Board of Directors

Peapell & Associates / Supertemp

Mark holds a history degree from Dalhousie University. His professional career to date has involved working within the petroleum industry and now the Human Resources sector. Mark spent twelve years with Irving Oil Limited. His responsibilities included working with clients on a number of significant projects, including Hibernia. After leaving Irving Oil, he continued to be involved with the offshore, managing a number of industrial supply companies in the Atlantic Canadian market.

Mark joined Peapell & Associates/Supertemp in 2001. Supertemp/Peapell & Associates is an independent family-owned, staffing solutions provider. Supertemp is a temporary staffing provider which specializes in providing companies and organizations with temporary staffing solutions. Supertemp specializes in office, accounting and IT support personnel solutions.

Peapell & Associates provides permanent staffing solutions, offering permanent recruiting to a wide range of companies and organizations. Since joining the firm, Mark has assumed the current position as President, and is responsible for growing and developing the business as well as high level recruiting and consulting.

As a founding member of the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, located in Halifax, NS, he has been involved with all aspects of aviation heritage. He has also presented to audiences across North America (including the prestigious Smithsonian Institute) on historic aviation and managing heritage institutions.

Mark is on the board of directors of the Canadian Aeronautical Preservation Association, as well as The Association of Nova Scotia Museums – associations that supports Canada’s Aviation Museums and Nova Scotian Museums, respectively.

Andre M. BoudreauForwardFocus Consulting Inc.

André retired as an audit partner with PwC in 2019 and has over 35 years of experience in the areas of assurance and taxation within family businesses, privately-owned and public companies. André worked closely with his clients at PwC to assist and advise on raising capital, develop growth strategies and business plans, provide personal and corporate tax planning, estate and succession planning, reorganizations, management reviews, business transitions and exit strategies. André has successfully assisted with the acquisition and sale of over 75 companies during his career.

André recently founded ForwardFocus Consulting Inc to assist family businesses and privately-owned companies with business coaching, forward focus strategic alignment, family mentoring, governance alternatives and creating effective family advisory boards. His primary focus is preparing owners for a business transition which includes family succession planning and assisting in developing an exit strategy while building a lasting legacy.

André is a director for Halifax Port Authority, chair of the Seaport Market Committee and member of the Audit and Infrastructure Committees. He is a member of Nova Scotia’s Institute of Chartered Accountants and brings his professional expertise to his community. He is also a former director and treasurer of Alderney Landing Association.

Amanée MousaviCresco/Royal LePage

Amanée has been a Realtor since 2010 and obtained her FRI designation from REIC in 2016. She specializes in residential real estate and specifically, New Home Construction, with being involved in the family business Cresco. An alumna of Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Science degree, Amanée has extensive experience in the construction business, property management and the banking industry. When not working real estate, she likes to give back to the community as a volunteer welcoming newcomers in Nova Scotia and with the Al-Rasoul Islamic Society. Amanée also has been a key player in the Urban Development Liaison for Fusion Halifax and serves on the Board of Directors with the Nova Scotia Iranian Cultural Society and the Real Estate Institute of Canada’s NS Chapter.

A strong advocate of Family Business Atlantic since 2010, Amanée has served on the Peter Wilson Dinner Committee and the Membership Committee and is a proud member of the Peer-to-Peer groups. Her personal mission statement is “To display leadership, love, kindness and help to those around me; live a balanced & adventurous life and apply ethical principles to make a significant difference & grow my family business.”

Francesca has experience in providing external audits, compliance and advisory services to a wide variety of clients in Nova Scotia. Francesca provides these services to owner-managed, small and medium sized enterprises as well as large financial institutions.  Francesca received her Bachelor of Commerce degree from Saint Mary’s University in 2017. She became a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) in 2020. She is actively involved in the community as a member of the Italian Canadian Culture Association (ICCA) and plays Metro Senior Women’s Soccer.

