Bank Street B.I.A.
Staff & Board


Christine Leadman, Executive Director

Christine Leadman holds a strong portfolio of experience in the fields of event management, municipal government and main street promotions. Currently, as the Executive Director of the Bank Street BIA she is committed to revitalizing the Bank Street area and developing strong community ties to enhance the experience for residents and businesses alike.

As the former Executive Director of the Westboro Village BIA she was instrumental in raising the profile of the area to one of the most talked about and coveted locations in the City of Ottawa. She has a proven track record on festival development and management as co-founder of the highly successful WestFest, as well as convention management.

Why do you love Bank Street?

“Bank Street is more not only a business area, but it’s also a community. Downtown has its own personality and I love that.”

Julia Weber, Special Projects and Administrator

Julia Weber completed a Bachelor of Commerce with a concentration in Marketing at Carleton University. During her degree she had the opportunity to go on exchange to Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Julia has extensive experience in promotions and is passionate about marketing, photography and tourism.

Julia joined the BIA in October 2014. It’s been an excited year of fun projects and she can’t wait for what the next year has in store.   

Why do you love Bank Street?

“I love Bank Street for its vibrant atmosphere and history. It’s an important staple in Ottawa and has a great community.”

Board Members


Kevin Martin

Kevin Martin has lived in Centretown for the past 8 years. After managing big box stores, he opened up Stroked Ego in May 2010. In 2011, shortly after opening the store, Kevin joined the BIA as a board member. Kevin has a background in marketing and retail, bringing his experience to help promote the downtown core.

Why do you love Bank Street?

“I enjoy the diverse and eclectic shops. I also really like all of the great restaurants!”

Heather Garrod

For 23 years, Heather Garrod worked for the Federal Civil Service. Heather also has training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, which helps her understand how others view the world.  Heather has a deep love of community and she wants to work with other members and make Centretown a wonderful place to live, shop and play in.

Heather joined the BIA in 2013 as a board member. From there, she joined both the marketing committee and the inaugural Glow Fair festival committee. Recently, she took on the role of Chair of the BIA and Marketing Committee, and continues to serve as co-chair on the Glow Fair festival committee.

Why do you love Bank Street?

“My store started off in the Glebe ten years ago. I loved the idea of community-everyone walks to the stores they need, people are often known on a first name basis. When the streets were getting torn up in the Glebe, I decided to move to Centretown. It is a very eclectic area with character. I love the architecture, the vibe, and the chance to create a very dynamic environment here.”

Rob Spittall

Rob Spittall has been a business owner for 16 years on Bank Street, selling comics, toys, and games.  He takes pride in supporting the community that has supported him over the years.  Rob has had 27 years of retail experience and has been part of over 150 conventions as a vendor and dealer.   

Rob first got involved in the BIA with the Bank Street reconstruction, as a block captain and a member of the reconstruction committee.  Rob joined the BIA as a board member this year, but has been a part of the Glowfair team since August, when the planning for 2015 started.

Why do you love Bank Street? 

“I love Bank Street for the people, the stories and the experiences.  I have made many amazing friendships and relationships from my existence on Bank.  I love getting to know people in the neighbourhood, and spending time here.  Bank Street is full of stories and life, and I love the fact that I am a part of it and through my business; I am able to touch people's lives and bring joy to them.”

Sheena Zain

Aziz & Company is an Ottawa family business started, by Sheena’s mother and father, over 50 years ago at the corner of Bank and Gilmour.  As the youngest member of the Aziz family and having grown up in the store through the 70s and 80s, Sheena patiently waited her turn and was happy to take over full management of the shop in 2013. 

     After attending the 2013 Bank BIA AGM,  Sheen was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of Christine Leadman and the BIA board,  became interested in serving on the board herself.  After the 2014 annual general meeting, Sheena became a director on the BIA Board.  
Why do you love Bank Street?

“Downtown Bank Street has always been the most vibrant and diverse part of this city - I’ve always especially loved that this area has been somewhere that everyone can find their place - and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to serve on a BIA Board that is committed to seeing that diversity thrive.”

Catherine McKenney

Catherine was elected to Ottawa City Council on October 27, 2014. She is Vice-Chair of the Transportation Committee, sits on the Environment Committee and the Built Heritage Sub-Committee and is a member of the following boards: Ottawa Board of Health, Ottawa Public Library Board and Ottawa Community Housing Board.

She has made her home with her family on Walnut Court in the Preston-Somerset area. Most recently, Catherine worked as direct strategic support and advisor to the Deputy City Manager (Operations) at the City of Ottawa responsible for services ranging from fire and paramedic services, housing, child care, to parks, arts and culture, water and wastewater, transit, and more.

The majority of her career has been spent working directly for the residents of Ottawa — as a political assistant to City Councillors Diane Holmes (Somerset) and Alex Munter (Kanata), and as a legislative aide to Ed Broadbent and Paul Dewar, MPs for Ottawa Centre.

She also worked as the Manager, Public Policy for Volunteer Canada and as Regional Manager for VoicePrint, which delivers print media in accessible format to people living with visual impairment. Catherine trains regularly for and competes in cross-country and ultra marathon running.

She cycles year round, walks to work, supports local independent businesses, and is the proud adoptive parent of four Humane Society animals. She is also an avid volunteer and community leader, giving her time to causes like the Plant Pool Recreation Association and the Cornerstone Shelter for Women.

Jonathan Hatchell

Jonathan Hatchell is the Chief Executive Officer at the Royal Oak Pub Group.  He has been involved in the community and the city since arriving in Canada in 1986. The first Royal Oak opened at 318 Bank St, and now the Royal Oak Pub Group has 14 pubs with two on Bank Street. Jonathan has been in the hospitality business since arriving in Ottawa and took over running the Royal Oak Pub Group in 2004.  In the past, here in Canada he has worked with McDonalds Restaurants and Labatt Brewery.

Jonathan is new to the board, joining in 2015, but he has always been a supporter of the work the BIA does in the community and for the business members.

Why do you love Bank Street?

“I believe it is the heart of the city of Ottawa. Bank St. remains a vibrant business hub and is critical to the economic health of the Ottawa.” 

Alex Hosselet

Alex is a proud alumnus of two Algonquin College business programs, and has made a career in digital marketing and business strategy. Alex has over ten years of experience in working in small business, corporate, non-profit, and consulting settings. He’s currently the Digital Communications Manager at Hub Ottawa, as well as a consultant for local businesses and non-profits. Additionally, he’s an active volunteer with local community initiatives, serving on several other board and committees. 

Alex may be new to the Hub, but as a lifelong Ottawa resident, he’s been visiting downtown Bank Street all his life. He’s been a long-time fan and advocate for the businesses, spaces, and goings-on at downtown Bank Street. He’s a firm believer that the activities and interactions between the businesses and community on downtown Bank Street are and should be a leader to the rest of the communities in Ottawa.

Why do you love Bank Street?

“Bank Street is an Ottawan's Ottawa: it's home to the most vibrant, diverse, and engaged businesses in the city. Whether it's shopping, enjoying a coffee, or grabbing a drink with friends - there are no shortage of great places to go. It's hard to pick a favourite park of Bank Street with a lifetime of experiences. I think back to being a teenager and eagerly awaiting a new comic from The Comic Book Shoppe or video game from Microplay.”