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Board Election Candidates – 2020

In accordance with the Brandon Chamber of Commerce By-Laws, the election committee presents the following candidates who have let their name stand for election.

Seven (7) members must be elected to serve a two (2) year term of office. ( * ) Indicates current board members seeking re-election.

Election ballots will be emailed to delegates of member organizations on Monday, May 11th, 2020.
Voting will close at 4:00pm on Thursday, May 21st, 2020.

Please contact the Chamber if you do not have email or access to the internet.

*Barry Cooper – Heritage Co-op

  Bart Curtis – CW2 Construction & Design

  Andrea Epp – Patersons LLP

  Chris Finley – Mazergroup

  Joran Hedley – BDO Canada LLP

*Ryan Jacobson – Forbidden Flavours Roastery, Affordable Storage Brandon

  Naseer Malik – BMO Bank of Montreal

  Lois MacDonald – Westman Immigrant Services

  Corey Peters – Alair Homes

  Jaime Pugh-Clemmensen – MNP LLP

  Ross Sheard – McDonalds

*Aida Tahhan – Aida’s Catering

Candidate bios available below



*Barry Cooper

Image of *Barry Cooper
Position | Business to Business Operations Manager
Business | Heritage Co-op

Barry was born and raised in the Brandon area. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture (University of Saskatchewan) and has experience in most facets of the agricultural industry.

Barry works on behalf of Heritage Co-op as the Business to Business Operations Manager. Responsibilities include overseeing the commercial side of the Petroleum Business and three Agricultural sites. He is also heavily involved in sales and marketing for these divisions.

Barry has been actively involved with the Chamber and served on the Agriculture and Membership Committees in past years. He has also Chaired the Membership and Workforce Alignment Committees. He presently serves on the Board Executive as Secretary/Treasurer.

Barry is married to Debbie and has two adult sons living in Brandon.

Bart Curtis

Image of Bart Curtis
Position | Administrator
Business | CW2 Construction & Design

Bartley Curtis has 24 years’ experience in the construction industry built from a grassroots level. As a youngster he was always building something which fostered his love of carpentry and creating. As a professional tradesman he began providing onsite project skilled labour and achieved a rapid progression to a supervisory role, which included bidding multi-million dollar jobs in his early 20’s. Bartley has strong client management skills, a keen eye for detail, and an ability to see solutions where others see challenges. He is also a Red Seal Carpenter and highly experienced and successful estimator. Bartley is an active member of the Construction Association of Rural Manitoba’s Board of Directors and has contributed countless hours and finances to the development of mixed martial arts programming for amateur and professional fighters in Brandon. Bartley also has a love for helping animals and people and gives his time and finances to causes that are close to his heart in these areas.

Andrea Epp

Image of Andrea Epp
Position | Partner
Business | Patersons LLP

Raised in Carberry, Andrea has lived in Manitoba her entire life. Previously working within the banking industry and as a Legal Assistant, Andrea attended to completing Business Administration courses through Assiniboine Community College and later began her undergrad degree through Brandon University. Thereafter, she attended and graduated from the University of Manitoba with her Law Degree in 2008. Andrea completed her Articles in Brandon, received her Call to the Bar in 2009 and has practiced in Brandon and Carberry ever since.

While Andrea has past litigation experience (criminal defense and family law), Andrea’s practice is presently focused solicitor matters. Andrea enjoys the small-town spirit that exists in Brandon and prides herself on giving her clients a positive experience, ensuring that they are adequately informed in every aspect of their matter.

Andrea can often be found volunteering within Brandon at various events and is currently a Board Member of Brandon Crime Stoppers and Brandon Area Community Foundation.

Chris Finley

Image of Chris Finley
Position | VP of Parts, Service & Precision
Business | Mazergroup

Chris was born and raised in Brandon, attending Brandon University and graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004. Chris joined Mazergroup in 2005, which operates 16 agriculture, construction, and turf equipment dealerships in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. As the V.P. of Parts, Service, and Precision, he is responsible for the operational and strategic direction of those departments. He is also chair of the Mazergroup charitable committee.

Chris is proud to call Brandon home, and having not grown up on a farm, is grateful that his career has found him working in the agriculture industry. Chris believes agriculture is a foundational pillar in the Brandon community and would be excited to bring his perspectives to the chamber.

Chris has been married to his wife Diane for 10 years. Diane is also a chamber member, and part owner of a small business in Brandon. They are proud parents to their son Maxwell, with a second child due this June.

Joran Hedley

Image of Joran Hedley
Position | Manager
Business | BDO Canada LLP

I’m an accountant. Not the best conversation starter.

I grew up in an awesome little town called Strathclair, MB. One of the highlights of our school year in Strathclair was coming into Brandon for swimming lessons and stopping to get a happy meal at McDonalds after. I’ve now been living in Brandon for 10 years and haven’t had a happy meal for at least 2.

After moving to Dauphin in 2000 and graduating there, I drove through the national park and started school at ACC in Brandon. I also spent a few years at BU, got an accounting job at BDO Canada, and then completed my CPA in 2015.

I’m now a manager at BDO here in Brandon and have been there for over 7 years. My time at BDO is split between small business owners and farmers. It’s a perfect mixture of clients.

The majority of my free time is spent on the golf course, watching golf, or putting in the basement. I also love hockey and taking in a good (country) concert.

*Ryan Jacobson

Image of *Ryan Jacobson
Position | Owner
Business | Forbidden Flavours Roastery & Affordable Storage Brandon

Ryan Jacobson is the owner of Forbidden Flavours Roastery and 2 Brandon Cafes. Since taking over the roastery in 2010 Ryan and his team currently service 225 commercial accounts in western Manitoba. Ryan also owns Affordable Storage Brandon that accommodates campers, boats, cars and 24/7 self storage units.

