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2020 AGM and your 2021 Board of Directors

Posted 1 year ago on · Permalink

Our Board of Directors: Overview

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT), overseen by its Board of Directors, continues its long history of successfully empowering the business community through networking, education, and advocacy.

The APBOT’s Board of Directors represents a cross-section of businesses and organizations in the community. Serving on the APBOT’s Board of Directors is considered an honour and an excellent opportunity to assist the APBOT in defining and reaching its objectives. All Directors are expected to commit substantial time and effort to give the proper attention to their responsibilities, which include attending our Board of Director meetings, attending multiple APBOT events, and being active in one or more APBOT committees. Further, all Directors are expected to work constructively and harmoniously with the Board of Directors, staff, members, and volunteers. We are proud to have many leaders in the community serve on our Board of Directors.

Our Board of Directors: Election of the Slate

In order to ensure we have an ideal Board of Directors, it is important that we have diverse representation, skills, and abilities. In particular, it is ideal to have diversity in regard to:

  • Geographic location (to ensure equal representation of both Ajax and Pickering)
  • Industry and organizational size
  • Skills and experience (specifically legal and HR)
  • Ability to contribute (i.e. support membership initiatives, support advocacy initiatives, etc.)

As a result of recent amendments to our Bylaws, our Board of Directors are now elected each year, by way of a slate proposed by the Board Development Committee. The Board Development Committee is comprised of two officers, the chair of the Governance Committee, the Executive Director, and up to three other members, all of whom were approved by a majority vote of APBOT Council.

Pursuant to the bylaws, each member is entitled to one vote in regard to the slate proposed by the Board Development Committee. You may either vote to support the entire slate OR you may vote to oppose the entire slate. If the slate is approved, then all those on the slate will make up the 2021 Board of Directors. If the slate is not approved, then an election will occur on an individual director basis. After the election of the 2021 Board of Directors, the officers of the Board of Directors will be elected.

For the 2021 Board of Directors, the Board Development Committee has recommended the following current directors as returning directors for the slate:

  • Analiese St. Aubin, Ontario Power Generation – returning
  • Tracy Paterson, Ajax Pickering Hospital Foundation – returning
  • Glen McFarland, CPA, CA, McGovern Hurley LLP – returning
  • Melanie Walls, Elexicon Energy Inc. – returning
  • Talia Lane, Matheis Financial Group – returning
  • Stephen Barry, Remax Commercial – returning
  • Adrian Neely, Best Buy Insurance – returning
  • Jessica Rhynas, Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Ajax – returning
  • Pauline Smiley, Livewell Pathway Healthcare Services – returning
  • Gordon Steven, TD Commercial Banking – returning

In regard to the additional four open spots (of which, no less than three must be filled), for the 2021 Board of Directors, the Board Development Committee has approved the following new directors for the slate:

  • Mohamed Bachani, Unique Accounting Services – recommended by Board Development Committee
  • Lakshana Linga-Easwaran, Walker Head Lawyers – recommended by Board Development Committee
  • Charles Hamilton, Business Development Bank of Canada – recommended by Board Development Committee

A brief bio for each of the three recommended new directors on the slate is provide below.

We are also pleased to continue to have our municipal advisors from the Town of Ajax and the City of Pickering.

In order to vote on the slate, you may vote during the virtual AGM, you may vote by proxy at the virtual AGM, or you may submit a ballot by way of email at For your email ballot to count, you must send your email on or before 11 a.m. Dec. 9, 2020. If the slate is not approved by the members, an election will occur at the virtual AGM regarding individual directors.

If you wish to proxy your vote to another member, you may do so by:

The downloadable proxy form is available HERE.

If you wish to vote prior to the AGM, you may do so by:

The downloadable ballot is available HERE.

Our AGM Package

The full APBOT 2020 AGM package is available HERE.


Our 2021 Board of Directors: Proposed New Director Bios

Lakshana Linga-Easwaran – Walker Head Lawyers

Lakshana is an associate at Walker, Head Lawyers, a prominent law firm in Durham. She practices in the areas of employment law, civil litigation, and human rights law. Lakshana provides advice on employment and civil matters to a variety of businesses and professionals based in the Ajax-Pickering community. She enjoys her work and is dedicated to helping clients meet their legal objectives through reliable service.

Lakshana has always enjoyed volunteering with the community. She volunteered with legal aid clinics throughout law school and became involved with the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) as she began her legal career in Pickering. Lakshana currently chairs the Governance Committee and enjoys working with the committee to address APBOT’s needs.

Lakshana has also volunteered for Youth Empowering Youth, a non-profit charity organization to organize musical programs to fundraise for educational supplies for less fortunate students. Through her volunteering, she became involved in Durham Tamil Association and continues to support and volunteer at their events.

Lakshana enjoys exploring hiking trails, travelling/road trips, and spending time with her family and friends.

Mohamed Bachani – Unique Accounting Services

Mohamed is the founder and President of Unique Accounting Services, an Accounting and Bookkeeping firm that helps Canadian small and medium sized businesses with their bookkeeping, accounting and taxation needs under one roof.

With over 15 years’ experience providing taxation, accounting and bookkeeping services to businesses of all sizes, Mohamed is the go to person for accounting and taxation. He is connected to all leading professional associations in his industry, to ensure he meets the highest standards of accounting and bookkeeping, and enabling him to keep up to date on all aspects involved with accounting and bookkeeping and any industry changes.

He has been on the Board of Directors of the Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) since 2016, and has been serving as the Secretary/Treasurer on the BACD board since 2017. Mohamed volunteers his time in the preparation of income tax returns through the CRA’s Community Voluntary income Tax Preparation (CVITP) clinics, working with charitable organizations.

Charles Hamilton – Business Development Bank of Canada

Charles Hamilton has been a local Account Manager at the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) for nearly four years. Charles loves meeting with Durham Region entrepreneurs to understand what challenges they are facing, and how he can best help them grow by leveraging BDC’s commercial financing and advisory solutions. Thriving on his creativity and passion for entrepreneurship, he is eager to support local companies and has helped dozens of small businesses across a wide range of industries scale to new heights. Charles enjoys educating entrepreneurs about the various options for capital available and what may be the best route for them.

In the community, Charles was selected to the APBOT Business Excellence Awards committee three years ago and has been Chair of that committee for the past two years. With exception of the pandemic period (where the BDC preferred to have a unified voice emanating from HQ), Charles has been a strong participant in APBOT events, with an average of one event per month between Sept 2019 – Feb 2020. As of July 2020, Charles is specializing in the Ajax/Pickering market and is looking forward to attending more BoT events in the future. Finally, Charles is a Starter Company Plus Panel Judge for BACD, where he can jointly select early stage companies for micro-grants to help grow their businesses.

Personally, Charles is a committed Toastmaster and was elected VP Membership at his local club. He is an avid hiker and a hobbyist photographer that enjoys capturing landscapes and portraits. If there is a gap in photography needs at the Board, Charles would be happy to support in these endeavors.