Our Board of Directors

Syd Austin


Syd studied Business Administration at Conestoga College Kitchener. He has been in the retail business for over forty years and was a small business owner for over a decade. Syd brought his wife Diane and his young family to the Scenic City 32 years ago in an senior executive position with a major Food Service Distributor. They have called Owen Sound home ever since. Syd’s career has come full circle and he is currently the General Manager of Staples. Staples and Syd have been strong supporters of the Chamber and are the proud sponsor of the SOHO Award at the Chambers annual Business Excellence Awards. In his rare spare time Syd and Diane love to ATV with their friends, exploring our beautiful area or spending quality time with his growing family. He is a proud grandpa of Connor and Coen.

Marg Benedict

Vice Chairperson

Marg was born in Mount Forest. Graduated nursing in 1971 and nursed for 27 years. Took a Simply accounting course 1998. Current Co-owner and managing partner of Benedict Electrical, independent business, inception 1998. Marg has an active background in leadership in various executive organizations. Her greatest joy is being with her family & in the summer time golfing but in winter snowmobiling. Her son also would say networking is the top of Marg`s list.

Debbie McKague

Past Chairperson

Debbie was born and raised in Oxenden. She is currently Property Manager for the Professional Centre in Owen Sound. She has held management positions in retail and service positions as well as working in the healthcare field 8 years with the Red Cross and Paramed Home Health Care. She has an active volunteer background with a number of different organizations in this area and is currently Chair of the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards.

Christie Leeder


Christie Leeder has over 7 years of experience in the financial services industry. Her passion for helping people lead her to join the Leeder and Associates Wealth Management Group of RBC Dominion Securities in 2015 as an Investment Advisor. Prior to joining RBC, Christie was a Manager at National Accounting Firm BDO Canada LLP working out of the Owen Sound office. She obtained her Chartered Accountant Designation in 2009 after having completed her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo in 2008. Christie has been on the Executive of the Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer since 2013 and is a Committee Member for the Canadian Cancer Society “Bears in Blue” and “Pink in the Rink” fundraising events in Owen Sound.


Tyler Beckett


Born and raised in the Owen Sound area, Tyler is known more for his music than as a Financial Advisor at Sun Life Financial. Since the age of 3, Tyler has played the fiddle and, growing up in a musical family, began at a young age, playing retirement homes and local events along with his sister Linsey, as The Beckett Family. He became an accomplished and well-rounded multi-instrumentalist, performing across Canada, the U.S, Europe, the Philippines, and even at the Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan in 2011. Tyler is also a respected session musician, playing on numerous albums, including Justin Bieber’s 2011 release, ‘Someday at Christmas’. In 2009, Tyler graduated with his Business Administration degree from Sir Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, and moved to Missouri to work for the bluegrass super-band The Chapmans. Tyler has always had an interest in finance and business, and a passion for helping people. When given the chance to move back home and join the ranks of Sun Life Financial in Owen Sound, he jumped at the opportunity!

Dave Stobbe


Born and raised in Owen Sound, David ’s working life has included construction, furniture-making, advertising, marketing, real estate and now, property management. Whoever said you can’t go back hasn’t met David. Forty years ago, David helped his father prepare the foundation for the building that now houses SuiteSpots, his latest venture and Owen Sound’s first flexible business space for start-ups, professionals and small business. As a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University’s urban economic geography program and GTA resident for 35 years, David has a greater appreciation for the rustic beauty and warm hospitality offered by his hometown. David along with his wife and three children have traveled extensively and enjoy immersing themselves in exotic cultures, architecture, experiences and scenery. Always on the lookout for the next big thing, David lives by the motto “embrace change for the opportunities it creates”.

Rhonda White


My name is Rhonda White, I am the manager at Scotiabank in Owen Sound, I have worked in many different roles with the bank over the last 35 years.
I was born and raised in Owen Sound, my family and myself have been very involved in the community over our time, serving on committees as Owen Sound Minor Hockey, Minor Softball programs, and now I am happy to be involved with the Owen Sound Chamber.

Derek Smith


Derek was raised in Owen Sound and left to complete a Bachelor of Math at the University of Waterloo. He also has a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University and his CPA designation. After working in the automotive industry with Michelin and Valeo, he returned to Owen Sound in 1996 to join TC Transcontinental RBW Graphics where he has been General Manager since 2009. He is currently a member of the Owen Sound Regional Hospital Foundation board, and also sits on the City of Owen Sound Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Board.

Adam Vander Duim


Adam is a Partner in BDO’s Owen Sound office, with over 20 years of professional experience providing domestic tax services to private corporations and their shareholders. Adam has provided tax planning and compliance services to clients in a range of industries, including manufacturing and processing, real estate and construction, and retail and consumer businesses. He has successfully assisted a number of clients in implementing tax planning strategies including corporate reorganizations, estate planning, and other measures to help maximize and preserve wealth. Adam is a member of BDO’s Knowledge Leadership Team. He is involved in the community through The Rotary Club of Owen Sound, has been a presenter at BDO’s tax conference and has worked extensively with CPA Canada’s In-Depth Tax Course as a facilitator. Adam has also been involved with the Canadian Tax Foundation as an author.

Jason Hemstock


Born and raised in Bruce County, I am fortunate enough to have remained living in my home town of Tara with my wife and two daughters. My diploma in business and many of the human resource courses I took were with Georgian College – Owen Sound Campus so Grey and Bruce County is definitely home to me. Immediately after finishing college, I started working at Best Western Inn on the Bay in Owen Sound as an accountant while assisting the General Manager with Human Resource duties. Remaining with this organization has paid off as I currently fill the role of General Manager. I obtained my CHRL (human resources) in 2009 and continued in hospitality gaining my CHA designation in 2014. My love for working with people has kept me in this industry where there is never a dull moment. I attribute the success of the Best Western Inn on the Bay to the employees and I know it was my human resources background that helped me to build this team. I can often be found working alongside the staff members somewhere inside the hotel. I love where I live and I enjoy what I do for a living. One could not ask for much more.

Nick Lovell


Nicholas Lovell became a partner at the firm in 2020. Nick grew up in Owen Sound, Ontario before attending the University of Waterloo. He graduated with an Honours Degree in Legal Studies. Nick graduated from the University of Windsor Faculty of Law in 2014.

Nick articled with Middlebro’ & Stevens LLP and returned to the Firm after his call to the bar in 2015. Nick practices in the areas of labour and employment, municipal law, general litigation, wills and estates, corporate law, and real estate. Nick is also a Provincial Offences Prosecutor in several municipalities in Grey-Bruce, various ministries, and other government agencies.

Nick is the President of the Grey County Law Association and the current Board Chair at the United Way of Bruce Grey where he has been a Director since 2014. When not working he enjoys playing bass guitar, reading, hiking the Bruce Trail, and spending time with his family.

Joanne Horton


Joanne Horton is the owner of Horton & Horton. She is a proud third generation lawyer following in the footsteps of her grandfather and father both in the tradition of practicing law and community service. Joanne practice on Bay Street prior to returning to her home town where she practices in the areas of civil, criminal and family litigation, wills, estates, real estate, family, corporate and commercial law. She is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, Grey & Bruce Law Associations and Grey-Bruce Collaborative Family Law Group. She has been involved in the Kiwanis Club of Owen Sound, Sweetwater Music Festival, Owen Sound and District Chamber of Commerce and actively supports her community.


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