Click on a photo below to read the full bio of our talented team member.
Chief Executive Officer
905.641.0801 ext. 127
Born and raised in the Niagara Region, Mario is a passionate Niagara ambassador. He joined NWPB in July of 2016 and brings a strong background in all three sectors of the economy, and a proven track record of relationship building and operational results. Since 2012 Mario has also been an Adjunct Professor at Niagara College’s School of Management. Prior to his arrival at NWPB, Mario was the Executive Director of Leadership Niagara. Within Mario’s first year of leadership he was able to transform the organization from one of the lowest enrolled programs in the country to solidifying itself as the highest enrolled program in Canada for five consecutive years.
Mario is also very active volunteer within the Niagara Community. Currently he is a member of Brock University’s Board of Trustees and is a member of Wellspring Niagara’s Campaign Steering Committee. Mario’s most recent past volunteer commitments include: Governance Committee, Niagara Health System, Past Chair of the NEXTNiagara Council, past board member with the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and Niagara Connects. Mario and his family are also proud hosts of the annual “ Paul De Divitiis Sr. Spirit of Christmas Dinner” which welcomes over 400 less-fortunate guests into their Gord’s Place property to enjoy a day of complimentary gifts and a Christmas meal.
In 2011 Mario was a recipient of Niagara’s 40 under 40 business achievement awards and in 2014 was awarded the Pen Financial & Business Education Council Community Partners Award. Mario is a proud Brock alumnus who holds both a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Administration.
Operations & Research Manager
905.641.0801 ext. 131
Adam was born in St. Catharines, Ontario, and travelled extensively through Western Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean during his childhood. He holds a BA in History from Brock University and a Master of Arts in Economic History from the University of Western Ontario.
As NWPB's Research Manager, Adam's work focuses on the analysis and presentation of labour market information. He has expert-level skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis and is the co-author of two papers with Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory, the most recent of which was on changing population patterns in the Niagara region. Adam’s additional research interests include the study of machine learning and the impact of automation on long-term workforce planning.
Finance & Office Manager
905.641.0801 ext. 121
Lisa Cairns was born in Akron, Ohio, and has made St. Catharines her home since 1980.
She offers a combined thirty-five years in retail and not-for profit management. During this time she has managed over ten million dollars in government-supported funding. This work has allowed Lisa to directly support young entrepreneurs, at-risk youth, executives re-entering the workforce after downsizing, and social assistance clients. Her work has also involved her in research based publications for the automotive industry, youth in the workplace, and the wine industry. As Executive Director for the Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for 20 years, Lisa has supported numerous entrepreneurs and continues to do so as a member of the Board of Directors.
She brings her management experiences in administration, compliance, and finance to the Niagara Workforce Planning Board, and looks forward to supporting new business development for the organization.
When not at NWPB Lisa enjoys gardening and revisiting her childhood through her grandchildren, Dillon and Willow.
905.641.0801 ext. 126
Josie was born and raised in Welland, and is an active member of her local community, as well as throughout the region. Having also worked and lived abroad, the international flair she brings to her work with NWPB gives her a broad and empathetic perspective in her work with our Immigrant Mentorship Program.
Josie has a wealth of experience working in the non-profit sector, having worked for many years with newcomers and women. Recently, she developed a local chapter of the national organization Canada Learning Code (Ladies Learning Code) in Niagara, promoting women and girls in STEM. She has extensive experience in workshop facilitation on topics ranging from entrepreneurial, technology, career, and cross cultural training.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
905.641.0801 ext. 125
Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, Nikki has lived in several communities throughout the Niagara region, and currently resides in the city of her birth. As Niagara Workforce Planning Board's Marketing & Communications Coordinator, she is responsible for shaping and maintaining Niagara Workforce Planning Board's branding, and the creation of front-end presentation materials for all of NWPB's research outcomes.
Nikki is a proud alumna of Niagara College, Sheridan College, and Brock University. She also worked for seven years in the Communications office at Brock University's Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, annually promoting over fifty exhibitions, theatrical events, concerts, and festivals to the Niagara region and beyond. She brings not only marketing and promotional experience to the team, but over ten years of experience in graphic design, allowing her to apply a keen eye for visual impact to all data presentation documents.
Senior Research Associate
905.641.0801 ext. 124
Thalia is from Waterloo, Ontario but has been living in the Niagara Region since 2011. She came to Niagara in order to pursue graduate studies at Brock University, and is now in the final year of her PhD. Throughout her studies, Thalia has focused on learning numerous statistical and research methods in order to address new and innovative research questions. Having completed an apprenticeship at Niagara Workforce Planning Board during the summer of 2017, she now brings her considerable breadth and depth of knowledge and skill to NWPB as a Research Associate.
905.641.0801 ext. 150
Kevin is from Vancouver, British Columbia but has lived in Ontario since 2010. He moved to Ontario in order to study at Western University, where he graduated with a BA in Political Science in 2014 and an MA in Comparative and Canadian Politics in 2015. After graduating he lived for a year in Swansea, Wales, while his wife completed her own Master’s degree. After moving back to Canada, Kevin spent time working in government at both the provincial and municipal level. Outside of his professional development, Kevin has extensively studied how governments can engage with businesses and the wider community to best promote economic growth. He brings a keen interest in the intersection of government and economic policy to his work at NWPB as a Research Assistant.
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