2014 NOBA Judges
Mark S. Barsanti, Dealer (Owner)
Sault Ste. Marie's Mark Barsanti is the owner and operator of the local Canadian Tire store. As a 1991 graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School, he was a partner in the firm of MacDonald Barsanti until 1999 and has owned and operated businesses in Toronto, southwestern Ontario and Nova Scotia. He is the current president of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and sits on the board of directors for the Sault Area Hospital and the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre.
Barsanti is involved in various community endeavours including the Huron Superior District Catholic School Board's Community Liaison for Student Alternative Learning Program and he is the chair of the Major Donor Committee for the Journey, a development initiative of Precious Blood Cathedral.
Laurie Bissonette, FCPA, FCA - Partner
Laurie is a Partner with KPMG LLP Chartered Accountants.
Laurie didn’t always think she would be an accountant. She is a proud graduate of Laurentian University, with a Bachelor of Science, focusing on mathematics and physics.
Laurie started out working at various racetracks as an Ontario Racing Commission Judge. She is proud to have been the first woman to hold such a position in North America.
She has a wide variety of diverse business and not-for-profit clients. For 29 years, Laurie has worked with them to strategically plan their futures.
Laurie has worked on many community initiatives. She coordinates training in financial acumen for youth with the Children’s Aid Society. She led the Laurentian University Alumni 50th Anniversary celebrations. She has been the treasurer with many Boards over the years including the Kidney Foundation, Laurentian Hospital Foundation, the Industrial Training Centre for Women, and the Adanac Ski Club and has advised many others including the Northern Ontario School of Architecture. Laurie has been blessed to work with many great Sudburians on fundraising efforts for Boards on which she was involved, as well as for Cambrian College and the Sudbury YMCA.
Laurie enjoys writing a monthly Business Column in the Northern Ontario Business. She has also provided seminars on accounting at the University and Graduate levels.
She was recognized with a Fellowship by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 2013.
Barb Courte-Elinesky, President
Barb is the president and CEO of two drilling companies, North Star Drilling Ltd. and Cobra Diamond Drilling Ltd. With six drill rigs and more than 60 employees working for her, Barb is known as a tough, but fair, boss, who operates a closely knit workforce. Barb is a fierce advocate of First Nation training and development. Her companies hire and train locally, and Barb has sponsored the helper common core courses at Confederation College where she often hires graduates. One of Barb's major goals is to educate the public about the important role mining plays in Canada and change the dialogue about mining from a negative to a more positive one.
Donating to local charities, consulting with municipal government and forming Women in Mining in Northwestern Ontario are amongst the successes she's achieved. She is currently a member of Thunder Bay's CEDC and a board member of Thunder Bay's Chamber of Commerce. Though Barb's business is stable and successful now, it hasn't been easy. As one of a few women in a male-dominated field, Barb has endured many ups and downs. But perseverance and the will to find something positive in every day has helped Barb overcome those obstacles.
Luc Stang, President & CEO
Luc Stang, president and CEO of Gin-Cor Industries, eventually wants the Mattawa-based heavy truck equipment company to be recognized as one of Canada's 50 best managed companies.