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Rittenhouse Hall, Vineland Research Station, 4890 Victoria Avenue North, Vineland Station, Ontario


Mark your calendars!  On Thursday, May 11th we invite you to join us at the Vineland Research Centre in the Niagara region for our Annual General Meeting.


9:00 a.m. – Registration

9:30 a.m. – AGM

11:15 a.m. – Guest speaker: Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario

12:00 p.m. – Catered lunch: Grand Oak Culinary Market

1:00 p.m. – Vineland Research and Innovations Centre tour

• Feeding Diversity: Bringing World Crops to Market

• The Canadian Hardy Rose Program

• Breeding Vegetables for Canadian Production and Global Markets

3:00 p.m. – Tour and tasting at Dillon’s - Small Batch Distillers

4:00 p.m. – Head for home

Bio of Debbie Zimmerman:

Since 2003, Debbie has been the CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario, the official organization that represents over 500 actively producing growers of 17,000 acres in the province’s three viticulture areas: Niagara Peninsula, Lake Erie North Shore and Prince Edward County. Embracing new technology and creating a focus on growing Ontario’s VQA wines is the culture embraced by the organization.

Debbie was actively involved in local politics for 36 years. Her political career began in 1978 as a local alderman for the Town of Grimsby, and in 1989 was elected to Regional Council. In 1997 Debbie was elected as Regional Chair for the Regional Municipality of Niagara, a position that she served for two terms. In 2014 Debbie decided to pursue other interests and did not seek re-election. Debbie is the past Chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation for the Province of Ontario (2004-2010), and was assigned by the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario, to the 2015/16 Provincial Review Panel for Ontario’s Land Use Plans, including the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Debbie currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo/Fort Erie Peace Bridge Authority and McNally House, and is the CoChair of the Pathstone Mental Health Fundraising Campaign.

Debbie has been the recipient of many awards including the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce “Community Leadership Award” in 2013, the “Niagara Award” in 1998, the Niagara College “Board of Governors Award” in 2001 and the YWCA “Woman of Distinction” award in 2003. In 2015 Debbie was awarded the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation’s “Local Food Champion” award for her commitment to local food and her years of service to Niagara.