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REF NO.: 104

SUBJECT: Alumni representatives elected to Memorial’s Board of Regents

DATE: June 22

Memorial’s Offices of Alumni Affairs and Development have confirmed the successful candidates for the six elected alumni positions on the Board of Regents, and they include two continuing representatives, three new and one returning.

Katharine Hickey and Denis Mahoney are continuing for a second term, while Dr. Everard “Bud” Davidge, Cathy Duke and Sarah Stoodley are all newly elected for the 2017 term. Dr. Rex Gibbons is returning after having previously served as an elected alumni representative from 1979-82 and 2008-14.

The elected members will occupy six of the 30 positions that make up the board. In their roles they will contribute to the work of the board in a variety of ways as it oversees the management, administration and control of the property, revenue, business and affairs of Memorial University.

“I am pleased to welcome and congratulate our elected board members,” said Iris Petten, chair, Board of Regents. “Serving on the board is an incredible opportunity to make a real difference to the university and to the entire province. Memorial plays a key role in the future success and sustainability of Newfoundland and Labrador, and it’s a privilege for all our board members to be part of that.”

The 2017 election saw 49 candidates put their names forward for nomination, the highest level of participation to date. The total votes cast numbered 10,622.

“When individuals come forward like this, both to volunteer on behalf of Memorial and take part by voting in the election, it speaks to the sense of responsibility and pride that our alumni feel for their university and province,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “I offer my congratulations to our elected board members, and my gratitude to all those who participated.”

Outgoing board members include Colleen Galgay-Johnston, John Hogan, Kimberly Keating and George Tucker. Ms. Petten acknowledged their contributions and thanked them on behalf of the board and Memorial University.

“Serving on the board is a significant commitment, and on behalf of the entire board, I extend my sincere appreciation to our outgoing members for their hard work and dedication to our university.”

Alumni representatives on Memorial’s Board of Regents serve for a three-year term that begins on Sept. 1, 2017. For a detailed breakdown of votes received for all candidates in the 2017 election, please visit here.

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For more information, please contact David Penney, senior communications advisor, Offices of Alumni Affairs and Development, Memorial University, at or (709) 864-3447.






Dr. Everard “Bud” Davidge, BA'67, BA(Ed.)'67, Honorary LLD'12

Dr. Bud Davidge has enjoyed a long and successful career as an educator, advocate and musician. Born in Bay Du Nord, Fortune Bay, he began his university education at Memorial in 1961 and graduated in 1967. Having taught in Codroy and as principal at Trout River, Dr. Davidge returned to English Harbour West, Fortune Bay, in the role of school board administrator with the Bay D'Espoir-Hermitage-Fortune Bay Integrated School Board from 1970-95. During that time, Dr. Davidge also completed a master of education degree from the University of Toronto in 1974. His career as an educator has run parallel to his work as a community organizer and advocate, chiefly as an active participant in municipal and community development affairs in the Fortune Bay area; with Lions International; in regional economic development; and patient engagement committees and related advisory groups.

He has also established himself as one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s most popular musicians as part of the duo Simani, a group he co-founded with Sim Savory in 1977. Together they wrote, recorded and toured extensively for 20 years. A household name in this province, they also established a broad fan base across the country and beyond, known for recordings that include Saltwater Cowboys and their Christmas mega-hit, The Mummer’s Song. For their body of work in traditional music and contribution to the cultural heritage of Newfoundland and Labrador, Simani received the Lifetime Achievement Award from MusicNL in 2008 after being awarded the East Coast Music Award for Pioneers in East Coast Music. Dr. Davidge was awarded an honorary doctorate from Memorial in 2012.


Cathy Duke, BSW'79, MBA'83

Cathy Duke has been the CEO of Destination St. John’s for the last six years. Prior to this, Ms. Duke served as deputy minister with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador for four years, leading the departments of Tourism, Culture and Recreation and Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. Previously she served for two years as the executive director of the Ireland Business Partnerships, eight years as president of the Terra Nova Golf Resort and the Clarenville Inn, two years as executive director of Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador, six years as executive director of the Economic Recovery Commission, two years as vice-president of Coastal Associates and Consultants Ltd. and six years with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Ms. Duke’s current board appointments include the Faculty of Business Advisory Board, St. John’s Sports and Entertainment, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and the Destination Marketing Association of Canada. Her charitable boards have included the Stella Burry Foundation and the Shorefast Foundation.