Michael LeBlanc  works diligently on managing and consulting private business in the Atlantic region. He provides clients with advice and guidance on complex accounting and tax issues, reviewing/preparing year end work (including review/preparation of financial statements, tax returns and other compliance factors), business coaching and Cloud Accounting. Over the past 12-16 months Michael has taken a lot of time to research and understand the Cloud accounting world. Through this he has taken numerous businesses from excel or desktop accounting software onto the cloud and worked directly with these clients. He has been able to help grow these businesses by increasing the client’s knowledge about financial items as well as making the bookkeeping and back end of the business much easier. Michael has had the opportunity to work with the varying industries in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta with a strong emphasis on Tech, Professional services, Retail, Restaurant/Breweries, Construction & Real Estate, Manufacturing and Development and Oil & Gas. As a Manager, Michael and his team works directly with the business owners and their employees to help provide valuable advice, growth strategies, technical training and tax planning in addition to a number of other services. Michael engages with his community through participating with Junior Achievement. He visits various elementary, junior and senior high schools to teach sessions on different subjects revolving businesses and technology and evaluates student’s self-run businesses for awards and bursaries.

Strategy Up!

Marc is Founder & CEO of Strategy Up, a business strategy & management consulting and training company. He has more than 19 years of experience under his belt in building commercial strategies and assist companies in growing their revenues and comes from an operational and consulting background. Marc assumed different leadership roles with France Telecom (Orange), KPMG, Digicel, Bakcell and Cable & Wireless. Marc is an entrepreneur and a business professional.

Charcoal Marketing

Mike is founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Charcoal Marketing and has spent most of his career on both client side and agencies in B2B, B2C, international and export marketing. After graduating Dalhousie University, Mike left for greener pastures in London, England where he worked at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency on such great brands as NatWest Bank, Teacher’s Whisky, Kraft/ General Foods, Rolex, Unilever and Pizza Hut. Upon his return to Canada, he led the transformation of CCL (now Colour) on brand building work for Atlantic Lottery, Keith’s, Sobeys, Aliant and the Province of Nova Scotia.

After several years in the IT and technology fields, where he built strategic vendor relationships with Microsoft, IBM, Novell, HP and Cisco, Mike started Charcoal Marketing to help small and medium sized enterprises access the web to grow their businesses.

Mike is a self professed “marketing guy”, who loves to combine creativity and clever marketing to leverage business success.  In his 25+ years in the marketing field, he has co-authored one book, took a company public and proudly registered his name on a Canadian patent.

Highlander Fortune Consulting

Robert Patzelt is an executive and former business lawyer with over 35 years of experience in organizational leadership, operations, mergers and acquisitions and business development. He is also a respected board director for multiple organizations and a leader of a number of major initiatives in corporate, not-for-profit and non-governmental agencies including some undergoing major transformational change.  He is an award-winning business leader who has levered his degrees in business, economics and his Master of Laws to serve many organizations including a large family enterprise and recently as CEO of a publicly traded resource company leading it through the latest severe commodity cycle downturn and a proxy battle.  He is a sought-after consultant assisting businesses navigate through challenging transitions as well as assisting organizations with their governance.

He is Chair of the Northwood Foundation and he is a member of the Board of Governors of Northwood which is a $100 million not for profit.  He has been awarded both the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals for his tremendous service to Canada.  In 2010, he was named co-chair of the Premier’s Council on the Economy.  Also, he is the Deputy Chair of the Board of Directors for Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia and was also the Chair of the Board’s Investment Committee and overseeing its $2.2 billion portfolio.  He is also a member of an advisory board of a large private business and Chair of PACE Atlantic, a community interest corporation that provides low-carbon programs for Canadian municipalities that help homeowners invest in energy efficiency and solar. 

Smooth Meal Prep

Nevell Taijuan Provo left his native North Preston at age 14 to play basketball at Loyola University in Maryland. He is one of ten siblings and is an accomplished athlete who has a passion for health, fitness, and entrepreneurship.  These passions have combined to create a growing and successful business – Smooth Meal Prep. Nevell and his family launched the company in 2018 while he was pursuing a Bachelor of Business Degree at Saint Mary’s University. As a busy student, he asked his mom to prepare some nutritious meals that he could quickly heat up.  He and his friends responded favorably to this healthy food option and seeing a demand inspired the creation of the company.  Smooth Meal Prep is a food delivery service that offers low-carb and high protein meals for fitness and health-minded people.  It is ideal for those looking to lose weight, gain muscle or simply eat foods that are nutritious and accessible. The family pride themselves on providing quality meals, delivered directly to your door – saving clients time and effort.

