Board of Directors

Murad Al-Katib

Murad Al-Katib

President and CEO, AGT Food and Ingredients Inc.
Chairman and CEO, Arctic Gateway Group

Murad Al-Katib is President, CEO and Board member of AGT Food and Ingredients Inc. and Chairman and CEO of the Arctic Gateway Group. An international agri-food commodity trading strategic business and financial thinker, Murad founded AGT Foods in 2001, building a Canadian start-up into a billion-dollar global value-added pulses, staple foods and ingredient company. Murad serves as Chair of the Government of Canada National Agri-Food Strategy Roundtable in addition to several Board appointments including Invest in Canada, the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, Economic Development Regina, Protein Industries Canada, the CSCA and Pulse Canada. Murad has also served on a number of Canadian Government advisory boards and panels.

Murad has been a passionate advocate of entrepreneurs, championing compassionate entrepreneurism and working to expand female, youth and First Nations participation in business start-ups, advocating the role of entrepreneurs in driving social change and innovation in the new global economy. He has been recognized for his efforts with honours including the 2017 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, a University of Regina Honourary Degree, 2017 “Oslo Business for Peace” Honouree, 2017 EY “World Entrepreneur of the Year”, 2016 UN Association of Canada “Global Citizen Laureate”, PROFITGuide Magazine’s “30 Most Fabulous Entrepreneurs of the Past 30 Years” list, Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” and the Western Producer “44 Innovators Who Shaped Prairie Agriculture”.

Kim Baird

Owner, Kim Baird Strategic Consulting
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

Kim Baird is the owner of Kim Baird Strategic Consulting. Her continued goal is to improve the quality of life for Indigenous people through her services in relation to First Nation policy, governance, and economic development; as well as First Nation consultation, communication, and engagement issues. Kim is proficient in communication, negotiation, and facilitation, and has extensive public speaking experience.

In addition to her consulting business, Kim has joined Hill + Knowlton Strategies as a senior advisor on public, media, and intergovernmental relations including First Nation relations.

Kim Baird was the elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation for six terms, from 1999-2012. She had the honour of negotiating and implementing B.C.’s first urban modern treaty on April 3, 2009. She oversaw numerous economic and institutional development projects for TFN, including the initiation of the development of the Tsawwassen Mills project, a commercial real estate development, on Tsawwassen First Nation lands, estimated to be a $780 million project. Kim also was a B.C. Hydro board member for six years and has consulted on various energy development projects in B.C.

Kim has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

In addition to the Arctic Gateway Group, she is also currently a member of several boards including Canada Infrastructure Bank, Vancouver Board of Trade, and Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

Christopher D. Hodgson

President, Ontario Mining Association
Chair of the Audit Committee and Lead Independent Director
Arctic Gateway Group

Christopher D. Hodgson is President of the Ontario Mining Association and President of Chris Hodgson Enterprises. He serves on the boards of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation, EACOM Timber Corp., Canadian Orebodies Inc. and Recipe Unlimited Corporation. He previously served as Lead Director for The Brick Ltd.

He entered provincial politics in 1994 as the MPP for Haliburton-Victoria-Brock and, following the 1995 general election, was appointed as Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister of Northern Development and Mines, which included oversight of the Ontario Northland Railway. During his time as Minister, Mr. Hodgson was recognized for creating new opportunities and growth within Ontario’s mining industry. Between 1995 and 2003, he also served as Deputy House Leader, Chairman of the Management Board of Cabinet, Commissioner of the Board of Internal Economy, and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. Previously he enjoyed a career in municipal government and real-estate development and is an Honours Bachelor of Arts graduate from Trent University.

The Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C.

Chair, Rideau Hall Foundation
Global Advisor, Fairfax
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

The Right Honourable David Johnston was Canada’s 28th Governor General, serving from 2010 to 2017. During his mandate, he established the Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF), Today, he serves as Global Advisor to Fairfax; Executive Advisor at Deloitte; and Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation. In 2018, he was appointed Colonel to the Royal Canadian Regiment. He has served on many provincial and federal task forces and committees, and has served on the boards of a number of public companies.

Prior to his installation as governor general, Mr. Johnston was a professor of law for 45 years, and served as President of the University of Waterloo for two terms and Principal of McGill University for three terms. He was president of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and of the Conférence des recteurs et des principaux des universités du Québec. He was the first non-U.S. citizen to be elected chair at Harvard University’s Board of Overseers, from which he graduated in 1963 magna cum laude. He holds degrees from Harvard, Cambridge and Queen’s and has received 35 honorary degrees or fellowships throughout his distinguished career.

