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Meet the Judges

A panel of professionals from the fields of economic development, marketing, advertising, and tourism judge the entries in the Promotional and Collaboration & Partnership categories. A separate panel of EDCO past presidents will judge the submissions in the Planning & Building Initiatives category. All judges will refrain from evaluating any submission that may represent a conflict of interest. 

 Angela Gravelle
Executive Director, Ontario Municipal Leadership Institute (OMLI)


Angela has over 30 years + public and private sector engagement, complimented by direct municipal economic development, marketing, communications and project management. Angela is enterprising, a motivator of change and a passionate community builder.

She enjoys seeking out and capitalizing on innovative best practices as well as emerging opportunities that forge new private-public sector partnerships. She provides networking and shared learning opportunities that propel organizations forward and has an expansive network of business and government relations. She continues to be active with several professional and municipal associations and organizations across North America.  


Brian O'Connor
Reed Jones Limited

Brian has more than 30 years experience in dealing with complex public relations issues and communications management.  He has worked in stage production in Canada, United States and Englad.  He began his media career as a public affairs producer for the CTV and CBC television networks.

Brian has a wide range of experience with municipal government, working with economic development, finance and planning departments of several municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area.  His municipal marketing work has won recognition in Canada and the United States.   He was a founding faculty member of the graduate journalism program, Western University, and is involved in ongoing research on the future of work.

In his spare time, he is crowd sourcing script material for "BILL", a multi-media stage presentation on the private life of William Shakespeare.



Carl Knipfel, RPP, OAA, MRAIC
Principal, lankinhouse design

Carl is an architect and city planner with extensive experience devising and delivering strategically significant urban design and marketing strategies. He has collaborated with municipal governments, the Province of Ontario, OCAD University and the Ontario Association of Architects on award winning design initiatives and marketing campaigns as well as on organizational effectiveness. In addition to awards for unique individual projects Carl has received the President’s Award from both EDAC and EDCO.





Cheryl Giraudy 
Architect, and Associate Professor at OCAD University

Cheryl is an Architect, and Associate Professor at OCAD University, Toronto. She recently completed an MSc. in Inclusive and Accessible Design at University of Salford, UK. She is a member of the Ontario Association of Architects, and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and affiliate member of the National Register of Access Consultants in the UK. She has been a licensed practitioner for over twenty years with a particular focus on accessibility, communication, and wayfinding design for public and commercial facilities. Cheryl has undertaken many architectural and interior design projects, and provided advice to private and public institutions, including municipal and federal government departments on facilities programming, user assessments, communication strategies, and planning policies to meet inclusive goals for end-users of buildings, products and services.

From 2008-2013, Cheryl held the position of Associate Dean, Faculty of Design, Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCAD U), a faculty that houses six undergraduate design programs including Advertising, Graphic Design, Industrial and Environmental Design, Illustration and Material Arts & Design. In addition, she held the position of Co-Chair, Accessibility Sub-Committee, OCAD University contributing to the implementation of Ontario’s accessibility regulations under AODA (2005) at the university. She is currently a design professor engaging students and institutions including hospitals, social change networks in real-world learning collaborations centred on accessible design.


David J. Cash, BES, RPP, CEcD
President, Cash & Associates Inc.

David has over 35 years of experience in the municipal sector in Ontario. Nearly 20 years of this time he worked in various economic development roles for many municipalities.

David is President of Cash & Associates Inc., a management consulting company, which provides professional advice and consulting services in the fields of economic development, site location studies, urban planning policy and organizational/service delivery review.

He is a Certified Economic Developers and a Registered Professional Planner. He holds an Honours Bachelor's Degree in Geography and Economics, from the University of Waterloo. David is involved in a number of volunteer capacities, including as a member of the Port Perry Rotary Club. 



Mary L. Palmer
Operations, Programs, Solutions

Mary Palmer is a passionate, accomplished and value-driven professional economic development expert.  Mary has established, implemented and managed innovative policies, programs and strategic solutions in regulated and non-regulated environments in the public sector, private organizations and not-for-profit corporations.

Mary's extensive and distinct expertise in business management, export development and program design, delivery and management, as well as in foreign direct investment are a result of her relationships with a diverse national and international network of stakeholders.  Her ability to straddle the worlds of business and government provides a unique understanding of the needs and cultures of each.  These demonstrated strengths highlight her knowledge of people and process development in order to achieve both short- and long-term profitability.


