Here are some of the people on our team who are committed to the dream of building a world-class multi-use aquatics complex in Ottawa, Canada. These key players are an essential part of the vision.
Learn more about the full NAqC team and roles here!
PETER JOHN LAWRENCE
Peter John Lawrence was born and raised in the U.K. and came to Canada in 1962 and brings many years of extensive managerial experience in business to the National Aquatics Complex (NAqC) project. He has worked internationally in 22 countries and built 10 successful companies of his own. After an extensive education in England, Peter arrived in the 1960s and obtained the professional membership in the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (A.P.E.O.). Upon entering the business world as a Consultant in business planning, sales, marketing, and development, his expertise grew to include business formation and financing.
Peter played Water Polo in England, Wales, and Holland and he introduced and founded Water Polo in Ottawa after it had disappeared competitively since World War II. As a player and Coach, Peter was awarded a “Life Time Aquatic Award” for his more than 50 years’ contribution to the sport of Water Polo.
As a private citizen, Peter has been conducting research relative to investment, risk, and industry trends for the past three years to launch a strategic plan in developing a world-class aquatics facility in Ottawa, which we now refer to as the proposed NAqC.
As Project Leader, Peter began by developing project guidelines, infrastructure requirements, design ideas, fund development, and securing the necessary human resources to launch a strategy and tactical plan to meet the aquatic needs of the Greater Ottawa Area (GOA). As a self-appointed volunteer, self-funding the role since the beginning, he has attempted to reach out and share his vision of leadership and direction to a community of advisors and industry experts to move this project to another level. His hopes of completing the project within the next three-five years is an ambitious one. Peter has a combination of passion and energy that few possess, but many admire. He has taken on the monumental task of recruiting like-minded individuals to join a team overseeing ad-hoc committees to encourage the realization of a dream to provide an aquatics complex that does not exist in the GOA. His leadership style is one that displays a healthy self-awareness, ability to communicate effectively along with learning agility that is open-minded with a strong ability to influence.
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org and cell 613-697 -0272
Greg Kells, Lifetime Certified Business Intermediary, Life Member Institute of Business Appraisers, Certified Machinery and Equipment Appraiser, Certified Senior Business Analyst, Mergers & Acquisitions Master Intermediary, Fellow of the IBBA, Licensed Business/Real Estate Broker, is President of Sunbelt Business Brokers Inc. (Canada). His focus on Sunbelt’s development has made Sunbelt the premiere Canadian Business Brokerage, dominating local markets through superior services, delivered by professional brokers, using effective marketing programs, and supported by appropriate technology, training, large national and international networks, and proven methodology.
Mr. Kells is an international entrepreneur with extensive business development, marketing, and management experience. He has served as president/chairman of companies in a variety of industries.
Greg is very much a hands-on CEO and his skills and experience are a significant asset to colleagues and clients. He has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Yale, and Duke Universities as well as at numerous Canadian Colleges. He enjoys mentoring and is involved in teaching at Sunbelt, at the International Business Brokers Association, the National Equipment and Business Brokers Institute, and the Society of Business Analysts.
He is the supportive husband to contemporary artist Gayle Kells and is the proud father of three children and three grandchildren. Greg is involved in his community on various levels including being the Chair of the Canadian Institute of Nature, the founding Chair of the Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution, and current Chair of the National Aquatics Institute. He serves as President of the International Business Brokers Association Canada and is active in numerous community organizations.
Bio coming soon.
Bio coming soon.
Eddie Francis is a proven strategic and entrepreneurial business and community leader, reputed for his transformative vision, execution and tenacity.
As WFCU Credit Union President and CEO, Eddie provides both support to the Board of Directors and ensures the credit union’s goals and objectives are achieved and exceeded; guaranteeing a bright future for WFCU Credit Union and its members by focusing on WFCU’s brand, exploring new markets, superior service, enhanced product offerings, continued emphasis on technology, infrastructure and financial strength while keeping the same values and philosophies that make WFCU who it is today. This direction is instrumental in leading the strategic planning process for one of the leading, progressive financial organizations in Ontario with $5.2 billion in managed assets and member service totals of $7.0 billion.
