Unveiling the Future: Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce 2023 Board Election Results

As we stand at the threshold of a new year, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce is delighted to unveil the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce 2023 Board Election Results. This exciting moment marks a new mandate for some familiar faces, along with the introduction of some new individuals who will guide our chamber into a future brimming with promise and prosperity.  As ever, and in the spirit of integrity and transparency for all parties, we want to highlight that the election results were tabulated and verified by the GOCC’s External Auditor, Andrew Tully of the firm Ritchie Short & Tully LLP.

Before we delve into the exciting news, the current board executive and Chamber team would also like to extend a sincere thank you to all the candidates who showcased their dedication to community service by putting their names forward in this election. We are sure that together we can co-create a pathway to collaboration with you all, ensuring that you have a channel through which to express your interest in building community prosperity through involvement with the Oshawa Chamber.

Meet Your Elected Board Members for 2024-2027:

In alphabetical order, we are proud to introduce the community leaders who secured victory in this year’s election:

Peter Bocking

Peter Bocking, president of Greater Oshawa Chamber of CommercePeter 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.

Steve Conaby

portrait photo of Steve Conaby, president of Conpute OshawaAs 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

photo portrait of Amber Derby, general manager of Holiday Inn, OshawaAmber 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.

Tracey Hardinge

photo portrait of Tracey Hardinge, Senior Director Clinical Operations at CMHA DurhamTracey 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.

Kevin Maina

photo portrait of Kevin Maina, Manager of Community Engagement at Trent University Durham GTAAs 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.

Ben Shelley

Photo of Ben Shelley, founder of Paradisaic Construction GroupBen, 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

photo portrait of Cassandra WildmanCassandra 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.

Oshawa Chamber of Commerce 2023 Board Election Results In Summary

These individuals bring a wealth of skills and diverse backgrounds, alongside valuable organizational continuity, promising a board that will lead the charge in propelling the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce to new heights. Their three-year term, commencing on January 1st, 2024, holds the potential for transformative change and collaborative growth, starting with the rollout of our new three-year strategic plan to be ratified by the membership in early 2024.

Again, to those who were not elected, we extend our sincere appreciation. Your contributions to the election process have not gone unnoticed. Some of you may yet find a place as appointed board members, commencing a one-year term. We encourage these appointed members to consider running for election in 2024, continuing the legacy of vibrant, community-driven leadership.  We look forward to making a more in-depth announcement in early 2024 after the matter of new appointees has been handled at December’s board meeting.  It’s exciting to note that the Oshawa Chamber of Commerce 2023 board election results we all decided by extremely narrow margins, meaning that our voting members all see and appreciate the willingness to serve demonstrated by all nominees.

As our Chamber approaches its centenary, the success of nearly a century is a testament to the dedication of individuals like you. Whether elected, appointed or a contributor in some other capacity, your involvement is integral to the Chamber’s legacy of fostering economic growth and collaboration.

As we eagerly anticipate the future, we express our deepest gratitude to all candidates, members, and contributors. Together, let’s embark on a journey that ensures the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce remains a beacon of excellence for years to come.

Here’s to a year filled with prosperity, innovation, and community spirit.

Jason King

Jason King

As the CEO of the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce, I blend entrepreneurship and B2B tech marketing expertise to bring you essential news and insights. Join me in navigating the business landscape as we work together to foster growth, collaboration, and build community prosperity in the heart of Oshawa.

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