This forum featured five panelists with varying backgrounds and perspectives, who will present their long-term visions for the future of the Northeast Avalon. What should we aspire to 20 years from now when thinking about the region’s physical and built environment, the socio-demographic make-up of the population, the economy and labour force, and the overall quality of life?
Robert Chafe’s plays have been seen across Canada, the UK, Australia and in the United States. He is the author of eighteen stage works and co-author of another eight. He was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2004, and won the award in 2010. He has been writer in residence at Artistic Fraud, Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre (Sackville, NB), Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Forest Forge Theatre, (Hampshire, UK), and Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a guest instructor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, and The National Theatre School of Canada. Robert is playwright and Artistic Director for Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland.
Kim Keating is the 2015 Chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Memorial University and is a registered member of PEGNL. She also holds her Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation and has completed her Masters in Business Administration. With over 16 years experience in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry, Kim is currently Vice President Fabrication with the Cahill Group. Kim is an elected alumni representative on the MUN Board of Regents, Chair of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee for Newfoundland and Labrador, is a past president of WISE NL and a founding member of the International Women’s Forum NL chapter.
Catherine L. Mah, MD PhD leads the Food Policy Lab, a multidisciplinary program of research in the policy and practice of public health, with a focus on health-promoting innovations in the food system. Her work is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Canada, and the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. With community, health, business, and municipal sector partners, she recently launched Healthy Corner Stores NL, an initiative to strengthen independent retailers’ capacity to provide quality, affordable, local, and healthier foods to communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. She holds faculty appointments at Memorial University and the University of Toronto, and is a founding member of the St. John’s Food Policy Council.
Marie Ryan is a partner with Goss Gilroy Management Consulting. She has over 14 years of experience providing consulting services to all levels of government and the non-profit sector . Marie was both a Councilor and Deputy Mayor for the City of St. John’s from 1993- 2001 during which time she chaired the City’s Planning Committee. On leaving Council Marie chaired the City’s Appeal Board for two years. Currently, she is a Commissioner for the City of St. John’s municipal plan hearings.
Joshua Smee is a community development professional, graduate student, and volunteer. In his work as a Project Associate at the Community Sector Council NL, he supports nonprofits all over the province. Outside the office, Joshua chairs the board of Happy City St. John’s, which is dedicated to building dialogue about planning, development, and the future of St. John’s. He also chairs the board of the thriving St. John’s Farmers’ Market and is helping to get a new carsharing co-op off the ground. He is finishing an MA at MUN focused on how our built environment shapes civic and social engagement.