of Fundraising for Community Living Oshawa Clarington (Past BOD Member, Finance, Governance, Risk Management, Policy Committees), Program Advisory Chair fo Hospitality Durham College, Durham Region Film and Television Advisory Committee, and Events Committee of GOCC.
For fun, Amber is a certified rescue scuba diver and enjoys making jewelry and crafts.
With nearly two decades of entrepreneurial expertise, my career has spanned a wide spectrum of business endeavours. I have actively participated as a board member at the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and been a dedicated committee member in various investing groups. My contributions have significantly impacted the local business community here in Ontario, fostering growth and prosperity.
During my entrepreneurial journey, I successfully founded and managed All or Nothing Brewhouse, a thriving craft brewery that has thrived for over a decade. Alongside my brother, we have consistently crafted excellence and innovation in the brewing industry. In parallel, I’ve led 3D Business Solutions for the past 14 years, a specialized sales and consulting agency. Our focus is on providing tailored strategies to help businesses achieve new heights.
My unwavering passion for business development, leadership, and innovation continues to propel my career forward.
Tracey currently holds the position of Senior Director Clinical Operations at CMHA Durham. With over 30 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, she has held various leadership roles throughout her career. Tracey holds a Yellow Belt in leading process improvement methodology Lean Six Sigma and also a Change Management Practitioner certification. In her current role as CMHA Durham’s Senior Director of Clinical Operations, she effectively fulfills layered reporting obligations to numerous levels of government and ensures all services are integrated, planned, delivered, and evaluated in accordance with professional standards. Tracey has lived in the Durham Region for over 30 years and has a passion for giving back to the community where she raised her family and continues to live, play, and work.
As a Trent University graduate, Kevin translated his passion for working to develop more diverse and immigrant-friendly communities into a professional role, building community as the Manager of Community Engagement at Trent University Durham GTA. Kevin has continued to develop mutual relationships with local government, business, industry, and community members to promote the integration and retention of students within Oshawa and the Durham Region. Overseeing the office of experiential learning, he strives to create and expand opportunities for students to meaningfully engage with business and begin their professional journeys within the Durham Region. Kevin has been an active member of the GOCC Government Relations committee and continues to seek opportunities to engage post-secondary in the development of Oshawa’s local business ecosystem.
Deborah Nurse, founder of The Youth Village, is a distinguished professional with a remarkable background. In 2020, she established The Youth Village, demonstrating her commitment to youth empowerment. A Fellow of the Certified General Accountant (FCGA) of Canada and a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Association (FCPA) of Ontario and British Columbia, Deborah’s financial expertise is matched by her project management proficiency as a certified PMP. She is also an Associate of the Chartered Governance Institute of Canada (ACG). With an MBA, and a Master’s Degree in Project Management and Evaluation for Development Projects from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Deborah has served on several boards both in Canada and internationally. Her multidisciplinary skill set underscores her dedication to making a positive impact.
Ben, the founder and CEO of Paradisaic Building Group, a prominent local construction and design company in Oshawa for 24 years, is a passionate and successful entrepreneur. He’s not only excelled with Paradisaic but has also ventured into other construction-related businesses and has more plans for the future. Oshawa and Durham Region’s economic well-being is close to Ben’s heart. He hails from Courtice and is a dedicated father to his son, who has grown up in Oshawa and enjoys the community.
Beyond business and parenthood, Ben is a strong advocate for Autism awareness and volunteers for local organizations like Lakeridge Health Foundation, Launchpad, DHRBA renovation committee, and the Ambassador committee. As an entrepreneur, father, and a 5-year board member, he continues to uphold values of culture, leadership, honesty, and integrity for the community’s success.
Cassandra Wildman is the Past President of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and has been an active Director on the Board for the past 7 years. Cassandra is a long-time insurance broker in the Durham Region with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Presently a proud Employee of Petley-Hare, she is an experienced broker in both Personal and Commercial Insurance, she has honed her skills in risk management, policy analysis, and client service. Cassandra’s commitment to the community goes beyond her professional expertise. She actively participates in local charitable events and mentors young professionals in the insurance field.
Cassandra’s deep understanding of the insurance sector positions her as a valuable asset for the Chamber. Her vision includes enhancing the local business landscape by fostering resilience through comprehensive risk management solutions. As a nominee, she promises to advocate for the interests of both established and budding entrepreneurs. With Cassandra Wildman’s leadership, the Chamber will be empowered to navigate the complexities of insurance, ensuring the protection and growth of our local businesses.
Robert Zochodne is a partner in the law firm of Zochodne Bucci. He was born and raised in Oshawa, attending Paul Dwyer High School. After graduating from Western University with a law degree, he established his law practice in Oshawa in 1984. He has continued that practice to the present day. He is a certified specialist in civil litigation, including commercial litigation, construction liens, estate and real estate litigation. He has appeared before all levels of Court in Ontario. He was President of the Durham Region Law Association and then followed as Chair of the Federation of Ontario Law Associations from 2009-2011. He was chair of a discipline committee of a regulated health profession for 6 years.