Candidates for mayor - Peggy Bartlett - I am a retired business owner in Grand Falls-Windsor. I graduated from the General Hospital School of Nursing and Memorial University School of Nursing, Community Health Program and worked for 15 years within health care. I switched careers and obtained a diploma in Small Business Management and in 1991 I became a franchisee of McDonalds Restaurants in Grand Falls-Windsor and later in Lewisporte and Gander. I presently hold memberships in many diverse groups, some of which include, Rotary Club; GF-W, Association of Registered Nurses of Newfoundland and Labrador, Exploits Chamber of Commerce and Newfoundland and Labrador Exploits Chamber of Commerce, Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs (NLOWE). I also serve on the Boards of the Central Status of Women, Grand Falls House Foundation and The Business Investment Corporation, under TCII. I am the central regional representative on the Provincial Advisory Committee of the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), NL and the Atlantic Council Advisory Board CRC. I served on the Board of the Dr. Charles A. Janeway Child Health Centre Foundation, The Association of Registered Nurses of NL, The Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities of Canada, The Provincial Ronald McDonald House of NL, South and Central Health Foundation, CNIB Central Board, Excite Board, Premiers Advisory Council for Business, and a past Chair of the Board of Newfoundland Power. I am an active community volunteer, both past and present. I am currently chairperson of the Grand Falls House Foundation whose mandate is to preserve the Grand Falls House and property as a workable public heritage site. I was one of the founding members in establishing a Ronald McDonald House in NL, providing a much-needed home away from home for sick children and their families traveling to St. John’s for medical treatment. I believe that I have the skills and experience to be your best candidate for Mayor.
Barry Manuel - Having been born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor, and a life-long resident, Barry Manuel has always taken an active role in the community. He has worked as the Executive Director of the Corduroy Brook Enhancement Association for nearly 20 years. The 20 kilometres of trail, along with associated programs and events, have produced benefits for all ages and abilities. During this time he has overseen the hiring and direction of more than six hundred employees. He has experience in human resource management, strategic planning, government relations and financial accounting. In the community, Barry has served as Coach, General Manager and Vice President of the Cataracts Hockey Club. He has served on the executives of several youth organizations. Barry is the past Chair of the Stewardship Association of Municipalities, current Chair of the Excite Board and member of the Urban Municipalities Committee. On Council, Barry was the Chair of Parks and Recreation Committee during the first two years before assuming the Salmon Festival Chair duties in the last two years. Barry has been committed to Grand Falls-Windsor his entire life, and has enjoyed bringing that dedication to Council and Mayor. Barry looks forward to the opportunity to continue representing the citizens of our beautiful town, and appreciates all the support and encouragement he has received. Barry and his wife Holly have four children; Ryan, Bradley, Sarah and Alex, and one granddaughter Kaitlyn. Barry is committed to family and wants to ensure a prosperous, united future for our community.
©Randy Edison photo
GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL — August 29 was the deadline for candidates to declare themselves for the upcoming Municipal General Election in September.
A total of 11 candidates declared for councilor and two declared for mayor.
Among the eleven candidates in Grand Falls-Windsor are four incumbents.
The mayor’s chair is being challenged by the current mayor and a sitting councilor.
The advanced poll will take place on Saturday, Sept. 16 at the fire hall on Harris Avenue from 8a.m.–8p.m.
The general election will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 26 at seven polling stations and will run from 8a.m.-8p.m.
Candidates for council - Karen Andrews - I was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor and graduated from St. Michael's High School. I have a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I am a Registered Social Worker with the Newfoundland Labrador Social Workers Association and the founder of Helping People Stay Healthy - an online counselling service I am running for council because I want to make a difference in our community. I am an excellent listener and my priority is to hear your ideas, issues and concerns. I am proactive and approachable and strive for the whole. I have an honest and open leadership that can build a stronger community with collective unity.
Rod Bennett - Rod Bennett, or better known as Blackie, was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL. He is married to Hilda and together they have two children. Jordan is attending Memorial University working towards the completion of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree; Alison is attending Acadia University working towards completion of a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition (Dietetics) degree. Blackie is the owner of Action Sports Shots, a sports photography business. As an active community volunteer he can often be found volunteering his time for a wide variety of organizations such as minor baseball, Canadian Cancer Society, Grand Falls-Windsor Volunteer Fire Department, Grand Falls-Windsor Minor Hockey and countless other organizations. He frequently utilizes his photography business to support charitable causes such as the Children’s Wish Foundation and the Relay for Life by donating picture sales. You can see his smiling face anywhere in the community on any given day of the week helping other in need. He served as a volunteer fire fighter for over 10 years with the Grand Falls-Windsor Fire Department and is extremely proud of this organization. Blackie is described by many as an extremely hardworking and driven person who puts 110% into anything he is involved in. He is highly passionate about Grand Falls-Windsor and its future; a short conversation with him will reveal his passion and commitment. Anyone who knows Blackie will also be aware of his compassionate side. He demonstrates care and concern for all, known and unknown. His dedication, leadership, work ethic, and ability to function effectively as a team member have served him well in any role he serves. For Blackie, there is no challenge too big and no problem too small.
