Presented by

February 8th, 20249:30am – 7:00pm  |  Valhalla Hotel & Conference Centre

On behalf of the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and Anishnawbe Business Professional Association, we would like to express our sincere thanks to participants of the 2023 tradeshow.  The tradeshow expanded its focus to include businesses from all industries, in addition to its traditional focus on mining, forestry, and energy. Attendees had the opportunity to network with top industry professionals, visit over 50 Exhibitor spaces, and learn from a fantastic lineup of speakers addressing relevant issues in today’s business landscape. 

Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to connect and grow at Prosperity Northwest 2024! See you February 8th, 2024!

Presented by

2023 Speaker Presentations

Power for Prosperity
(no presentation available)

Moderator: John Hefford - Vice President Regional Operations, Western Region  - Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Inc. 

John manages OPG’s generating facilities in South Central and Western Ontario including the Lennox Generating Station, a 2160 MW gas and oil fired plant; Atikokan Generating station, a 205 MW biomass fired plant;  and 788 MW of hydro across South Central Ontario and North Western Ontario.  Over his more than 33 year career in power generation he has held a variety of progressively responsible roles dealing with the technical, financial, business process, and people aspects of improving plant performance and is a strong advocate for safety leadership in all aspects of plant operations and maintenance.

John has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He has subsequently completed various executive development programs at the Queen’s University Smith School of Business and the University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business.

John is married to Irena Kolodziej-Hefford and they have one grown son Elliot.  When not working John is an avid amateur photographer year round, and a frustrated golfer spring through fall.

Gary Rose - Vice-President New Nuclear Growth - Ontario Power Generation 

Gary Rose has worked for Ontario Power Generation for 35 years.  Gary is currently the Vice President of New Nuclear Growth at Ontario Power Generation.  In this capacity, Gary is responsible for the development of opportunities to deploy New Nuclear in Ontario while working with other jurisdictions in Canada and internationally to develop opportunities for nuclear expansion.

Gary is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and has a Bachelor of Commerce from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson).  He is also graduate of Rotman’s Director Education Program and a certified Corporate Director (ICD.D).

Prior to this role, Gary’s career spans a number of progressive management roles in Corporate Finance and, for the past 22 years, in major nuclear projects, including senior roles on the Pickering A Return to Service Project and the $12.8 Billion Darlington Refurbishment Program where he was the vice president of Planning and Project Controls and as Deputy Vice President Execution; contributed to the in-service of Unit 2 in June 2020.

Gary is a continuous advocate for Project Management and Project Controls application in all projects being executed at OPG and often provides his counsel to industry and partner groups alike.  Gary has served on the Product Review Board for the Construction Industry Institute. He is also a member of the Project Management Institute and holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and a member of the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACEi).

Gary is currently the Chair of the Durham College Board of Governors as well as a Trustee on the Douro Dummer Library Board.

Daniel Levitan – Vice President, Stakeholder Relations - Hydro One

As Hydro One’s Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, Daniel Levitan is responsible for Government Relations, Stakeholder and Industry Relations, Public Policy, and Community Relations. Prior to his appointment, Daniel served for six years as Manager and then Director of External Relations, primarily responsible for Hydro One’s relationship with the Province and forging new relationships with the Company’s diverse stakeholder groups.

Daniel is responsible for broad and project-specific community relations, and community and stakeholder consultations, ensuring Hydro One’s plans are meaningfully socialized with communities and that community needs are advocated for within the company.

Developing and building on relationships across all communities, stakeholders, regulators and elected bodies, Daniel’s team’s purpose is to seek partnerships to advocate for and better serve communities, customers and businesses throughout Ontario

He joined Hydro One in 2013 with a decade of experience in strategic communications, crisis communications, public policy, stakeholder management, and grassroots and provincial political campaigns. Prior to joining Hydro One, Daniel held roles as a senior policy advisor, manager of caucus relations and director of communications in Provincial cabinet portfolios including Energy; Economic Development; Infrastructure; Health; and Training, Colleges and Universities.

Daniel studied Philosophy at Huron University College in London, Ontario.

Steve Rakidzioski, RNG Specialist, Business Development - Enbridge Gas Inc.

Steve joined Union Gas in 2010, contributing to energy conservation initiatives, primarily with commercial-industrial markets in Southern and Eastern Ontario. The last few years he has helped Enbridge Gas’ business development group grow and serve the renewable natural gas (RNG) marketplace in Ontario and beyond. Steve holds an MBA from Toronto Metropolitan University (Ontario), a BSc in Engineering Technology from Lawrence Technological University (Michigan) and is also a Certified Energy Manager (CEM).

session sponsor

The Ontario Chamber’s Ontario Economic Report (OER) offers analysis on business confidence, business conditions and economic outlooks and what that means for the Northwest.  Click here for full presentation.

