Linda retired after 30 years in the financial services industry. During the course of her career, Linda successfully developed a client base, then moved into a management role which took her to Toronto for 4 years. During her tenure as Regional Director in Toronto, and wanting to return to Grey Bruce, Linda initiated and developed the business plan which would, in 2005, lead to the creation of a new Owen Sound Region with Investors Group. Linda was appointed the Regional Director of the new Region which spanned a large geographic area. Linda oversaw the expansion of the Owen Sound office, and then the successful opening of a new office space in Collingwood.
During her career Linda had partnerships with many not for profit community organizations. She was also a board member on several local community groups, including Bruce Grey Children’s Services, and the Grey Bruce Community Foundation. Linda came to the Tom Thomson Art Gallery Management board as the city’s appointee in her quest to give back to the community where she spent the majority of her working life. Her experience with the TOM continues to thrill and challenge her as she is realizing the extent not only for the depth of the collection, but also for the challenge and opportunity of the TOM.
Linda and her husband, Bill reside on the Bruce Peninsula where Linda has rekindled a childhood passion with her horse Gem.
Virginia Eichhorn is the Director and Chief Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery. She has worked in the visual arts field for over twenty-five years and was appointed to the position of Director & Chief Curator of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in September 2009. She is a graduate of the Art History programme at Queen’s University and continued her studies in Art History and Museum Studies at the University of Toronto. As an independent curator she has presented exhibitions at numerous prestigious venues including the XII Biennale of Art at Villa Nova Cerveira in Portugal. She has worked extensively with artists from across Canada and abroad, including Carl Beam, Judy Chicago, Vessna Perunovich, Jane Ash Poitras and Peter Von Tiesenhausen, developing exhibitions for high profile Canadian galleries and museums. In addition to curating, she has written numerous catalogue essays and has contributed articles to prominent Canadian magazines including Artichoke, Canadian Art, Border Crossings, ESPACE Sculpture and international magazines such as Ceramics Monthly. She is a member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, the International Association of Art Museum Curators (IKT), the Canadian Art Museum Directors’ Organization (CAMDO) and the Association of Art Museum Curators and is President of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries and is a board member for Cahiers métiers d’art /Craft Journal. Previous board tenures include the Association of Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts (ANDPVA) and Visual Arts Alliance (VAO). In 2009 she won the Jean Johnson/Melanie Egan Award for Curatorial Excellence awarded by the Ontario Crafts Council.
Neil is a Real Estate Broker with the Re/Max Grey Bruce Owen Sound office. He has lived in the area for the past 41 years. Active in the community, Neil has volunteered on a number of boards and committees. He was a member of the Board of Management of the Tom Thomson Art Gallery from 1987 to 1991 and served as Chair in ’90 and ’91. He was also vice-chair of the building committee during the last expansion to the gallery in 1988.
Neil recently completed 18 years of service with the Board of Directors of the Owen Sound and District Real Estate Board. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary life membership for his service, only the sixth member since 1959 to be given that honour.
Other volunteer pursuits have included serving on the boards of Owen Sound Minor Hockey, St. Mary’s Parish Council and St. Mary’s Parent Council. He also served as finance and building chair during the construction of the Parish Centre at St. Mary’s Church in 1996-97.
Neil looks forward to reconnecting with the Board of The Tom and helping to maintain its position as a strong, regional Gallery.
Travis Dodd is a Councillor for the City of Owen Sound, and has joined the TOM Board of Directors as the City’s representative. Travis currently sits on several City committees such as;Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Committee, Parks & Recreation, Fire Advisory and By‐Law Committee.
Travis currently works as a Business Development Manager for Nicol Insurance Inc. in Owen Sound and has been in the insurance industry since 2013. Before entering into the world of insurance, Travis attended the University of Guelph where he studied Political Science, and sat on several social committees.
Prior to attending the University of Guelph, Travis had the opportunity to volunteer with a program funded through the Canadian International Development Agency which took Travis across North America and Venezuela discussing social issues with children between the ages of five to eighteen.
Travis was born and raised in Owen Sound, and wants to continue to ensure future generations have the opportunity to experience the historical and cultural significance of our prestigious City.
