Click on a photo below to read the full bio of our talented team member.
Chief Executive Officer
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.
Research & Project Manager
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
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 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.
Laura was born in London, Ontario, where she studied History and Bioarchaeological Anthropology at King’s University College at Western University. She went on to pursue her Master of Arts degree in Anthropology at Trent University where she studied Hunnic archery and the Late Roman Empire.
Laura moved to St. Catharines in 2015 and began working for NWPB as a Research Associate. In January of 2017, she took on the role of Project Coordinator. In her current role, Laura is primarily responsible for the coordination and delivery of NWPB’s immigrant mentorship program and the educator-employer professional development hosted in partnership with the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board.
Laura’s work with both Niagara’s education system and newcomer population is complimented by her many years of experience working for and volunteering with not-for-profit organizations such as the Korean Club of London, where she tutored elementary school-aged children in French, and the Canadian Cancer Society, following which she was awarded a Pillar Community Innovation Award.
Laura is passionate about her adopted community and has joined the Leadership Niagara Class of 2017-2018, where she looks forward to developing her leadership style and community engagement.
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.
Marketing & Communications Coordinator
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.
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