Joanne Wolnik
Tourism Development Manager, Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation

Joanne is the Tourism Development Manager at Southwest Ontario Tourism Corporation. In this role, Joanne has the pleasure of working with tourism operators and other industry leaders to develop new and innovative experiences for visitors to enjoy in Ontario's Southwest. Joanne appreciates that travel is a time of adventure, new experiences and making memories. 

Joanne completed her Masters in Business Administration from Lakehead university in Thunder Bay, where she also completed her Honours degree in Outdoor Recreation, specializing in Tourism. 

When she's not at work, she's finding new trails on her horse or setting up camp somewhere in the backcountry. 





Peter Gingrich, PMP
Managing Director, eSolutions

With twenty two years of experience managing a wide range of website development, custom applications, graphic design, and marketing projects, Peter brings a broad perspective to each assignment. A Managing Director of eSolutions, he is responsible for the growth and development of Eastern Canada while continuing to contribute to the team as a whole.

A certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Peter has a high level of familiarity with all aspects of web development: analysis of business objectives; site architecture; site design; application development; search engine marketing; web hosting infrastructure; and content management systems. His clients include public sector (health care and municipal) as well as NGO organizations and private sector firms.

Peter’s background is entrepreneurial, having owned and operated a website development company dating back to the early days of the web. From small website projects to large custom applications Peter applies the same passion and enthusiasm for every job and every client. Priding himself on responsiveness and mutually beneficial customer relationships, he brings that extra element to each project that has resulted in the establishment of a loyal and satisfied customer base.


Sofie Andreou, M.Eng
Sofie Andreou & Associates, Digital Marketing Training Services

Sofie is the author of the Your Social Marketing Strategy & Plans series. She delivers her popular and sought-after business seminar series Leveraging the Power of the Internet to 100s of professionals monthly. Sofie's Digital Marketing Services include Digital Marketing Strategies, Plans, Training, Video Tutorials, Google 360 Tours and SEO www.SofieAndreou.com.    For the past decade, Sofie lectures to a "sold out" third-year class, Online Marketing Principles, at Trent University.

Sofie is recognized as a digital marketing leader in various groups including; Economic Development, Chambers of Commerce, small business enterprise centres, fortune 500 companies and the online business community. Her practice is focused on digital marketing training for both small, large, local and international companies. Regularly, Sofie is asked to appear on regional television shows speak as the local expert providing updates on digital marketing as it impacts business practices of all sizes.  

Sofie holds her undergraduate degree in Computer Science and her Masters of Engineering in Information Systems from the University of Toronto.

Sofie's passion is working with Entrepreneurs and mentoring University Students. She was the Chair of the award-winning Bears' Lair Entrepreneurship Competition for several years, a founding member of StartUpPeterborough, active on a Humane Society Annual Walk fundraiser name Duke Trail Tours (named after her oldest pup), a member of the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and on the Trent University Business Council.  


Stephanie Hopkin, CMMP 
Marketing and Communications Senior Coordinator, Tourism Northern Ontario

Stephanie Hopkin joined the field of marketing and communications seven years ago after graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a comparative literature and technical writing degree. She has held various positions with the Municipality of Sault Ste. Marie, the Ministry of Natural Resources and most recently, Tourism Northern Ontario. As Senior Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Stephanie oversees all tactical tourism marketing contracts for the region and is responsible for all corporate communications.

Stephanie enjoys volunteering and sits on several boards and committees including the Young Professionals Network of Ontario, EDCO's Young Professionals Committee and the Sault Ste. Marie Community Development Corporation Board of Directors. She completed her EDAC Year One and Two in 2012 and recently graduated as a certified marketing manager through the International Institute of Marketing Professionals.



Tara Vinodrai, Ph.D.
Associate Program & Program Director, University of Waterloo

Tara is the director of the Local Economic Development program at the University of Waterloo. She is also an associate professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development as well as the department of Geography and Environmental Management. Tara holds an undergraduate and Masters degree from Queens University, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. 

At the core of her research program is a concern with understanding and theorizing the dynamics of contemporary economic change and the emerging and evolving geographies of the knowledge-based economy. Her research is highly interdisciplinary in scope, drawing on the social sciences, and innovation, organizational and management studies. 

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