Board of Governors – Members

David P. Saxton, FCPA, FCA
David P. Saxton, FCPA, FCA


Dave Saxton is a retired chartered professional accountant who resides in Yarmouth. He is a graduate of Saint Mary's University and a Fellow of the Nova Scotia Institute of Chartered Accountants. As a partner in national accounting firms he has advised corporations, not-for-profit organizations and local governments. He has been involved in the training of chartered accountants throughout his career.

Dave has always had a keen interest in his community and has been a member and past President of both the Yarmouth Rotary Club and Yarmouth YMCA and served on the Yarmouth Hospital Foundation, as a trustee of the Nova Scotia Health Employee's Pension Plan as well as a Member of the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership. Dave also serves as a Director on the NSCC Foundation.

Michael P. Brien, ICD.D
Michael P. Brien, ICD.D


Michael (Mike) Brien graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Degree where he also played varsity basketball. Immediately following university, he entered the banking industry working in both personal and corporate finance and earned his Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers (FICB) designation. He subsequently received his Canadian Accredited Insurance Broker (CAIB) certification and the ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors. In addition, Mike has completed many executive management courses through various organizations, including Harvard University.

Throughout his career, Mike has been very involved in transformation management mainly working with underperforming companies and turning them into profitable leaders in their respective fields. This has primarily been done as an owner/operator the latest being Macdonald Chisholm Inc. Also he has played this role as an employee and consultant.

Mike is currently CEO of Rockland Capital Limited, a consulting and investment holding company. One of his investments was Macdonald Chisholm Inc. which he purchased in 2001 that developed into Macdonald Chisholm Trask Insurance (MCT), a regional general insurance brokerage with 20 offices throughout Atlantic Canada which he recently sold to BrokerLink, a national brokerage owned by Intact Financial Inc. Mike transformed the company into one of the region's leading insurance brokerages winning a number of awards along the way such as the Training and Education Award from the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia for its commitment to staff professional development, one of Atlantic Canada's Top 20 Best Places to Work by Progress Magazine (2007, 2008, 2010- only three years applied), and Progress Magazines one of Atlantic Canada's Top 101 Companies in 2012, in addition the 2013 Halifax Business Awards Bronze winner from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce. Mike was a finalist in the 2008 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Business Service sector.

Mike has been involved in the general insurance industry for the past 20 years and has served as the President of the Insurance Brokers Association of Nova Scotia and on the advisory boards of The Insurance Brokers Association of Canada and a number of international insurance companies. He is currently on a number of private Canadian boards including, Nova Scotia Community College (Vice Chair), Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, SimplyCast (Board Chair), Volunteer CEO and Director/Investor of the Halifax Professional Basketball Club Inc. (Halifax Hurricanes). Mike is a Past Director - Mount Saint Vincent University (Chaired Finance, Audit and Campus Planning) among other organizations. Mike is a past member of the Atlantic Chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) where he served as Chapter Chair and on its Canadian Board of Directors. Mike is currently a member of World President's Organization (WPO) Atlantic Chapter.

Mike is also very active in his community, as Co- Founder of Bedford Minor Basketball Association; Past President of Basketball Nova Scotia; and Past Parish Council Member of St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Bedford, NS, where he currently co-chairs the development committee. He has been an avid basketball coach (Male & Female) with various age groups (Mini to High School inclusive) for over 35 years and has been part of a number of regional and provincial championships. He has also chaired or participated on committees for charitable causes such as Alzheimer's, St. FX University, Mount Saint Vincent University, Cystic Fibrosis, Heart and Stroke, Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia, IWK and Sports at all levels.

Mike enjoys sports, reading, business and when possible spending time at his cottage with his wife Beth and their six children and four grandchildren.

Don Bureaux, FCPA, FCGA
Don Bureaux, FCPA, FCGA


Don Bureaux, President of Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC), is an experienced leader dedicated to the education of adult learners throughout Nova Scotia. His background includes teaching, program development and administration, and collaborating with educational institutions around the globe to create successful learning opportunities for students.

