Board of Directors

PETER GILL – Chairman of the Board  (2015 – Present)                                                                     

P.GillPeter Gill was born and brought up in Toronto, lived for 7 years in Vancouver and then relocated to Niagara-on-the-Lake, 14 years ago. His work career was in Claims and Risk management with the Corporation of the City of Toronto and latterly managing claims with a private insurer in Vancouver for seven years. While there he started a consulting business in the same field with clients in BC and Ontario, continued that business from NOTL, but has now retired.

Fundraising has become a sort of hobby for him. His first independent fundraising was for the 1980 Terry Fox original run when he organized a very successful multi-departmental challenge at the City of Toronto. Subsequently he has organized events and raised funds for Gillian’s Place, the NOTL Cancer Society, the new St. Catharines hospital, the Red Roof Retreat, the Shaw Festival Guild, the latter three while on their Boards, and other charities. Peter and his wife Judy are both music lovers, in particular jazz, and have taken various opportunities to see some of the jazz greats over the years and played trumpet for many years in his teens.

When the Niagara Jazz Festival was formed the attended many events in both 2014 and 2015. When he heard a new Board was being created, he contacted Juliet Dunn and also the Chair of the 2015 Board for more information, and subsequently applied to be on the Board, where he was nominated and accepted the position of Chair for 2016-17.


SUSAN KELLY – Secretary (2015 – Present)          SKelly                 

Susan grew up in St. Catharines, and in 2011 after a career in the hotel industry, she joined the Four Seasons Hotels marketing team and was responsible for positioning Four Seasons Yorkville.  Following that she was transferred to open Four Seasons hotels in Philadelphia and LA. With interests in researching new markets and strategic development, Susan opened a niche consulting practice specializing in opening and repositioning fine hotels.   Career highlights include: Hotel Manager of Hotel Bel-Air, LA; CEO and GM of Poets Cove Resort, Spa & Marina, Pender Island, British Columbia; and VP Marketing Sea Island Company, Sea Island, Georgia. As a hotel manager Susan was fortunate to enjoy performances of many renowned musicians and to meet the artists when they were guests in the hotel. Susan and her husband, Ernie Kister, have enjoyed living while working in many vacation destinations and decided to continue the tradition by retiring to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Both are members of the Shaw Guild. In 2013 Susan became a member of the Executive Committee and is beginning her fourth year as Secretary.


EVA SCHMIDT – Treasurer (2016 – Present) 

A career accountant, Eva is now Manager of Financial Analysis and Planning for Andrew Peller Limited.An avid tea-drinker, Eva has studied to become a Tea Sommelier, and is famous amongst her friends for sharing her lovely teas.Eva sits on the Executive of the Ridley College Family Guild as Treasurer, a role she has filled for 5 years.



APRIL MITCHELL BOUDREAU – Director  (2017 – Present)   

April Mitchell-Boudreau is a Niagara-based Indigenous designer, who is on a mission to awaken the creator that lives inside every person. Together with her husband Doug, April owns and operates BeadQueen, an innovative handmade jewelry company.

Passionate about empowering people’s natural creativity, April is the designer of the Lofttan Strandwear jewelry system, and is constantly challenging herself to create new tools for expression. More recently, April has begun offering Conscious Creation Workshops, where mindfulness is awakened through design, and stringing beads. When people “make” together, magic happens!

Now in it’s 11th year of business, BeadQueen operates as both a retailer and wholesaler out of Niagara; selling online, in museum shops and galleries across the country, and participating in select juried retail environments.


RON CLAVIER – Director (2017 – Present)   

Dr. Ron Clavier was born in Montreal. Following his undergraduate studies at McGill University, he earned his Doctorate in Experimental and Physiological Psychology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. His Postdoctoral work focused on Biochemical Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.

Ron served as Professor of Anatomy and Psychology in medical schools in Chicago and Vancouver. He has published over 30 articles in scientific brain science journals, and his laboratory work contributed significantly to the development of modern antidepressant medication. From 1982 until he retired to NOTL in late 2012, he ran a private practice in clinical psychology from his Toronto office.

In addition, Ron has consulted in the corporate, law enforcement, community, health, and education sectors. He worked for a number of years as a research consultant in psychiatry at the University of Toronto and was Senior Consultant to the Council on Drug Abuse until 2007. Ron’s television series, Adolescence: The Stormy Decade, was broadcast on Canadian Learning Television from 2001 until 2007. His book ”Teen Brain, Teen Mind” (2nd Edition, 2009) helps families cope with the difficulties of this phase of life. Ron is internationally recognized as an expert in the psychology of teens and young adults. In addition to Canada and The United States, he has brought his educational approach and clinical methodology to Italy, Germany, Scotland, Turkey, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Ron is also an accomplished artist. His mixed-media oil painting projects: “Awe and Humility and Joy: A Tribute to John Steinbeck” and “Pandora Revisited” can be previewed in his art website. Ron is also in development of a two-person play about life and success, which is being prepared for Toronto audiences.

Ron lives with his wife Lita in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario.


JANSIN OZKUR  – Director (2017 – Present)

Jansin was born in Istanbul, Turkey.

Due to his interest in photography he worked as a photojournalist for Hurriyet, the larges national newspaper in Turkey while studying mechanical engineering.

During his journalistic career, he won numerous awards for his photographs and was awarded reporter of the year 4 years in a row.  After his education he chose to stay in the media business and published his own lifestyle magazine.  He moved to Canada in 1984, married Sandra the same year and they owned an operated two photography studios, until Jansin had the opportunity to start a business in Europe in 1994.  he timing was good, as the company grew to a 2,000 employee corporation.

In 2004 Jansin sold his shares, after trying several different ventures in Canada, he settled in the wine industry.  While working as the vice president of marketing for Konzelmann Winery, he was heavily involved in community events and volunteered in many organizations.  He has volunteered or is the member of the following organizations:

Board Member, Chamber of Commerce of NOTL, 2 terms
Committee Member, Marketing, Wine Council of Ontario
Committee Member, Tourism, Wine Council of Ontario
Committee Member, Marketing, Wineries of NOTL
Board Member, Garden City Food Coop
Vice President, Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation
Member, St. Catharines Rotary Club
Member, Porsche Club of America

Currently he is board member at Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation and is member of NOTL Rotary Club.  He is very excited to be part of the Niagara Jazz Festival


JOAN KING – Director (2017 – Present)   

Since retiring from over 30 years of teaching, Joan King has dedicated her retirement to bringing  some of the most important elements of education to the community.

Through her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, she has acted as a mentor in the lives of children benefiting from a consistent positive role model to help develop social skills and build a foundation and love for learning.

Joan has also spent the last 11 years growing the participation base for the NOTL Terry Fox Run. Not only has the run become a yearly event that’s brought the community together, it’s promoted a healthy physical outlet and raised over a quarter million dollars towards cancer research.

In addition Joan has offered her time to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, which brings music and culture to the area and inspires a love of the arts across generations.

Anyone who knows Joan can attest to her contagious enthusiasm to enrich the lives of not only the children, but everyone around her.