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Meet the Board of Management

The BIA is managed by an elected Board of Management. Committees report to the board helping to ensure that the direction of the BIA is reflective of the entire membership. Advisory Working Groups assist staff in the continued growth and prosperity of downtown Kingston.

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Ed Smith

Windmills Café Ltd/WCL Kingston Holdings Inc., Owner
Board of Management Chair |

Ed owned and operated Windmills restaurant and catering for the past 25 years, before selling it in early 2019. Ed has served on the Downtown Kingston! BIA Board and Executive Committee for a number of years. He served on City Council from 2003 to 2010 and was involved in numerous committees including The K-Rock Centre, Market Square, Downtown Action Plan, and Parking Advisory, and served as Chair of the Downtown Kingston! BIA from Dec. 2010 to June 2014. Ed also served as the Chair for the 2014-2018 Downtown Kingston! Board and he brings a wealth of knowledge related to City Hall that will help to connect, invest in and protect downtown Kingston. For the past five years, Ed has also been President and Chair of Kingston Home Base Housing, Kingston’s largest provider of supportive housing, homeless emergency accommodations and supportive housing services to the vulnerable in the community.


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Nick Waterfield

Chez Piggy/ Pan Chancho, Manager
Board of Management Treasurer |

Nick is an engaged downtowner. His work at Chez Piggy and Pan Chancho for the past 41 years (and running) runs parallel to the growth and development of downtown Kingston during the same time. Nick continues to be a strong supporter of new and emerging opportunities that are forward-thinking. As a long-standing Downtown Kingston! BIA Board member and current Treasurer he has a solid grasp of how Downtown Kingston! achieves its successes. He looks forward to being part of a board that will bring ideas forward for consideration that will continue to see our downtown be the cultural and economic success that it is.


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Erin Allen

Mio Gelato, Operations Manager |

Erin, a lifelong Kingstonian, has spent her career actively working with small businesses and charitable organizations in the local community. Currently acting as Operations Manager at Mio Gelato, Erin leads a team in creating positive customer experiences, specializing in product development, special events, and community engagement. Running a business dependent on a vibrant local economy, Erin understands the important impact the Downtown Kingston! BIA has increasing footprints and fun in Kingston’s downtown core. Since becoming Operations Manager, Erin has increased Mio Gelato’s involvement in Downtown Kingston! events through participation in the Princess Street Promenade and contributing thematic tasty treats to Movies in the Square. Noticing a need for more young entrepreneurs to take interest in their downtown community, Erin believes she can be an effective voice in energizing enthusiasm for the purpose and mission that the Downtown Kingston BIA readily affirms.


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Bev Allinson

Confederation Place Hotel, Managing Director |

Bev is a Managing Director of Confederation Place Hotel with her family. Born and raised in Kingston, she has worked in Toronto, Chicago, and London, England, gaining an extensive background in the hospitality industry. In 1978 the Allinson family built Confederation Place Hotel where she still works every day. Bev has served on the Downtown Kingston! Board for many years and has been Chair of the Board and Acting Chair. After one year as Past Chair, she left the Downtown Kingston Board to care for her ailing mother and later returned to the Board in 2006. The Tourism Advisory Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, the Kingston Women’s Network and the Board of Directors of the KGH Foundation and others have all had the benefit of Bev’s experience as a business person and member of her community. Bev is also an enthusiastic promoter of the City of Kingston through her attendance at international sales meetings and seminars. The efforts of the Downtown Kingston Board to maintain and improve our unique downtown core makes this task a pleasure for Bev.


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Sean Billing

Frontenac Club, Managing Partner |

Sean is the Managing Partner of the Frontenac Club and Executive Director at Brace Hospitality Consulting. Sean brings a wealth of hospitality, accommodation, and tourism experiences with him, having held corporate, regional, and senior property positions with international brands over his 30-year career. Sean’s path has seen him lead in resort areas around the globe, including the Canadian Rockies, East Africa, the United States, and Central Ontario. He has also held executive positions at luxury city-centre hotels in Ottawa, Guelph, Chicago, and Nairobi. Sean serves as a Board member on both our own Regional Tourism Organization 9 and on RTO4 and is a member of the Destination Kingston Marketing Committee. Sean is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and attended hospitality school at St. Lawrence College. He is interested in strengthening partnerships in Kingston that can deliver world-class experiences to our residents and visitors.


