Board of Governors, 2015-2016
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning is governed by a Board of Governors that includes 12 volunteers appointed from the external community as well as the College President and four elected volunteers from Conestoga's internal community representing our students, faculty, support staff and administration.
The Board of Governors' mandate is to administer the affairs of Conestoga, establishing overall goals, objectives and strategic direction for the College and providing oversight and stewardship to ensure that Conestoga is effectively and efficiently fulfilling its mission.
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Bernadette Behm is currently manufacturing manager at Raytheon Canada, Canadian leader in the development of high technology solutions, engineering services, surveillance and navigation systems including air traffic control radars and marine surveillance radars for the Canadian and International defense, security, and commercial sectors.
She is a graduate of Conestoga’s Materials Management program.
Bernadette Behm joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2013.
Peter Benninger, a real estate professional with more than 35 years of industry experience, serves as the President at Coldwell Banker Peter Benninger Realty, a successful brokerage with a staff of over 100 which he founded in 1985.
He sits on the Board of Canada’s Technology Triangle (CTT), and is a member of the Waterloo Region ReUrbanization Working Group. He has Chaired major fundraising campaigns including the City of Kitchener Twin Pads “Places to Play,” RIM Park and the Kitchener Fallen Fire Fighters Memorial.
For more than 20 years, Peter has led his company’s efforts supporting both the Kitchener and Waterloo Fire Departments’ Safety Programs and the building of three Habitat for Humanity homes. Peter has been a member of the Conestoga College Golf Classic Organizing Committee for over a decade.
Peter Benninger joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2012.
Frank Boutzis - Chair
Frank Boutzis is currently Partner in Charge of the GTA KPMG Enterprise practice. He previously served as KPMG’s Regional Managing Partner of Regions East and the Waterloo Office Managing Partner.
He is very active in the community, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Waterloo Ravens Girls Hockey Association and Canada’s Technology Triangle. He is currently Chair of the Board at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener.
Frank Boutzis joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2010 and currently serves as chair.
Rachel Caldwell is the manager of Client Services and Resources at Conestoga’s Library Resource Centre, providing leadership in the direction, delivery, scheduling and evaluation of the Library’s frontline services to support the needs of students and faculty.
She has more than a decade of post-secondary career experience and has been working directly with the Conestoga community for the past six years.
Rachel Caldwell joined the Board of Governors in September 2015 as representative for the college’s administrative staff.
Lydia Chudleigh has worked at St. Mary’s General Hospital (SMGH) in Kitchener for 25 years. Initially a clinical dietitian at SMGH, she has worked in a number of areas through her career, including diagnostics, community programs and support services. She currently serves as vice president of quality and performance management.
She holds a BASc (Applied Human Nutrition) from the University of Guelph, and an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Lydia Chudleigh joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2013.
Mike Collins is general manager of the Rogers Kitchener Radio Group, which includes CHYM 96.7, 570 News and KIX 106.
A graduate of Conestoga’s Radio and Television Arts program, his career in broadcast media has included on-air hosting, production, sales and management.
Mike Collins joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2011.
Ian Cook is the founder and president of Cook Homes, a residential builder and land developer serving Waterloo Region since 1985.
Ian has been involved in a number of community organizations and has a strong interest in education and opportunities for youth. His firm has been honoured with numerous industry awards for innovation and environmental stewardship as well as for enthusiastic community involvement.
Ian Cook joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2012.
Mary-Lynn Dedels has been a member of Conestoga’s support staff since 1977, and had worked in a number of areas, including Human Resources, Recreation Centre, School of Business and the School of Communications and Liberal Studies.
She serves as a member of the College Convocation Committee and is a past Co-Chair of the Recreation Centre Membership Advisory Committee.
Mary-Lynn Dedels first joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in 2010 as representative for the college’s support staff. Her second term began in September 2013.
Paul Dyck is Vice President Corporate Human Resources for COM DEV International. Paul holds a Master of Industrial Relations degree from Queen's University and Bachelor of Political Science degree from Brock University.
Paul Dyck joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2011.
Rene Gatien is President and Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo North Hydro Inc. and Waterloo North Hydro Holding Corp. and has been with the utility since 2002. He has more than 30 years of experience in the electricity industry including senior leadership positions at Guelph Hydro, Brampton Hydro and PowerTel Utilities Contractors in operations, construction and fibre-optics.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Electricity Distributors Association of Ontario since 2008. He is Chair of the Board for the 2013/2104 term.
Rene W. Gatien joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2013.
Stephen Hummel is a faculty member in the School of Business and Hospitality and teaches in the International Business Management program.
A former Conference Board of Canada award winner for leadership, Hummel has extensive experience in achieving organizational success in international environments and has served on the boards of a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.
Stephen Hummel joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2014 as representative for the college’s faculty.
Jennifer Knapp is the co-founder of Knapp Fasteners Incorporated, serving the needs of aerospace, military and industrial markets across North America and around the world for more than 25 years.
A 1984 graduate of Conestoga’s Business Administration – Marketing program, she currently serves as a Program Advisory Council member for the college’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Council Member for the Small Business Ventures graduate certificate program. She and husband Jim were named as Young Entrepreneurs of the Year in 1989 and as Conestoga Alumni of Distinction in 2012.
Jennifer Knapp joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2015.
Brandon Matthews is a second-year student in the Police Foundations program in Conestoga’s School of Health & Life Sciences and Community Services.
In addition to his studies, Brandon volunteers at the oneROOF and Wyndham House youth homeless shelters and is extensively involved with the Waterloo Interprofessional Health & Community Student Collaborative (WIHSC).
He joined the Board of Governors in September 2015 as the representative for Conestoga students.
Larry Ryan, CA is president of Frank Cowan Company, one of the most trusted names in municipal and specialty insurance.
He joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2013.
Steve Sachs is currently a Labour Staff Representative at the Labour Education Program of Waterloo Region. The Labour Education Program is a joint partnership between the Waterloo Regional Labour Council and the Kitchener Waterloo and Cambridge United Ways.
He is very active in the community, and is the past Co-Chair of the Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin. He has served on other Boards such as Opportunities Waterloo, Waterloo Regional Labour Council, and Economic Development Advisory Committee for the City of Kitchener.
Steve Sachs joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2013 and currently serves as a member Advisory Committee on Academic and Student Affairs.
Robin Todd is president of Marks Supply, distributor of plumbing, PVF, hydronics and HVAC products with 8 wholesale locations and 3 retail showrooms across southwestern Ontario.
The company’s success results from a commitment to exceptional customer service, an outstanding employee team, and investment in lifelong learning and a positive corporate culture. Annual sales exceed $70 million.
Robin Todd joined Conestoga’s Board of Governors in September 2015.
Dr. John Tibbits has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Conestoga Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning since 1987.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Diploma in Education from McGill University, a Master of Education degree from the University of Vermont and a Doctorate in Education from Boston University. He has held senior administrative positions at Dawson College in Montreal, Touche Ross & Partners in Ottawa and Canada Post Corporation in Ottawa.
John Tibbits’ commitment to education, business and the community has been recognized through numerous honours and awards, including Business Leader of the Year (K-W Chamber of Commerce) and Lifetime Achievement Award (Cambridge Chamber of Commerce). He was the recipient of a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012.