Our Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is the governing body between annual or special meetings of our membership. It is mandated to conduct the business of the Chamber of Commerce Owen Sound and District and to oversee our financial transactions.

Marg Benedict - Past Chair

Marg was born in Mount Forest. Graduated nursing in 1971 and nursed for 27 years. Took a Simply accounting course 1998. Current Co-owner and managing partner of Benedict Electrical, independent business, inception 1998.
Marg has an active background in leadership in various executive organizations. Her greatest joy is being with her family & in the summer time golfing but in winter snowmobiling. Her son also would say networking is the top of Marg`s list.

Jason Hemstock - Chair

Born and raised in Bruce County, I am fortunate enough to have remained living in my home town of Tara with my wife and two daughters. My diploma in business and many of the human resource courses I took were with Georgian College – Owen Sound Campus so Grey and Bruce County is definitely home to me. Immediately after finishing college, I started working at Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound as an accountant while assisting the General Manager with Human Resource duties. Remaining with this organization has paid off as I currently fill the role of General Manager. I obtained my CHRL (human resources) in 2009 and continued in hospitality gaining my CHA designation in 2014. My love for working with people has kept me in this industry where there is never a dull moment. I attribute the success of the Best Western Inn on the Bay to the employees and I know it was my human resources background that helped me to build this team. I can often be found working alongside the staff members somewhere inside the hotel. I love where I live and I enjoy what I do for a living. One could not ask for much more.

Rhonda White - Second Vice Chair

My name is Rhonda White, I am the manager at Scotiabank in Owen Sound, I have worked in many different roles with the bank over the last 35 years.
I was born and raised in Owen Sound, my family and myself have been very involved in the community over our time, serving on committees as Owen Sound Minor Hockey, Minor Softball programs, and now I am happy to be involved with the Owen Sound Chamber.

Nick Lovell - Legal

Nicholas Lovell became a partner at the firm in 2020. Nick grew up in Owen Sound, Ontario before attending the University of Waterloo. He graduated with an Honours Degree in Legal Studies. Nick graduated from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in 2014.

Nick articled with Middlebro’ & Stevens LLP and returned to the Firm after his call to the bar in 2015. Nick practices in the areas of labour and employment, municipal law, general litigation, wills and estates, corporate law, and real estate. Nick is also a Provincial Offences Prosecutor in several municipalities in Grey-Bruce, various ministries, and other government agencies.

Nick is the President of the Grey County Law Association and the current Board Chair at the United Way of Bruce Grey where he has been a Director since 2014. When not working he enjoys playing bass guitar, reading, hiking the Bruce Trail, and spending time with his family.

Nate Richardson - Treasurer

Nate is a Tax Manager in BDO’s Owen Sound and Wiarton offices. As part of the firm’s Canadian Tax Services group, Nate specializes in providing tax consulting and compliance services to a diverse client base including incorporated and unincorporated businesses, individuals, trusts, and estates. With nearly 15 years of professional experience, he enjoys helping clients to understand the Canadian taxation system as it applies to them and working to identify opportunities and implement strategies to manage tax exposure and contribute to long-term wealth.

Born and raised in Wiarton, Nate now makes his home in Tara with his wife Carley, and their three young children. The kids’ ever-growing list of extracurriculars keeps Nate and Carley hopping, but Nate enjoys golfing, skiing, and playing hockey when the opportunity presents itself.

Jason Crone - Director

Jason was a fifteen year old defenceman when his neck was broken in a minor hockey game in 2003 sustaining a spinal cord injury. After graduating from OSCVI he left for Fanshawe College in London and started his wheelchair rugby career. He made the Canadian team just a year later in 2007 and went on to compete in his Paralympics at the 2008 Beijing games.

After winning bronze at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and silver at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jason decided to retire to focus on his life outside of sports. In 2015, he came out of retirement to compete at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games to be able to both play on home soil and in front of family and friends for the first time internationally. The Canadian team won gold defeating the USA in the finals. Later that year at the World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, they once again defeated the Americans to move into the #1 ranking in the world.
Ultimately at the start of 2016 Jason decided to step away for good to build a life and career outside of the game. After a year off, Battlefield Equipment decided to open a store in Springmount, brought Jason onboard to help develop the area, and was their first hire. Jason spent his first 2.5 years as a rental rep for the Owen Sound area then just over a year ago moved into the Territory Manager position for their CAT equipment lineup covering Grey, Bruce and Dufferin counties selling Caterpillar Compact Equipment.