Dr. Rex Gibbons, BA(Ed.)'67, B.Sc.'67, M.Sc.'69

Following the completion of his PhD in geology at the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Gibbons spent two years as a research associate at NASA’s Lyndon Johnson Space Center. He returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 1976, bringing his expertise back to senior positions in the provincial Department of Mines and Energy for more than a decade. He then served as a member of the House of Assembly for St. John’s West and minister of Mines and Energy and Natural Resources from 1989-97. After his life in politics, Dr. Gibbons joined the private sector and worked for 10 years in senior positions with the Jacques Whitford Ltd. Group of Companies, from which he retired in 2007.

Throughout his career, Dr. Gibbons has received many academic and industry awards and volunteered on countless boards and committees, including chair of the Avalon Consolidated School Board, director of the St. John’s Board of Trade, chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil and Gas Industries Association and president of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. Over the years Dr. Gibbons has been a consistent volunteer for numerous alumni initiatives and committees. Notable among them are his terms as an elected alumni representative on the Board of Regents. He was elected from 1979-82, again in 2008 and then re-elected for a third time in 2011. In 2015 he was awarded the J.D Eaton Tribute Award for service to Memorial University.


Katharine Hickey, B.Comm.(Co-op.)'87

Ms. Hickey is a business professional with a broad background in business, marketing, advertising and communications. She has extensive experience developing and executing business and marketing strategies for clients. During the last 30 years, she has gained expertise working with a variety of clients in the public and private sector during her time with Target Marketing and Communications, Bristol Communications, Cable Atlantic (now Rogers Cable), the Economic Recovery Commission and Kraft Canada (Ontario and N.L.).

Ms. Hickey created Plank Marketing & C

ommunications in 2006 and serves as president. She has contributed her time and talents over the years to numerous boards, including the St. John’s International Airport Authority, the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and Opera on the Avalon. She plays an active role in many volunteer activities in the community, including the St. John’s Soccer Association and other not-for-profit organizations. She is a past member of the Business Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Institute of Corporate Directors. For the past three years, Ms. Hickey has been an active member of Memorial University’s Board of Regents, serving as vice-chair of the Campus Planning and Development Committee, as well as various ad-hoc committees as required by the chair.


Denis Mahoney, B.Comm.(Hons.)(Co-op.)'87

Mr. Mahoney is a partner with the Atlantic Canadian law firm McInnes Cooper, recently completing his term on the management team as regional lead partner for Newfoundland and Labrador. In his law practice, he works closely with leading employers on labour and employment matters, primarily in the mining, oil and gas, construction and transportation sectors. He received a bachelor of laws degree from Queen’s University in 1993 and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for his practice in labour and employment law since 2006. He was also noted as a leading practitioner in the Canadian Legal Expert Directory of 2013.

Mr. Mahoney is a past chair with the St. John’s Board of Trade, an advisory committee member of the Queen’s University’s Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, a co-chair of the province’s Labour Management Arbitration Committee and a Public Service Awards of Excellence selection committee member. In his current role with Memorial’s Board of Regents, Mr. Mahoney serves as chair of the Campus Planning and Development Committee and member of the executive committee.


Sarah Stoodley, B.Comm.(Co-op.)'08, MA'11

Ms. Stoodley is a senior digital manager

at RSA, a UK-based global insurance company, where she helps lead digital transformation at Johnson Insurance in St. John’s. Originally from Grand Falls-Windsor, she moved to St. John’s to attend Memorial University. Upon completion of her undergraduate and graduate degrees, she lived in the U.K. where she consulted on digital strategy for clients such as Reckitt Benckiser and King’s College London.

While a student at Memorial, Mrs. Stoodley was president of the commerce class of 2008, recipient of the TD Meloche Monnex Fellowship in Advancement, a student representative on multiple senate committees and a student leader in residence life. She is an active volunteer in the community, both as a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and as vice-president of marketing and communications with the East Coast Trail Association.




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