Hobbes Named New Chair of Row Ontario Board of Directors
Row Ontario completed the election process for their Board of Directors at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday. In addition to the election, they also selected the Board’s new officers during a board meeting immediately following the AGM.
Pippa Hobbes was selected as Row Ontario’s new Chair of the Board of Directors during the board meeting. The Chair position was previously known as President until a change in terminology was made earlier this year in an effort to better reflect the role of the position. Hobbes replaces Chris Waddell, who served as President of Row Ontario since 2016. Waddell will remain on the Board as a Director and will be an invaluable resource to Hobbes as she transitions into the role of Chair.
Hobbes, who served as Row Ontario’s Treasurer from 2017-19, is a Toronto native with over 30 years of experience as a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA, CMA) and a strong knowledge of governance and oversight issues. She re-joined the Row Ontario Board in August after filling the vacant Director position. In addition to her tenure as Treasurer with Row Ontario, she has also served two terms as Treasurer with the Argonaut Rowing Club, where she was instrumental in helping the club improve its financial sustainability. Hobbes has a well-versed background in rowing and has been a member of Argonauts since joining a Learn-to-Row program in 1998. She competed for several years as a masters rower and recently became an Associate Umpire.
Meredith Smith was also selected for the position of Secretary on the Board. Smith, who hails from London, has a well-versed background in rowing having been an umpire for 11 years and a previous board member with the London Rowing Club. She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2019 and served as a Director for the last year. Dan O’Shaughnessy of Brockville, who joined the Board last year as well, will remain in the role of Treasurer.
The Board also welcomed a new member on Saturday as Zola Mehlomakulu was elected by the Row Ontario membership. Mehlomakulu is a former coach with the Queen’s University Rowing Club and a member and coach with the Kingston Rowing Club. In his professional career, he is a consultant in the development, acquisition, and management of multi-residential real estate assets and returns to rowing after a few years away with the goal of developing and fostering the sport from outside of the coach boat and alongside Row Ontario.
Caitlin Beresford, who sought re-election to the Board after her term was completed this year, was also elected by the membership for another term. Beresford has been active in the Ontario rowing community since 2000 and is a lawyer with her own practice in the area of Aboriginal law, focusing on land claims, consultation, and governance.
Mehlomakulu, Beresford, Waddell and Janet Lancaster, who was elected to the Board last year, will serve as the association’s Directors.
Row Ontario Board of Directors
Pippa Hobbes – Chair
Meredith Smith – Secretary
Dan O’Shaughnessy – Treasurer
Caitlin Beresford – Director
Janet Lancaster – Director
Zola Mehlomakulu – Director
Chris Waddell – Director
Row Ontario would like to thank outgoing Board Member Margy Braga for her commitment and dedication during her time served on the Board as well as the other candidates who sought election for the Board.
Row Ontario’s Board of Directors consists of volunteers with experience in rowing and strategic skills in different areas of governance. In addition, several committees work on specific aspects of delivering rowing in Ontario. At its 2014 Annual General Meeting, Row Ontario’s members voted to move to a Policy Board, where the Board makes all governance decisions and delegates the responsibility for operations decisions exclusively to the Chief Executive Officer.