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Economic Development Team


Richard Bertolo, Director of Business Development joined the City of Orillia in 2018 and oversees the economic development portfolio with its incredible potential to provide foundational and transformative initiatives for a constantly evolving Orillia. He graduated many years ago from the McMaster DeGroote School of Business with an MBA in International Finance and has over 30 years of industry experience working on infrastructure development,  mergers and acquisitions as well as launching a number of innovative spin off entities within the utility sector.  


Richard has an affinity for Orillia having been a cottager on Lake Couchiching for many years and still has family living in the City of Orillia. 


 Dan Landry, Manager of Business Retention and Expansion and Industrial Development with the City of Orillia

Dan Landry, Manager of Business Retention & Expansion and Industrial Development focuses on investment attraction, retention, and expansion opportunities for industrial and institutional employers, employment lands, and critical economic infrastructure opportunities.  He joined the City of Orillia Economic Development Office in August, 2009. Dan has been a resident of the Orillia area since 1983. As a journalist, he worked with the Orillia Packet & Times and the National Post. In 1997, he launched MarketingPlus, a full-service communications company, which provided strategic marketing services for businesses and organizations throughout Central Ontario. A graduate of the Self-Employment Assistance Program, Dan is familiar with the challenges and rewards of running a business.

Contact Dan Landry:


Laura Thompson Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development at the City of Orillia

Laura Thompson, Manager of Real Estate and Commercial Development is responsible for the development of the downtown core and waterfront, corporate real estate, commercial and retail investment attraction, and the Downtown Community Improvement Plan.  Laura joined the City of Orillia as Economic Development Officer in October, 2012. She previously worked as a Land Use Planner and fulfilled the Economic Development role for the municipality of Springwater, where she directed new businesses through the site selection and planning application process and worked on a wide array of economic development initiatives.  Laura is a Certified Economic Developer, and a member of the International Economic Developers Council (IEDC), Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) and Economic Developers Council of Ontario (EDCO).

Contact Laura Thompson:


Image of Ainsley Crombeen Manager of Tourism and Marketing 

Ainsley Crombeen, Manager of Tourism and Marketing joined the City of Orillia's Economic Development Department in October 2016 and leads tourism development and economic development and tourism marketing to promote Orillia as a great place to visit, locate a business and develop a career. Prior to joining the City, Ainsley worked for the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ministry of the Environment for 14 years, in various Marketing and Communications, Media Relations and Event Planning roles.  She moved to Simcoe County with her family to take advantage of the high quality of life and to raise her children in Lake Country. As the Manager of Tourism and Marketing for the City, she looks forward to contributing her efforts to continually see an increase in visitation to the City and to leave a lasting impression as a place to visit and potentially live.


Ainsley is currently on leave from the Economic Development Department.

For tourism and marketing inquiries please contact Haleigh Fox.


 Employee Headshot

Haleigh Fox, Manager of Tourism and Marketing (Acting) joined the City of Orillia in 2015, working in cultural development and project management. She joined the Economic Development Department in 2017 and will be leading economic development, tourism development, and marketing Orillia as premier destination to live, work and play.  

Haleigh received her MA from the University of Toronto and specializes in information management and cultural policy. She brings with her 8 years of experience in project management, marketing, and research analysis for insititutions such as the Royal Ontario Museum, University of Toronto, and McMaster Univeristy.


Contact Haleigh Fox:


Photo of Rhonda Lees 

Rhonda Lees, Administrative Assistant joined the Economic Development team in August 2017. She has worked with the City of Orillia since July 2013 as a Revenue Clerk in the Treasury Department. Prior to joining the City, Rhonda attended Wilfrid Laurier University and is a graduate of the Honours Business Administration Program. Rhonda is a long-time resident of Orillia, and is excited to be a part of the Economic Development team. 

Contact Rhonda Lees:



Joanne Thornley, Administrative Support 

Joanne joined the Economic Development Department in July 2017 in the position of Administrative Support, Real Estate.  Prior to joining the City of Orillia, Joanne lived and worked in the GTA raising a family of 3 children with her husband.  While working over the past 20+ years with several prominent Commercial Real Estate Owners and Managers, including Morguard Investments, Crofton Moore, Summit REIT and O&Y Enterprise, she held several roles including Administrative Assistant, Tenant Services Manager, Leasing Assistant and most recently as a Junior Property Manager for a Residential building in Orillia.

Joanne and her husband recently made the decision to relocate out of the GTA by moving their family to Orillia in 2015, seeking an improved quality of life for all, while bringing her skills, knowledge, aptitude and energy  to Orillia's Economic Development Department. 

Contact Joanne Thornley:








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