Board of Directors

Current Members of the Executive and Board


Sharon Horan, Chair

Sharon Horan, graduated from Dalhousie University with an Honors Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1987. Upon graduation from Dalhousie, Sharon began work in the public hospital system in St. John’s; and, while working full-time in the public sector, she opened her first business – Atlantic Orthotics Ltd. – in 1989. In 1994, she left the hospital setting completely and opened her second business – FIT For Work. Since 1994 FIT For Work has evolved into a multifaceted, interdisciplinary company with 4 offices across Newfoundland, and a partnership of almost 40 staff and/or contractors. In recent years, Schooner Holdings (a Real Estate holding company) and Dory Holdings (an investment company) have also been formed. She has received several awards for her business success including “Employer of Distinction” from NLEC in 2010, “Canada’s Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs” from Profit Magazine in 2011, and a NLOWE Innovation award in 2013.

Despite a busy life at work, Sharon has been committed to her community volunteering and taking on many leadership roles with various organizations. She is a Past President of the Business Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as the Pedorthic Association of Canada. She was also a founding Director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs, and a past Director of the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers Council (NLEC). From 2002 to 2008 she was the Chairperson of the Newfoundland and Labrador Occupational Therapy Board, and is a past Chairperson of the College of Pedorthics of Canada (2003 -2008). Also, she is a past board member of the YMCA of Northeast Avalon and she successfully chaired the Fundraising Campaign to build a new 16 Million dollar YW-YMCA in St. John’s. She is also a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s East and she has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by her club members for her voluntarism and extensive contribution to fundraising in this club. She is an avid outdoors girl and her interests include fishing, canoeing, running, hiking, swimming, downhill skiing, and ski-dooing.

Kim Keating, Senior Vice-Chair

Kim Keating is the Director of Projects with GJ Cahill & Co. Ltd. Kim has over 16 years experience in the Newfoundland and Labrador offshore oil and gas industry. She started work on the Hibernia project and, in 1997, joined the Terra Nova project design team, located in the United Kingdom, with Petro-Canada (now Suncor Energy Inc.). Kim has held a variety of positions throughout the Terra Nova Development from engineering design through to construction, commissioning and finally production operations. Kim has also supported field development activities for other East Coast developments including White Rose, Hibernia and Hebron as well as Beta Brent in Norway, and Buzzard and Golden Eagle Area Development in the UK.

Kim holds a Bachelor of Engineering from Memorial University and is a registered member of the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Newfoundland and Labrador (PEGNL). She also holds her Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation and has completed her Masters in Business Administration.

Kim is on the MUN Board of Regents, a member of the Rhodes Scholarship in Canada regional selection committee and a past president of WISE NL (Women in Science & Engineering). Kim also participates on several advisory committees to both PEGNL and Memorial University.

Kim is married to Jim Keating and has three daughters Karoline, Ava, and Madeline.

Des Whelan, 1st Vice-Chair

Des Whelan is the President of Keyin College. He has over 20 years of experience in business with a strong background in sales of technology, management and human resources. Des has brought a strong business planning focus to the College and is part of a team driving the College’s development in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond.

Des is a Graduate of Memorial University, with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Economics and is a holder of the Professional Manager designation from the Canadian Institute of Management.

In addition to the Board of Trade, Des is currently serving as the President of the Newfoundland Labrador Association of Career Colleges, is a member of the Provincial Council of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a founding Board Member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Volunteer Hall of Fame, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Career Practitioners.

Dorothy Keating, 2nd Vice Chair

Dorothy is a graduate of Memorial University of Newfoundland Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op) Degree program (1990) and received her professional designation as a Chartered Accountant in 1992. Dorothy started her career with Noseworthy Chapman in 1988 and left the firm in 1993 to pursue other challenges in Industry and professional practice. As a Senior Manager with a national CA firm, Dorothy has provided business advisory services to entrepreneurial, multinational, and non-profit clients of all sizes in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has managed several large engagements including a university, a publicly traded utility, as well as a publicly traded company engaged in telecommunications. During her career in industry, Dorothy has served as the Controller of a Newfoundland owned and operated distribution company and Corporate Controller and the divisional Vice President of Finance of an international publicly traded fish harvesting and processing company. Dorothy’s primary areas of service include audit and assurance, taxation and business advisory services. Dorothy is currently chair of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador and serves as the Chair of their Strategic Planning Committee. Dorothy has been involved in many community activities including serving for eight years as a municipal councillor with the Town of Torbay.

