Meet the Board



Jim Brown


Jim Brown is currently the General Manager of Staples in Cookville. Jim has 20 years of retail experience through his work with Staples, Hudson's Bay and Zellers. Throughout that time, he has had the opportunity to work and discover many of the communities throughout our province and has gained a respect for the vibrancy of small town Nova Scotia. 


Jim has served on the board of multiple community organizations, most recently Events Lunenburg County and his current role as President of the Bridgewater Area Chamber of Commerce. Prior to his work in retail, Jim studied Computing Science at Saint Mary's University.


Blair Lipsett


Blair is the Academic Chair for the School of Access, Education and Language, the School of Trades and Transportation, and the School of Technology and Environment at the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Lunenburg Campus. Prior to this role, he taught in the School of Business for five years in topics ranging from introductory marketing to advanced spreadsheets.


Blair came to the NSCC from the educational publishing industry where he spent the first 12 years of his career as a sales representative and manager for Quebec and Atlantic Canada. He is an active community member sitting on various Board and Advisory Committees.  He enjoys spending his free time with his family.


Dan Hennessey

Executive Director

Dan has served as Executive Director since 2012 and manages the day-to-day operations of the Chamber. He also serves on the Board for the Downtown Planning Advisory Council, HB Studios Fieldhouse Society, the Royal NS International Tattoo and is an active community volunteer. In 2015, Dan was appointed as Honorary Colonel of 14 Construction Engineering Squadron and works tirelessly to support veterans.


Dan is also a published author. His book, With the Snap of a Glove, chronicles his battle with prostate cancer. Dan continues to be an advocate on the subject and was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He lives in Newcombville with his wife Marianne and daughters Emma and Grace.


Shawn Patterson
Past President

Shawn Patterson is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Rhyno's. He is passionate about supporting local businesses and held the position of Provincial Sales Manager at the Chronicle Herald before joining Rhyno's. 


Previously, Shawn spent 12 years working in social services with a focus on mental health and counselling. Shawn also has a strong sense of community and currently volunteers with South Shore Minor Hockey. He's been involved with the Chamber for several years.


Lee Wallet

Lee Wallet is the Relationship Manager, Business Banking at the Bank of Montreal servicing the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  He is a graduate of Saint Mary’s University obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce degree double majoring in Finance and Economics.  Lee has worked in Business Banking for BMO since 2014, having serviced the Saint John, NB and Quispamsis Valley region of New Brunswick prior to having the opportunity to come home to the beautiful South Shore of Nova Scotia in 2016.


Lee grew up in a family business on the South Shore and lives in Bridgewater with his wonderful wife Kelsey. Lee enjoys many sports and spending time with family and friends.


Leitha Haysom

Leitha Haysom is the Municipal Councillor for District One, serving on the Bridgewater and Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors as the MODL Representative. While her background in volunteerism in Lunenburg County led her to municipal politics, she has worked with a variety of small businesses along the South Shore.


Leitha is currently the Office Manager for Tern Boatworks, a rapidly growing boat building business in West LaHave. She lives in Crousetown with her husband and two children. 


Jayme Rhyno

Jayme is a second-generation owner of Rhyno's on North Street which was established in 1976 by his father. He started working in the family business at a young age (the family jokes that he was fixing dishwashers before he could talk), officially taking over as President in 2008.  He holds a Red Seal in Refrigeration (since 2006) and is a volunteer firefighter with the Northfield Fire Department (since 2003). 


Jayme has lived on the South Shore all his life and currently resides in West LaHave. He is very much committed to Bridgewater being a hub for the business community – a place where local businesses feel supported and can thrive.


Rae Ann Bonneville

Rae and her husband Alan Wall are newcomers to Nova Scotia. In 2019, they chose to move to the South Shore from Calgary and brought their long-established design company, Stone Court Studios Inc. with them – specializing in 3D animation, graphic design and writing mainly for the industrial sector.   


Rae and Alan live on Burn’s Cove in Upper LaHave and enjoy a peaceful life on the river with acreage and a recently built studio – the perfect creative space for their work, photography, music, recording and social events.


Brooke Nodding

Brooke has been the Executive Director of Coastal Action since May 2001.  During this time, she has led the successful development and growth of the organization from a small 2-person operation with an annual operating budget of around $150K to a highly credible professional corporation with a staff of 25 and an annual operating budget over $1 million.  Her background is in fluvial dynamics, conservation management planning, and community-based stewardship initiatives.  Brooke continues to lead the delivery of numerous programs and projects mainly throughout the South Shore region of NS; however, she is also collaborating on a number of Atlantic regional projects as well as an international project in Sweden. 


Brooke is responsible for the development and delivery of the Chamber’s Lunch and Learn series.


Cheryl Fougere

Cheryl has called Bridgewater home for the past 23 years with her husband and two teenaged children. She is honoured to be serving a 2nd term on Town Council and is excited to be working with a great council team and mayor.

Her educational background is Financial Services with fifteen years in banking and mortgage lending. She decided about a year ago to change her career path and is currently enrolled in courses through UBC, working towards her real estate appraiser designation.  In her free time, Cheryl enjoys volunteering in the community, gym workouts at the YMCA, and walking her dog through the trails and parks in town.


“Believe in YOURSELF and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is GREATER than any obstacle.”


Stacey Mailman

As the owner of Stacey Mailman Accounting Services since 2007, Stacey and her team offer a long list of services to businesses of all sizes. She is also the co-owner with her husband Michael, of Edge of Town Auto Repair Ltd. in Hebbville. Together they share extensive backgrounds in the automotive industry and enjoy the challenges of entrepreneurship.


She’s proud to help support the business community and believes in creating an economy where our children can get educated and stay here to raise their families. She also serves as Treasurer on the Senior Wheels Association Board of Directors.


Stacey has worked and played in the Bridgewater area all her life. She and Michael live in Newcombville with their two daughters, Brooke & Kaitlyn.


Debra Porter

Debra was born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, and is the youngest of 15 children. She has been in Real Estate for over 27 years, covering the South Shore and the Valley (sometimes Halifax) and has lived in Bridgewater for 13 years where she has a permanent office on King St.


Debra values the lasting relationships she has built with clients and enjoys interacting with people, helping them find their dream home. She also co-owns Complete Driving with partner Mark Pearson. The driver training business allows her to see people of all ages achieve their goals.