Board of Directors

Halifax Harbour Bridges has nine board members. The Province of Nova Scotia appoints five members, including the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Halifax Regional Municipality appoints four representatives.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners Chair Vicki Harnish

Vicki Harnish

Chair of the Board, Provincially Appointed Board Member

Vicki is a retired public sector executive with extensive experience in organizational renewal, strategic and operational planning, revenue and expenditure planning and control, accountability systems, critical policy analysis and advice, policy implementation, and economic analysis. During her career with the Province of Nova Scotia, she served in several positions, including Public Service Commissioner, Secretary to Executive Council, Deputy Minister of Treasury and Policy Board and Deputy Minister of Finance.

Vicki is a member the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), and Chair of the Public Health Agency of Canada Departmental Audit Committee. Past experience includes Chair, Statistics Canada Departmental Audit Committee; Member of Health Canada Departmental Audit Committee; board member of Nova Scotia Health Authority; Board of Governors of Mount Saint Vincent University; Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation; INNovaCorp; CoChair of the Nova Scotia Teachers Pension Partners Board; and Member of the Investment Advisory Committee for the Nova Scotia Teachers Pension Plan and the Nova Scotia Public Service Superannuation Plan.

As a non-partisan Deputy Minister to several Nova Scotia Premiers and to Cabinet and its committees, Vicki is well positioned to address public policy and public interest considerations, government relations and communications strategy. Ms. Harnish has a Master of Public Administration (Management) from Dalhousie University and the ICD.D accreditation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners Vice-Chair Janet MacMillan

Janet MacMillan

Vice Chair of the Board, Provincially Appointed Board Member

Janet MacMillan has devoted much of her professional and board governance career to guiding and supporting organizations in their growth trajectories and breakthrough moments.

She currently serves as lead strategic counsel to a number of NATIONAL’s clients and teams and specializes in such areas as risk, reputation and crisis management, citizen engagement, governance and regulatory matters.  She guides clients in such sectors as post-secondary, health, manufacturing, energy, resources, and transportation and infrastructure development.

Janet is certified by the U.S.-based Institute for Crisis Management and the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2).  A member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), Janet holds considerable cumulative governance experience as a result of serving  on a number of international, national and regional boards including Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation (Chair), Halifax Dartmouth Bridge Commission (Vice Chair), Eastpoint Engineering, COVE (Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship); FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy (FORCE), the RCMP Foundation of Canada, the CN Community Board and Sail Canada. She is past chair of the board of governors for Mount Saint Vincent University, the institution from which she proudly received her degree in public relations.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Brian Jessop.

Brian Jessop

Provincially Appointed Board Member

Brian Jessop is vice president of operations with Killam Apartment REIT where he oversees the capital infrastructure projects and building operations. Prior to that he spent 12 years with Mount Saint Vincent University as VP Admin and Director of Facilities Management.

Brian spent 10 years with Bell Aliant, performing asset management with Real Estate Services Division for Atlantic Canada. An experienced engineer and project manager, he held several operational positions during his 15 years with the QEII Health Sciences Centre finishing up as the Director of Engineering.

Brian has been involved in a number of Property and Engineering Associations and has his Certified Property Management (CPM) through the Real Estate Institute of Canada (REIC). Continuing his commitment to ‘lifelong learning’ he received is ICD.D through the Institute of Corporate Directors in 2018. He has served on several Boards and committees is the Past Chair for the Board of YMCA of Greater Halifax and Dartmouth, Past Chair of Canadian Universities Reciprocal Insurance Exchange and currently member of Ronald McDonald New House Committee.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Chuck Bridges.

Chuck Bridges

Municipally Appointed Board Member

Chuck is a well-respected community leader who has an active interest in government and governance.

After a 16-year career in broadcast journalism Chuck joined Saint Mary’s University as Director of Public Affairs before becoming Vice President (Associate) External Affairs for the University’s government and community relations, fundraising and marketing. He was Vice President Corporate Affairs at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation before returning to Halifax to help the Discovery Centre develop its brand, and government and corporate relations.

Chuck has an MBA from Saint Mary’s University and has received numerous awards during his career including being bestowed the Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Medal for his community engagement. He continues to volunteer and support a number of organizations.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member David Hendsbee.

David Hendsbee

Municipally Appointed Board Member

Halifax Regional Municipal Councillor David Hendsbee returned to the Board of Halifax Harbour Bridges in November 2022 after a two-year absence. One of the longest-serving members from HRM, he first joined the HHB Board in 2007 and served without interruption until 2020.