Derek Purchase, Secretary/Treasurer

Derek holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Dalhousie University (1982); Chartered Accountant (1985); Northwestern University Executive Development Program (1999).

Derek is a Senior Partner with Ernst & Young. He has over 30 years’ experience leading teams and providing various audit and assurance services to clients. He is Assurance Services leader for Atlantic Canada, and provides audit and advisory services to many large private and public clients. He is an Engagement Partner on several of Atlantic Canada’s largest companies with global operations and was lead Engagement Partner on several large internal audit outsourcing engagements.

Derek joined Ernst & Young in New Brunswick in 1986 and was admitted to the partnership in 1991. He was named New Brunswick Managing Partner in 1995, and in 2000 he was appointed Newfoundland Managing Partner. He was subsequently Atlantic Canada Managing Partner from 2003 to 2007. Derek has served on the Canadian Partnership Board, the Americas Partner Advisory Council (reporting to the Global CEO of Ernst & Young), and has also served as Telecommunications Industry Leader for Canada.

Derek is married to Susan and they have three children.

Denis Mahoney, Immediate Past Chair

Denis Mahoney is a partner with McInnes Cooper in St. John’s working with the labour and employment group. He assists employers in many sectors including mining, oil and gas, construction, transportation, and service sectors.

Since joining the St. John’s Board of Trade, Denis has advocated for labour market growth, a sustainable economy, and public sector reform.

Denis has been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada for his practice in Labour and Employment law and is noted as a leading practitioner in Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory of 2013.

Denis is also a Member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace at Queen’s University, an employer representative appointed to the Labour Management Arbitration Committee, sits on the Public Service Awards of Excellence Selection Committee, and is Past Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council and Business Coalition.

Denis is supported by his darling bride Jacqueline and their three grown children, in addition to being a proud grandfather. He’s a Boston Bruins fan, barbeque aficionado, and enjoys his out-of-town time with family and friends.

Janis Byrne, Director

Janis is Chief Legal Officer to the Pennecon Group of Companies.

After graduating from Memorial University in 1991, Janis obtained her LL.B from the University of Windsor in 1994, and her LL.L from the University of Ottawa in 1995; she was admitted to the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador in 1996.

After practicing with Poole Althouse in Corner Brook, NL from 1996 to 1999, Janis joined the Pennecon Group, and has been responsible for establishing and managing the legal department. Her practice is primarily corporate/commercial and real estate.

She is a past president of the Canadian Bar Association (NL Branch). Janis currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Bar Insurance Association, a national not-for-profit corporation, which arranges for the provision of a wide range of insurance products to members of the legal community. Janis chairs its Governance Committee, having previously chaired its Fiscal and Risk Management Committees. This term ends in December 2013.

Janis is a member of the Discipline Committee for the Law Society of Newfoundland & Labrador, and a lecturer for the Bar Admission Course (corporate/commercial). She currently serves on the Nominations Committee for the Ches Penney Family Y, having previously served for 6 years on its Board of Directors. Janis was formerly a member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s East, and a Director with the St. John’s SPCA. Janis enjoys practicing yoga, playing golf, travel, and hanging out with her partner, Steve Wedgwood, and their 3 dogs.

Fabian Connors

Fabian holds the position for Director of Human Resources with the A. Harvey & Co. Ltd./ Browning Harvey Ltd. A. Harvey is a locally owned business with operations focused on offshore oil and gas logistics based in the Port of St. John’s and several other logistic-based operations. Yes, they even sell road salt and home heat. Browning Harvey Ltd. is the award winning franchise bottler of Pepsi Products for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fabian’s role involves overall leadership in the direction and management of the Human Resource function.

He has completed both a Bachelor of Commerce (87) and Masters of Business Administration (94) from Memorial University of Newfoundland.

He lives in Paradise with his spouse Cathy and two children.

Craig Ennis, Director

Craig is Senior Communications Counsel with Atlantic Lottery. Immediately prior to that, he worked as a consultant. His involvement with the Board of Trade goes back to his days as a member of the Board’s staff, working in policy and communications. Craig holds a degree in public relations and an MBA.