Since joining WFCU Credit Union in 2014 as Executive Vice President, Operations and Member Experience, and assuming the role of WFCU President and CEO in June, 2017, Eddie has spear-headed the credit union’s growth and a number of new and innovative advancements for the credit union including: new and advanced technology capabilities which include a new digital branch which offers a full suite of digital products and e-banking solutions; new and expanded service divisions and competitive products including AUTO Finance & Leasing Services, Broker Services, Insurance Services, Municipal Services, Card & Payment Services, Small Business & Commercial Services, and Wealth Management Services through Avanti Wealth; and innovative products like Mortgage Plus that offers low rates and same day approvals; easy and hassle free Xpressloan; and the EVA chequing account, which provides unlimited banking, extended warranty, price protection, buyer protection, unlimited banking, and our Perks Plus rewards program;
Eddie has embraced the culture of WFCU Credit Union believing employees and the service they deliver is a key differentiator. He has made the credit union’s human resource strategy a priority, building on the foundation that has been laid to continue the credit union’s position as an ‘employer of choice’. Focusing on developing a well-defined value proposition, which has resolved in WFCU being certified as a Great Place to Work®, named a Best Workplaces™ in Ontario and Canada, and a Best WorkplacesTM for Giving Back.
Prior to joining WFCU Credit Union, Eddie earned a stellar reputation in his 15 years in public office. The youngest Mayor in the history of the City of Windsor and Canada, he was first elected Mayor, at the age of 29, in November 2003, achieving a record of ambitious accomplishments throughout his tenure.
Eddie’s key successes included massive debt reduction, envisioning and realizing an ambitious capital infrastructure plan, revitalization of the downtown area and securing billions in economic investment for the region.
In addition to Eddie’s life in public office, his past experience saw him leading a very successful small family business with his brothers as well as practicing law with an international law firm located in Windsor.
Reputed for his transformative vision and execution, Eddie has been recognized for his business, community and professional accomplishments. He has received: Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award as Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Multicultural Council of Windsor-Essex Herb Gray Harmony Award, University of Windsor Clark Award, Canadian Sports Tourism Champion of the Year, Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance Award, Diamond Jubilee Medal, a Rotary International – Paul Harris Fellow, as well as the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Canada South Chapter – Caesars Windsor Cares Award for Spirit in Philanthropy Award – an award which was presented to both him and his late wife, Dr. Michelle Prince, for their combined efforts in community fundraising.
An advocate for the future prosperity and economic success of the region, Eddie has served on numerous boards including but not limited to, Chair of the Windsor Police Services Board, Chair of the Windsor-Canada Utilities Board, Chair of the Detroit Tunnel Corporation Board, Member of Enwin Utilities Board, Chair and Member of the Enwin Energy Board, Member of the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation Board and currently Member of the International Authority (Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority) Board and Member of the Fédération internationale de natation (FINA) Finance Committee.
Eddie lives in Windsor, with his two children, daughter Sienna and son Phoenix. The family is predeceased by Dr. Michelle Prince, a devoted and loving wife and mother, and Doctor of Chiropractic.
Pierre Lafontaine, 48, started his coaching career in 1976 as Assistant Coach for the Pointe-Claire Swim Club. On April 18, 2005, Pierre joined Swimming Canada as CEO. Pierre has contributed to the advancement and success of swimming throughout his coaching profession. His career spans two continents, where he held Head Coach and Assistant Coach positions in Montreal (Quebec), Calgary (Alberta), Atlanta (Georgia), Phoenix (Arizona) and Canberra (Australia). Most recently as Head Coach at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Pierre led 4 swimmers from the AIS to podium results at the 2004 Olympics. Previously, as Head Coach of the Phoenix Swim Club in Arizona, he led his swimmers to 8 medal victories at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Bruce is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP) with over 40 years of experience in financial management, funding submissions, service transformation, process re-engineering, business systems architectures, data quality, financial and internal audit, project management, and risk and quality assurance reviews. His broad base of experience has allowed him to become completely familiar with business practices in both the private and public sectors.
