Volume 12 Week 5

Wednesday, Jan. 16


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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney




(Posted 10:30 p.m., Feb. 27)
Orléans Chamber names new executive director
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Orléans resident Dina Epale is the newly appoined executive director of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce. Twitter photo

The Orléans Chamber of Commerce have released the name of the man who will be replacing Jamie Kwong as the organization's next executive director.

Dina Epale is an experienced bilingual government relations and advocacy professional and a resident of Orléans.

Until recently he was the director of parliamentary affairs with the Canadian Association of Parliamentarians on Population and Development. The organization provides a forum for sitting parliamentarians and Senators to exchange ideas on population, sexual and reproductive health, human rights and development issues.

CAPPD also coordinates efforts with several parliamentary associations throughout Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe to encourage governments to keep their commitments to reproductive health and women’s rights.

As the director of parliamentary affairs, Epale was responsible for the organzartion's day-to-day operations and reported to CAPPD's executive committee made up of three New Democrat MPs along with Liberal MP Hedy Fry and Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Prior to joining CAPPD in 2003, Epale was the national research coordinator for the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network, and a development worker for the AIDS Information and Support Centre (TASC).

Nothing in his biography would suggest that Epale has any experience in the small business sector, or economic development. What he does have is a great deal of experience in event planning.

As the director of public affairs for CAPPD, he organized and hosted public events on Parliament Hill attended by Canadian and foreign parliamentarians, diplomats and senior government officials; he conducted strategic advocacy meetings with Canadian and foreign parliamentarians; and he organized eight annual Canadian launches of the UN’s State of World Population Report.

As the new Chamber of Commerce executive director, Epale will be organizing events of a different sort, namely the Chamber's annual golf tournament; the Business Excellence Awards and the Chamber's annual poker tournament.

But his key responsibility will be in attracting new members, something his predecessor was especially adept at. Under Kwong's leadership, the Chamber has grown to over 320 members.

Orléans Chamber chair Donna Roney says Epale was ultimately selected because of his "strong organizational and event planning skills" and his credentials in problem solving and diplomacy. He is also the first bilingual executive director the Chamber has ever had.

Past executive directors of the Orléans Chamber of Commerce:

Jamie Kwong 2012-2015

Before joining the Chamber of Commerce, Jamie was the fundraising coordinator for the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa.

Larry Ring 2010-2012

Mr. Ring was a professional business consultant and the former executive director of Team Ottawa-Orléans.

Peter Stewart 2006-2010

Prior to his appointment as the first executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Stewart was the area manager for the UPS Store and the owner/operator of the Mail Boxes Etc. franchise in Orléans.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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