Organizing Committee for the 105th GrEy Cup Festival, presented by Shaw

The Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group today announced the Organizing Committee for the 105th Grey Cup Festival, presented by Shaw. The Committee is a cross-section of Ottawa/Gatineau business and community leaders. Its role is to provide perspective on planned Festival events to help ensure they are embraced and enjoyed by the tens of thousands of residents and visitors that will be in attendance.

The 105th Grey Cup Festival Organizing Committee Members are:

Jim Watson Pierre Santoni

Jim Watson (Mayor of Ottawa)

Pierre Santoni (Director, Strategic Partnerships and Alliances – VIA Rail Canada)

  • In 1997 he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Ottawa’s history with 82% of the popular vote
  • He has received several awards including Maclean’s magazine’s “100 Young Canadians To Watch,” Carleton University Honours Award, the City of Ottawa’s highest civic honour, the Key to the City; the Queen’s Jubilee Medal; the Visionary Award by the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association, and the National Leadership Award by the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control for his role in implementing Smoke Free Ontario Act.
  • He was elected Mayor of the City of Ottawa in October 2010 and was re-elected in October 2014 with more than 76% of the popular vote.
  • Worked for 8 years doing promotions and radio advertising sales for CHEZ FM Radio in Ottawa before starting in sales, marketing and advertising at VIA Rail in 1987
  • He has a masters degree in management from McGill University
  • He is currently on the advisory committee for the bachelor of hospitality management program at Algonqiun College
  • In 2010, he was given the award of Honorary Detective with the Ontario Provincial Police
  • In March 2012, he was given the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
  • He is in the Special Olympics Ontario Hall of Fame

Jeannine Ritchot Jo-Anne Polak

Jeannine Ritchot – RNation Representative (Executive Director, Regulatory Cooperation, Regulatory Affairs Sector – Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat)

Jo-Anne Polak (Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs – Canada Post Corporation)

  • Jeanine has a bachelor of Arts from the University of Ottawa and a masters of Arts from Saint Pail University in Ottawa
  • She is a contributing blogger and segment host on a podcast called Bleed RedBlacks
  • She speaks three languages; English, French, and Italian
  • Prior to working at the Treasury Board of Canada, she work for over 5 years at Health Canada
  • She was appointed to her current role in April 2011.
  • Prior to working for Canada Post, she spent 14 years as Senior Vice-President with Hill & Knowlton (one of the world’s leading public relations, public affairs, and strategic communications agencies)
  • At the age of 29, Jo-Anne was named General Manager of the Ottawa Rough Riders. At the time, she was the first female General Manager of any professional sports franchise in North America.
  • Jo-Anne spent 2 years as a morning show co-host on an Ottawa radio station before working for Hill & Knowlton

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Maxime Pedneaud-Jobin (Maire, Ville de Gatineau)

Andrew Peck (Executive Director, Glebe BIA)

  • He studied political science at the University of Ottawa
  • He was president of the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa
  • He is on the Board of Trustees at the National Arts Centre
  • The accomplishment he is most proud of is to have participated in the revival of the Laiterie de l’Outaouais, a project which mobilized the whole region
  • He is currently completing his Master’s degree in Regional Development at the Université du Quebec en Outaouais. His thesis studies the relationship between the Outaouais and the City of Ottawa.
  • Prior to working for Glebe BIA, he was the president and founder of Milkshake Marketing and Communications
  • He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Ottawa
  • In 1993, he was given a 30 Under 30 award

Bob Monette "Mark

Bob Monette – Deputy Mayor, City of Ottawa (Councillor – Ward 1 Orleans)

Mark Laroche (CEO, President and Director – Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport Authority)

  • He was the lead Councillor supporting the Lansdowne Redevelopment, ensuring its realization
  • He first joined politics in 1985 when he served Cumberland Township Council for six years.
  • Councillor Monette currently sits on the Finance & Economic Development, Transportation and Audit committees.
  • He was recently votes by his peers as Deputy Mayor for the City of Ottawa on top of being a board member on the Heart of Orleans BIA and the Canadian Capital Cities Organization.
  • He championed the Ottawa River Action Plan, where all three levels of government committed money towards cleaning the Ottawa River.
  • At the beginning of his career, Mr. Laroche worked as a project officer for 1 Construction Engineering Unit of the Canadian Forces in Winnipeg.
  • He has been a Cabinet Member of the United Way in the Outaouais region for two years.
  • He holds a Master of Business Administration from Concordia University, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Nina Kressler Cheryl Jensen

