Board of Directors
Immediate Past Chairperson
Cox & Palmer
Deirdre L. Wade, Q.C. is a partner in the Saint John office of Cox and Palmer. She was called to the New Brunswick Bar in 1988 after completing her education at the University of New Brunswick. Deirdre received the designation of Queen’s Counsel in 2005 and joined Cox and Palmer in 2013 after many years with the former firm of Barry Spalding.
Deirdre enjoys a diverse litigation practice with an emphasis on insurance, administrative, health, privacy, regulated professions, labour and employment and workers’ compensation law.
Deirdre is a former Director of the Canadian Bar Association – National (2005-06), the Canadian Bar Insurance Association (2007-15) and the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (2009-15).
A life-long resident of the Saint John area, Deirdre is married to C. Paul W. Smith and has one son, Chip Smith.
Partner, Jamieson Mullin
Chartered Professional Accountants
Dean joined his firm in 2016 and became a partner in 2017. A graduate of MTA in 1994, he obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1997 (now Chartered Professional Accountant). He has worked in various roles in public accounting and in industry as inhouse tax resources for a domestic manufacturer and as the Senior Director of International Tax for a major public company and has specialized in income tax since 1999.
Dean currently is the First Vice Chair of the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, Treasurer of both the YMCA of Greater Saint John Endowment Fund and the KV Committee for Disabled Persons and a board member of the Saint John Hospital Foundation. Previously, Dean served 14 years on the YMCA of Greater Saint John Board of Directors as its Treasurer and Vice Chair and was Chair during the fundraising and construction of the new Regional YMCA.
Originally from Bathurst, he lives in Quispamsis with his wife Vicki, who he supports in her fundraising efforts for Muscular Dystrophy.
Manager Commercial Banking
National Bank of Canada
Mike Corbett is the Manager Commercial Banking for the National Bank of Canada for the Saint John and Fredericton area. He has been a Commercial Banker in the region for 15 years.
Mike services the banking needs of a diverse group of successful businesses in Southern New Brunswick in all sectors.
Mike has been an active volunteer over the years, primarily with business organizations, service groups and youth sports.
Mike lives in Quispamsis with his wife Aimee and children Kacee and Jack.
First Vice Chairperson
Head of National Partners
Derrick was born in Montreal. He is a graduate of UNB and spent the first 10 years of his career in the packaged goods industry working for Heineken, McCain Foods, and Labatt's in Toronto and Ottawa. He transitioned into the high-tech sector and spent 18 years in the enterprise Sofware industry working for Corel, OpenText, Innovatia, D2L, and Intelex where he held a series of progressively senior sales roles culminating with Global Senior Vice President of Sales at Toronto-based Intelex.
Derrick also spent some time with a few technology start-ups in Ottawa and Toronto. Derrick joined the Saint John Airport as President & CEO in 2016 where he has led it through a steady period of growth and transformation.
Derrick is married and has three adult children. He lives in Rothesay.
Regional Vice Chairperson - Saint John
Stephanie is an experienced communicator and facilitator whose experience includes award-winning projects across industries like transportation infrastructure, health care, labour relations, economic development, energy and natural resources. She’s been assisting clients at NATIONAL with public affairs, stakeholder relations, community engagement, issues and crisis management, and strategic planning for more than ten years.
Regional Vice Chairperson - Grand Bay/Westfield
Beth Hatt founded Aquila in Saint John in 1982 as a seasonal company offering city tours to visitors, and in the years since, Beth has grown Aquila to include providing shore excursions to all the cruise lines that call on Port Saint John and training in cruise destinations around the world through the
Aquila Center for Cruise Excellence. Beth’s passion is coaching, mentoring, and working in collaboration with cruise partners to raise the level of excellence in their organizations and destinations.
Beth continues to be actively involved on various boards and volunteer roles in the industry and in her community, and she is currently the chair of the Fort La Tour Development Authority, her passion project which was due to open in summer 2020 and was delayed due to the pandemic. And while she is having too much fun to retire, she is working with her partners Danielle and Melanie on Aquila’s succession, and she feels the legacy she is leaving is in incredibly good hands.
Dr. Jeff Steeves
Opthalmologist & President
New Brunswick Medical Society
Dr. Jeff Steeves is an ophthalmologist and President of the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) for 2020-2021.
Dr Steeves joined the Board of the Chamber in 2018. Originally from Nova Scotia he completed his medical degree in 1988 and settled in Nanaimo , BC. where he developed a busy family practice. After further training in Ophthalmic surgery he settled in Saint John establishing a surgical practice in 2006. He employs 6 people in his office located in Rothesay. He has represented Saint John physicians provincially for many years and became President of the New Brunswick Medical Society in 2020.