Chief Betsy Kennedy

Chief, War Lake First Nation
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

Chief Betsy Kennedy is the Chief of War Lake First Nation, a role she has served for five terms since 2006. After completing her postsecondary education with a focus in Social Work, Ms. Kennedy also served as a Councillor for War Lake from 1998 to 2006.

Ms. Kennedy was born in Herchmer, MB (Mile Marker 412 of the Hudson Bay Railway), the eldest granddaughter of the founding Chief of War Lake Adam Dick. With her family’s roots running deep with the Railway, Ms. Kennedy continues to be an advocate for the communities it serves, and has made building infrastructure to benefit the economic wellbeing of the War Lake First Nation her goal as Chief.

As a Board Member for the Arctic Gateway Group, Ms. Kennedy’s educational background and experiential knowledge in health, northern development and land entitlement assist in understanding the North’s needs and challenges from a First Nations perspective, and was as key part of the negotiations that brought the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill into the Arctic Gateway Group.

Arthur V. MauroOC OM QC

Chair Emeritus, Board of Directors, Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

Arthur V. Mauro, OC OM QC, is a prominent Canadian businessman and philanthropist with a distinguished career focused on promoting the economy of Manitoba and Canada’s North.

In 1967, after fourteen years of practicing transportation and communication law, Mr. Mauro was appointed Chairman of the Royal Commission on Northern Transportation. In 1969, he became a senior executive with Great Northern Capital Corporation, and in 1972 became President and Chief Executive Officer of Transair Limited. Mr. Mauro joined the Investors Group in 1976 to become its President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman.

In 1987, Mr. Mauro was made a Member of the Order of Canada, receiving a promotion to Officer in 1992. In 2004, he was awarded the Order of Manitoba, and has received honorary doctorates from the University of Manitoba (1987) and Lakehead University (1997) for which he served terms as Chancellor in 1991-2000 and 2010-2013 respectively. The Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice at the University of Manitoba is named in his honour.

At present, Mr. Mauro is Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Winnipeg Airports Authority Inc.

As a member of the Board of Directors for Arctic Gateway Group, Mr. Mauro provides a wealth of experience in operating a successful business in Manitoba.

Onekanew Christian Sinclair

Onekanew, Opaskwayak Cree Nation
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

Onekanew Christian Sinclair is Onekanew (Chief) of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and a prominent business activist for the First Nations communities of Manitoba.

After graduating from Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in 1988, Mr. Sinclair served in the Canadian Forces, serving tours of duty in Cypress and Somalia before re-entering civilian life in 1995. He holds a Masters in Project Management from the University of Winnipeg as well as Negotiations and Leadership from Harvard Law School.

In 1999, Mr. Sinclair co-founded the Manitoba Indigenous Summer Games, and served as General Manager of the successful North American Indigenous Games in 2002.

In 2003, Mr. Sinclair began his work in the corporate sector with Indigenous groups across Canada, where he currently serves as an independent business advisor, negotiator and project manager for Indigenous communities and mainstream corporations seeking to open the development of Canada’s North.

In September 2016, Mr. Sinclair was elected Onekanew of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, where his focus has been on leveraging his business acumen to shape the financial future of the community.

In recognition of his successes, Mr. Sinclair was named on the Globe & Mail “Canada’s Top 40 Under 40” in 2003, and currently serves on the Advisory Board for that award.

As a Board Member for the Arctic Gateway Group, Mr. Sinclair incorporates traditional knowledge and teachings into his business acumen, and was a key member of the negotiation team in the successful acquisition of the Hudson Bay Railway and the Port of Churchill into the Arctic Gateway Group.

The Honourable Mayor Mike Spence

Mayor, Town of Churchill
Board Member, Arctic Gateway Group

The Honourable Mayor Michael Spence was born and raised in Churchill, Manitoba. After graduating, he was employed with Federal Public Works Department and Churchill pre-fab housing plan. From 1976 to present Mayor Spence has developed three successful ongoing businesses, including ownership of a very successful local full service hotel.

Among Mayor Spence’s businesses achievements is Wat’chee Expeditions, a specialized eco-tourism company that provides guided activities into Wapusk National Park from his lodge in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Of particular interests to visitors are the denning polar bears that can be observed during the operating season, which extends from mid-February through March.

Mayor Spence was elected as Councillor in 1989 and served on Churchill Economic Advisory Committee and also served as the chairman of the Churchill Regional Health Centre Board. In 1992, Mayor Spence was re-elected and installed as Deputy Mayor. Mr. Spence was elected Mayor in 1995 and has served consecutively in that capacity since. Mayor Spence is very active in the promotion of Churchill, tourism, and preservation of Northern Culture and Heritage. So much so, that in the past he has served on the Travel Manitoba Board. Mayor Spence has also been a member of the Manitoba Hydro Board since 2002 and has serves on the Advisory Council to the Order of Manitoba.