Jeff Coulter - Director

Owner/Operator Sprucdale Agromart

Ashlee Cunningham - Director

Mortgage Architects- Meet Ashlee Cunningham, an experienced Mortgage Agent with a strong background in the financial industry since 2000. With over a decade of brokering experience and previous roles as an Assistant Branch Manager at one of the Major Financial Institutions, Ashlee brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs and builders, Ashlee developed a deep passion for real estate and finance. She holds a college education focused on marketing and accounting, which allows her to offer clients a comprehensive approach to mortgage financing.

Working with Ashlee as your mortgage broker offers several advantages. Her extensive industry experience and specialized knowledge ensure she can navigate the ever-changing market conditions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, looking to refinance, or considering investment opportunities, Ashlee is committed to providing tailored solutions that align with your financial goals.

Beyond finding competitive rates and securing loan approvals, Ashlee takes the time to educate her clients about the intricacies of the mortgage process, empowering them to make informed decisions. Her dedication to exceptional customer service and strong interpersonal skills makes her a reliable and trustworthy partner throughout your homeownership journey.

With Ashlee as your mortgage broker, you can rest assured that your financing needs are in capable hands. Her expertise, combined with her passion for helping others, makes her the ideal guide for navigating the complexities of mortgage financing. Whether you're a first-time buyer or experienced homeowner, Ashlee will be there every step of the way, offering expert advice and personalized service that goes above and beyond.

Natalie Barber - Director

Natalie is a Senior Small Business Advisor at Meridian Credit Union. She covers all of Meridian’s five branches throughout Grey Bruce and everywhere in-between. Natalie has been in the financial services industry for over 15 years and loves to help people and businesses. Born and raised in Collingwood. Natalie moved to Owen Sound in 2017 with her son. She has a passion for being involved in this community and getting to know people. Natalie enjoys anything sports related, especially playing golf and baseball. Her favorite treasure is spending time with her fiancé Jeff and three teenage boys!

Jean Paul Caron - Director

Jean Paul was born in Montreal and lived an interesting life as a military child moving constantly. Even in his own Retail career, he moved nonstop for all but the last 4 years. He spent 21 years in retail with the last 10 as Store Manager for Woolco and Wal-Mart. He was the Store Manager of the Wal-Mart store in Owen Sound when it was located on the west side of town. It was here that he decided it was time for a career change so that his family could stay and be raised in this area.

Presently, Jean Paul is a Senior Consultant with IG Wealth Management with 17 years of experience in this field of work.

Jean Paul has been heavily involved in volunteering in Owen Sound since he first came to town. He has been involved in many City public board positions including the DIA, Festival of Northern Lights, Parks and Rec, Finance and Corporate Services putting in 15 years on these different boards. Jean Paul has also spent 29 years so far volunteering with the Owen Sound City Police. The first 20 years as an Auxiliary Staff Sgt (17 of these years in this position) and now 9 years as Coordinator of the Citizens on Patrol.

Jean Paul’s passion is in Hockey. He started coaching girls’ hockey back in the 90’s helping his daughters' teams. He then moved on to boys over the next couple of decades, in all levels including AAA. Presently he is back coaching girls once again with the Owen Sound Ice Hawks.

With the past experience in Marketing in his retail career as well as being the Chair of Marketing with the Festival of Northern Lights, taking on the new role as Chair of Marketing for the Chamber is a perfect fit. He is looking forward to continuing the projects on the go as well as adding his own touch to the process.

Jean Paul has been married for 46 years to his high school sweetheart Anne Marie. He has 3 daughters with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Kacie Linn - Director

I’m Kacie M Linn, the Director of Sound Life Solutions, specializing in insurance and investment advice with over a decade of invaluable experience. My purpose and passion revolve around empowering individuals to secure their financial futures and lead prosperous lives.

With a strong educational foundation, I have dedicated over a decade to providing sound insurance and investment advice. As the Director of Sound Life Solutions, I lead a dedicated team in crafting tailored financial solutions for our clients. Together, we help them make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals through protection, planning, and strategic investing for the future.

Beyond my professional endeavors, I find immense joy in outdoor activities such as camping with my husband, hiking, and swimming, as well as immersing myself in a good book. I strongly believe in maintaining a well-rounded and fulfilling life outside of work and strive to help my team achieve this balance as well.

At the core of my beliefs is a strong commitment to financial literacy and its transformative power. My vision is to continue educating and assisting individuals in making sound financial decisions, thereby enabling them to realize their dreams and aspirations all while doing my best to be an active philanthropist in my community and empowering others to do so.