BOYNECLARKE LLP

Ian is a Partner at BOYNECLARKE LLP and member of the Business Law Team, focusing on Labour and Employment Law. As a member of the bar in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, he has appeared before the New Brunswick Court of Queen’s bench, as well as all levels of Court in Nova Scotia. He has also appeared before various administrative tribunals in Nova Scotia such as the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal, the Labour Board and the Human Rights Commission. Ian regularly advises clients on all matters related to the workplace, from the hiring process through to termination including managing employees, employment agreements and restrictive covenants, Human Rights, employee absences and related matters. In his spare time, Ian enjoys playing the guitar, camping and spending time with his family and friends. He is conversant in Japanese and is a member of the Japanese Society of Halifax. Ian also practices Karate and is a member of the Metro Karate Training Centre in Dartmouth.

Stanhope Simpson

Steven is Vice President & Commercial Insurance Broker at Stanhope Simpson. Prior to joining the company, Steven received his undergraduate business degree from Mount St. Vincent University where he attended classes full-time while managing the day to day responsibilities of owning and operating a forestry contracting business.  Since joining the firm in 2004, Steven has worked hard to develop and grow a portfolio of complex commercial insurance and surety accounts.  Steven’s experience of being a business owner in the contracting industry – and operating heavy machinery and tractor trailers first-hand – sets him apart from most brokers as it allows him to better understand and connect with his clients.

Steven is the brokerage’s primary internal technical consultant, due to his exceptional technical expertise in specialty coverages such as Professional Liability, Directors & Officers Liability and Environmental Liability. As Vice President, he is also responsible for leading all aspects related to claims resolution for the organization and oversees the junior producers, providing ongoing guidance to support the sales team as required. Steven also has his own commercial portfolio at the firm which he continues to actively grow.

Steven is involved with the Construction Association of Nova Scotia (CANS) and aside from the office, Steven spends most of his time with his family and working on completing a “seemingly never-ending” list of home renovation projects.

Scotia Investments

Ms. Bishop grew up on the factory floor of her great grandfather’s pulp mill plant in Hantsport, Nova Scotia while visiting her CEO father, who grew the business to a 5th generation owned family group of companies. Leslie spent her younger years working in communications and marketing for special projects with the family-owned head office of Scotia Investments Ltd. in Bedford, Nova Scotia. After graduating from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, she ventured to Toronto to complete her degree in Public Relations and Communications where she led Marketing PR initiatives for Webber Shandwick. Leslie continued to focus on brands that didn’t simply reflect culture, but contributed to it, becoming fascinated with organizational strategy, reputation management and leadership. Consulting with clients in Heath and Beauty, Fashion Retail, Food and Beverage, Leslie eventually was drawn client side, to support the investor relations division of Cyberplex Inc. Leslie returned home to Nova Scotia after 10 years, and ran a developmental leadership consulting firm, focusing on team dynamics, adaptive leadership, and resilient cultures. She has trained executives, teachers, coaches, teams and families in the skills and capacities that make authentic leadership and connection possible. Trained in facilitative leadership through Ten Directions and a certified Associate Integral Coach, Leslie is often found digging deeply into family run businesses around the world. Currently Leslie serves on multiple boards and is chair of the Scotia Investments Family Assembly.

Voda Retreats

Meet Rebekah Streeter, the unstoppable force behind Voda Retreats. As the co-founder and creative director of this flourishing wellness business, Rebekah brings her passion for self-care and wellness to everything she does. With over 20 years in business as a hotel owner, professional dancer, entreprenuer, Rebekah channels that experience into creating a thriving business that helps people prioritize their health and wellbeing.

Having personally experienced burnout, Rebekah understands the importance of self-care and is dedicated to sharing its benefits with others. Through Voda Retreats’ corporate wellness, travel, wedding and personal kits and innovative personal products, Voda is committed to empowering individuals to achieve balance and rejuvenation in their lives.

