Board of Directors
Dr. Don Cyr
Professor of Finance, Goodman School of Business
Dr. Don Cyr
Dr. Don Cyr is Professor of Finance with the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. Don is the former associate dean for graduate programs and research and dean of the Goodman School of Business. He has been an active member of the NIA since 2014. He is a former ex-officio member of the NIA Board, and a current member of the NIA’s Education and Training Committee. Don’s research and teaching is in the area of corporate financial management and international finance. His research on the impact of climate change and weather on local businesses and municipalities has been featured in the Globe and Mail, BNN and many other media outlets nationally. Don is keenly interested in the economic well-being of the Niagara region and its manufacturing sector.
President, Girotti Machine
Aaron Tisdelle is Chair of the NIA Board. Aaron is a lifelong Niagara resident and manufacturer. He is currently the third generation President of Girotti Machine. Girotti Machine has been a long time member of the NIA and Aaron is currently involved in the Education and Training Committee. Aaron is passionate about providing valuable directions to our young people as well as strengthening our trades. Aaron would like to bring new ideas into the association and help other Niagara manufacturers.
Executive Director, CanadaBW Logistics Inc
Kevin Jacobi is a founder and Executive Director of CanadaBW Logistics Inc. in Niagara Falls, ON. CanadaBW is a bonded warehouse that also offers assembly/value added services, meeting/office space, e-commerce and export development. With over 20 years of experience, Kevin has partnered with many local manufacturers to give them the resources to expand their ability to do business. Kevin is an expert in trade policies and has organized inbound and outbound trade missions including a trade mission to China. Kevin has volunteered on NIA committees and has been on boards including Welland-Pelham Chamber of Commerce, Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre, Niagara Foreign Trade Zone Task Force, and binational logistics group, ITGO.
CFO & VP Operations, Imbibitive Technologies Corporation
Bruno Iafrate is Treasurer of the NIA Board of Directors and is the CFO & VP Operations at Imbibitive Technologies Corporation, the exclusive worldwide manufacturer of IMBIBER BEADS®, a truly unique engineered product for pollution prevention (P2) applications. As the former Owner/Controller of Thorold-based Iafrate Machine Works Limited, he has over three decades of manufacturing and management experience. Bruno is a member of the CAA Niagara Board of Directors since 2005 and currently sits as Immediate Past Chair. He sat on the Board of the St. Catharines YMCA for 10 years, and was part of the Fundraising Committee during the building phase, and is a former director of the Canadian Italian Business Professional Association of Niagara.
Co-owner, Niagara Precision Limited
Jane Buunk is co-owner of Niagara Precision Limited. Jane graduated from Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School and studied at Niagara Collage and Brock University for Business Accounting. Jane started working at Niagara Precision Limited in 1978 and has been in charge of the financial management of Niagara Precision Limited since then. Jane and her business partner Debbie Whatling have been co-owners of Niagara Precision Limited since September 2007. Jane was past board member of the Ontario Prader-Willi Syndrome Association and currently a member of the Niagara Family Network. Avid volunteer and member of the NIA since 2009 and NWIM. Jane has extensive experience in the manufacturing sector.
President, North America Traffic
Jordan Sherlock is currently President of North America Traffic. Jordan has worked for North America Traffic – a Port Colborne based heavy equipment manufacturer – for 11 years in various leadership roles. During his tenure, Jordan has been a driving force in growing the company’s operations and product offering, as well as successfully expanding their distribution supply chain across the United States and Canada. North America Traffic is now positioned as a recognized industry leader across the continent with a reputation of quality, integrity, and professionalism. A graduate of Ryerson University, Jordan has been involved with the NIA as a member since 2008, and as a Business Development Committee participant for the past year.
