Senior Management Team

Jeff Lees

Jeff Lees

Chief Administration Officer

Jeff Lees is the Town’s Chief Administrative Officer working with Council and staff to ensure that the municipal policies and procedures are implemented, advising and informing council on municipal affairs and ensuring appropriate staffing is in place.  Additionally, he is responsible for the day to day operations of the municipality which includes leading the senior management team, preparing materials for Council meetings and acting as the primary advisor to Council ensuring their strategic vision is implemented.

Jeff believes that Municipal Government is an extremely rewarding career, which provides front line services through a number of business units/divisions within the departments each and every day that is closest to the end users, the residents and business owners.  He feels a great sense of satisfaction knowing that the work by staff throughout the organization has such positive and impactful results on those that call Penetanguishene home. 

Although Jeff started his career as a Chief Administrative Officer in Penetanguishene in 2016, he has a significant amount of municipal leadership experience, having served as the Director of Financial Services/Treasurer for the Township of Georgian Bay since 2010, and as Deputy Treasurer for two years prior to that.  In addition, Jeff worked in a variety of roles at the County of Simcoe immediately after graduating at school.

His current community involvement includes his role as a Rotarian on the Penetanguishene Rotary Club Board of Directors as the Chair of the Community Services Committee, as well as previously a Director and Vice-Chair on the Georgian Bay General Hospital Board.  Jeff currently is a Supervisor of On-Ice Officials with the Ontario Minor Hockey Association (OMHA), and is a certified level 5 Hockey Canada Official, working all levels of hockey with the Ontario Hockey Association (OHA).  Jeff has also officiated at six World Ball Hockey Championships, and several National and Provincial tournaments. 

Jeff is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) having completed his designation through the Certified General Accountant (CGA) program. He has a Bachelor of Applied Business Administration – Accounting and Information Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and a Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership from York University through the Schulich School of Business.

Stacey Cooper

Stacey Cooper

Clerk, Deputy CAO (A)

Stacey Cooper is our Town Clerk, Accessibility Coordinator, and Deputy Chief Administrative Officer (A).   She is the local official for elections, municipal legislation, and the Head of the Municipal Freedom of Information Act.  She works with Council, staff and residents to help understand the role of municipal government in making decisions and how the public can play a part.

Stacey works closely with the Communications and Technology Coordinator to ensure our residents stay well-informed through our many communications channels. She believes it is important for the municipality to be as fair and transparent as possible during the conduct of municipal business and to enable the public to understand the process of government at the local level. 

Stacey has worked for the Town of Penetanguishene since 2009 and has been part of 4 of municipal elections.  She is most proud of moving Penetanguishene forward with electronic voting in 2014 and keeping her cool during the 2018 election when technology briefly failed her. 

She worked as an intake coordinator for the Psychiatry Department at Toronto General Hospital for 11 years before coming to the Town of Penetanguishene and joining our team.  She has received certification from AMCTO for Municipal Administration, Municipal Law, Clerks Institute I & II and is working towards her accreditation to become a Certified Ontario Municipal Clerk.

Stacey holds a diploma in Medical Administration from Humber College. 

Carrie Robillard

Carrie Robillard

Director of Finance

Carrie Robillard is our Director of Finance/Treasurer who works with Finance Department Staff to provide exceptional customer service and friendly professional assistance to residents and visitors to Townhall.  Additionally, her annual workplan includes a 3 Year Operating Budget, 10 Year Capital Plan, Year-end Financial Audit, Corporate Insurance and Banking Programs and Short and Long-Term Financial Planning for the Town’s level of services and for major infrastructure investment.  Carrie strives to be fiscally responsible, transparent, accountable and provide good stewardship over Town assets and resources. 

Carrie began her career with the Town of Penetanguishene in 2009 as the Deputy Treasurer and became the Director of Finance/Treasurer in 2014.  Prior to 2009, Carrie spent 21 years as a Business Development and Loan Officer for a local non-profit organization supporting small business.  From a financial perspective, Carrie has been a part of many exciting projects and events during her time at the Town of Penetanguishene: the divestiture of the Town Wharf, Tall Ships event, construction of Rotary Champlain Wendat Park, Champlain Commemoration Event, Philip H. Jones Sewage Treatment Plan Expansion and the Reconstruction of Main Street.

Carrie has completed many municipal training programs, including the Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership from York University’s Schulich School of Business.  Carrie is a designated Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified General Accountant and is a member of the Municipal Finance Officers Association and the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.

Carrie moved to the area in 1977, attending elementary and high school in Penetanguishene and still considers it home.  Carrie loves music, sports and travel and spending time with her two adult children when they are not doing the same.


Andrea Betty

Andrea Betty

Director of Planning and Community Development

Andrea Betty is our Director of Planning and Community Development who works with residents to understand the Town’s land use policies, the development process, and economic development initiatives. She is the senior manager overseeing the work of the Planning, Building, and Municipal Law Enforcement divisions.   Additionally, her role is to support economic opportunities, built heritage protection, and community development.

Andrea is passionate about land use planning to create places and spaces for current and future residents.  She takes every opportunity to learn about community building, public engagement, and how to best guide Penetanguishene as growth and development continue to be at an all-time high for the Town.