He is Managing Partner of BurntEdge Incorporated, providing consulting services to clients in Canada’s federal government.
As a competitive swimmer, Bruce won 16 medals for Canada in international competitions including the 1972 Olympic Games (silver and bronze medals), the 1973 World Aquatic Championships (gold and bronze medals), and the 1974 Commonwealth Games (2 gold, 2 silver, and 2 bronze medals).
In recognition of his athletic accomplishments, he was named Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1973, was awarded the Order of Canada in 1974, and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1977. In 2018, he received the Sovereigns Medal for Volunteers recognizing contributions made to the Commonwealth Sport Movement through his work with Commonwealth Games Canada and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
Bruce has served the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) as both a Vice President and Regional Vice President for the Americas Region. He has chaired the CGF Audit and Risk Committee and CGF Sport Committee and was Chair of the CGF Co-ordination Commission for the Gold Coast 2018, Glasgow 2014, and Melbourne 2006 Games and was a member of the Co-ordination Commissions for Delhi 2010 and Manchester 2002. He currently chairs the Birmingham 2022 Co-ordination Commission and represents the CGF on the B2022 Games Legacy and Benefit Committee.
Bruce created and authored the CGF’s Gender Equality Strategy and, primarily through the Sport Committee and GC2018 Coordination Commission, shaped the implementation of equal medal opportunities for men and women (a world first); pushed for gender equality of technical officials; shaped the development of a Media Guide for Athletes and Coaches; helped shape and implement the Women Coach Internship Programme, promoted equitable portrayals of men and women in broadcast and media, and through GOLDOC, pushed for a range of OC gender equality achievements in workforce, volunteers, baton bearers, ambassadors, and the equitable appeal of programming for Festival 2018 and the opening and closing ceremonies.
Within Canada, Bruce has served on the Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) board in various capacities, including those of Vice-President, Treasurer, and ex-officio member. He has also acted as President, Board Member, and Treasurer of the Commonwealth Games Foundation of Canada and chaired the CGC’s International Development through Sport (IDS) Advisory Committee.
As President of Aquatics Canada Aquatiques (ACA) Lisa leads the most senior representative group of National Sport Organizations (NSO) – Canada Artistic Swimming, Diving Canada; Swimming Canada, and Water Polo Canada. The Aquatics Canada Board’s role is to increase the capacity of the aquatics sport system and advance Canadian interests, values, and ethics in sport at home and abroad. This leadership role is a task that requires excellent communication skills, confidence, and keeping an open mind on the needs of all four aquatic sports. Lisa’s extensive corporate professional experience has proved essential to her success.
In her role as Chair of a Technical Committee for Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), Lisa brings a wealth of experience and history starting from the Club level in Calgary, Alberta to the highest level in the world of aquatics sports. The list of her daily tasks as a volunteer includes analysis of the requirements for improvements of Artistic Swimming and to consider corresponding proposals received from any FINA Member. From suggestions for amendments or changes to the Technical Rules to investigating and recommending, matters dealing with standard equipment and specifications of competitive pools for Olympic Games or international competitions, Lisa must make evaluations and endorsements. With this comes the added responsibility relating to the selection and training of Officials, reporting any misconduct of individuals, as well as investigating cases of protest.
Lisa has had an active role in developing hosting opportunities for international aquatic events held in Canada including World Series and World Cup events, 2011 Pan Am Games in Toronto, and attending numerous FINA World Championships, Olympic and Pan Am Games. Lisa has her finger on the best facilities in the world today and knowledge of staging international events that are formidable. Her influence and advice are sought after by countries and organizations around the world. Lisa continues to successfully play a crucial role in attracting major events to Canada and has acted as an advisor to the Canadian Olympic Committee in several different ways.
Not surprising, Lisa’s many awards and recognition for her knowledge and capacity to organize and influence the future of aquatics sport in the world is without equal.
