Tom Vert, Board Chair
Job Title: Retired VP of Manufacturing, ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Biography: Tom was appointed to the position of Vice President, Manufacturing in 2014 at ArcelorMittal Dofasco. Tom held various leadership roles in manufacturing including General Manager, Primary Manufacturing, Steelmaking Business Unit Manager and Steelmaking Technology Coach. Tom joined ArcelorMittal Dofasco in 1989 as Refractory Engineer after beginning his career at Crane Canada in 1987. Tom holds a Master of Business Administration and a degree in Ceramics Engineering from McMaster University. As a recognized expert in refractories, Tom was awarded the Distinguished Life Member of the United International Conference on Refractories in 2011 and has recently published a textbook on refractories for steelmaking. Tom retired from ArcelorMittal Dofasco in 2018. An avid Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Tom has built homes for Habitat in Malawi, Chile, El Salvador and in Hamilton.
Secretary & Vice Chair
Job Title: Business Transformation Leader, BMO
Biography: Cherie is the Senior Project Manager at the Bank of Montreal and has been a board member with Habitat Hamilton for two years. She holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a BSc degree with specialized honours in psychology from the University of Guelph. Cherie grew up in Millgrove (north of Waterdown) and lived there most of her life. She’s since relocated to the Hamilton downtown area, where she has resided for about 14 years. Cherie is also very active in the equestrian community and loves to spend time in her garden.
Job Title: Partner, Tax Services, Grant Thornton LLP
Biography: Working in Grant Thornton’s privately held business segment, Ken primarily works with owner-managed clients. He has significant expertise within the manufacturing and distribution sector, providing proactive tax strategies on corporate reorganizations, corporate and personal tax planning, succession and estate planning for family businesses and SR&ED tax credit claims. Ken is a two-time McMaster University alumni grad, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Sciences and an MBA, specializing in Accounting and Business Management. Ken has a wealth of community leadership experience, having volunteered as a committee member with the Estate Planner’s Council of Hamilton, The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Tax Foundation and McMaster Children’s Hospital, to name a few. Ken joined Habitat for Humanity Hamilton’s board in 2017, as Treasurer.
Job Title: Broker of Record & Owner, Chase Realty Inc.
Biography: Bruce is the Broker of Record and Owner of Chase Realty Inc., crafting real estate transactions successfully for over 25 years. Bruce also gained a strengthened sense of industry knowledge through his volunteer commitments with the REALTORS® Association of Hamilton-Burlington, where he held the position of President of the Association during 2013. As a long-standing Habitat Hamilton board member and with a deep understanding of the real estate market in Hamilton, Bruce understands the challenges some families face with regards to securing homeownership. Bruce is committed to ensuring that the path to homeownership is an enjoyable process and believes that everyone deserves a safe and decent place to call home.
Job Title: Fiscal Affairs Manager, Phillip Morris Int.
Biography: Vasie has over 12 years of experience working both in the public and private sectors. She spent several working in transit – first as a consultant, then an employee of GO Transit/Metrolinx and then at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Prior to that, she worked as a political assistant to the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, Sheila Copps. She now works as the Fiscal and Regulatory Affairs Manager for Philip Morris International in Canada. She has over 14 years of volunteer experience supporting women’s rights and affordable housing. She first began in 2002, when she joined Habitat for Humanity International as a volunteer and then as a team leader. She became a board member with Habitat Hamilton in 2016. Since 2015, she has been a board member for Hamilton’s Culture for Kids in the Arts, an organization providing high quality arts experiences to kids by removing financial barriers, becoming their Board Chair in 2016. Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Ottawa, and she has a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. She recently completed her executive MBA from the Ivey School of Business.
Job Title: Retired Detective in the Victims of Crime Unit, Hamilton Police Service
Biography: Myra James retired after 30 years of law enforcement services with Hamilton Police. Over the past two years, she had been an instructor at the Ontario Police College and was a Detective in the Victims of Crime Unit. Other deployments include Motorcycle Officer, Breath Technician, Radar Instructor, Patrol Sergeant, Undercover Officer, Crime Stoppers Coordinator, Public Order Unit and Crime Manager. Myra sits on the Board of Directors with the International Association of Women Police and is Past President of Ontario Women In Law Enforcement. Myra was also the Chair of the Women In Law (WIL) Build committee, a fundraising initiative in support of Habitat Hamilton and an achievement she considers as one of her favourite team accomplishments. She’s also been a Rotarian for over 25 years and enjoys community engagement.
Job Title: General Manager, Hamilton-Halton Construction Association
Biography: Sue Ramsay is the General Manager of the Hamilton Halton Construction Association (HHCA), a not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of non-residential construction employers in the Hamilton and Burlington area. Prior to joining the HHCA, Sue spent more than eight years with the Council of Ontario Construction Associations serving as Manager of Operations & Communications. Sue holds a BA in Communications from Brock University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from Humber College.
Job Title: Ontario Regional Vice President, Genworth Canada
Biography: Carlo is the Regional Vice President of Ontario for Genworth Canada and has 25 years of varied financial sales, service and leadership experience. Carlo’s vast financial services expertise includes primarily in branch retail sales, sales leadership, head office operations, wealth management, small business, creditor insurance, and most recently, mobile sales. He is a people person who enjoys helping, coaching and mentoring others, to help ensure they reach their fullest potential. Carlo holds a Business Accounting diploma from Humber College and is a member of the Canadian Professional Sales Association.
Job Title: Barrister & Solicitor, Porcaro Law
Biography: Natalie specializes in both Real Estate and Business/Commercial law and has been routinely recognized as one of Hamilton’s best Real Estate lawyers, receiving four Hamilton Spectator Reader’s Choice Awards to date. She is a graduate of McMaster University and University of Ottawa, and is a proud member of several esteemed legal associations. Natalie started her career in Hamilton in 2012 with a prominent downtown legal firm, where she expanded her extensive experience in Commercial and Residential Real Estate, Condominium/Land Development, Corporate/Commercial and Secured Financings. Colleagues and clients appreciate working with Natalie because of her collaborative approach to legal matters. She routinely works with and consults her clients’ Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, Accountants, Insurance agents, Bankers and other key partners–as she firmly believes that a team approach is best to ensure optimum protection and cost-efficiency for her clients.
Job Title: Associate, Senior Planner, GSP Group Inc.
Biography: Brenda is a Senior Associate Planner at GSP Group Inc.’s Hamilton Office with over 30 years of land use planning experience in both the public and private sectors. She has extensive experience in urban redevelopment, secondary planning, management and coordinating land development projects and securing development approvals on a wide range of projects. Brenda is also actively involved in the community as a member of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Hamilton Halton Home Builders’ Association, the Mohawk College Urban and Regional Planning GIS Program Advisory Committee, the OPPI Western Lake Advisory District Executive Team, the Greater Hamilton Professional Planners Advisory Group and Habitat for Humanity Hamilton.
Job Title: Manager, Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco
Biography: Marie is currently Manager, Corporate Affairs at ArcelorMittal Dofasco, Canada’s largest flat roll steel producer. She manages an extensive portfolio of internal and external corporate communications strategy and programs at the local and national level, including crisis communications, issues management, media relations, employee communications and marketing communications. A corporate communicator for 23 years, Marie has worked on both the agency and client sides and also spent time as a book and magazine editor. Marie is a graduate of Ryerson University (Journalism) and Western University (English).