A former Preston MLA (1999-2003) in the John Hamm PC government, he has been re-elected six times as the Municipal Councillor representing District 2: Preston – Chezzetcook – Eastern Shore.

In addition to Halifax Harbour Bridges, he is a member of the HRM Appeals Committee, Audit & Finance Committee, Heritage Advisory Committee and the Harbour East – Marine Drive Community Council.

He graduated from Saint Mary’s University with a Bachelor of Commerce Class of 1982 Valedictorian and SMUSA President 1982-84.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Donna Smith Darrell.

Donna Smith Darrell

Provincially Appointed Board Member

Donna Smith Darrell is an African Nova Scotian of Black Loyalist descent born and raised in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia

Donna is a retired registered nurse/nurse practitioner with experience in developmental pediatrics and cancer care at the community level. She is the past co-President of the Health Association of African Canadians (HAAC), is a non-profit health association based in Nova Scotia. Donna is interested in health issues that impact people of African descent.

She has volunteered for numerous community organizations including: Children’s Aid Society, Epilepsy Nova Scotia, YMCA, Junior League of Halifax and her church. She has received multiple community awards including: WP Oliver Community Leadership Award, Atlantic Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health, East Preston Congress of Black Women Recognition award, The Black Professional Women’s award and the Y.M.C.A Award for Volunteerism.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Jennifer LaPlante.

Jennifer LaPlante

Municipally Appointed Board Member

Jennifer LaPlante has a strong background in innovation and analytics, having created the first corporate innovation outpost in Atlantic Canada at Volta labs. She has a BA from Bishop’s University, an MBA from Dalhousie and a Saint Mary’s University MSc in Computing and Data Analytics candidate.

In addition to being a member of the HHB board of commissioners Jennifer sits on the Board of Directors and Chairs the Audit and Finance Committee for the Arthritis Society and is Vice President of the Victoria Hall Society Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Nominating Committee for the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). She is an active member of the Government of Canada’s AI Public Awareness Working Group. She co-organizer of the Halifax Chapter of Women in Machine Learning and Data Science (WiMLDS), a global organization that aims to support and promote women and gender minorities who are practicing, studying or are interested in the fields of machine learning and data science.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Lindell Smith.

Lindell Smith

Municipally Appointed Board Member and Councillor District 8

Lindell Smith is a lifelong resident of North End Halifax. He is a co-founder of Center Line Studio, a non-profit recording studio for youth who want to express themselves through art and music. In keeping with his concern for the whole community and its diverse needs, and in response to the rapid growth and changes within his neighbourhood, Lindell, along with other community leaders, started “The One North End Project”. This group of community leaders from around HRM aims to ensure that all residents benefit from this rapid growth together by encouraging new hiring practices for local businesses and holding community engagement sessions.

Lindell was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Education and Community Service. He was chosen as one of five Youth Rising Stars for Nova Scotia. He was the first recipient of the Abby Bryant (humanitarian) Award of Excellence, given to a young person who is recognized for outstanding community service, and is a recipient of The Black Business Initiative’s Industry Development Award awarded by the African-Nova Scotian Music Association.
In November 2016, Lindell was elected as City Councillor for District 8 Halifax Peninsula North and re-elected in 2020.

Halifax Harbour Bridges Board of Commissioners member Richard MacLean.

Richard MacLean

Provincially Appointed Board Member

A lifelong community volunteer in HRM and teacher of 29 years, MacLean teaches business technology and business management at Halifax West High School and represents Halifax City Local on the Nova Scotia Teachers Union Provincial Executive.

A world leader and builder in the sport of football, he is the Past President of the International Federation of American Football, the global governing body for the sport. As President, he has led the restructuring of the Federation which, under his guidance, gained entry for flag football into the 2022 World Games and positioned the sport for entry into the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

MacLean himself has an impressive athletic record, having been drafted by the Toronto Argonauts, and is now involved in football at the organizational level, where he served as Director of Football for University Sport in Canada until the end of the 2020 season.

MacLean has a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Mount Saint Vincent University, and a Graduate Diploma in Mediation, Negotiations and Conflict Resolution from Saint Mary’s University.

MacLean lives with his wife Cora, who is a healthcare administrator with the Canadian Armed Forces, and their daughter Caitlin. He has an adult son, Theo.