Andrea has worked almost her entire career locally, first with the Town of Midland for ten years and since 2015 with the Town of Penetanguishene.  Andrea has been the driver of several community building projects including the update to the Official Plan (2018) and the new Zoning By-law (2022), the Town Dock Secondary Plan and Master Plan (est. 2022), the Local Climate Change Action Plan (2019), the Community Improvement Plan (2020) for downtown, Main Street Art (2020) and the Business Retention and Expansion Study (2021), are among some of her most recent work.  The newest projects include a new Tree Protection By-law, an Economic Development Strategy for the Town Dock, and a Market Gap Analysis. 

Andrea is a Registered Professional Planner with the Canadian Institute of Planners and a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute. 

Andrea holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography with a minor in Geology from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax Nova Scotia. She also has a diploma in Urban and Regional Planning Technology from Fanshawe College in London Ontario.

Bryan Murray

Bryan Murray

Director of Public Works

Bryan Murray is our Director of Public Works who works with a team of over 20 staff members within the Roads, Water and Wastewater Divisions and helps to ensure that the operations of all Divisions of the Public Works Department are meeting their regulatory and service level requirements on an annual basis.

Bryan believes that the sustainable investment into our infrastructure, including physical and human resources, is the key to providing a community that is both economically and environmentally prosperous.  

Bryan is responsible for the management of the Public Works Capital Plan which has included the Main Street Reconstruction, Champlain Road Rehabilitation and Payette Reservoir Upgrades. Bryan and his team were successful in securing over $4.5 Million in combined Federal and Provincial funding for these projects.  

Bryan began her career with the Town of Penetanguishene in 2008 as the Manager of Capital Project and became the Director of Public Works in 2011.  Prior to 2008, Bryan spent 5 years working within the private consulting engineering field. 

Bryan is a licensed Professional Engineer and a member of the Municipal Engineers Association.

Bryan holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Windsor.


Sherry Desjardins

Sherry Desjardins

Director of Recreation and Community Services

Sherry Desjardins is our Director of Recreation and Community Services.  She works closely with the Facilities Manager, Harbour Master, Recreation and Events Coordinator and Museum’s Curator to ensure the safe and ongoing operations of the parks, events, wharf, recreation programs, Penetanguishene Centennial Museum & Archives and Penetanguishene Memorial Community Centre.

Sherry believes that the duties completed in the Recreation and Community Services department are some of the most rewarding in the municipality as it is where ‘life’ of the community happens. She is passionate about and inspired by the municipality’s strategic direction to upgrade its indoor facilities for sport and physical activities and to support active lifestyles by residents.  When looking ahead, Sherry is most excited about continuing to move the Town’s strategic goals forward, revitalizing the Town Dock and growing Winterama to its full potential.

Since commencing her employment with the Town in 2016, she has championed the Arena and Recreation Centre Study, the Cycling Strategy, and recently co-lead the development of the Town’s new Age-Friendly Plan.   Under her guidance, the recreation team remained focused during the pandemic by introducing new recreation software to improve the registration process, securing a new boat tour operator for the wharf and implementing an innovative community closure program prior to the demolition of the former high school.  She has secured substantial funding for numerous capital projects and lead notable ones such as construction of a formal trailhead at Overhead Bridge Road and is currently working on a new gateway for the Town. 

Sherry has an honours degree in kinesiology and physical education and geography from Wilfrid Laurier University, as well as a post graduate diploma in Therapeutic Recreation from Georgian College.  Sherry has also completed the Parks and Recreation Management certificate program through York University’s Schulich School of Business. 

Richard Renaud

Richard Renaud

Director of Fire and Emergency Services/Fire Chief

Richard brings over 30 years of public service experience to the municipality starting his career as a paramedic in 1989 and joining the fire service in 1995.  Richard has worked in career, composite, and volunteer fire services with front line and management experience.  With this background, Richard understands what is needed to provide quality emergency services to communities.

Richard comes to us with a bachelor’s degree in Fire & Life Safety, Executive diploma in Municipal Management, Masters Certificate in Municipal Leadership, and an Executive Certificate in Fire Management.  He is a certified and experienced Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC), has taught Mental Health Awareness programs, and has been part of Crisis Response and Peer Counselling teams his entire career.

Richard was born and raised in Northern Quebec and speaks English and French fluently.  He enjoys outdoor sports and can often be found hiking, camping, or touring on his motorcycle.  Richard has three children (two daughters and a son).  His daughter Drew is 24, daughter Jaxon is 18, and son Luc is 15.

Christine Heighton

Christine Heighton

Director of Human Resources

Christine is a highly experienced and accomplished Certified Human Resource Leader (CHRL) with a strong background in the private sector. She has held various senior management roles in organizations such as Deluxe Corporation and Matcor-Matsu Group of Companies in the automotive sector.

Throughout her career, Christine has successfully transformed organizations and implemented effective strategies in areas such as payroll, health and safety, performance metrics, and employee-employer relations. She has a deep understanding of best practices in human resources and health and safety, staying up to date with the latest trends and developments in the field.

Christine's dedication to her profession led her to achieve her CHRL designation through part-time studies at Georgian College. She believes in the importance of a strong workplace culture and actively contributes to it through her values of honesty, integrity, and respect/sensitivity.

With her wealth of experience, skills, and strategic leadership perspectives, Christine brings valuable insights to Penetanguishene. Her expertise in all aspects of human resources, coupled with her commitment to continuous improvement and employee satisfaction, makes her an asset to any organization.

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