Prior to joining NSCC, Don was the Assistant Director of the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship (ACSBE) at Acadia University as well as a Lecturer in the F.C. Manning School of Business. Don first joined NSCC in July 2004 as the Manager of Administrative Services for the Halifax Campuses. In May, 2005, Don became Principal of the Kingstec Campus; Vice President, People & Planning in August 2008; Vice President, Academic in August 2009, Acting President in June 2010 and, most recently, President in April 2011.

Don has been working with adult learners for over 25 years within colleges and universities as well as with national and international professional designation granting bodies. He has collaborated with educational institutions in North America, Europe and Asia in the researching and implementation of entrepreneurial cultures as a foundation for learning-centered environments and student success. He has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has worked with a number of foreign educational institutions and governmental bodies in the development of success-based models for both students and staff within post-secondary institutions.

Don has worked with the boards and staff of numerous not-for-profit organizations in Nova Scotia in the areas of board governance, policy development and strategic planning.

Don holds a certificate in Adult Education and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University. He earned his Masters in Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University. Don is a Certified General Accountant and holds an international designation as a Certified Business Counsellor through the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Ian Cavanagh, P.Eng.
Ian Cavanagh, P.Eng.

Ian is Partner with EY based in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he leads IT Advisory Practice in Atlantic Canada. In addition, Ian is a champion for EY's Purpose Led Transformation initiative, focused on helping clients in the region, to realize their full potential in business and society. Ian's personal purpose is "to be happy and fulfilled in life, by helping others in positive ways" and he is realizing this in a professional context with his EY colleagues and clients by "Building a Better Working World".

Prior to the acquisition of Ambir by EY, Ian was Chief Executive Officer of Ambir, an independent, Atlantic Canadian headquartered IT consulting company. Ambir was a leader in the consulting services space; twice recognized as "The #1 Best Place to Work in Atlantic Canada" by Progress Magazine and ranked "The #3 Great Place to Work in Canada in 2013" by the Great Place to Work Institute. Ambir was also previously ranked nationally as one of Canada's Top 25 Up and Comers in the Branham Group Surveys of ICT Companies. In 2014, Ian was named by Atlantic Business Magazine as one of the Top 50 CEOs in Atlantic Canada.

Ian brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record working with both high growth software and services companies. His background includes working in California for several successful Silicon Valley technology companies and he takes great pride in having begun his career with NBTel in Saint John, New Brunswick. Ian has a varied business background which includes experience working globally in business development, strategy, people and culture development, tech start-ups, consulting, M&A and entrepreneurship.

Ian is a graduate of Acadia University and Dalhousie University in Electrical Engineering and a registered Professional Engineer in New Brunswick. He is a Board Governor at the Nova Scotia Community College, an Advisory Board member of Comprecultures, a former member of the New Brunswick Business Council and the founding Co-Chair of the New Brunswick IT Council (Now TechImpact). He is also an active mentor and investor in the tech start up/entrepreneur community providing support to select company leaders and teams who are part of the PropelICT and Volta Labs programs.

Peter Conlon

Peter Conlon is Chief Executive Officer of LED Roadway Lighting Ltd ("LRL"). Peter joined LRL in August of 2014 and brings 36 years of experience in private sector businesses in Canada, United States, Europe and Latin America.

His experience includes:

  • Eight years leading Nautel Limited, as President and Chief Executive Officer, to a position of global leadership in its markets, including its selection as one of the PROFIT500 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada for 2014; as one of Canada's Passion Capitalists in 2012 and as Nova Scotia Exporter of the Year in 2009
  • Two years as Chief Executive Officer of an SME with multinational joint venture ownership
  • A role as Chief Financial Officer of a corporation listed on public exchanges both in Canada and the United States
  • 6 years of successful business strategy management consulting experience involving complex cross-border and inter-divisional issues

Peter has significant experience in large corporations, small businesses, independent entities, and subsidiary operations, including direct line management of marketing, sales, finance, operations, product management and strategic planning. He was selected as Business Person of the Year at the 2010 Halifax Business Awards and was named one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013, as well as being inaugurated into the Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame in 2013.

