Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is a local board of the Municipality for all purposes. The Board consists of up to 13 members (no less than seven) nominated by the general membership and appointed by Council, of whom, two may be members of Council. The remaining members consist of businesses, property owners, and/or persons voted in by rate-paying members, elected every four years in conjunction with Municipal elections. The Board represents the BIA membership and advocates on their behalf. The BIA holds an Annual General Meeting, at which point annual budgets are approved by the membership and other items of interest are presented. For more information about the terms of the Board of Directors, read the BIA By-Law.
2023-2026 Board of Directors
Durrell Communications, Chair
Beginning as an award-winning journalist, Melissa reported the news from Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Sudbury, and Kitchener-Waterloo for nearly two decades before founding her own startup. Fueled by great ideas, she has grown Durrell Communications to one of the top communication firms in the region.
Revive Game Bar, Co-Vice Chair
Rami is the owner of Revive Game Bar at 90 King St. N., which is the former home of historic Harmony Lunch in Uptown Waterloo. He formerly owned Waterloo’s first LGBTQ-friendly night club, The Order, as well as Patent Social. Rami is the Chair of the Uptown Vision committee.
Regional Operations Lead, Charcoal Group
Property Manager, Primus Property Management
Dana Shortt Gourmet & Gifts
Dana Shortt is a mother of two and the owner/operator of Dana Shortt Gourmet and Gifts. The shop is a boutique-style gourmet food store specializing in hand crafted prepared meals, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar, gift baskets and quality chocolates from local suppliers. Dana received her formal culinary training at George Brown College. Along with her Culinary Management Diploma, she also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph.
RBC Dominion Securities
As an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities, Conrad provides comprehensive wealth strategies to high net-worth and ultra-high net-worth Canadians. A native of Kitchener-Waterloo and a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University Conrad supports local entrepreneurs, executives and families looking to grow, protect and transition their wealth. An active member of the community Conrad has volunteered for the city of Kitchener winter skating rink program, Chairs the KW Chamber of Commerce “Business After 5” Committee and is a member of the Uptown BIA marketing Committee.
Kristen Hammond is a CPA, CA with over 9 years of accounting experience. She helps a wide rage of clients but specializes in real estate. She also volunteers with the Waterloo Warbirds, a volunteer based organization that restores and flies vintage military aircraft.
Sun Life Financial
Janet is the Global Data and Strategy and Enablement leader at Sun Life Financial. Sun Life Financial is the largest single employer in the Uptown Waterloo BIA catchment. Janet has an entrepreneurial spirit having owned and managed three small businesses over the years, most recently PIVOT Project Solutions. She has been awarded the Mompreneur of the year award, has been nominated by the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce for Young Entrepreneur of the Year and her businesses have received many accolades in the community. Janet has an MBA and a Masters of Arts in Sport and Recreation Administration from the University of New Brunswick as well as an Honours Degree in Kinesiology from Lakehead University. Janet holds a number of professional certifications in project delivery.
Economic Development Officer, City of Waterloo
Kristin is the BIA Board’s City Representative from Economic Development. Kristin has a passion for vibrant community building and healthy economies and has spent her professional career in planning and economic development, working with municipalities to build resiliency.
Tracy Van Kalsbeek
UpTown Waterloo BIA Executive Director (Non-voting)
Tracy joined the BIA as Executive Director in April 2018, after three years as Executive Director of the Stratford-Perth Community Foundation. She also previously worked in Marketing & Communications for Manulife and the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation. Tracy is also an avid volunteer within the community, performing roles such as Board member at Chicopee Ski and Summer Resort, Royal Highland Fusiliers Council member, Advisory Committee – Oktoberfest, UpTown Vision Committee, Grant Committee for KWCF and Board member of Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation, among many others.