Nina Kressler (President & CEO – Shaw Centre)

Cheryl Jensen (President & Chief Executive Officer – Algonquin College)

  • She assumed the role of President and CEO of the Shaw CENTRE ON June 1, 2015.
  • Prior to this position, she was the General Manager of the Centre’s Food and Facilities operation managed by Aramark Sports and Entertainment.
  • Nina began her career with the Sheraton Halifax Hotel as Director of Sales and Marketing
  • She is a Halifax, Nova Scotia native and got her BA at Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Prior to Algonquin College, Cheryl held the position of Vice President, Academic at Mohawk College from 2009 to 2014.
  • She holds an Honour’s Chemistry degree and a Certificate in Mettalurgy from McMaster University and has a Master of Education in Organizational and Administrative Studies from Brock University.
  • She joined Algonquin College in 2014 as the eighth College President.

silouette-220x220px Jeff Avery

Jim Durrell – Chairman of the Board (President & Owner of Capital Dodge Chrysler Jeep FIAT)

Jeff Avery – President, CFL Ottawa Alumni Association (Financial Advisor – Colton Avery Deacon)

  • Served as the Mayor of Ottawa from 1985 to 1991.
  • Was the President of the Ottawa Senators before starting at his current position.
  • He has served on several boards such as Business Development Bank of Canada, Chairman of the Ottawa International Airport’s Board of Directors, and Chairman of the Ottawa Convention Centre
  • He is Vice-Chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board and Chair of Hydro Ottawa Ltd and Hydro Holding Inc.
  • In 2012, Mr. Durrell was appointed a member of the Order of Canada for his decades-long contributions to the City of Ottawa, as businessman, mayor and committed volunteer.
  • He also received the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award in 2015.
  • Mr. Avery played as a wide received for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1976 to 1982
  • He was named CFL East All-Star in 1977 and 1978
  • He won the Vanier Cup with the uOttawa Gee-Gees in 1975
  • In 1986, he joined Jim Colton to form Colton Avery Investment services where they specialized in estate and retirement income planning.
  • He is born and raised in Ottawa.
  • He has the Canadian Investment Funds accreditation, is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), and an Elder Planning Counselor.
  • He has been a radio analyst on Ottawa CFL broadcasts since 1988

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Ian Faris (President & CEO – Ottawa Chamber of Commerce)

Lise Bourgeois (Présidente de La Cité Collegiale)

  • He has a BA (Honours) in Political Studies and English from Queen’s University
  • Prior to joining the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Ian was President and CEO of a national trade industry association, and a senior executive with an international public affairs consulting firm in Ottawa, specializing in government relations and strategic communications
  • Ian is a member is the Ottawa Tourism Development Council and the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Ottawa venue advisory group
  • He was born in British Columbia
  • She has been President of La Cite since 2010
  • She has worked in the field of education for over 30 years
  • She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in education and a certificate of education supervisory officer in Ontario
  • From 2003 – 2010, she was the Director of the Central Eastern Catholic School Board
  • She is a member of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, and many other organizations in Ottawa
  • She is a member of the Board of Directors of Invest Ottawa and has co-chaired the Association of Canadian Francophone Colleges and Universities

George Hanna Natalie Brunette

George Hanna (President – Franchise Corporation)

Nathalie Brunette (Gestionnaire de projets – Comité du 150e, Gatineau 2017)

  • Was appointed President of Gabriel Pizza in 2003
  • He serves as Chair of the Board of Directors at St. Elias Cathedral and Chair of the Ottawa Lebanese Festival
  • In 2016, he was inducted into the Order of Ottawa
  • His father, Michael Hanna, is the founder of Gabriel Pizza Franchise Corporation. George is Michael’s eldest son.
  • She has attended the University of Ottawa, University of Laval, and Université du Quebec en Outaouais
  • She speaks three languages: English, French, and Spanish
  • She is a founding member of Amitié Gatineau-Monde charity
  • She is Présidente, consulante at Communication et Marketing NB in Gatineau

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Richard Gray – Bell Media (Vice President and General Manager, Radio and TV, Ottawa, Eastern and Northern Ontario)

Stephen Dean (NCAFA President)

  • Richard has a BAA, Broadcast Journalism from Ryerson University and a BA, Political Science from University of Toronto at Mississauga – Erindale College
  • He began at Bell Media in 2008 as Vice President/General Manager of Bell Media Radio Ottawa/CTV Two Ottawa


Mathieu Fleury (Councillor – City of Ottawa)