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Maria Cronk

Fancy That / The Roundstone, Owner |

In 1985 Maria left a teaching career in Ottawa to join her family business, Fancy That Group. They opened their third store, in downtown Kingston, in the summer of 1985. Maria has been married to her high school sweetheart for 34 years and they have three beautiful grown daughters and two grandsons, with a granddaughter on the way. Maria’s entire family has been involved in the business in one way or another and they always have fun working together. Maria has always had a love for people and helping them, whether it is for fashion or fitness. She has been teaching fitness in the Kingston community for the last 33 years. Maria has served on the Downtown Kingston! Board for 13 years, two of which she served as Chair. Maria loves working with other business people to make our downtown a better place to shop, dine, and live. She is happy to see the new generation coming into the core and opening new and exciting businesses.


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Melissa Eapen-Bell

Improbable Escapes, Director of Business Development |

Melissa moved to Kingston in 2015 to start Improbable Escapes in the heart of downtown Kingston. She was drawn to this city due to the downtown area and would like to be able to pursue her interests in marketing, downtown development, and advocacy by serving on the Downtown Kingston Board of Management. Melissa also serves on the Kingston Young Professionals Board, and is currently focused on engaging younger professionals to get them involved with various aspects of Kingston through professional development, education, or getting involved (or educated) in public affairs. An established business owner, international traveler, passionate adventurer, and inspired writer, Melissa is always on the lookout for ways she can continue to inspire, empower and encourage others.


Candidate- Steve Wallace-pngSteve Wallace

Luce Hair Studio, Owner |

Steve began his career with a family-run lighting business that had the privilege to expand into Kingston’s west end. After which he began working with a national Sales and Distribution company that allowed him to expand his career to become a Regional Manager for the company’s largest segment of Ontario. After exploring his career options with the company, Steve moved back to Kingston in 2005 to open the first Luce Hair Studio in Kingston’s downtown core. Luce Hair Studio has enjoyed many years of success in Kingston’s downtown area allowing the company to expand into Kingston’s East end a recently into Kingston’s West end. Steve also serves on a St. Lawrence College Professional Advisory Committee for the Hair Styling program further adding to the success of the Hair Styling program and its students. As well, Steve currently serves on the Retail Development Working Group via Downtown Kingston helping to further develop a thriving and vibrant retail environment in the downtown area. In the past, Steve has served on the Kingston Pride Board helping to create Kingston’s largest and most successful Pride in 2019. As a result of Steve’s experience living and visiting numerous communities in Ontario over the years, he brings a unique and diverse view of multiple downtown cores both to help and to aid in the success of Kingston’s unique and diverse downtown community. Steve is passionate about the future success of Kingston’s downtown area and is forever looking for additional creative ways to further the success of Downtown Kingston.


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Richard McNevin

Soloway Wright, LLP, Partner |

Richard began practicing law in Toronto in 1985, specializing in corporate finance with an emphasis on public company work (primarily for real estate companies) and venture capital financings (primarily for technology companies). In 1998, he became a member of the law firm Soloway Wright LLP and a partner in January of 2001. His practice primarily focuses on acquisition, disposition, development, and financing for a number of Kingston-based real estate developers and financial institutions. Richard’s downtown issues of interest include promoting the intensification of residential development in the downtown core and fostering Kingston’s arts community as a viable component of the downtown’s business community.


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Tim Pater

Black Dog Hospitality Group, Owner |

Tim has lived in Kingston for almost all of his life. After earning his B.A. from Carleton in Ottawa and studying hospitality at Ryerson in Toronto, he returned to Kingston to start a catering business. Tim established Le Chien Noir Bistro in 2000, followed by Atomica Kitchen I Cocktails in 2003, Harper’s Burger Bar in 2010, and Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse in 2013. His latest business venture is Black Dog Catering, which was established in 2016. Tim has an interest in the Local Food, Local Chefs initiative and is a member of Downtown Kingston BIA Marketing, Development, and Executive Committees and served as a member of the Kingston Public Market task force. Tim is also a member of the Tourism Kingston Board where he sits on the steering committee for developing the Integrated Tourism Strategy and on the Culinary Tourism Task Force. Tim’s interests include continued investment in infrastructure, cultural and entertainment facilities, and increased residential density downtown.