Mike Browne - Mike Browne was first elected to Grand Falls-Windsor Town Council in the March 2016 by-election. Since that time he has served as the Chair of the Parks, Recreation and Special Events Committee. He has been Council's representative on the Board of Directors of the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society, the YMCA, and the Exploits Community Centre. He is a member of the Excite Corporation Board and the Salmon Festival Committee. Mike has born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor and has an extensive background in community leadership. Having served as President of various sporting groups including Minor, Junior and Senior Hockey. Is a former coach of the Junior and Senior Cataracts. Served as President of the Senior Baseball Association for 10 years and that included the time when funds were raised to install lights at Centennial Field. Mike is the founder and co-chair of Stop Relocating our Seniors Committee, a group formed to try and end the relocation of our residents to other towns due to the lack of Level 3 Healthcare Beds here in Grand Falls-Windsor. He has been employed in marketing and management throughout his work history and is currently Executive Director of the Grand Falls Golf Club. He has served on the Board of Directors of Golf NL and in 2016 was selected as the Golf NL Employee of the Year.
Amy Coady-Davis - Elected in 2009, re-elected in 2013, Councillor Amy Coady-Davis was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor and is a member of the following Committees: Chair, Public Works and Planning, Economic Development, Tourism and Heritage, Exploits Valley Salmon Festival, Central Director Municipalities NL, Chair, Membership Development, Municipalities NL, member of AND Co. Board (Queen Street Dinner Theatre), and Exploits Joint Council Councillor Coady-Davis has participated in special offerings including Basic Emergency Management, Municipal Budget Preparation, Placemaking, and Councillor Training. Amy is an active participant and has taken a lead role in the Exploits Joint Council with members from Buchans to Leading Tickles. Responsible for scheduling regular meetings, preparing agendas and minutes and inviting special guests as speakers (from Federal MP, Provincial Ministers and MHA’s to RCMP staff) and maintaining correspondence with members. Councillor Coady-Davis was chosen to be one of the spokespeople for the 2013 and 2017 Municipal Affairs/Municipalities NL “Make Your Mark NL” campaign, spokesperson for MNL for Municipal Awareness Day and MNL panel member and speaker at MNL conventions and symposiums and was elected MNL Central Director is the fall of 2016. Amy is a volunteer in various organizations outside of Council, including Children’s Liturgy, Sacramental Preparation, Parent Volunteer Minor Sports, and School volunteer. Councillor Amy Coady-Davis and her husband, Wayne have 3 children, Isaac, Faith & Theresa (ages 14, 12, and 8). Councillor Amy Coady-Davis is employed with the Dept. of Transportation and Works, Grand Falls-Windsor.
Jim Courtney - Believing in promoting a positive community and trying to improve the quality of life for others sparked my interest at an early age to become a volunteer. I started my journey by participating in a twenty-six mile walk for OXFAM, advocating for men and women fighting to end poverty in their communities and around the world. It was educating and rewarding to know that I helped make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. I continued to volunteer with many other groups and agencies; and with a dedicated commitment, I have donated 188 whole blood donations to date. This demonstrates my commitment and motivation for offering myself as a candidate in our upcoming municipal election. I moved to our town approximately twenty eight years ago with the Department of Justice-Adult Corrections Division. I served in this department for thirty-one years, where I recently retired as Assistant Superintendent and given the same, I am now able to offer myself as a full time councilor. I have been blessed with three beautiful children, Carolyn, James and Noel who are now adults and have taken up their respective careers in other provinces. My spouse is Bernie Power and we remain active in promoting Grand Falls-Windsor as a place we are proud to call home. Current Volunteering Air Cadet League of Canada – Central NL Director Chairperson of the Interfaith Cemetery Committee Executive position with the Knight of Columbus (warden) Salvation Army – Serving on an Emergency Response team Canadian Blood Services – Blood Donor In the past I served three terms as a town councilor; a position I had performed with honestly and integrity. During this tenure I chaired all standing committees within council. My past accomplishments also include Federation of Canadian Municipalities Elected Director for Newfoundland and Labrador Government of Canada Exemplary Service Medal Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Recipient of Award of Excellence
Shawn Feener - Our town has long been known as the hub of Central. Having been born and raised in this wonderful town, I can vouch for the fact that there is no place like this one. I have worked in all areas of Central NL as a Wildlife & Fisheries Officer, and am currently employed as a Conservation Officer with the Dept. of Forest Resources. My wife of 32 years, Jackie (Sharpe), our two sons, Mark (Sarah) and Chris, and our beautiful granddaughter Norah, are all proud to call this town our home. Jackie and I also operate the Classic Theater and in the past six years, have taken this business from barely being on the radar, to being one of the highest grossing independently operated theaters in Atlantic Canada, and have been honored and humbled to receive small business and business of the year awards for the past two years. I have also been a past member of the Central NL Municipalities board for approximately 5 years, past President of the Exploits Special Olympics and I am a licensed Guide. I have a keen appreciation for all things nature related and try to play an active role in its preservation for future generations. It would be an honor and a privilege to serve on our Town's council and give back a little of what this wonderful place has given myself and my family.
