People on the Move: Brad Fougere joins OCOBIA as its new executive director

Brad Fougere has joined OCOBIA as its new executive director.
Brad Fougere has joined OCOBIA as its new executive director.

Brad Fougere has joined the Ottawa Coalition of Business Improvement Areas as its new executive director, the organization announced Monday. 

The position opened up in January after previous executive director Michelle Groulx left the role after almost three years with the organization. 

“She left big shoes to fill,” Fougere told OBJ on Tuesday. 

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A graduate of Algonquin College’s journalism program, Fougere has a decade of experience in communications and media relations. From 2016 to 2022, he was manager of digital and corporate communications for Canada Soccer. He then went on to launch his own firm, Fougere Communications, which supported the marketing and PR needs of soccer organizations. 

Fougere has been a resident of Ottawa for the past 13 years and said he’s eager to get started in his new role. 

“In a previous role, I had come to know the organization and the work that it does at the intersection of community development and economic development,” he said. “I see it as a really great opportunity to really make an impact on the community.”

OCOBIA represents the collective voice and vision of Ottawa’s 18 business improvement areas, which represent more than 6,400 businesses across the city. The organization has become a respected advocate and influencer on key issues and policies impacting local businesses and economic development. 

“I think there’s a shifting lens and expectation for what business improvement areas are, so I think with a broader set of expectations, it’s a pretty great opportunity to have a different sort of influence,” he said. “I’m excited and eager to work not just with the board, but all 18 BIAs. There’s a real opportunity to grow OCOBIA’s membership.”

Also on the move in Ottawa

Confederation M&A welcomed its first partner in Ottawa, bringing on Brad Ezard on May 6. Ezard previously worked as chief operating officer at Keynote Search, overseeing business operations, including legal, finance, marketing and technology divisions. In addition to his operational experience, Ezard worked as a corporate lawyer at Latham & Watkins LLP in Washington D.C., focusing on mergers and acquisitions and private equity investment. Within the Ottawa community, he sits on the Bruyere Hospital Foundation and 100 Men Who Care Ottawa’s executive committee. He was an OBJ Forty Under 40 recipient in 2020. 

Hats off!

Five notable leaders in their respective fields will be awarded honorary degrees by Algonquin College at the Ottawa campus spring convocation ceremonies in June. This year will feature a special presentation of the Fellowship Award, which recognizes exceptional individual community members who have made an invaluable contribution to the school. It has only been presented once in the college’s history. Steve Barkhouse, owner of Amsted Design-Build, will receive the award from the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence. Four other leaders will also receive honorary degrees. Graham Bird, president and CEO of GBA Development and Project Management, receives his from the School of Business and Hospitality. Indigenous playwright, novelist, pianist and songwriter Tomson Highway will receive his from the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design. Dr. Dipak Roy, chairman of D-TA Systems Inc., receives his from the School of Advanced Technology. Businessman and former Ottawa Senators player Chris Phillips will receive his from the Faculty of Health, Community Studies and Public Safety (Health). 

In June, CEO of Intercounsel and founding CEO of the Business Council of Canada Thomas d’Aquino will receive the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. Established in 1875 by Emperor Meiji, the Japanese order recognizes exceptional civil or military merit and includes a number of foreigners each year. D’Aquino said he’s enjoyed close ties with Japan over his decades-long career, frequently working with his business counterparts and travelling to the country. The ceremony will take place in Ottawa on June 18 at the residence of the ambassador of Japan, Kanji Yamanouchi. 

Kelly Santini LLP employment law partner Sean Bawden has been appointed the new president of the County of Carleton Law Association board of trustees. Bawden first joined the board in 2013 and brings experience from his time previously serving as vice-president and secretary. He is the first person from Kelly Santini to serve as president of the association. 

Luxury travel adviser Sheila Gallant-Halloran, owner of Lush Life Travel, has been named a 2024 Virtuoso Cruise Icon. The company, which specializes in luxury and experiential travel, grants the honour to advisers whose sales performance excels within the industry. Grant-Halloran joins 137 other advisers across eight countries worldwide who have earned the designation, collectively representing the top one per cent of Virtuoso’s cruise sales.

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