Christine Ray-BrattChristine Ray-Bratt

Chris James, Owner |

A native Kingstonian, Christine completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto. She then spent the next decade working in Hong Kong, China, and Singapore managing a publicly-listed fortune 500 company and a global Italian brand. Along the way, she attained her MBA from the University of Ottawa, as well as honed a global view of successful businesses among different geographical and demographic realities. In 1994, Christine and her husband decided to return to their roots and raise their children in Kingston, opening Chris James in 2010. Christine’s biggest concerns for the downtown core are issues such as keeping the downtown retail environment competitive and relevant in an ever-changing retail landscape, and new initiatives to keep the downtown innovative by answering what customers want.


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Councillor Gary Oosterhof

City of Kingston Council Representative |

Born and raised on the family farm near Athens, Ontario, Gary continues to have a strong connection to the country. Gary and his wife, Corina, raised their family of four children in Glenburnie and continue to live in this community. In 1991, they started their own Licensed Electrical Contracting business, and have enjoyed over 25 years of successful relationships with the families and businesses in the Countryside region. Gary serves on the Ontario Board of Directors of the Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario and is a long-time member and current President of the Kingston Electrical Association, and previously represented local Licensed Electrical Contractors with the Ontario Electrical League for over 20 years. Gary and his family are members of Westside Fellowship Church in Kingston where he is the past Chair of Council and is presently Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Gary brings a strong passion for people. He is willing to listen and learn in order to understand his neighbours' cares and concerns which is his ongoing commitment to Countryside and the City of Kingston.


Wayne Hill

Councillor Wayne Hill

City of Kingston Council Representative |

Wayne Hill has lived in Kingston's Lakeside District for more than 30 years. He graduated from Frontenac and attended Queen's University graduating with a degree in Education in 1982. He considers himself privileged to have been principal of both Holy Cross and Regiopolis-Notre Dame High Schools. His career in education administration provided him with the opportunity to become President of the Catholic Principals Council of Ontario. He completed his undergraduate degree as well as my B. Ed at Queen's and returned to Kingston in 1988 as the first Frank Wyatt Maclean fellow in educational studies. He completed my master's in education, also at Queen's, in 1989. He has been married to Catherine since 1984 and has three grown children. Megan, who is married to Berinder, and Grace both live in Ottawa, and Thomas and his fiance Julia are in Toronto. His mother Mary also still resides in Kingston. Hill says he is a very poor but committed golfer. He also plays oldtimers hockey twice a week as his schedule permits (he is an avid Maple Leaf fan). He and Catherine spend many wonderful summer days at a family cottage north of the city!



Councillor Rob Hutchison

City of Kingston Council Representative 

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Rob Hutchison was first elected to represent King's Town district on Nov. 13, 2006.

Hutchison was the NDP federal candidate for Kingston in 2004 and 2006. He served on the Kingston Not-for-Profit Housing Association and the City of Kingston Amalgamation Budget Committee.

Hutchison was a spokesperson for the Friends of the Memorial Centre. He is president of the Kingston Community Options Fund and Kingcole Homes, Inc., and is past president of the Kingston Global Community Centre.

Hutchison has been a member of the Kingston Health Coalition and the Kingston Electricity Coalition, a founding member of the PIC Press community newspaper, and BASIC (Building A Stronger more Inclusive Community). He was coordinator and past president of Pollution Probe Kingston.

He earned an Honours BA in Philosophy and English from Queen's University and is a graduate of the George Brown College Print Technology program, and the St. Lawrence College Municipal Administration and Social Services Administration diploma programs. At different times, he has worked in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors and, most recently for many years, was manager of Kingston Co-operative Homes, Inc.

Hutchison moved to Kingston in 1969. He and his partner Cheryl Robinson have three children.