Jim Fallon, Director

Jim is Regional Vice President, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Jim received his undergraduate degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1980. Shortly after graduating he joined Bank of Montreal (BMO) as a management trainee. He progressed through a series of positions throughout Atlantic Canada working in three provinces and six communities. He returned home from Moncton, New Brunswick in 1999 to assume a senior leadership role.

He was appointed as Personal Banking Area Manager for Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador in 2002. In 2005, Jim received his Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. In 2006, he graduated from Dalhousie University with his MBA degree. Jim was appointed as Vice President of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2010.

Over the years he has supported many local charities and community organizations including United Way, Eastern Health Care Foundation, Credit Counselling Services of Newfoundland and Labrador and Junior Achievement.

Jim was born and raised in St. John’s and currently lives in the city with his wife Susan. They have raised two sons who have also had the good fortune of pursuing their careers in St. John’s.

Kevin Peters, Director

Kevin Peters is the Chief Operating Officer for the Hickman Group of Companies. He has over 10 years of senior management experience focusing on business development, marketing, and operations. Previous roles include Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Division of UniTek Global Services, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Persona Communications, a national Canadian cable provider based in St John’s, Regional Manager for Bell ExpressVu, and Business Development Manager with CIBC.

Kevin lives in Mount Pearl with his wife and three daughters.

Paddy Phillips, Director

Paddy Phillips is a Consultant, for RBC Group Solutions. In 2007 Paddy joined RBC in a business banking capacity. During the past five years with RBC he has worked with small-to-medium sized businesses to assist with their business financial needs. Those needs ranged from day-to-day operating needs to long-term project financing. Most recently, Paddy joined the RBC Group Solutions team to support businesses in the province with the retention and attraction of employees.

Paddy has completed his Masters of Business Administration at Memorial University and was recognized as a Dean’s List recipient. Upon completion of his commerce degree in 2003, Paddy has been employed in several positions focusing on the growth of business in the province. As a staff member for three years with the St. John’s Board of Trade, Paddy was tasked with growing the membership base while also helping to enhance the value of member benefits. This experience allowed Paddy to gain a better understanding of local business needs which would prove to be invaluable in his most recent roles with RBC.

Over the past 10 years Paddy has been very active in the community working with organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada and Junior Achievement. At the present time, he is volunteering with the St. John’s Board of Trade’s Member Value Team.

Paddy is married to Margot Hiltz and they have one daughter, Nora.

Kim Sparkes, Director

Kim Sparkes is one of a new breed of business owners. With her signature glasses and passion for pink, this fashionista operates Whink with sense and style.

Kim has always been creative and studied to be a graphic designer at Holland College after a year in traditional academia failed to ignite her passion. After graduation, Kim returned home to St. John’s to be closer to her family and began working in retail and graphic design. Kim was helping her Dad find the perfect Christmas present for her Mom, when she stumbled upon her dream business in the form of a soon to close gift shop. Over the next few months Whink was created. The shop has been featuring Sparkes’ trendy and classic style since May 19, 2010, in the form of locally-made and international jewellery and other beautiful things.

Whink has recently expanded into a larger storefront and online shop. Kim loves her horse Kitty, bright lipstick, glitter, and meeting new customers. She lives in St. John’s with her fiancé and childhood sweetheart Rob Paddon and their beagle Bentley.

Andrea Stack, Director

Andrea Stack is the lead Investment Advisor with The Stack Team at CIBC Wood Gundy. She helps her clients navigate the complexities of managing wealth and works with them to provide financial, investment, and estate plans tailored to their individual needs. After completing her Bachelor of Commerce degree, Andrea worked in Toronto for a few years in the investment industry before deciding to return home to Newfoundland. She completed her MBA at Memorial University and started work as an Investment Advisor in 2000. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute having completed her Canadian Investment Manager and Chartered Professional Strategic Wealth designations.

Andrea is an active member of the Rotary Club of St. John’s Northwest, having served as Club President in the 2010-2011 Rotary year. She is a recipient of a Paul Harris Fellow, given by the Rotary in recognition for her service. Andrea is also a board member for the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Care Foundation and is a member of the Planned Giving committee for St. Patrick’s Mercy Home Foundation.