Darren Finn - It is with a great sense of pride and optimism that I’ve decided to seek re-election as Councillor for the Town of Grand Falls-Windsor. As a candidate, I hold a Bachelor of Commerce Degree and I have more than 20 years experience in Tourism and Community Economic Development. Currently, I work in a management position within the Provincial Government. I am from Grand Falls–Windsor, married and have two daughters in school. In my past experience on Council I’ve served as the Chair of Finance, Public Works, and Economic Development. Outside of Council, I’ve served as Chair of the Mill Closure Concerned Citizens Committee; Chair of the Central Newfoundland Tourism Committee; and I’ve served as President of the St. Mary’s University Student Council. I believe my extensive background gives me the knowledge, skills, and confidence to offer myself as a Councillor who can lead this community into places of growth and change that will be so important for us all.
Lori Hennessey - I believe I have a unique perspective that is different from other candidates. I am in the middle of 5 generations living in GFW. My grandmother Betty Freake recently turned 90 and resides at Hollett Retirement Centre. My parents, John & Cathy Hewitt are seniors. I and my husband, Phil, are changing our thoughts from raising a family to planning for retirement, our 3 children are trying to find employment that does not have them moving away and we have 2 grandsons under the age of 10. My immediate family encompasses every age group and I personally see the issues and needs facing families today in our community. I am not a politician or a businessperson. I live, work, raise my family, volunteer my time and face the same problems as others residents in GFW. I love my community and want to see it prosper. I am a doer, I don’t believe in talking about something, I believe in taking action. If there is a problem I think you either find a way to solve it or find an acceptable alternative. I have a strong voice that would be heard on issues important to you and I’m willing to stand up and be heard as your representative.
Mary Kelly - I have lived almost all of my life in Grand Falls-Windsor, having moved here when I was one. I attended NDA, St. Catherine’s and St. Mike’s. I completed a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from St. Mary’s University, a Bachelor of Education from MUN and my Masters of Education, in Leadership and Curriculum, from Mount St. Vincent University. In the fall of 1987, the local campus of the now College of the North Atlantic started to offer a full first year university program. In January of 1988, while part way through my education degree, I was hired as the full time lab instructor for the Chemistry courses offered in that program. After three years in this position, I took unpaid leave and went back to university to complete my education degree. Upon completion, I moved in to several instructional positions within the college. I taught in the Adult Basic Education, Computer Repair, and Environmental Studies programs. In November of 1998, I decided to take a chance and apply to teach at Exploits Valley High School. I was awarded the position and I have never looked back. My main teaching assignment is Chemistry and after 19 years I still love it. I am teacher sponsor of the hockey team and have been co-chair of Grad three times. In addition to my school commitments, I have found the time to volunteer for many local and provincial organizations, such as the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Grand Falls Golf Course, Northcliffe Drama Club, the Grand Falls-Windsor Heritage Society and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral Parish.
Tom Pinsent - Tom Pinsent was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor. He joined the Canadian Armed Forces and served 11 years before leaving the service at the rank of Sargent. While in the service he completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax. He has worked at the College of the North Atlantic in Grand Falls Windsor as a Business Instructor since 1992. Since being on council in 2013, he has been Chair of the Finance Committee and has sat on the Parks and Recreation Committee, Excite Corporation Committee, and Chair of A.N.D Company (Queen Street Dinner Theatre). He has headed up several special projects on behalf of council such as the Fort MacMurray Benefit Concert where $12,000.00 was donated to the local Salvation Army for those from Grand Falls-Windsor who were forced from their homes. As part of his participation with council, he helped form a new volunteer radio station called Valley Radio that is scheduled to begin operations officially this fall. Located in the Excite Center, its aim is to be a Community Station to promote the town events, its people and the town in general.
Mark Whiffen - I am 34 and was born and raised in Grand Falls-Windsor. After high school I attended Memorial University where I completed my Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op) degree and studies in Political Science. I also participated in the study abroad program where I studied business at Universität Paderborn, in Paderborn, Germany. After completing university and working in St. John’s, I decided to return home to Grand Falls-Windsor after the paper mill closed because I wanted to contribute to the growth and success of my hometown after losing a major industry, where I currently reside and work in business development. I have also been enrolled in the Canadian Forces CIC Reserve since 2002. Community involvement I have always been a community volunteer and a community leader going back to high school. I was Youth of the Year for Grand Falls-Windsor and Sea Cadet of the Year for Newfoundland and Labrador. I received the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, at Memorial University I was nominated for the David Kirkland Student Leadership Award, and in 2013 I was nominated for Citizen of the Year for Grand Falls-Windsor at just 29 years of age. Current involvement Officer with the GFW Sea Cadets Executive Member of Biathlon NL Biathlon Coach & Cross Country Ski Coach Volunteer Facilitator with Junior Achievement NL Member, Exploits Regional Curling Club Grand Falls-Windsor Mixed Slo-Pitch Softball Past recent involvement Executive Member of the GFW Cataracts Senior Hockey Club Executive Member of the Exploits Valley Cross Country Ski Club (Refounding Member and past Vice- President) Volunteer at Rogers TV