Board of Directors

Mike Nitz

Mike Nitz

Mike Nitz was born in Toronto, Ontario. He moved to Thunder Bay, Ontario to study Business Administration at Lakehead University, where he successfully received his degree in 2004.

In addition to his regional manager position at RBC, Mike is very involved in his community by volunteering his time passionately within a few organizations that have a positive effect on our community.

He is the 2014 Campaign Chairman and Director for the United Way of Thunder Bay, promoting, supporting and facilitating the organized capacity of people to help one another. He is the Past President of the Northwestern Chamber of Commerce and SHIFT Thunder Bay’s Young Professional Network. Mike sat on the Board of Directors for the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre for the past two years. Mike was also heavily involved with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce from 2009-2013. In his term with the Thunder Bay Chamber he fulfilled the role of Chairman from 2011-2012.

Mike is Co-Founding Chairman of the Young Professionals Network of Ontario.

2017 Postion: Chair 
E-mail: Michael.Nitz@rbc.com 

Glenn Thorpe

Glenn Thorpe

Glenn has proven to be a forward-thinking leader in his career and through his roles in the community. He’s passionate about business, economic development, and making a positive difference towards our future. In addition to his career at Cober, a Waterloo based B2B Marketing & Communications company, he’s also involved in a few organizations where he volunteers his time in an executive capacity.

He’s a member of the NextGen Committee at The Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and is Past Chairperson of The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals. He is a Judge for the annual DECA Provincials competition held in Toronto, where thousands of Secondary School Students from Ontario compete in Business, Marketing and Financial categories. Previously he’s been involved in other organizations such as the KW Symphony Marketing Think-Tank Committee.  He was featured in the business section of The KW Record Newspaper, and was an official mentor at Startup Weekend Toronto Youth Edition. He’s also been a guest speaker at Communitech.

2017 Position: Vice Chair 
E-mail: glenn.thrope@me.com 

Nathan Lawrence

Nathan Lawrence

Nathan Lawrence is a 2007 graduate of Lakehead University’s Honours Bachelors of Commerce Program, Majoring in Human Resource Management. Putting his Business Degree to work, Nathan has spent the past six years working for Dominion Lending Centres Lakehead Financial. He brings a local, knowledgeable and fresh perspective to Mortgage & Equipment Lease Financing in Thunder Bay and the Region as a whole. As a licensed Mortgage Agent, Nathan advises his clients throughout the mortgage financing process by helping secure financing catered to their unique needs and providing them with unbiased, independent financial advice. 


In addition to his professional role as a Mortgage Broker and Manager with DLC Lakehead Financial, Nathan has taken a very active role in the community as a whole. After graduation, Nathan was elected to a three-year term as a Board Director with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, working with the Board of Directors to represent the best interests of the community’s businesses on a local, provincial and federal level. As part of his role with the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, Nathan has been actively involved on the Chamber Membership Engagement Committee.

Nathan has also played a leading role in the growth of SHIFT – Thunder Bay’s Young Professionals Network (YPN). He was first elected to the SHIFT Board of Directors in 2010 as the Director of Member Engagement. In 2011, he stepped into the role of SHIFT’s Vice President and then into his current role as President. Over the past three years, Nathan has played a key role in the evolution and rebranding of the original YPN into SHIFT. He has also been actively involved in helping lead SHIFT to a significant growth in membership and community profile over the past year. During his term as President, Nathan has strived to solidify the reputation of SHIFT as the voice of young professionals in Thunder Bay and help ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization.

Over the past 2 years, he has worked hard to develop the Young Professionals Network, now becoming the Co-Founder and Founding Co-Chair of the Young Professionals Network of Ontario. An organization dedicated to strengthen the Young Professionals Networks across the province of Ontario.

He has created a personal brand that clearly defines his professionalism in his mortgage brokering career. As a community-minded individual, Nathan has built a reputation as a strong community leader who has managed to engage young professionals, nurture futures leaders and develop the voice for young professionals within Thunder Bay.”

