About the Foundation
Niagara Parks Foundation
The Niagara Parks Foundation will support the advancement of The Niagara Parks Commission’s special mandate as the environmental and cultural stewards of the 56km Niagara River corridor.
As a self-financed agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Niagara Parks relies exclusively on its own revenue streams to operate and maintain its extraordinary 56-kilometre ribbon of parkland.
The Niagara Parks Foundation offers the public and corporations with unique opportunities to actively contribute and support one of the world’s most known and beloved public spaces.
The heart of our mission lies in preserving the priceless nature and heritage along the Niagara River corridor for the enjoyment of the public and future generations: a caring commitment to priceless parklands.
Board of Governors
The Niagara Parks Foundation Board of Governors consists of the following members:
Special Advisors to the Board of Governors include Robert Brooker and Robert McIlveen
Oak Hall, 7400 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Debbie’s educational background includes a BA in Biology and Teacher’s Certification from University of Michigan, an MS in Forest Eco-physiology from University of Missouri and she completed the first half of an MBA at McMaster University.
She worked in various roles including Research Assistant and Supply Teacher, prior to coming to Canada in 1980. In 1980 she began work as an Instructor at The Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture. Following this, she worked in a number of progressively responsible positions in Horticulture/Parks and Human Resources. Then, as Assistant General Manager, retired in 2013.
David Adames became the Chief Executive Officer of The Niagara Parks Commission in 2019, after serving as both the Senior Director of Business Development and Chief Operating Officer. David’s background includes time spent as the President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and as the Executive Director at Tourism Hamilton. He currently serves as the Chair of the Niagara Falls Illumination Board. David is a proud alumnus of both McMaster University and Queen’s University.
With a diverse background gained in a variety of government, education, business, and not for profit sector settings, Anne Charette has focused her consulting practice in the areas of Human Resources Consulting, Executive Search and Outplacement/ Career Consulting Counselling. Recent HR assignments include third party investigations, design and development of a Performance Management Model, major restructuring in the healthcare industry.
Prior to joining the Niagara Parks Foundation, Sylvie Chartrand-Rafi served on the Niagara Parks Commission as a Commissioner from 2018-2021.
Ms. Chartrand-Rafi worked for Statistics Canada from 1987-2017 until her retirement. Her skills and experience are in the areas of strategic planning, customer service, marketing and public relations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts(Honour) degree in Human Geography from Ottawa University.
Ms. Chartrand-Rafi's community work has included serving in Protocol at the Invictus Games.
Blair McArthur graduated from University of Waterloo in 1985, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, followed by a Diploma in Business in 1986 from Wilfrid Laurier University, before earning his MBA from the same school in 1987.
From 2007 to 2015 Mr. McArthur assumed the role of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Miller Group.
Miller Paving was a significant player in the road construction industry across Canada. It played a significant role in the 3P market in Canada with operations in the Maritimes, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. In addition, Miller Paving was a significant consolidator of the road construction industry in Ontario.
Robert Orisini is Managing Partner, Sales and Business Development for DoubleTree Fallsview Resort & Spa by Hilton. Orsini Bros. Inns Inc., the family hospitality company established in 1964 – owns and operates the four diamond CAA/AAA hotel complex in Niagara Falls.
Robert is a member of a number of professional organizations such as the American Bus Association, Canadian Inbound Tourism Association (Asia Pacific), Ontario Motor Coach Association, Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, Niagara Falls Tourism, and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
Kim Viney is an Honours graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design University. After working many years in both the design industry and in private business, Kim joined the Niagara Parks executive team in 2019 as the Senior Director, Business Development. Kim leads the development and implementation of the strategic plan for growth in business initiatives and oversees all of the revenue-generating operations for Niagara Parks. This includes all of the attractions, events and programming, golf courses, full-serve and quick-serve culinary offerings and retail outlets.
April Jeffs became Chair of The Niagara Parks Commission in January, 2022, having served as Vice-Chair since 2019. April is a Photographer/Owner/Operator for April Jeffs Lakeside Studio, and an Office Manager for Member of Parliament Tony Baldinelli. April served as Mayor of Wainfleet from 2010-2018 and ran as a candidate in previous provincial and federal elections. April’s community involvement includes serving on several boards as well as formerly serving as Coach for Wainfleet Minor Softball Association.