Toronto born artist LauraLee K. Harris honours all her mixed blood Anishinaabe ancestry of Ojibwe, Dakota and Cree, Chipewyan/Montagnais, Assiniboine, Metis, French, Irish and English. Harris studied at OCAD, has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in over a hundred shows. Selectively; Biindigin Gallery, Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Woodland Cultural Museum, Soho N.Y., Hatathli Museum Dine College Arizona, Period Gallery Omaha Nebraska. Her work has won many Honours and Awards including Award of Excellence in Omaha Nebraska. Her life and works have been studied in Catholic Secondary schools as their Canadian content raising awareness to a white washed history in a published book of paintings and poetry “Spoken Trees”. Her work has been studied in universities nationally and internationally and used in literacy programs in the Nanaimo Correctional Centre. Harris was commissioned to create three wood pieces to be transferred onto glass for the Buffalo Fort Erie Peace Bridge Authority Building. The Six Nation’s ‘Peace Maker’ became the welcome windows into Canada from the US border, raising awareness to the original peoples of that land and their Peace teaching. A documentary of her life and work was produced by ‘earth magic media’ a dene production company, and aired on BRAVO and APTN. Her recent work ‘nibi anishinaabe kwewag ~ water and the women brings awareness to and was dedicated to the missing and murdered anishinaabe women in 2010, where it was honoured with the support of the Chiefs of Ontario at the Tom Thomson Gallery. Harris work seeks truth for the earth and her occupants connecting through the tree nation/mother earth.
Jon Kepler is a residential and commercial landlord in Owen Sound. Though his business has expanded rapidly since it began in 2009, Jon continues to be intricately involved in property management and day-to-day operations. He was born and raised in the area, and joined the Tom Thomson Art Gallery Board of Management in June 2013.
Jon started his first business, a website selling custom game content, when he was just 18 years old. His subsequent ventures included a partnership with an American computer scientist to sell messaging software to large corporations, and a short-lived social network that competed directly with Twitter. He has worked in a variety of sectors outside technology and real estate including food, finance, luxury goods, journalism, direct sales, healthcare, travel and telecom.
Jon has been featured in several news publications including Inc.com, Variety, Mahalo and UOL (Brazil).
Rob practiced architecture for 25 years before retiring and returning to an early love of painting. He has done volunteer work throughout his life for educational, environmental, wildlife and art organizations. He continues to collect Canadian art and to support the Tom Thomson Art Foundation. He lives most of the year on an island in Lake Huron.
Sean is a local dentist who also works as a multi-disciplinary artist. He draws on his higher education to create his art by using scientific means to explore a variety of concepts and expressions utilizing non-traditional contemporary practices. Much of his work defines the art in science as he explores all wavelengths of energy to create art using photographic techniques. With x-rays, lasers, and UV radiation, he reverses the inside and outside world to explore the atomic constants: light and time. Sean has exhibited internationally in public and private galleries throughout North American and Europe.
In addition to his practice of dentistry in Owen Sound, Sean uses his dental skills to give back by participating in the Ontario Dental Association’s Remote Areas Program serving First Nations communities throughout Northern Ontario. He also participates in the Healthy Smiles program at the Grey Bruce Health Unit serving low-income families. On Saturday nights, you can find him at the Bayshore Community Centre cheering for the Owen Sound Attack while serving as their team dentist.
Jeff Sziklai is the President and CEO Bellwyck Packaging Solutions. Bellwyck Packaging is a Supplier to the Healthcare, and Cosmetic and Fragrance Industries. Their product line includes folding cartons, labels, inserts, clinical trial and contract packaging. They have 8 manufacturing sites, 5 in the GTA, 1 in Owen Sound, 1 in Vancouver, and 1 in Cincinnati. They have 450 employees and ship products to customers around the globe and have recently been nominated as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Private Companies.
Jeff has a degree from The University of Western Ontario and has attended Leadership programs at Harvard University.
He served as a board member for the North American Packaging Association from 2000-2011, and became its youngest ever President from 2004-2006. He is a member of The Young Presidents Organization, past Chair of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Owen Sound and Vice President of the Owen Sound rowing club. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors for the YMCA and Chaired the Major Gifts for their recent $6 million fundraising campaign.
R. Michael Warren is the CEO of The Warren Group Inc, a consultancy that provides strategic advice to governments and corporations.
He is a former deputy minister in three Ontario departments. As the first chief general manager of the Toronto Transit Commission he oversaw major subway expansion and record ridership. He helped to transform the federal Post Office into Canada Post Corporation as its first CEO and President.
His business career includes chairing the Board of Trustees of Sunrise Senior Living (REIT) which was sold in 2007 for $2.5 billion (US).He was a member of and chaired many private and public sector boards including MDS Inc., Royal LePage,Stone and Webster, BJLC, OMERS, Canadian Marketing Association, Ontario International Corporation,Toronto Arts Awards,Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Metro Toronto YMCA, Owen Sound Economic Development Committee, Canadian Geriatric Society, Regional Recreation Centre Fund Raising Committee and City RRC Steering Committee.
Mr. Warren’s opinion pieces on business, politics and social issues are frequently published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and Sun Media newspapers. He focuses on suggesting alternative solutions to the pressing public issues of the day. This website contains examples of his nationally published material.
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