President/Founder, Growth Associates
Verne Milot is President/Founder of Growth Associates and is a business development advisor with an employment background ranging from large multinational corporations to start-ups and small business. He has worked for and successfully developed industrial and manufacturing enterprises with Noranda Group, CAE, Laidlaw and Robert Bosch Corp. These have included state-of-the-art technological applications in areas such as plastics extrusion and co-extrusions, steel casting and a variety of industrial automation applications. On two occasions, Verne led the growth of businesses to be in the order of l00+ staff and $40M in sales. Verne holds an lvey MBA from the University of Western Ontario and is a registered P.Eng with a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.
President, Dilts Piston Hydraulics Inc
Ian Hill is President of Dilts Piston Hydraulics Inc. Ian attended Mohawk College for Industrial Machinist General Apprenticeship. He has worked for companies including Clark Machine, Standard Machine, and Iafrate Machine. In 1994, he began employment with Hayes Dana and enrolled in an Industrial Millwright apprenticeship. He worked at Dana as a Machine Repair for 14 years. He then began working for Dilts Piston Hydraulics as a service technician, within a year and a half he was promoted to lead hand and then shortly thereafter became the General Manager of the company. Ian purchased the company in July 2010. Ian has since grown the business substantially securing export marketing opportunities and enhancing its technical workforce. He is also a recipient of Niagara’s 40 Under Forty Award.
Account Manager, BDC
President & Owner, Stolk Construction Limited
Len Stolk is the third-generation President and Owner of Stolk Construction Limited, a Niagara-based company servicing industrial, commercial, and institutional clientele since 1962. Stolk Construction Ltd is well-renowned for its operative project management and client services as well as its great strides in giving back to the community. Len is a current member of the NIA’s Membership and Marketing Committee and has been involved in the association for many years. Beyond the NIA, Len is a member of the Port Colborne-Wainfleet Chamber of Commerce as well as the Economic Development Advisory Committee of Port Colborne. He is a former member of the United Way of South Niagara where he served on the Board for 12 years. Through his array of experience in business, advanced education from McMaster University, and dedication as a life-long resident of Niagara, Len has greatly contributed to the successful expansion of Stolk Construction Ltd and continuously provides ongoing support to Niagara Region’s Industrial sector.
Senior Manager of Supply Chain & Facilities, Airbus Helicopters Ltd.
Carol-Ann Chase is a Certified Supply Chain Management Professional with expertise in manufacturing procurement gained over the last 25 years. Carol’s experience extends to market segments that include food service, home appliances, agriculture structures and most recently aerospace.
As Senior Manager Supply Chain & Facilities at Airbus Helicopters in Fort Erie for the past 13 years, Carol leads the supply chain team to support the manufacture of composite fiber helicopter parts to their final assembly lines in Europe and USA. Her role also encompasses the procurement of services and components for new helicopter completions and repair and overhaul. Site facility management includes the Airbus plant on Gilmore Road in Fort Erie and their Richmond, B.C. warehouse. Carol has created quite a diverse portfolio for herself at Airbus; not only does she lead the supply chain and warehouse teams, facilities and planning also within her purview.
As part of the leadership team at Airbus, Carol-Ann’s collaborative approach and hands-on understanding of their business provides experience with the current competitive challenges faced by Canadian manufacturers and strategies implemented toward successful business sustainability.
Controller & Co-Owner, CMI Heavy Industries Inc.
Shawn Rapone is the Controller and co-owner of CMI Heavy Industries. He began working on
the shop floor as a Machinist, Welder and Millwright in 1996. Shawn completed his postsecondary
education at Niagara College where he received his Manufacturing Engineering
Technician and at Brock University where he received his Bachelor of Business Administration
In 2007, Shawn alongside his three brothers obtained full ownership and together they have
grown CMI from its former 28,000 square foot St. Catharines location with 14 employees to its
current 120,000 square foot Stevensville location with >70 employees. As a lifelong resident of
Niagara and owner of a manufacturing company, Shawn has a keen interest in helping the
manufacturing industry in Niagara grow to its great potential.
Ex-Officio Board Members
Economic Development Officer, City of Thorold
Manager, Economic Research & Analysis, Niagara Region Economic Development