Moderator: Charla Robinson - President - Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce

Guided by the Board’s strategic plan, Charla leads the Chamber staff team and serves as a nexus for the political, organizational, and business relationships the Chamber cultivates in support of its mission. A lifetime “political junkie,” Charla’s deep and broad connections to all three levels of government help keep the business community abreast of issues as they develop.

Though she seems to work round-the-clock on Chamber business, Charla does take time to relax and recharge, usually with a classic movie, one of her favourite British detective programs or a walk in nature.

Daniel Safayeni – Vice President, Policy - Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)

Daniel Safayeni is Vice President, Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) where he leads a team that sets the policy priorities and positioning of the largest provincial chamber of commerce in Canada through principled research and analysis. He is the founder and Co-Chair of the OCC’s Workforce Development Council and Ontario Cannabis Policy Council.

Prior to joining the OCC in 2018, Daniel held senior-level positions at the U.S. Department of State and the C.D. Howe Institute. Daniel is a Director at the Empire Club of Canada, a member of George Brown College’s Program Advisory Committee and the Conference Board of Canada’s Research Advisory Board.

Claudia Dessanti - Senior Manager, Policy - Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Claudia Dessanti is the Senior Manager of Policy at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), where she leads a broad range of policy initiatives to support Ontario’s business community. Claudia founded and co-chairs the OCC’s Energy Policy Council, oversees the Ontario Economic Report, and leads work around environment, energy, regional economic development, data policy, housing, diversity and inclusion, and more. She also serves on the Advisory Board for Innovate Cities, where she provides input on evolving privacy issues. In previous roles, Claudia researched mortgage markets for National Bank Financial and measured social impact for Charity Intelligence. She has a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a BA from the University of Toronto.

session sponsor

Find out what is happening now and in the future in mineral exploration and mine development and the potential opportunities.  View full presentation.

Moderator: Andrew Kane Manager, Natural Resources Business Development.

Andrew is a well respected and knowledge professional in the Natural Resources sector. For most of his career, he worked for Confederation College in various positions. Most recently, he worked for the Provincial Ministry of Northern Development of Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry in the Mines and Minerals Division as a Mineral Exploration and Mine Development Consultant. Growing up in Thunder Bay Andrew has a strong passion for the North. Through his work in economic development, he looks forward to strengthening the natural resource sector in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

Bob Macdonald: General Manager, Rock Tech lithium Inc.

Mr. MacDonald joined Rock Tech Lithium in March 2021 as General Manager of the Georgia Lake Project. He has provided oversight of exploration, engineering, environmental and stakeholder engagement activities working with a dedicated team focused on bringing Georgia Lake into operation.

Mr. MacDonald is a mining engineer with over 38 years of professional experience in Northern Canada. He has extensive experience in managing mining operating in Northern Ontario both developing new projects and optimizing mature assets. He has held a broad range of operational and technical roles throughout his career.


Click here for Rock Tech Presenation

David Newhook: Director of Operations; Greenstone Gold

David has 30 years global experience in executive roles with major mining organization with a focus on expertise in operations, technical services, business improvement, environment and CSR, mergers and acquisitions, and project development. David earned his Bachelor of Metallurgical Engineering (P.Eng.) from McGill University.

session sponsor

The Procurement Puzzle: How to do Business with Government & Large Industry
(3 presentations)

Governments and large industrial operators buy billions of dollars worth of goods and services each year. Attend this session to learn about contracting processes, becoming a registered supplier, and ways to search for opportunities.

Presentation  #1:  Newmont –  Musselwhite Source To Contract Presentation
Presentation #2:  How To Do Business with Ontario Government Presentation 
Presentation #3:  Mythbusting Government Procurement Presentation

Moderator: Jason Thompson - President - Superior Strategies Inc. & Warrior Engineering Ltd

A proud member of the Red Rock Indian Band, Jason Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Superior Strategies Inc. and Warrior Engineering Ltd teams. With over 20 years of business and management experience, Mr. Thompson has proven to be a skilled executive and visionary entrepreneur.