Position 2017 : Past Chair
E-mail: nathan.lawrence@live.com 

Alana Couvrette

Alana Couvrette

Alana Couvrette is a 4th year student at the University of Ottawa studying Administration Publique et Science Politique. Over the past few years, she has worked enthusiastically with several organizations that seek to improve the plight of at-risk and marginalized youth, especially young women and girls.

As a member of the Premier’s Council on Youth Opportunities, she advises the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Children and Youth Services on ways to improve government programs and services for youth. Through her community engagement, she is able to echo the voices and concerns of Francophone youth, homeless youth and youth living in poverty. At the municipal level, she is an active member of the Ottawa Youth Engagement Committee. Alana works with the youth council to advise the city of Ottawa on methods to encourage and amplify youth voices that are traditionally underrepresented.

On campus, she is President of the University of Ottawa’s United Way Student Association. She is currently managing the LeadHer Initiative, a project that provides a local young women’s shelter with 1 year of leadership and confidence building activities. Alana is also the Director of Logistics for the University of Ottawa’s Equal Voice. She is responsible for overseeing the development of the 7th annual She Will Run conference, an event aimed at encouraging more women to run for office and become leaders in the political field.

As a budding feminist, Alana has channeled her passion for women’s rights and empowerment into three different YWCA Canada councils. First, she is a Youth Advisor on YWCA Canada’s Leadership Institute Advisory Committee, which guides the development of Canada’s first young women’s leadership institute. Second, she is a Member of YWCA Canada’s Leadership Summit Animation Team (LSAT), an advisory committee comprised of young women from across Canada who help guide the creation of the 2nd annual National Young Women’s Leadership Summit. Finally, she is a Youth Advisor for YWCA Canada’s Project Shift, a 30-month project that seeks to create a safer digital world for young women and girls.

Alana is passionate about the organizations that she volunteers with and the work that she does to improve the wellbeing of young people in her community. Her leadership skills were recently noticed by Deloitte, who selected her to attend the Deloitte National Leadership Conference in August 2016. Alana is the first student in political science and public administration to ever attend this event. In addition, she was recently nominated by the University of Ottawa’s United Way Campaign Manager for the Leading Women, Leading Girls Award by the Ontario Women’s Directorate. 

2017 Position: Co-Director of Advocacy
E-mail: acouv074@uottawa.ca 

Christopher Yendt

Christopher Yendt

Christopher graduated from Brock University in 2015 with both a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Bachelor of Education, and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) and of The Association of Registered Psychotherapists & Mental Health Professionals (OACCPP).  He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Education Program at Brock University, researching Mental Health Literacy (MHL) among teacher education candidates. 

Christopher first got his start in board governance and not-for-profit management in his third year at Brock, taking on the position of Board President for Brock University Student Radio.  From there he served as a member of Brock’s student council (BUSAC) for five years, three terms on both Brock University’s Senate,  and the Students’ Union’s Board of Directors, including one term as chair and another as vice-chair.  He also served a term as the Vice-President, Finance and Administration which helped to craft a deeper appreciation for NFP governance and organizational management.

After experiencing mental health related issues during his undergraduate degree, and gaining a greater understanding of the mental illnesses experienced by close friends and family, Christopher chose to a course of study that would allow for greater understanding and advocacy for those afflicted with mental health concerns.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, having served previously as their Treasurer. He also serves as a Board Member of Rainbow’s End CDC, a non-profit focused on providing workplace opportunities for those with lived experience in mental health.  Additionally Christopher also serves as a council member of NEXTNiagara and a board member of the North Hamilton Community Health Centre.

Christopher looks forward to working with the rest of the members of the YPNO Board to both support young professionals and their networks across the province while advocating for a generation of emerging professionals experiencing mental health concerns.   

2017 Position: Secretary
E-mail: christopher.yendt@gmail.com 

Michelle TenHave

Michelle TenHave

Michelle grew up in Thunder Bay but currently lives in Sudbury with husband and two Siberian huskies. She moved to Sudbury to pursue her education in public relations at Cambrian College.

