Board of Directors
Pictured: Back row, left to right – Secretary Jane Orr, Acting Vice-Chair Nargis Tarmohamed, Cass Bayley, Treasurer Catherine Weber, Director James Bannerman, Director Aimee Rau (retired) and Director Rekha Lal; Front row, left to right – Chair Paul Ciufo and Artistic Director John Miller. Missing: Director Aaron Neeb and Vice-Chair Kimberley Payne (currently on leave).
The current Board of Directors has 10 members from communities throughout Huron County plus the festival’s Artistic Director as an Ex-Officio Director. Its members are:
Chair Paul Ciufo, of Grand Bend
Paul is a financial planner and owner of GC Financial Solutions Group, with expertise by day in investments, insurance and financial planning. He is also an award-winning playwright and librettist. He has written two stage plays produced by the Blyth Festival, one of which, “Reverend Jonah”, was a finalist for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Awards; his drama, “Narcisse”, won a 2011 Governor General’s History Award. Paul authored libretti for the opera “The Llandovery Castle” and the oratorio “The Sun, the Wind, and the Man with the Cloak”. His radio play “On Convoy” was produced and broadcast nationally by CBC Radio. Paul is a community and county leader, having served as President of the Rotary Club of Grand Bend, the Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce, and the South Huron Chamber of Commerce. He was named a Community Leader of the Decade by the Grand Bend Community Foundation and was a long-serving member of the Board of the Bach Music Festival of Canada.
Acting Vice-Chair Nargis Tarmohamed, of Exeter
Nargis is the Chief Operating Officer of her family’s investment company, where she has directed and managed an active portfolio of real estate, retail, healthcare and hospitality across Ontario for the past 20 years. Recent projects have included the acquisition, conversion and running of hospitality properties in Stratford and Toronto. Ms. Tarmohamed holds a CPA. Born in Kenya, she completed her education in Scotland, following which she immigrated to Canada with her husband. During her thirty years in southwestern Ontario, she has served as a member of various not-for-profit and community outreach organizations. She is a prior member of the Board for Community Living, South Huron, and former Chairperson of London Council for Social Welfare for the Ismaili Council for Canada. Nargis served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival from 2010 to 2016, serving as Chair of the Human Resources Committee and member of the Finance & Audit Committee. Today, she is a proud member of the Festival’s Senate and its Endowment Board of Directors. From 2016 to 2019, she was Treasurer and Board member for the Huron Women’s Shelter Second Stage Housing and Counselling Services. She’s honoured to be a member of the Huron Waves Music Festival’s Board of Directors, to continue her journey of supporting arts in her local community.
Secretary Jane Orr, of Stratford
Jane is a member of the Orr Insurance & Investment family throughout Huron and Perth Counties in Southwest Ontario where they have served their community for 125 years. Jane holds a BSc from University of Toronto and has been in the insurance industry since 1992, having joined Orr Insurance & Investment in 2010. As a personal supporter of various charitable organizations in the city where she and her family live as well as throughout the counties where their firm has local offices, she is a valued Huron Waves Director because of her experience in volunteering and volunteer recruiting. Jane enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, cooking, theatre and donating her time with the Emily Murphy Centre, Community Meals and Rotary Hospice.
Treasurer Catherine Weber, of South Huron
Born in Switzerland, Catherine and her family own and operate a major dairy farm in Huron County. Personally, she is a recognized and honoured artist and teacher, specializing in her knowledge of European Masterworks and undertaking her own creations in several visual arts disciplines, from paint to clay, printmaking to out-door sketching. A recipient of numerous awards both local and national, Catherine enthusiastically shares her love of art through teaching, including her role as a co-facilitator at Huron Waves’ Summer Youth Arts program.
Director James Bannerman, of Grand Bend & Seaforth
James is the owner and senior pharmacist of Pharmasave Grand Bend, a business he began and now co-owns with his sister. He grew up on a farm in rural Huron County and he continue to help run this family farm outside of Seaforth. James, among whose personal passions is great music, serves his community as Secretary, board member and founding member of the outreach group of First Presbyterian Church in Seaforth.
Director Cass Bayley, of Hensall
For the past 27 years, Cass built up a family company, The Bayley Group, where she now is the firm’s President and C.E.O. Her expertise is with the creation, organisation, management, financing, marketing, public relations and community outreach of high-profile events and conferences for its considerable Canadian and international business and professional clients.
Among her volunteer positions, Cass has served as a member of the Steering Committee for Jessica’s House, a small residential hospice funded in part by the South Huron Hospital, and on the Boards of Blyth Festival Theatre and Huron Country Playhouse.
Director Dr. Rekha Lal, of Goderich
Rekha is a physician who retired in 2018 after 42 years in the practice of rural family medicine. Most recently, she has served on the boards of the Alexandra Marine and General Hospital, and the Maitland Valley Medical Clinic where she practised medicine. Since retirement, she has enjoyed pursuing other interests, such as theatre, music and golf. She is an active supporter of the Stratford Festival and the Blyth Festival Theatre. In addition to her participation on the Huron Waves’ Board, she currently serves as a board member of the Goderich Little Theatre.
Director Aaron Neeb, of Exeter
As an elected Councillor in the Municipality of South Huron, Aaron represents that civic body on the Huron Waves Music Festival Board. He is a music educator with the Avon Maitland District School Board, a board member of the area’s Cultural Collective and the Huron Arts & Heritage organization. He plays in the South Huron Community Band and is Choir Director and singer at the Exeter United Church. Aaron is a recent nominee for Citizen of the Year in the 2019 South Huron Business and Community Excellence Awards.
Vice-Chair Kimberley Payne, of Goderich (currently on leave)
Kimberley is highly experienced in not-for-profit administration through her senior leadership positions with the Alexandra Marine & General Hospital Foundation, the South Huron Hospital Foundation, the Stratford Chefs School and the Huron United Way. Music and community are an integral part of her life particularly through her memberships, performances, travelling and directorships with the Huron Harp School, the former Bach Music Festival, the Goderich Celtic Folk Society and the Inspiring Women in Huron Awards Committee. Kimberley is also a co-author of Pursuit:365 a book dedicated to 365 Canadian Women and their inspiring stories.
Director Ex-Officio, Artistic Director John Miller
Please read Mr. Miller’s full biography here.