Jason sits as the President of both Superior Strategies Inc. as well as Warrior Engineering Ltd, both are majority Indigenous Owned and Operated Businesses, and have demonstrated continued growth year after year. The never setting and opportunistic traits, are also evident in the recent launch of his very own Warrior Brand, which includes a variety of PPE, Work Wear and most recently Warrior Apparel. Throughout his career Jason has always demonstrated strong leadership skills and has realized the importance of building and maintaining a successful team. Never settling, collaborative, out of the box thinker are a few adjectives that can be used to explain Jason.

A proud father of three, who recently welcomed his second Grand Child, Jason and his wife high Tara (High School Sweethearts) are celebrating 26 Years of Marriage, ultimately linking his success to his strong family support. Jason remains a very strong advocate for meaningful participation of Indigenous People and Businesses on a local and National level.

Matthew Brady - Policy Advisor at Public Services and Procurement Canada

Matthew has worked for the federal public service for over 13 years. He has held various positions within Professional Technical Services and Program Management related to asset management and program management for federal real property.

In his current role as Policy Advisor, Matthew is responsible for stakeholder engagement and cultivating partnership opportunities with organizations to support businesses looking to become government suppliers and increase participation of underrepresented groups in federal procurement.


Click here for Mythbusting Government Procurement Presentation

Janet Arnold, Director, Program and Policy - The Supply Chain Transformation

The Supply Chain Transformation Office (SCTO) provides enterprise policy leadership to modernize and centralize public sector procurement. SCTO provides oversight and ensures compliance of the new Supply Ontario agency in its delivery and support of supply chain management services. SCTO monitors and ensures that agency activities and governance align with government priorities and objectives.


Click here for How To Do Business with Ontario Government

Kiran Persaud, Sr. Procurement Consultant - Supply Chain Ontario

Supply Chain Ontario (SCO) develops and implements an integrated corporate procurement strategy to leverage and optimize government procurement of goods and services. SCO also works to identify and implement procurement process improvements, enhance procurement controllership, provide strategic advice to Management Board of Cabinet on large scale procurements, and develop innovative frameworks to support service delivery through third party service providers. In addition, SCO provides education and training to vendors, enterprise clients and the Broader Public Sector.

Click here for How To Do Business with Ontario Government

Dan Munshaw - Manager of Supply Management - City of Thunder Bay

Dan Munshaw is the Manager of Supply Management, City of Thunder Bay. He is a seasoned supply professional drawing on over forty years’ experience in government, mining and manufacturing. He has been instructing supply courses for over twenty-five years. He extends his professional knowledge and support through Boards and organizations such as Nourish, Thunder Bay & Area Food Strategy, PARO, Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre, Community Living Thunder Bay and Supply Chain Management Association. He was awarded Provincial Food Champion (2018), regional innovation award (2018) and is a multiple award-winning author.

Rob Hicklin: Supply Chain Manager, Newmont – Musselwhite Gold Mines

Rob is a Supply Chain Professional with 30+ years of experience in a fast-paced, multinational business environment. He has expertise in optimizing cost, quality & service across a wide range of categories through best practice tools & techniques. As well as, Coordinating and supporting categories with consolidation and a win-win approach. Rob has led many technology-based transformation and efficiency projects such as ERP System changeout and upgrade, Barcoding system implementation. Purchasing and Accounts payable implementation, and lead time improvements/Contract standardizations, and Outline agreement automation. Assessing the performance of the suppliers based on various criteria such as Quality, Cost, Delivery etc. Implementation and tracking of Aboriginal and local procurement policies.


Click here for Newmont –  Musselwhite Source To Contract Presentation

session sponsor

Partnership Successes
(no presentation available)

Moderator: Jason Rasevych – Co-Founder - Anishnawbe Business Professional Association

Jason Rasevych is an Anishinaabe from Ginoogaming First Nation with 20+ years of marketing, finance, strategy, governance, and economic development experience. Jason was recognized as one of Canadals Top Economic Developers and has secured more than $500 million for capital projects, legacy infrastructure, and business expansion with Indigenous groups.

Jason has deep knowledge of Indigenous rights and the resource sector through his involvement in complex negotiations between First Nations, Industry and Government. He has led First Nations to precedent-setting agreements in the mining, forestry, energy, and broadband sectors resulting in equity for Indigenous peoples in natural resources and ownership of enabling infrastructure.

In 2019, he co-founded the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association to advocate for the inclusion of Indigenous business in pursuit of economic reconciliation in Canada. Jason also leads Deloitte’s Indigenous Trust service line, supports First Nations and Trustees to manage over $1 Billion in invested funds, and supports the growth, education and development of First Nations and its members.