Judith Ferguson
Judith Ferguson

Judith is Vice President, Corporate Affairs for Nova Scotia Power Incorporated. She is focused on Nova Scotia Power’s strategic direction and the various ways NSPI can contribute to the economic viability of the province.

Judith retired from the Province of Nova Scotia where she held the position of Deputy Minister of Justice. Prior to this appointment Judith served as Deputy Minister of Labour & Advanced Education, Office of Immigration and Status of Women; Assistant Deputy Minister and then Deputy Minister of Community Services. She began her career in government as a legal advisor for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice.

Judith holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from Dalhousie University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kings College.

Judith is a member of the Phoenix House Board of Directors and a past member of the Board of the Children’s Aid Society of Halifax.

Adam LePage
Adam LePage

Adam LePage graduated with Honors from the Electrical – Construction & Industrial Certificate program in 2011. He was Kingstec Campus' Valedictorian at their combined Trades and ALP Graduation ceremonies and has taken an increasingly active role within the NSCC Community.

He has been employed as part of NSCC's Facilities Management team since graduation. Originally employed with the College as an Electrical Apprentice Adam has served in a variety of Facilities Management positions. From casual employment as a Custodian Adam, through increased education and dedication to the college, has worked his way up in a short four years to the Management Confidential Level and currently serves as the Assistant Facilities Manager with the Lunenburg Campus.

Adam is active in many campus committees including Sustainability, the Valedictory Selection Committee, Entrepreneurship, OH&S, as well as the Professional Development committee.

As well as a busy member of NSCC's staff, he is also a father and stepfather to 5 children and devoted husband to his lovely wife Jessica.

Adam is always ready to step in and help, far beyond his job description, and has quickly become someone upon whom everyone college wide can rely. Adam gives back to NSCC and the community through his excellent work ethic, friendly approachability, and his obvious desire to make each day a little better than the one before. Passionate about the Nova Scotia Community College, Adam is excited about his role as a member of the Board of Governors.

Blair Lipsett
Blair Lipsett

Blair Lipsett is the Academic Chair (Acting) in NSCC's School of Trades and Technology at the Lunenburg Campus. Beforehand, he taught in the School of Business at three different campuses for five years. Prior to coming to the College in 2009, he was the Nelson Education Regional Sales Manager and Technology Solutions Consultant for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. In his spare time, he continues to keep his educational publishing industry experience current by working as the Sales Manager for Atlantic Canada with Northrose Associates. Blair began his career in educational publishing immediately after graduating from Saint Mary's University with a Commerce Degree, majoring in Management. He just recently completed his Masters of Business Administration in Innovation Leadership through the University of Fredericton.

Blair feels he has been able to strike a good balance between work and family. He loves being able to continue helping guide students academically in his administrative role in partnership with his faculty colleagues. He actively volunteers with the organizations in which his children are active. This includes serving as President on the Board of Directors for the Bridgewater Barracuda Swim Team and coaching his children's basketball teams. He also loves to play basketball and has recently taken up refereeing in order to learn more about that aspect of the game.

Liza Macdonald
Liza Macdonald

Liza Macdonald is currently a Senior Director of Role Strategy within RBC Royal Bank’s National Office in Toronto. Liza has been with RBC for 21 years and has held positions of increasing responsibility in various divisions including two vice president positions in retail banking, operations, human resources, sales support and financial planning. In her current role, Liza is responsible for designing the strategic intent of specialized sales roles across the retail banking platform.