Ryan was born and raised in Washington state and began working as a child in his family’s commercial salmon fishing operation in Alaska. He has lived in Hawaii and Florida and moved to Brandon in 2003. He fell in love with Brandon and the people and now considers it his home town. He has 2 sons Lane (14) and Noah (12) that keep him busy with their activities.

Naseer Malik

Image of Naseer Malik
Position | Branch Manager
Business | BMO Bank of Montreal

Born and raised in Brandon, Naseer is a graduate of Brandon University where he attained his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, and as of current he’s attending University of Manitoba completing his Masters of Business Administration degree. Over the years he has completed certifications through the Canadian Securities Institute and Harvard Business School.

He holds the role as Branch Manager of BMO Bank of Montreal with over 11 years of banking experience. In his time with BMO he has lead his team to national awards as well as achieving individual recognition as Leader of the Year. Naseer is a proud advocate of hiring business students enrolled in Brandon University or Assiniboine Community College in order to mentor them to advance their career in banking.

In the past he has been Vice President of the Rotary Club of Brandon Sunset, Campaign committee of the United Way of Brandon and District, President of the Brandon Cricket Club, and Market Leader for Kids Help Phone.

In his spare time Naseer loves to play cricket, watch all types of sports, travel to visit family living afar, read biographies, and learn about new cultures and cuisines.

Lois MacDonald

Image of Lois MacDonald
Position | Executive Director
Business | Westman Immigrant Services

Lois MacDonald is the Executive Director of Westman Immigrant Services, an organization that delivers programming and services that ensure newcomers are able to reach their full potential in their new home. Previously, she was the General Manager of Brandon Riverbank Inc. where she was responsible for the promotion of Brandon as well as the development of the “Back to the River” Master Plan.

Lois has served on a number of Boards and committees throughout her career, including Tourism Westman, Brandon First and Travel Manitoba. Lois was the Event Manager for the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup and in 2014 was honoured as a recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

Lois is interested in joining the Chamber Board as she values the integral role of the organization and wants to bring her passion for building our community to the board table. She sees an opportunity to establish even deeper connections between newcomers and our business community, creating an atmosphere of diversity and growth that will contribute to Brandon’s success.

Corey Peters

Image of Corey Peters
Position | Partner
Business | Alair Homes Ltd.

Corey developed a passion for construction at an early age. Having spent most evenings, weekends and summers in high school working for his father’s construction company to further developing his skills within project and business management today, over a decade later. Alongside a large portfolio of successful projects and long-lasting relationships with past clients, trades & suppliers within the Westman Area, Corey continues to provide his expertise in construction and project planning through Alair Homes. Corey’s greatest passion is to serve his clients and to positively impact and revitalize his community by giving back. Corey and his wife spend most of their free time building up their local community church, spending time with family & friends, enjoying their home, yard and the outdoors.

Jaime Pugh-Clemmensen

Image of Jaime Pugh-Clemmensen
Position | Business Advisor
Business | MNP LLP

Born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba, Jaime Pugh-Clemmensen, CPA, CA, graduated from Brandon University and is a Partner and Business Advisor with MNP’s Assurance Services group. Jaime works closely with small to medium size businesses in the commercial industry. Jaime delivers a full range of tax, assurance and advisory services.

Committed to her community, Jaime has held various volunteer positions which include being a board member for the Brandon Area Community Foundation, a member on the Advisory committee and a board member for Westman Dreams for Kids as well as an employee and campaign member since 2007 with the United Way including a term as chair for the 2013 campaign which successfully raised their goal of $777,777.77.

Ross Sheard

Image of Ross Sheard
Position | Supervisor
Business | McDonalds

Ross is one of two Supervisors for the McDonalds Restaurants market in Brandon, Neepawa, and Portage la Prairie. Moving from Vancouver 10 years ago to pursue a McDonalds career, he has since held several positions within the business including, several years as an award winning Restaurant Manager, the Office Manager tasked with all things administration, and now leads his team as a Supervisor. Overall, McDonalds employs over 500 crew and managers in the Westman area and are very proud to be the title sponsor of the annual Westman Dreams For Kids golf tournament – where they present a cheque from all their proceeds from McHappy Day.

In his free time, he loves to tee it up at the local golf courses in the Westman area and plays hockey in the winter. With over 10 years Management and Supervisory experience, combined with being familiar in all aspects of business, Ross can offer insight on growing Brandon positively.

*Aida Tahhan

Image of *Aida Tahhan
Position | Owner
Business | Aida's Catering

Aida Tahhan, owner of Aida’s Catering, immigrated from Bethlehem, Palestine to Brandon with her family in 1999. Shortly after, she began taking culinary courses at ACC and then worked for several years at Rideau Park Personal Care Home (RPPCH). During her years at RPPCH she learned about caring for residents’ specialized diets, and also became more involved in efforts to respond to the needs of residents and healthcare workers. Aida served as a volunteer on the BRHA Wellness and Social Committees, along with the RPPCH Ethics Committee.

Later on, she taught evening cooking classes at Assiniboine Community College (ACC), where she thoroughly enjoyed engaging more closely with the community and where the idea of owning her own restaurant or catering business was first proposed to her.

In August 2015, she opened Aida’s Catering and since then she has been fortunate to see her business grow and to become more involved in Brandon’s small business community. Aida is so thankful to the Brandon community for being so supportive of her business and helping her get to where she is today.