She has worked in various sectors before starting her own company, Northern Ontario PR, which has an acute focus on media relations and social media training/coaching. Her vast experience as a PR consultant has helped companies across the north captivate their audiences with positive images through media relations, promotions and branding. She is the Chair of the Young Professionals Association of Sudbury and is active throughout the community assisting with various event committees.

She writes articles for two different publications, mainly surrounding women in business and entertainment. She spends much of her time spending time with her family, staying active, travelling and is always looking for ways to add to her personal and professional growth.

2017 Position: Director of External Partnerships & Outreach
E-mail: michelleltenhave@gmail.com 

Yvonne Pilon

Yvonne Pilon

Yvonne Pilon is a young professional passionate about technology, innovation, entrepreneurship and putting Windsor-Essex on the map. At the age of 24, she founded her first tech company, AD2IT and by the age of 29, she became the youngest female to lead a Regional Innovation Centre in the Province of Ontario. In 2012, she was awarded the University of Windsor Alumni Association’s Odyssey Award, recognizing an alumni who is in the early years of their career path, having distinguished themselves through successes in career endeavours and notable achievements in their local community.

In addition to her leadership in business, her passion for youth retention helped lead to the creation of YKNOT Windsor-Essex, a youth retention and attraction initiative that gained the attention of Premier Wynne and saw the first ever Millennial-led Summit in Windsor-Essex, Windsor180, which gathered over 250 young leaders. Yvonne is advocate for local entrepreneurs and businesses which is evident in her regular involvement with local media and social media. She is also an advocate for community service boasting dozens of volunteer roles. In addition to her role as President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, Yvonne is an instructor at St. Clair College’s The MediaPlex.

2017 Position: Co-Director of Communications & Social Media
E-mail: ypilon@wetech-alliance.com 

Meira Khosla

Meira Khosla

Meira is one of the Event Organizer’s of The Hip Haus, Social Media Manager & Managing Partner of Outsite the Box, and Co-Founder/Beauty Blogger for her makeup company, Lash Bosses.  As a Serial Entrepreneur, she is focused on helping brands grow their presence online through their social personas, developing strategies to elevate their marketing approach and constantly helping young professionals connect both online and offline. Between the various ventures she is responsible for, time management and a positive attitude appear to be the keys to success!

Meira graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelors of Commerce, immersing herself in all things business through her entire undergraduate career. As a student, she started working at a financial institution downtown Toronto, obtaining both her Canadian Securities Course (CSC) and Conduct and Practitioners Handbook (CPH). After 7 years in the wealth management industry, she realized her passion was in digital marketing and decided to quit her full-time job to join Outsite the Box & The Hip Haus.

She thoroughly enjoys eating (at least 6 times a day), going to the gym (to counteract the eating), and forcing her dog Bentley to hang out with her.

2017 Position: Co-Director of Communications & Social Media
E-mail: meira@thehiphaus.com 

Jason Gangaram

Jason Gangaram

Jason Gangaram can be described as having a strong sense of eagerness for education and who exhibits a unique leadership style. He is a firm believer in culture, through effective communication, respect and social responsibility. He attended Ryerson University and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce with a duel specialization in Operations Management and Human Resource Management. During this time Jason’s first taste of working on campus came with an opportunity to become a Teacher/ Research Assistant for a course entitled - Family Business. He then moved to working in Banking Industry and later found himself in Education Management as a Director of Admissions.  Jason is now a Campus Director at CDI College – Scarborough.  CDI College is currently operating across Canada with over 20 campuses.    

Jason is not only a highly thriving leader but he is a business owner. With the knowledge that he had gathered during his 10+ years in the family business coupled with his strong educational background he started his own company - Northern Maple Construction Inc. This is a professional design-build company.

Jason is actively involved in strengthening York Region and Scarborough.  Jason was involved with the formation and launch of Newmarket’s Young Professional Group and the formation of our own YPNO. He still continues to support economic development and is a huge advocate of continuing education.