Liza obtained her Executive MBA from Saint Mary's in 2009. She is also very proud of being an NSCC grad herself, Liza is a two time alumni of NSCC - Lunenburg Campus. In 1991 she completed the two-year Accounting program and in 1995 graduated from the Business Administration program. In fact, her banking career with RBC began as a result of her work placement. Originally from Lunenburg, Liza is a proud Nova Scotian now commuting to Toronto. Liza is extremely passionate about the College, its vision and values, and truly understands the positive impact the college and its students have on our local communities.

Bob MacEachern
Bob MacEachern

Bob MacEachern began his broadcasting career over 30 years ago and is the owner of Port Hawkesbury based radio station CIGO - FM. In 2013 he received the Radio Television Digital News Directors' Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a partner in several companies based in the Strait Region.

Bob is active with community organizations including past president of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce, Inverness-Richmond Career Development Centre, Festival Antigonish and the Port Hastings Historical Society.

He is married and the father of three.

Matt Madden
Matt Madden

Matt Madden has worked in various roles within the Enrolment Department at NSCC. Currently the Digital Content Coordinator, Matt strives to enhance the college's digital presence through innovative and modern forms of communications.

After graduating from Cape Breton University in 2006 with a BBA he moved to Halifax where he has focused his career on both web marketing and photography. Since moving to Halifax he has held web marketing positions with Adventus Interactive, Genieknows and FCV Interactive.  During this time he and his wife have also been running a successful wedding photography company, Madden + Vallis Photography, servicing clients throughout Nova Scotia.

Matt takes great pride in the NSCC community and attempts to volunteer his time and talents to help numerous departments and initiatives that support the work we do here at NSCC. He has volunteered at the Support Staff Learning Conference, the pride parade, festival of learning, CCEDP, the Skills competitions and fundraised for student bursaries by running in the Bluenose with the NSCC Foundation.

Stephen B. Maltby, CPA, CA
Stephen B. Maltby, CPA, CA

Stephen Maltby is Executive Director Atlantic Canada for CIBC World Markets Inc., CIBC Wood Gundy. Stephen began with CIBC Wood Gundy in 2008 and is currently responsible for CIBC Wood Gundy operations in Atlantic Canada overseeing 14 offices and 4 provinces. Stephen is a member of National Executive Committee of CIBC Wood Gundy operating Canadian Operations.

A graduate of Mount Allison University, Stephen has been in the Financial Service Business for over thirty years. He has held roles as a Chartered Accountant and Partner with a National and Regional CA firm. As well, from 1998 to 2008 he was previously employed as an Investment Advisor and Branch Manager with Merrill Lynch and BMO Nesbitt Burns.

Stephen is President, Amherst Developments Limited and owns the Super 8 Motel in Amherst, Nova Scotia as well as commercial rental properties. He is President of Maltby Group in Amherst that runs a number of local active business and real estate operations.

Stephen is an active volunteer including the Board of Directors, Easter Seals Nova Scotia; Member, Rotary Club of Amherst; Director, Past Treasurer, Cape Jourimain Nature Centre; and Past Coach, President, Executive Member Amherst Minor Hockey, Cumberland Minor Hockey, Amherst Junior A Ramblers.

Stephen has been a recipient of the Chartered Accountant of the Year for Nova Scotia and was awarded Branch Manager of the Year in Canada for CIBC Wood Gundy in 2012.

Mary Ellen Martin
Mary Ellen Martin

Mary Ellen Martin is a second year Business Administration student at NSCC Waterfront Campus. She currently serves as the Student Association President on campus and has also served as the Vice President of Communications.

Through her diploma program, Mary Ellen has developed a keen interest in entrepreneurial endeavors. In 2015, Mary Ellen placed second in the 2015 Young Entrepreneurial Self Pitch Competition (Y.E.S) and participated in the Pitch 101 Competition. She was also selected to partake in the NSCC International entrepreneurship program in Scotland in summer 2015.