ANDREA SWARTZ SMITH
Andrea is an entrepreneur and business owner, and has been coaching swimming for over 20 years. A member of the Canadian National Swim team from 1995-2000, Andrea competed at the 1996 Olympic Games, the 1995, 1997,1999 Pan Pacific Games, the 1998 Commonwealth Games, 1997 and 1999 World Championships, as well as numerous World Cup Events. She is a 16 time National Champion holds numerous provincial records and was named Saskatchewan Female Athlete of the Year in 1995.
Carolyn Waldo is a Media & PR consultant, motivational speaker, Emcee, Sports enthusiast, Olympic Champion & Hall of Famer who used to hold her breath for a very long time!
She almost drowned at the age of three and didn’t start swimming until she was 10. By the time Carolyn was 23 she had won two Olympic Gold and one Olympic Silver medals in synchronized swimming and had distinguished herself as one of the most remarkable aquatics athletes Canada has produced.
Born and raised in Quebec, Carolyn always wanted to be an Olympic athlete and after successfully overcoming her fear of water, dedicated herself to becoming a world-caliber synchronized swimmer.
Carolyn also won at the 1985 Rome and Spanish Opens, 1985 FINA World Cup, 1986 Spanish Open, 1986 Commonwealth Games, 1986 World Championships, 1987 Pan Pacific Championships and the 1987 FINA World Cup. From the pool, Carolyn moved into a long and successful Broadcast journalist with CTV.
Made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1988), Waldo is a four-time winner of the Velma Springstead Trophy (1985-88), was twice awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award (1987, 1988) and won the Lou Marsh Trophy (1988). She was inducted into the Canadian Olympic (1987), Alberta Sports (1991), Canada’s Sports (1991), and International Swimming Halls of Fame (1994).
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- Peter John Lawrence – CEO, NAqC Founder/Project Leader – Retired Business Executive
- Greg Kells – Chair of the Board of Directors – Owner Sunbelt Business Brokers
Cindi Jacques – Cindi has a background in aquatics that led to a career in health care. As a physician, she values the physical and psychological benefits of high-level sport on overall health and longevity. Cindi swims with a local Masters club, and two of her children are competitive swimmers. Cindi graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s in Science in Nursing and from McMaster University with a Doctor of Medicine.
Bosko Vukojevic – Bosko joined local water polo club, Ottawa Titans, when three of his daughters tried the sport and fell in love with it. He was elected to the Ottawa Titans board in 2012 and took over the president role in 2014. One of the key players along innovative and exciting club initiatives that transformed this not-for-profit sport organization from ~50 members (in 2012) to the biggest water polo club in Canada today, with more than 500 individuals in both competitive and recreational streams. His favourite sports he actively enjoys include soccer, table-tennis, and basketball. Occasionally he joins adult beginner level water polo practices to confirm firsthand how super challenging this sport is. Bosko obtained his BEng in Electrical Engineering in Serbia (University of Novi Sad) and MSc in Computer Science from the University of Ottawa. He is an entrepreneur in high-technology with over 25 years of consulting experience in numerous projects with many Fortune 500 companies, Canadian government departments, start-ups, and private companies.
- Abigail “Abi” Tripp – competed for Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Her strongest events include the 100-meter breaststroke and the 200-meter individual medley and has a long list of accomplishments, including winning bronze medals at the London 2019 World Para Swimming Championships and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
- Bill Meyer – Olympic Water Polo player
- Boris Dzerdz – President of TITANS Water Polo
- Dragan Jovanovic – Executive Director for the World Water Polo Coaches Association
- Jerry Tesanovic – Head Coach of Titans Water Polo.
- Mitch Geller – High-Performance Director – Dive Canada
- Pierre Tremblay – Director of Water Polo Recreational Programs
- Tom Bryce – Retired Manager 25 years: Saanich Commonwealth Place
- Ben Freestone – PhD, Energy Systems specialist
Cindi Jacques – Operations
Andrea Schwartz Smith – Operations
Jim O’Malley – Program Development Program & Services
Bosko Vukojevic – Information Services Technology