The Team

Let us introduce ourselves ...

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Sandy Berg is a project manager with Doornekamp Construction and previously served as a Kingston City Councillor and Executive Director for Habitat for Humanity Kingston.  These collective experiences have provided opportunities to live, work and volunteer in large and small communities from the Canadian artic to the earthquake ravaged villages of Haiti.

Sandy came to Kingston for graduate work in ecology at Queen’s University and has been involved in a diversity of organizations ranging from volunteer tree planting to the Kingston Chamber of Commerce Advocacy committee.  While serving as a member of Kingston City Council, Sandy helped craft policy for the solar farms built in rural Kingston and helped launch the Accessible Taxi program. Sandy was a researcher at Royal Military College in the Department of Psychology and Leadership and developed a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of CFB Kingston and the City of Kingston regarding social, political and economic pressures. 

Active with Rotary Club, Sandy is honoured to have been awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of her work in affordable housing development locally and internationally.  She sits on the board of Hotel Dieu Hospital and was part of the integration process to become the provincial health care leader known as the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Speaking to the Habitat for Humanity volunteers in Haiti 2011, President Jimmy Carter thanked the volunteers and encouraged them to continue building communities, “My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I can, for as long as I can, with whatever I have, to try to make a difference.”   These words inspire Sandy’s actions to serve.


Brian Cookman is a second-generation, lifelong Kingston resident and enjoyed an almost 37-year public service career as a police officer with the Kingston Police, concluding on January 1, 2017 as an Inspector.

In his personal life, Brian has witnessed decades of consequential and diverse changes to the City from neighbourhood development and infrastructure, to business creation and expansion, to the revival and transformation of industrial areas, to the 1998 amalgamation process, to current revitalization projects.  He watched a small city of 50K take shape!

As a veteran police officer, Brian experienced Kingston’s evolution and its citizens from a unique perspective and provided him with first-hand comprehension for social issues, the desire for personal, home, and road safety, an all-around quality of life, and the continued stability, vitality, and desirability of Kingston. In later years as part of the Kingston Police senior management team, Brian built on that philosophy and committed time to community engagement and partnerships across all public, private, business, medical, education, and military sectors.  

Brian’s enthusiasm for Kingston has become more defined and refined over the years from both his personal and public safety experience. Having so many years invested in Kingston, Brian can see the importance for smart growth. He now has time to focus that passion for Kingston in a new and innovative way – SPEAKingston.  


Donna Glasspoole is the Development & Community Relations Associate for Kingston Community Health Centres and Supervisor of their community health centres in Kingston and Napanee. Previously Donna enjoyed a 30+ career in the media in Kingston and Toronto ending her media career a Vice President Classified Advertising for Sun Media and Publisher of The Kingston Heritage newspaper.

Donna came to Kingston in 1984, which was planned as a 5 year stay to further both her career and her husband’s in the media. After a few years in Kingston the decision was made to stay and raise their family here, which includes 3 children and 2 grandchildren.

“After a few short years in Kingston both my husband and I fell in love with this city. The big attraction to us was the ability to spend time outdoors with our incredible waterfront and vibrant downtown. Kingston is truly a great city to live, work, and play.”

Donna is a proud supporter of our community and is actively engaged in the community. Currently she is Vice-Chair of the board for The Success Collaborative, which includes Dress for Success and Well Suited, Past Chair of the Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce and an active member of 100+ Women Who Care Kingston.


Hugh Mackenzie is General Manager of Kingston Destination Group, operators of Kingston 1000 Islands Cruises, Kingston Trolley Tours and numerous other tourism enterprises.  Hugh has been a key contributor to Kingston’s growing tourism success story since arriving in Kingston in 1991. 

“My vision of Kingston is as an authentic Canadian City blessed by it’s natural surrounding of lakes, rivers and islands, the history and heritage grounded in the foundation of our country and a vibrant, active cultural community in which to visit and live.”

Hugh believes in a progressive urban growth strategy that emphasizes the importance of esthetic public space, human engagement, pedestrian access, urban density and active transportation. He and his wife Paula live in Williamsville from where he cycles to work most days. They have four adult children.


Patrick Murphy is a proud, lifelong Kingstonian. As owner and founding partner of Secura Financial Group, Pat helps people as a Financial Advisor.

With his wife and 2 children, Pat lives and breathes all things Kingston. As a very active member of our community, he wants our city to be a great place for Kingstonians, their friends and all visitors.

When Pat isn’t in the office meeting with clients, you can find him working with local charities – the United Way (15 years), Knights of Columbus (29 years), GKGHA, Kingston Jr. Ice Wolves, Marion Community Homes, Movember, Limestone Classic, Feb Fest, Boys & Girls Club of Kingston, Secura Wish and many other great charitable organizations. 

In his spare time, Pat moonlights as the lead singer for the local rock band 80s Enuff. This legendary band have helped raise over half a million dollars for families & charities in the Kingston area since 2001.


Tim Pater is the Owner/Operator of the Black Dog Hospitality Group, which includes Chien Noir, Atomica, Harper's Burger Bar, Dianne's Fish Shack & Smokehouse and Black Dog Catering.

The businesses are local, independent and family owned, they have been in operation since 2000.

