The Board of Directors


Terms of Reference

The Board of Directors is responsible for guiding the strategic agenda of the BBI in meeting its responsibilities for “a vibrant Black presence within the Nova Scotia Business Community.”

The primary function of the Board is to determine (governing) policies with respect to the organization. That includes administration and operation of the BBI, and ensuring BBI business affairs are conducted in accordance with good governance practices.

The Board is responsible for the appointment of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as well as the determination of the terms and conditions of employment of the CEO. The BBI’s CEO is responsible for the general management and direction of the BBI including policies, programs, and services of the BBI, the business affairs of the BBI, and other matters that may be delegated to the CEO by the Board.

The Board, through its own processes such as meetings, committees, and thorough drafting of governing policies, “steers and guides the strategic directions and approves the priorities and objectives set by the initiative.”

The Board evaluates the performance of the BBI and its stated objectives by setting the governing policies and strategic planning. While policies may originate from within the organization, it is the Board that has the ultimate power to adopt and require adherence to Board (governing) policies. Strategies for implementation of the policy, i.e. the way that policies are translated into action, are the responsibility of the professional staff of the BBI.

The 2015 – 2017 Board of Directors

Cynthia Dorrington, Chair
Vale & Associates, Halifax
Eleanor Beaton, Vice Chair
Eleanor Beaton & Co., Windsor
Yemi Akindoju, Treasurer
Scotia Bank, Halifax
Deborah Windsor
Retired, Halifax
Charles Sheppard
Victoria Regional School Board, Sydney
Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu
CANSA, Amherst
Burtley Francis
Stewart McKelvey, Halifax
Ross Simmonds
Dreamr, Halifax
Rustum Southwell
Ex-Officio, Black Business Initiative, CEO
April Howe
Knights Bridge Robertson Surrette, Halifax
Mathew Johnson
COVE – Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Halifax


Audit and Risk Committee:

  1. Yemi Akindoju (Chair)
  2. Cynthia Dorrington
  3. April Howe
  4. Joe Parris
  5. Greg Nazaire
  6. Nicole Johnson

Loan Committee

  1. Cynthia Dorrington (Chair)
  2. Ross Simmonds
  3. Rustum Southwell
  4. Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu
  5. Yemi Akindoju

Governance Committee:

  1. Deborah Windsor (Chair)
  2. Cynthia Dorrington
  3. Rustum Southwell
  4. Barbara Miller-Manning
  5. Burtley Francis
  6. Jocelyn Dorrington
  7. Sylvia Parris


Other BBI Boards

As part of the BBI’s sustainable composite business model, Black Business Consulting, the Black Business Community Investment Fund Ltd., and Business Is Jammin’ have been organized with their own individual Boards of Directors that oversee the objectives and operations of each group.

Black Business Enterprise Board of Directors: 

  1. Cassandra Dorrington (Chair)
  2. Paul Walter (Vice Chair)
  3. Cynthia Dorrington
  4. David Eisnor
  5. Joe Parris
  6. Rustum Southwell (CEO/Ex-Officio)
  7. Debbie Windsor

Black Business Consulting Board of Directors: 

  1. Paul Walter (Chair)
  2. Rustum Southwell (CEO/Ex-Officio)
  3. Carlo Simmonds
  4. Milton Williams
  5. Barbara Miller-Manning
  6. Nicole Johnson-Morrison
  7. Dr. Mary Kilfoil
  8. Secretary (Vacant)
  9. Treasurer (Vacant)

Black Business Community Investment Fund Board of Directors: 

  1. David Eisnor (Chair)
  2. Sylvia Parris (Vice Chair)
  3. Greg Nazaire (Treasurer)
  4. Secretary (Vacant)
  5. Ann Divine
  6. Greg Browning
  7. Paul Walter
  8. Joseph Parris
  9. Andrea Jackson
  10. Rustum Southwell
  11. Miranda Mavhunga
  12. Njabulo Nkala (RBDM/Recorder)

Business Is Jammin’ Board of Directors: 

  1. Joseph Parris (Chair)
  2. Rustum Southwell (Vice-Chair)
  3. Jocelyn Dorrington
  4. Bruce Johnson
  5. Keisha Jefferies
  6. Terry Dixon
  7. Samantha Parris
  8. Tracey Thomas