Board of Directors

The Board of Directors determines (governing) policies and ensures that the Black Business Initiative’s business affairs are conducted in accordance with good governance practices. The board steers the strategic direction of the organization and appoints the Chief Executive Officer who, in turn, is responsible for the general management and direction of the organization.

Traditionally, board members are selected and announced at the Annual General Meeting unless there is a mid-year vacancy. Recommendations can come from the board, staff, or community. Recommendations are brought to the board and a board vote is initiated. Please visit regularly to view any vacancies on our boards or committees.

Current Board of Directors

Black Business Initiative

Amanda Sparkles
Senior Innovation Advisor
Science & Economic Development Canada

Andrew De Freitas
National Account Manager
CN

Bruce Johnson

Burtley Francis
Partner
Stewart McKelvey

Carlo Simmons
Past Chair
Vice President at Simmons Paving Company

Deborah Windsor

Elizabeth Cooke-Sumbu
Executive Director
CANSA

Joe Parris (Chair)
Manager
Revenue Collections

Kenneth Duncan
Regional Director - Small Business Development
Scotiabank

Margo Hampden
Workplace Program Officer
Provincial Government

Rustum Southwell
Interim CEO
Black Business Initiative

Yemi Akindoju
President/CEO
Vanity Fashions Ltd.

Business is Jammin'

Jocelyn Dorrington
Coordinator of African Nova Scotian Cultural Services
Chignecto Central Regional School Board

Marissa Walter

Rustum Southwell
Interim CEO
Black Business Initiative

Samantha Parris

Shaquille Smith
Senior Consultant, Marketing, Sales & Non-Profit
Venor

Tracey Thomas
Director, Government & Community Relations
Office of Nova Scotian Affairs

Black Business Enterprise

Cassandra Dorrington
President
Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council (CANSA)

Cynthia Dorrington
President
Vale & Associates

Debbie Windsor
Retired

Joe Parris
Manager
Revenue Collections

Paul Walter
Lawyer
Waterbury Newton

Rustum Southwell
Interim CEO
Black Business Initiative

Sylvia Parris
CEO
Delmore "Buddy" Daye Learning Institute

Tracey Thomas
Director, Government & Community Relations

Yemi Akindoju
President/CEO
Vanity Fashions Ltd.

Black Business Consulting

Barbara Miller-Manning
Founder
MILLERMANNING

Issmat Al-Akali
President/CEO
Black Sheep Projects

Nicole Johnson-Morrison
President/CEO
EduNova Cooperative

Paul Walter
Lawyer
Waterbury Newton

Rustum Southwell
Interim CEO
Black Business Initiative

Saeed-El-Darahali
CEO
SimplyCast

How we help Black businesses

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Training

We offer business courses, run a mentorship program, and provide business counseling.

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Financial Assistance

We provide financial assistance and connect our clients with funding resources.

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Connections

We connect the Black business community, the government, and other stakeholders.

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