 Join Voda Retreats in their mission to make self-care accessible to all and unlock the full potential of your mind, body, and spirit. Leveraging WBE Supplier Diversity Certification and the CWB Mentorship Program, the transformative power of self-care with Voda Retreats are now found at Halifax Airport, in demand and shipped internationally in corporate wellness and executive retreats, curated for boutique hotels and included in workplace wellness initiatives.

Predictive Success Corporation

David W. Osborne is the Vice President of Predictive Success Corporation, a PI Certified Partner for The Predictive Index LLC. David’s client list includes many of Canada’s very best managed organizations.

A graduate from Acadia University, David has been identified by clients as a performance driven, persuasive and enthusiastic team leader, consultant & trainer.

David, a past recipient of HP Canada’s Super Star Program and #1 Circle of Stars at Manpower Inc., has consistently been recognized for his performance achievement by The Predictive Index LLC for more than 11 years.

David’s work earned him 10 straight selections to the President Club Award with Predictive Success since 2007. David recently earned high honors with his #1 global ranking with The Predictive Index LLC in 2016.

A resident of Halifax Nova Scotia since 1998, David is an integrated member of the Atlantic Canada business community with active involvement in the Halifax Executives Association; FBAA (Family Business Association- Atlantic); Halifax Regional Chamber of Commerce; HRANS (Human Resources Association of Nova Scotia); HRANB (Human Resources Association of New Brunswick); The Canadian Professional Sales Association; and more than 25 years as an active member of Toastmasters International.

Ambassatours

Dennis Campbell, CEO of Ambassatours Gray Line, began his career at 7 years of age, when he realized on a bus tour that ‘little old ladies have a lot of money’. Dennis began tour guiding at 15, started a tour company at age 17, a publishing company at 19 and a bus company at 21. Dennis’ tenacity with contacting the major Cruise Line executives in the early years, has positioned the company today, as the largest shore excursion operators in Atlantic Canada working with all the major Cruise Lines. The company now employs 400 + staff, has a fleet of over 5 sightseeing vessels, 6 Harbour Hopper amphibious vehicles, and 4 gift shops. Ambassatours Gray Line is one of the largest land & water sightseeing companies in Canada with 4 locations in Atlantic Canada, as well as recently adding Gray Line Niagara Falls Ontario.

FBA Team

Michelle LaVigne

Executive Director
Michelle LaVigne

Michelle is proud to have worked for 25 years with family businesses from across the Maritime region – helping them to address entrepreneurial challenges which are continually affected by our changing economic conditions. She understands the needs of entrepreneurs, and has organized educational programs, signature fundraising events and sponsorship campaigns for the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise – which evolved to become Family Business Atlantic in 2016. Before beginning Write 4–U Communications in 1998, she worked in the Communications and Fundraising Departments for the Nova Scotia Division of the Canadian Red Cross Society for ten years. She is a proficient conference coordinator, having managed the IWK’s Health Centre’s International Forum for Pediatric Pain on its bi-annual conference, and was the lead media relations director for the national Heart and Stroke Foundation’s annual conference. As an Association Management leader, Michelle is a team player and works closely with staff and volunteers to build capacity and sustainability for organizations and businesses. She thrives in helping to facilitate and direct initiatives within organizations and works best in fast-paced and changing environments. She holds a Bachelor of Public Relations Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and has taken the Business Family Foundation’s Road Map Facilitator Training Course and CAFE’s Family Council Program. She resides in Dartmouth Nova Scotia with her husband Doug Conrad – who are proud parents to daughter, Taylor, and son, Liam.

Membership and Communications Coordinator         Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. From an early age she was immersed in all things in relation to reading, writing and dance. After graduating from Auburn Drive High School in 2017, she went on to train at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Pre-Professional Contemporary dance program. After teaching for a few years post program, she decided to switch gears, and entered into NSCC’s Library and Information Technology program in fall of 2023 with an aspiration to become a Librarian in the future, and works part-time in the NSCC Library as a student assistant in their Copyright department. Working for Family Business Atlantic for over a year, she and has gained an incredible knowledge in many aspects of marketing, communications and event planning.

Connect with Hannah on LinkedIn or by email at communications@familybusinessatlantic.ca.

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