The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission, the binational entity that owns and operates the Rainbow, Whirlpool Rapids and Lewiston-Queenston bridges between Canada and the U.S., recently elected its slate of officers for 2014 at its annual general meeting.
Ernest K. Smith of Niagara Falls, Ontario, was elected chairperson. Kathleen L. Neville of Wilson was elected vice-chairperson. Kenneth E. Loucks of Sauble Beach, Ontario, was elected secretary, and Russell G. Quarantello of Lewiston was elected treasurer.
The other NFBC board members include Janice A. Thomson of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario; Frank Soda, of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; and Thomas G. Pryce of Youngstown.
Smith was appointed to the commission in November 2009. He retired from Canada Immigration after more than 31 years of service, and has experience in such areas as enforcement, operations and intelligence. Since retiring, Smith has been contracted by the International Region of Citizenship & Immigration Canada to work as a visa officer in England, Hong Kong, Trinidad, Saudi Arabia and the U.S.
A graduate of Stamford C.I., Smith holds a B.A. from Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfrid Laurier University) in Ontario, and a masters degree from Niagara University.
Neville was appointed to the commission in March 2012. A public relations professional, she previously served as senior vice president at Hill and Knowlton Public Relations International in New York City, and as a senior consultant at Ketchum Public Relations in Washington, D.C. She is a former managing executive director of Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, and the author of several non-fiction books and articles on conduct in today's workplaces and schools.
The former TV and radio broadcaster obtained a B.S. in marketing from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and received a graduate teaching fellowship in English/communications from NU.
Loucks, formerly of St. Catharines, was appointed to the commission in April 2006 and served as chairperson in 2010. He is professor emeritus of the faculty of business at Brock University in St. Catharines, and holds HBA, MBA and Ph.D. degrees from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario.
His career in education encompasses appointments at two secondary schools and three universities in Ontario, and two adjunct appointments in Australia. He is a specialist in entrepreneurship and business strategy.
Throughout his career, Loucks has maintained an active management consulting practice. He has served as a consultant to bilateral and multilateral development agencies in small enterprise creation, and economic development programming with assignments in more than 30 countries. During his career, he has served on numerous public and private sector boards and commissions.
Soda was appointed to the commission in March 2012. He retired in 2010 after a 41-year teaching career. He holds a B.A. and M.A. from NU, and an M.S. from Buffalo State College. Soda taught at Niagara Falls High School for 23 years. He is an adjunct at Erie Community College and NU.
A former Niagara Falls City Council member, twice, he also served on the Love Canal Area Revitalization Agency.
Thomson was appointed to the commission in April 2006, and previously served as secretary, following two years as chairperson (in 2007 and 2008). She was actively involved in the reconstruction of the Queenston Plaza, serving as liaison between the board of commissioners and the design and construction team (accountable to the federal government as project co-chair). She presently serves as executive director of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce and Visitor & Convention Bureau, and previously held executive management positions at the national offices of Jaguar Canada and BMW Canada in an 18-year period.
Thomson serves as chair of the Niagara Parks Commission, as a board member of the Niagara Foundation, and a board member of the Toronto 2015 PanAm/ParapanAm Games. She is also on many tourism-related committees.
Quarantello was appointed to the commission in March 2012. He currently serves as business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 237. He is a master electrician who has worked for numerous electric contractors over the years, including the Carborundum Co., Viatran Corp., and the U.S. Small Business Administration. He was elected to his position as the union local's principal officer in 2007.
Pryce was appointed to the commission in January 2008 and served as chairperson in 2013. He recently retired as business manager and financial secretary of Iron Workers Local 9, Niagara Falls, N.Y. A graduate of Plattsburgh State, Pryce served 12 years as a member and officer of the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education, and sits on several charitable and community development boards.
U.S. commissioners serve at the pleasure of the governor of New York. Canadian commissioners serve at the pleasure of the premier of the Province of Ontario. All officers hold their respective office for one year - until the next annual meeting - unless the commission deems a change is necessary.