New Chair, Vice Chair and Members in Place on Ottawa Public Library Board

[Ottawa Public Library Media Release]

Ottawa (February 6, 2007) - The board of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) elected a new chair and vice-chair at the inaugural meeting of the new library board Monday, Feb. 5.

Jan Harder was elected as chair of the board and Pamela Sweet as the vice-chair for a two-year term. The 14 member board is comprised of City Council members and citizens appointed by City Council following the municipal election in November 2006 and will work together for the next four years.

The new board chair Councillor Harder brings her previous experience on the board and an appreciation of how important the Library is to the people of Ottawa, “The OPL is a crucial part of our community. As board chair I will work hard with this board to ensure that Ottawa continues to have a Library system to be proud of.”

The Ottawa Public Library board members are:

Paula Agulnik has been the Executive Director of Reach Canada since 1985. Reach Canada is an NGO dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with disabilities through lawyer referral and educational services. Ms. Agulnik is a committed volunteer in the areas of community development, social justice, poverty and homelessness.

Councillor Michel Bellemare was first elected to Ottawa-Carleton Regional Council in 1994 at age 27-and re-elected ever since. Councillor Bellemare has gained experience and in-depth knowledge of local issues serving on many committees and boards, including The Ottawa Partnership (TOP), bringing together Ottawa’s economic development agencies and leading business associations; the Children’s Aid Society; the Region of Ottawa-Carleton’s Community Services Committee.

James Bennett is a private entrepreneur specializing in health, education and science intelligence/analysis as a knowledge exchange specialist. He provides editing advice to the international scientific/university/government community. Mr. Bennett looks forward to assisting the OPL board in meeting its strategic goals, and fulfilling its mission of nurturing the love of reading and pursuit of knowledge.

André Bergeron has worked as a policy analyst with Health Canada since 2001, and has lived in Ottawa for six years. Since December 2005 he has sat on the City of Ottawa’s French Language Services Advisory Committee. Mr. Bergeron has been member of the Pathway Patrol of the City of Ottawa for the past two years.

Bernard Clavel worked as a secondary school teacher and librarian in Plantagenet for 30 years. Retired, he now works part-time as an adult language instructor. Mr. Clavel’s experience includes being a municipal councillor in Clarence, a member of the Association canadienne-française de Prescott Russell, a trustee on the Clarence County Public Library Board, a trustee from the Clarence-Rockland Public Library Board, and a member of the Fédération des aînés franco-ontariens.

Councillor Peggy Feltmate was re-elected in 2006 for the Kanata South Ward. Prior to entering politics in 2003, Councillor Feltmate was the Executive Director of the Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre, a position she held since its founding in 1987. A long-time member of the Kanata Chamber of Commerce, she sat on the Kanata Economic Development Task Force, the Citizens Panel on Local Governance and is an active member of the Ottawa Senators Community Coalition. This is Councillor Feltmate’s second term on the OPL board.

Councillor Jan Harder first entered politics as a councillor for the City of Nepean in 1997. She was elected councillor for Bell-South Nepean ward in November 2000, and was re-elected in November 2003 and 2006. Councillor Harder is a member of the Planning and Environment and the Rural Affairs Committees and contributes to her community by serving on the boards of Ottawa Public Library, Hydro Ottawa Inc, and Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc, SCO Health Services Board (Chair of Community Advisory Committee), Barrhaven Business Improvement Area and Carleton Lodge. Councillor Harder has worked in various capacities for numerous organizations in her community and returns to the OPL board for her second term.

Councillor Diane Holmes has been an Ottawa City Councillor since 1982. The councillor for Somerset Ward has maintained a strong interest in planning, transportation, the environment, culture, health services and women's issues. She is a Founding Member of the Ottawa-Crime Prevention Council WISE Women’s Initiative for Safer Environments; a Past Chair of the Housing Committee, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Regional Arts Advisory Committee Round Table to End Violence Against Women; and a Council Representative to various Business Improvement Areas.

Murray MacLean is a retired city administrator, having been the Chief Administrative Officer of the Village of Rockcliffe Park from 1988-2000, the City Manager of the City of Moncton, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of London, and Senior Manager for the City of Ottawa. Mr. MacLean was the founding chair of the NAC’s “Backstage Circle” (which supports the Arts Centre’s activities); a member of the Building Committee of the Board of the London Art Gallery; and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Moncton Regional Hospital. He is a multi-sport athlete, a vocal coach and an active member of Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa.

Tony Manera has worked as an engineer in the US aerospace industry, as a university and technical institute professor of electronics and mathematics, and as a senior executive in post secondary education and broadcasting. Mr. Manera is an author of books published in the US, Japan and Canada, and has written numerous opinion articles in leading Canadian publications. A former President and CEO of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Vancouver Community College and Niagara College, he has also done extensive consulting work in Canada, Asia and Europe. He is currently a member of the board of the Ottawa Hospital and Opera Lyra Ottawa.

Vickie Metcalfe has been an analyst for the federal government for over 30 years. She has worked as a consultant on strategic vision development and survey analysis for the Canada Revenue Agency and has been a consultant on the Species at Risk Act for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ms. Metcalfe has also taken a leading role in analysis and policy development for a wide variety of federal government departments including Fisheries and Oceans, Health and Welfare Canada and Energy, Mines and Resources. Ms. Metcalfe is currently serving as board member and treasurer for the Crichton Cultural Community Centre.

Councillor Shad Qadri has held many volunteer positions and played a major role in many fund-raising efforts and other initiatives in Stittsville. Councillor Qadri has been a successful local businessman in Stittsville for many years; the Kanata Chamber of Commerce nominated him for Business Person of the Year in 2005 and 2006. Deeply involved in his community, he has been very active on parent councils at local schools and was instrumental in establishing the Rotary Club of Ottawa-Goulbourn in 2004 and he was elected its first president. The councillor was also one of the founders of the Stittsville Village Association in 2001 and was elected as its president in 2003 until the 2006 municipal election. Councillor Qadri is vice-chair of the City’s Community and Protective Services Standing Committee.

Pamela Sweet is well known and highly respected in the Ottawa planning community and currently is vice-president of FoTenn Consultants Inc., a consulting firm of urban planners. She has over 25 years of professional planning experience in the Ottawa area. Prior to joining FoTenn Consultants Inc. in 2001, Pamela was the Director of Policy and Infrastructure Planning with the Region of Ottawa-Carleton. She is presently on the Board of Directors for the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport. This is Ms. Sweet’s second library board term.

Marianne Wilkinson has been a municipal politician for 17 years. She was the Head of Council as Reeve of March Township and the first Mayor of the City of Kanata. These positions meant that she was also a councillor for the Regional Municipality of Ottawa Carleton during that time. A lifetime volunteer, Councillor Wilkinson has served in various leadership roles with many community organizations in the Kanata area. Councillor Wilkinson worked with volunteers in the community to develop the planning system that provided the framework for future development in Kanata, including the Kanata North Business Park. She was the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal recipient in 2003 and the 2005 Y Woman of Distinction award for Lifetime Achievement. Councillor Wilkinson is vice-chair of the City’s Transit Committee.

Trustees bring a wealth of community, business and governmental experience to the board of the Ottawa Public Library.

Alan Roberts, Manager
Community Partnerships and Programming
Ottawa Public Library
613-580-2424, ext. 41240; cell 613-222-9462

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