2017 Position: Co-Director of Membership & Outreach
E-mail: j.gangaram12@gmail.com 

Sarah Hahn

Sarah Hahn

Sarah is an associate lawyer with HGR Graham Partners LLP. Her practice focusses on property law and municipal litigation. Sarah sits on the board of the Simcoe County Young Professionals Association as Past Chair and is active in the communities of Barrie and Orillia. 

2017 Position: Co-Director of Membership & Outreach
E-mail: shahn@hgrgp.ca 

Alyssa Lai

Alyssa Lai

McMaster University alumna Alyssa Lai works in public relations. Through volunteering, she found herself in the nonprofit world, a sector that has helped her thrive personally and professionally. Since arriving as a newcomer to Canada in 2008, Alyssa has worked and volunteered for more than 10 nonprofit organizations in Hamilton. She utilizes various communication channels and techniques to highlight the important work of different community organizations in the city.

In her journey to build her career toolkit, Alyssa wrote for CBC Hamilton, co-founded young professional groups,Hamilton Media Guild and Global Hamilton Connect, stage managed for an LGBTQ touring dance theatre show , and more.

A recipient of the 2014 YWCA Hamilton Women of Distinction (Public Affairs category) award and the 2015 McMaster Hamilton Community Impact Award, Alyssa has a BA (Honours) in communication studies and theatre and film studies from McMaster University. She is a true Gen-Yer with many online selfs. You can learn more at alyssaglai.com

 2017 Position: Director of Professional & Personal Development
E-mail: alyssagracelai@gmail.com 

Stephanie Pagnucco

Stephanie Pagnucco

Stephanie was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie. After finishing the IB Program at Korah Collegiate and Vocational School, Stephanie moved to London Ontario where she completed a double major in Comparative Literature and Culture and Technical and Rhetorical Writing. Shortly after graduating, she moved back to Sault Ste. Marie and worked as a Communications Officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services Branch. In November 2011, Stephanie was offered an internship in the Mayor’s Office for the City of Sault Ste. Marie as the Community Engagement Coordinator which became full time in the Spring of 2013. Currently, Stephanie now works with Tourism Northern Ontario as a Regional Coordinator.

Stephanie has sat on a number of committees including the Age-Friendly Sault Ste. Marie Steering Committee, the Algoma Youth Engagement Network, the Board of Directors for ONWIN.ca, and sat as chair of the Chamber of Commerce’s Strive Young Professionals Group for 2014. She now hopes to play an important role on the Board of Directors for the Young Professionals Network of Ontario and continues to liaise with the Strive Young Professionals Group as a member at large.

Stephanie lives with her partner, Steve, in Batchawana Bay and enjoys fishing, camping and spending time with her friends and family.

2017 Position: Director of Professional & Personal Development
E-mail: spagnucc@gmail.com 

Orlando Spicer

Orlando Spicer

Orlando is a Real Estate Broker at Royal LePage ProAlliance Realty Brokerage in Brockville, Ontario. He services both residential and commercial clients in Leeds and Grenville. Orlando is also an active investor in the Real estate market and owns a residential property management company. He is active on a number of local boards including the Bockville and District Chamber of Commerce, The Leeds and Grenville United Way and the Brockville Young Professionals Network. In recognition of his business acumen and community activism Orlando was awarded the 2014 Young Professional of the Year Award by the Chamber of Commerce. Orlando is excited to bring his experience and ideas to the YPNO Board and to make a positive impact on the lives of Young Professionals across Ontario.

2017 Position: Director of Advocacy
E-mail: orlandospicer@royallepage.ca 

Ext. Advisor: Justin Marrello

Ext. Advisor: Justin Marrello

Justin is a graduate from Lakehead University where he successfully completed his Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in Finance & Economics in 2014 and is currently completing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Sandermoen School of Business at the University of Fredericton. 

Justin helped lead the Young Professionals Network of Ontario though the 2016 fiscal year as the Business Development Coordinator. He was tasked with structuring and providing the organization with a solid foundations and best in class business practices. Justin will serve as the External Advisor for the 2017 year, assisting with the transition into the new fiscal year. 

2017 Position: External Advisor
E-mail: justinmarrello@gmail.com