A long-time Kingston resident, Tim has been a proud supporter of our community and is actively engaged as a Board Member of both the Downtown Business Association and Tourism Kingston.

Tim has been a member of various committees, many of which have been in support of the Local Food movement. Through his businesses Tim also helps to support countless community organizations.

'I am a firm believer that you cannot have a successful business without a healthy community. I will always be committed to working towards the betterment of our unique, vibrant City. It is my belief that with smart, sustainable growth, keeping community benefits, design and livability in mind, an elevated quality of life may be achieved for all Kingstonians.’


Sandy Sheahan is a Sales Representative with Royal Lepage ProAlliance Realty. Over the past 15 years, she has had an extensive career in management consulting across Ontario and most recently as the Executive Director of Corporate Planning, Strategy and Results for the City of Kingston. Prior to this role she managed the Kingston Community Health Centres Capital build project in Kingston’s north end.

“I love my City and am passionate about giving back to our community and working alongside the many others who also contribute daily to making Kingston a great place to live, play, work and invest.”

Sandy currently serves as the Chair of SPEAKingston.


John Sheridan is a proud grad of Queen’s University, holding a Masters Degree in Economics. After graduating, he had a successful 35 year business career in Canada, the USA, and Europe. He retired as President & CEO of Ballard Power Systems in 2015 and moved from Vancouver back to Kingston in 2016.

He previously served as President & CEO of Encom plc in the UK and President & COO of Bell Canada. As well, he has been an active community leader in Toronto and Vancouver, serving as Chair of the United Way of Greater Toronto, Governor of Ryerson University, Director of the Canadian Film Centre, Member of the Premier’s Technology Council in B.C., and a Director of the Nature Conservatory Board of B.C.

Since moving back to Kingston, John has become actively engaged in the community.

He is an Angel Investor with the Southern Ontario Angel Network (SOAN), working with early stage companies. He is Vice-Chair of the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO). He is also active in charity work in the City, as Chair of the Art of Courage and Chair of Major Individual Gifts for the United Way.


Martin L. Skolnick is Broker/Vice President and Partner at Cushman & Wakefield Kingston, which is a full-service commercial brokerage firm serving the eastern Ontario region. 

Martin believes in “smart development” and in actively supporting the Kingston community where he lives with his wife and two children.

He has played a leadership role in many organizations over the years including Executive - Kingston Area Minor Hockey Association; Governor - Kingston General Hospital; Member - KGH Resources Committee; Member - KGH Foundation Board of Directors and Finance Committee; Member - City of Kingston ERASE (Brownfields Redevelopment) Task Force; Member - Mayor’s Task Force for the Building of the Leon’s Centre; Chair - Early Years Centre Property Committee; Finance Committee Member - Community Foundation of Greater Kingston; Treasurer - Kingston Humane Society; and Treasurer - Canadian Cancer Society, FLA & The Waterways Community.  In addition, Martin has been involved in an advisory and/or fundraising capacity with many other community, political, municipal and corporate endeavors.


Rob Wood is President & CEO of 8020Info, an award-winning Kingston-based consulting firm. As an architect of consensus-driven strategy, his practice is focused on strategy development and planning, public consultation, change management and marketing communications. His clients come predominantly from the municipal, health care, social services, education, culture and non-profit sectors. He’s well known as an experienced adviser, facilitator and speaker who has presented across the country. In 2016 he was inducted into Kingston’s Business Hall of Fame for his mentorship and community leadership.

Rob has been active in many community leadership roles in the Kingston area, serving as former chair of the Queen’s Family Health Team Advisory Board and the Imagine Kingston Roundtable. He is currently a director on the Community Foundation for Kingston & Area Board, a member of the Residential Hospice Kingston Campaign Cabinet as well as the steering group for Compassionate Kingston. Previously he served on boards for the Queen’s-Kingston Technology Exchange Centre, Grand Theatre and the Queen’s Journal Advisory Board. In his spare time he studies Mandarin.

He envisions Kingston becoming an exemplary Canadian city known for its vitality, innovation and creativity, along with a secure economic base and enviable small-city lifestyle. But it will take “smart growth” and the Kingston community working together for it to become all that it can be.

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John Wright is an entrepreneur who has been involved in the start up and development of several businesses.

From a background in the broadcasting business John branched out to the hospitality industry. Starting with a take out food business in the early 70’s, then adding investments in hotels and the Kingston Thousand Islands Cruises and Trolleys.

John spent time in the 90’s in the broadcasting business in Toronto returning to Kingston to launch K-Rock radio and adding Country 93.5 and KISS 102.7.

John played an active role in many aspects of the development of the Canadian radio industry, including serving three terms as Chair of the Radio Bureau of Canada. K-Rock was voted Radio Station of the Year by Canadian Music Week, Business of the Year by the Kingston Chamber of Commerce, Gold Medal for the Canadas Best Canadian Talent Development Program.

John has always operated his businesses with the philosophy that if Kingston grows and prospers then so will his businesses. He gets immense pleasure in helping Kingston grow through past and current participation with organizations like, KEDCO, KGH Foundation, FebFest, University Hospitals Kingston Foundation and The United Way.