Community leaders join EDC Board of Directors

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Three professionals from the community’s public and private sectors have joined the Board of Directors for the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC). Following the organization’s annual general meeting earlier this week, John Martella, Pramod Shukla and Susan Myers were each elected to serve on the SSMEDC’s volunteer Board.

“These individuals bring a wealth a knowledge and expertise with them, and we’re thrilled to have them join our team,” said Don Mitchell, President and Board Chair of the SSMEDC. “Our Board members have unique backgrounds and skill sets, which is extremely important in the field of economic development, and the new Directors are a perfect fit for us.”

John Martella is the Northern Ontario District Manager of Green For Life, a leading waste management and recycling company. He’s also a partner in a number of businesses throughout the community. A longtime member of the local Rotary Club, John had been – and continues to be – a supporter and leader of various fundraising and volunteer initiatives in Sault Ste. Marie.

Pramod Shukla is Chief Operating Officer for Essar Steel Algoma, a position he began in 2009. Prior to that, he served as the company’s Vice-President of Operations. Pramod also held the position of Vice-President of Projects & Operations for Essar Steel India and as a Senior Manager with Tata Steel India. He is currently a volunteer Board member at Sault Area Hospital.

Susan Myers is a Ward 2 City Councillor with the City of Sault Ste. Marie. In 1992, she became the inaugural Manager of Marketing & Tourism for the SSMEDC. During her 14 years with the organization, one of her many highlights was overseeing the creation of the community’s award-winning “Naturally Gifted” brand logo and tagline.

Also at – or prior to – yesterday’s annual general meeting, Michael Moore, Greg Peres and Ross Romano retired from their positions on the SSMEDC Board of Directors. The Corporation would like to extend its sincere thanks to these individuals for their volunteer service in helping to drive economic development in Sault Ste. Marie.

With the new additions and retirees, the SSMEDC’s Board of Directors now consists of: Don Mitchell (President), Robert Reid (Vice President), Greg Punch (Past President), Lori Naccarato-Sarlo (Treasurer), Donna Hilsinger (Secretary), Christiane Husemann, Albert Giommi, John Martella, Geoff Meakin, Susan Myers, Terry Rainone, Brian Robertson, Pramod Shukla, Kevin Wyer, and Mayor Christian Provenzano (Ex-Officio). The Board is also served by a Liaison Committee with representatives from Algoma University (AU President), Sault College (Dr. Ron Common), Community Development Corporation (Hal McGonigal), and Chamber of Commerce (Monica Dale).

The SSMEDC is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors that includes the Mayor and a City Councillor, along with individuals who represent the Sault’s public, private and non-profit sectors. The volunteer Board provides the Corporation with strategic direction, which the staff team uses to undertake and deliver programs, services and special projects throughout the community.

At its core, the SSMEDC works to help start and expand businesses, create and retain jobs, generate wealth, attract visitors, and increase the Municipal tax base. Between 2010 and 2015, the Corporation’s business support activity helped generate 167 startups and expansions, which created or retained more than 1,600 jobs. During that same period, activity from the SSMEDC’s Tourism Sault Ste. Marie division – specifically in attracting major events and selling vacation packages – generated 173,280 visitor days and $24.4 million in direct visitor spending.