In addition to her extensive volunteer work, Mary Ellen has worked in a variety of positions focused on developing her communications, management and public service abilities. In the past, Mary Ellen has worked as a service representative at a luxury car dealership; as a hotel front desk agent; in the retail, tourism and hospitality industries; as well as for the public service commission. Most recently, Mary Ellen drew on her diploma program's finance concentration and completed a co-op position as a financial representative with the East Coast Credit Union in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Mary Ellen is certified in Diplome D'Études de Langues Français (DELF) and has an affinity for traveling, cars, cooking and specialty cake design.

Amanda Peters
Amanda Peters

Amanda is a member of Glooscap First Nation and was born and raised in the Annapolis Valley.

After graduating from high school in 1999 she attended Mount Allison University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) in Political Science. She then attended Dalhousie University graduating with a Master of Arts in Political Science. After completing her studies she opted to travel the world for a while and spent a total of 4 ½ years living and working in Japan, South Korea, London England and rural Scotland.

Amanda returned to Dalhousie in 2006 to pursue a double masters in Information Management and Public Administration. Following graduation in 2009 Amanda was hired by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APCFNC) as a Policy Analyst for First Nations Health, a position she held for one year before taking on the role of Senior Health Policy Analyst.

Amanda was hired by Glooscap First Nation as the Director of Administration in June 2013. In June 2015 the Board of Directors for Glooscap Ventures, the economic development arm of Glooscap First Nation, requested that Amanda take on the role of Acting CEO until March 31, 2017. Amanda is excited about the role and the learning that is sure to come with it.

Marlene Usher, CA, CPA
Marlene Usher, CA, CPA

Born and raised in Sydney, Cape Breton, Marlene Usher began working for the accounting firm of KPMG while taking her Chartered Accountant degree, which she completed in 1992. She worked as a senior manager at KPMG for approximately 12 years where she obtained a wealth of experience in private and public sector business and consulting services.

In March of 2007, Marlene was appointed by the Federal Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency as the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a federal Crown Corporation, ECBC which was charged with economic development where she worked until 2014. In February 2015, Marlene was offered the position of Chief Executive Officer of a newly incorporated Port of Sydney Development Corporation. Marlene oversees the day-to-day operations of the port which include Cruise traffic, industrial traffic, real estate and business development.

Marlene has recently been a member of the Cape Breton University Board of Governors for five years and is presently a member of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University.  She has been the spokesperson and champion of the United Way campaign in her community.  Marlene is currently is Chair of the Board for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Foundation and on the executive of Destination Cape Breton.

John Volcko

John is Vice President, Corporate Development for PCL Construction. John leads relationship management and business development for PCL’s existing and prospective national clients in the Canadian Buildings sector. During his nearly 30-year tenure with PCL, he has worked in operations and project management roles, including operations manager in PCL Ottawa (2002–2004) and vice president and district manager of PCL Atlantic Canada (2004–2015). John holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of Calgary, and he is a Canadian Construction Association (CCA) Gold Seal-certified project manager.

In 2013, John was awarded one of the CCA’s 38 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals designated for Canadians who demonstrate outstanding service to the construction industry. He recently concluded a ten-year-commitment to the board of directors for the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, and he continues to serve on the boards of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Community College.

Sarah Young
Sarah Young

Sarah Young is a partner in NATIONAL Public Relations Ltd., the largest Canadian public relations firm with offices in St. John's, Halifax, Saint John, Montreal, Quebec City, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, New York and London UK. Sarah's expertise spans strategic planning, marketing communications, brand building, reputation management, and community and stakeholder engagement. Her previous roles include vice president with the Toronto office of Fleishman-Hillard, an international communications company.

Sarah was the recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40, an annual award to honour 40 Canadians in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors under the age of 40. She is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); a past board member of the Greater Halifax Partnership, the YMCA for Greater Halifax/Dartmouth, and NovaKnowledge, as well as the former chair of the NovaKnowledge Luncheon Series. She was also the Public Relations Chair for the Blue Nose International Marathon.

Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts honours degree from Mount Allison University, a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies from Concordia University, and is certified by the Institute for Crisis Management.

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