Way Up Strategic Solutions
Christine Gilliland, a born and bred Saint Johner, grew up on the West Side and started her career Uptown as a visitor information counsellor.
Her Certificat en Français langue seconde from Université Laval in Québec City led to a 15-year opportunity with Danone, a French-owned food and beverage company. While there, Chris lived in Stamford, Connecticut and managed North American consumer affairs and regulatory compliance for brands like Evian Natural Spring Water.
Since returning home to Saint John in 2010, Chris has played key roles in advancing several inspirational organizations - both through Way Up Strategic Solutions, her copywriting and communications business, and as an engaged community volunteer.
Chris is driven to help others cultivate roots and grow their wings - whether in business, the arts, or personally.
Regional Vice Chairperson - West Side
President & CEO
Saint John Energy
Mr. Robinson the President & CEO of Saint John Energy, an electric distribution utility based in Saint John, New Brunswick. He also serves as Past Chair on the Board of the Canadian Electricity Association. He is an electrical engineer with over 35 years of executive and management experience in electrical utilities throughout North America and the Caribbean, with demonstrated capabilities in major infrastructure developments, project management, asset management and operational transformation.
Previously, Ray was an executive with Emera, taking on numerous senior executive roles within Emera and several of its operating subsidiaries. Prior to that, Ray was the President & CEO of Yukon Energy Corporation, and has held various senior positions at a number of Canadian electric utilities from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Ray also serves on the Board of various organizations including Past Chair of Chebucto Terence Bay Windfields, Board member of Atlantica Centre for Energy, NB Critical Infrastructure Gold Committee member, Board member of Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce, an Executive Committee member of Living SJ, and a member of the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) in Saint John.
The Saint John Newcomers Centre
Mohamed Bagha is the Managing Director of the Saint John Centre (SJNC). He has been involved in the Newcomer Settlement Sector for over 10 years. Mohamed is very excited to bring a voice for newcomers on the Saint John Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He wants to see newcomers have a voice and an opportunity to contribute to the socio-economic well-being of Greater Saint John. Mohamed envisions communities across Atlantic Canada like Saint John will have an opportunity to thrive through diversity, where newcomers actively participate in society by fully contributing their talent, skills, and culture. He believes newcomer contributions act as a catalyst to improve economic conditions and cultivate cultural understanding. This enriches the lives and living standards of everyone across Atlantic Canada. Mohamed was recently named as one of the "Most Inspiring Immigrants in the Maritimes” for his leadership and vision. His work has helped foster economic growth and created positive community impacts here at home and across the Atlantic Region. Mohamed holds a Master of Interdisciplinary Degree focusing on Community Economic Development from the University of New Brunswick.
J.D. Irving Limited
Anne McInerney brings more than 20 years of community engagement and communications expertise to the Chamber’s Board of Directors. She is currently VP, Communications for J.D. Irving, Limited and has previously served as senior-level communications counsel in consulting and creative firms, and as Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Communications for the Province of New Brunswick, leading a team of close to 50 communications professionals while acting as chief strategic counsel on all proactive and reactive government communications.
In addition to her role as Chamber Director, Anne sits on the boards of the Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation and MindCareNB and is a member of a national task force for ethical public relations.
Anne has a Public Relations degree from Mount Saint Vincent University and is an accredited and active member of the Canadian Public Relations Society.
Matthew Joyce is the owner and founder of JTR Commercial Services - a company born from his necessity for dumpsters and portable storage units when he was purchasing and managing multi-unit apartment buildings. Starting the company from the ground up in 2009, Matthew has now grown it to 10+ employees serving all of Greater Saint John.
A graduate of the Entrepreneurial Leaders Program through the Wallace McCain Institute in 2018, Matthew has taken his business and leadership experience to his community and now serves on the Board of Directors for the Dominion Park Association as well as the Greater Saint John Chamber of Commerce. A firm believer in the importance of youth sports, Matthew is an active supporter of P.R.O. Kids Saint John.
Originally from Nova Scotia, Melanie Cooke completed a law degree at Dalhousie University before living in Alberta for a number of years where she practiced law at Blake, Cassels, and Graydon LLP and as in-house counsel at Chevron Canada Resources.
Melanie moved to Saint John in 2019 as General Counsel at Irving Oil and currently holds the position of Director of Environment, Health, and Safety for Irving Oil’s Saint John Refinery.
Melanie and her husband live in Rothesay with their two children.