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Georgian College names new chair of board of governors

Mary-Anne Willsey 'deeply humbled' by appointment for 2023-24 academic year

Mary-Anne Willsey is the 2023-24 chair of the Georgian College board of governors.

The board held its first meeting of the academic year on Sept. 28.

Mary-Anne first joined Georgian’s board of governors in fall 2020. In addition to her role as chair, Mary-Anne is the general manager of business operations, economic development for Chippewas of Rama First Nation, and she has worked with her husband, Bob, as founder and owner of Mariposa Market in Orillia since it opened in 1986.

“I’m deeply humbled for this opportunity to serve Georgian and our campus communities,” she said. “Georgian has an outstanding reputation as a leader in the college system and our graduates play an integral role in strengthening and developing our economy, region and workplaces. I’ve long directed young minds to the college for career inspiration and will continue to find great meaning in contributing to and helping to advance the college’s strategic priorities.”

Mary-Anne is a longtime supporter of Georgian, including as chair of the Anishinaabe Education and Training Circle. Mary-Anne is a proud member of the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

Part of the local business community for decades, Mary-Anne was also a member of the team that launched Casino Rama. She developed a robust player development department during her 20 years there, leading the way in exceptional customer service in the Ontario gaming industry.

In 2017, she was asked to join a team launching a customer development program for Parq Vancouver, a gaming resort in downtown Vancouver, and she helped with the opening of Casino Woodbine, Canada’s largest gaming site. Currently, she oversees Rama First Nation-owned businesses and works closely with community members with the goal of remaining a proud and progressive First Nation community.

“For many years, Mary-Anne has been an ardent champion of the college and a strong voice for our students,” said Kevin Weaver, president and CEO. “I’ve appreciated her wisdom and support in numerous capacities and look forward to the perspective she’ll bring to this important leadership role.”

New members to the board this year include Dr. Bill Angelakos, dean, design and visual arts, Georgian College; Kevin Collins, president and CEO, Easter Seals; Jason Hunter, professor, design and visual arts; David Visentin, civil engineering technology student; Kris Menzies, retired partner, MHBC Planning, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture; and Jim Williams, dealer principal, Baytowne Hyundai.

One-third of Georgian’s board of governors membership is appointed through the public-sector appointment process and two-thirds is appointed directly by the board.

2023-24 board of governors

  • Chair Mary-Anne Willsey of Orillia
  • Vice-chair Steven Lowe of Owen Sound
  • Vice-chair Kimberley Greenwood of Barrie
  • Dr. Bill Angelakos, administrative representative
  • Stephen Arsenault of Barrie
  • Heather Bullock of Penetanguishene and Oakville
  • Jake Chevrier, support staff representative
  • Jason Hunter, faculty representative
  • Kevin Collins of Barrie
  • Carolyn Garvey of Barrie
  • David Visentin, student representative
  • Stephen Loftus of Barrie
  • Kris Menzies of Southampton
  • Joanne McPhail of Barrie
  • Bruce Stanton of Coldwater
  • Jim Williams of Barrie
  • David Johnson of Barrie
  • Kevin Weaver, president and CEO, Georgian College