Peter Collins - CEO - Chi Mino Ozhitoowin

Peter Collins is currently CEO of Chi Mino Ozhitoowin working with Hydro One to build the Waasigan Transmission Line Project, a new transmission line between Thunder Bay and Dryden. Chi Mino Ozhitoowin will be providing Indigenous employment, training, procurement, environmental monitoring, cultural awareness, and other services to the project. Previous to that, he served 9 years as Regional Grand Chief of the Northern Superior Region. In 2016, he was appointed to sit at the Chief’s Committee on Economic Development with the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). He has also spent 10 terms as Chief of Fort William First Nation where he focused on advancing the First Nation through Economic Development and capacity building. He was instrumental in the creation of Oshki-Aki Limited Partnership and a partnership with Resolute Forest Products.

Ken Ogima - President & CEO - Biigtigong Dbenjgan

Ken is an experienced President & CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the government administration industry. Skilled in Economic Development, Board Governance, Executive Management, Community Engagement, and Community Development. Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s degree focused in Business Administration and Management, General from Athabasca University.

session sponsor

Exploring Innovative Wood Construction Solutions for the North
(3 presentations)

Advances in wood based construction are presenting an opportunity to re-think residential and commercial development which can provide solutions to address housing solutions and labour shortages while creating regional economic development opportunities. Two leading edge companies will share their innovative projects and ideas.

Presentation #1:  Innovative Forest Based Solutions Presentation
Presentation #2:  Relay Developments Presentation
Presentation #3:  Innovative Wood Construction Solutions for the North Presentation

Moderator: Chris Walton - CEO - Centre for Research & Innovation in the Bioeconomy

Chris Walton is the CEO for the Thunder Bay based Centre for Research & Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE). Chris is a management professional with over 25 years experience specializing in government relations, strategic planning, project development with a focus in the forest products and bioeconomy sectors


Click here for Innovative Forest Based Solutions Presentation


Jeff McKinnon - President - Relay Developments

Jeff is the president of Relay Developments, a Canadian based CLT modular home fabricator and community builder. Jeff having grown up in Vancouver has seen his career taking him across Canada, most recently with the international construction and development firm STO Building Group as he oversaw the Canadian team for new construction operations. With a passion for innovation and driving impactful change, Jeff’s area of focus is utilizing new materials, engineering, and manufacturing techniques to bring high design homes to Canadians, affordably.


Click here for Relay Developments Presentation

Patrick Chouinard - VP Market Strategy - Element5

Patrick has many years of experience with innovation in the industry. He has spent the last 9 years as VP of Market Strategy at the company he founded – Element5. Providing integrated solutions to help build well-crafted, eco-conscious buildings made of solid wood using innovative construction methods and materials. He has also been Reginal manager for Structurlam Products helping bring innovative wood solutions to market. As well as Director of Wood Solutions at Spring Valley Architectural Innovations, a Company known for its complex and beautiful wood solutions projects like the glulam curtain wall at the AGO in Toronto.


Click here for Innovative Wood Construction Solutions for the North

session sponsor

Annual General Meeting 

Annual Report

Chair’s Reception & AGM
event sponsor

Prosperity Northwest Exhibitors

Amik Technology Inc.

Anishinabek Employment And Training Services

BDO Canada LLP


BioPower Sustainable Energy Co

Brokerlink Inc.

Capital Financial Services

Carpenters’ & Joiners Local 1669

Centerfire Contracting Ltd.

Clean Air Metals Inc.

Enbridge Gas

Gear Up for Outdoors Ltd.

Hydro One

IG Wealth Management

Impact Promotions

Impala Canada

International Union of Operating Engineers – Local 739 

Itec 2000

Lowerys LTD

Mach 1 Global Solutions Ltd.

Mallon’s Promotional Clothing & Products


Maple Leaf Matting

Millwrights & Machine Erectors Union Local 1151


Nakanagis Inc.

Newmont Musselwhite

North Rock Engineering

North Star Air Ltd.

Northern Mat and Bridge

NorthStream Safety & Rehab

Northwest Employment Works

Ontario Power Generation

PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise

Public Services and Procurement Canada


Smart Modular Canada


Sportop Marketing Inc.

St. Joseph’s Care Group

Superior Strategies Inc.



Synergy North


TBT Engineering Limited

Teleco Integrated Technologies

Turn-Key Construction Inc.

Windigo Community Development Corporation

Woodland Heritage Northwest

Workforce | People at Work

Wright Tree Service

YES Employment Services Thunder Bay

For 2024 sponsorship opportunities please email