Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority strengthens ongoing relationship with RBG, providing financial support for its Summer Student Program

  • HOPA Ports provides $10,000 to support RBG’s Summer Student Program
  • RBG is the largest botanical garden in Canada, a National Historic Site and environmental charity.
  • Summer Student Program areas of study include: identifying species-at-risk, addressing invasive species, wetland/forest restoration, nature interpretation, tending to natural spaces and gardens + more!

HAMILTON, ON – Building on their longstanding partnership, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA Ports) is proud to provide financial support for Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) Summer Student Program.

HOPA Ports is dedicated to providing an enriching experience for university students who will benefit from mentorship by industry experts in this hands-on learning opportunity. Each of the students will have the chance to work with seasoned professionals from RBG and make important career connections.

“We are delighted to continue our collaboration with RBG and support the Summer Student Program, contributing to the growth and development of aspiring scientists,” said Larissa Fenn, VP of Corporate Affairs at HOPA Ports. “At HOPA, we believe in investing in our community and championing initiatives that promote education, inspire personal and professional growth and reinforce our commitment to sustainability. Our shared stewardship with RBG of Hamilton Harbour further strengthens our dedication to preserving our waterways and nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders.”

RBG is an environmental charity with a mission to “connect people, plants and place for the purpose of nurturing healthy growing life on our planet.” RBG has a long history of training summer students and providing an excellent setting for hands-on career experience. The 2023 program includes 54 students who provide RBG with essential support to staff during the summer months. These students are working in the areas of: Trail Maintenance, Gardening, Event Set-up, Interpretation, Botany, Species at Risk, Aquatic Ecology and Visitor Experience.

“We are grateful to HOPA Ports for their ongoing financial support, and for funding our Summer Student Program,” says Kim Viney, Chief Operating Officer at RBG. “As one of Canada’s remarkable biodiversity hotspots, RBG is a unique blend of living laboratory and natural classroom. From interpreting nature, protecting against invasive species, tracking wildlife and tending to our vibrant gardens, this program provides our summer students with an immersive work experience while making the necessary connections to thrive in their future careers.”

The financial support provided by HOPA Ports will strengthen the summer program through student empowerment, enhanced resources and unique opportunities.

About Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority

As an integrated port network, the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority (HOPA) offers port and marine assets in Hamilton, Oshawa and Niagara. An efficient, multimodal network on the Great Lakes, it supports Ontario industries and facilitates trade. By investing in high-quality infrastructure and prioritizing sustainability, HOPA helps build prosperous working waterfronts in Ontario communities. Overseeing more than 1,000 acres and more than 140 tenant companies, 40,000 Ontario jobs are connected to the cargo that passes through HOPA’s integrated ports.

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For more information, please contact:

Kelly Noseworthy
Communications Advisor
[email protected]


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Larissa Fenn

Vice President, Corporate Affairs

Larissa Fenn is Vice President, Corporate Affairs at HOPA Ports, leading a team responsible for communications and government relations, sustainability reporting, corporate governance and corporate culture.

Previous positions included communications and public policy roles at the Canadian Bankers Association, Credit Valley Conservation Authority, and the Regional Municipality of Halton.

Larissa holds a B.A.(Hons) in Political Science from Queen’s University. She holds the APR designation from the Canadian Public Relations Society, and completed the Senior Public Sector Leaders program at the University of Western Ontario, Ivey School of Business. Larissa has served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Royal Botanical Gardens, and as a member of the Policy Council of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

Bill Fitzgerald

Vice President, Strategic Development

Bill assumed the role of Vice President, Strategic Development in 2024, after having served as HOPA’s Vice President, Operations since 2008.

Bill joined the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority in July 1995 as Project Engineer. He previously worked with the Regional Municipality of Ottawa’s Transportation Department, as well as for the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Waterloo.

Bill received a Bachelor of Applied Science, civil engineering / water resources, in 1995 from the University of Waterloo and registered with the Professional Engineers of Ontario in 1997.

Jeremy Dunn

Vice President, Operations

Jeremy assumed the role of Vice President, Operations in 2024 after having served as HOPA’s Commercial Vice President since 2019. Prior to joining HOPA, Jeremy served in successive leadership roles at The Miller Group, one of Canada’s leading transportation construction and infrastructure maintenance companies. Jeremy has managed multiple business groups in the heavy construction, asphalt paving and aggregates sectors driving results through business restructuring, service improvement and strategic growth. In his most recent role, Jeremy served as General Manager of Miller Maintenance, responsible for managing and growing Miller’s highway maintenance business in Ontario.

Previous to The Miller Group, Jeremy held the position of Director of Operations for the Dunn Group of Companies.

Jeremy earned his Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) through Queen’s University. He also holds a Master’s Certificate in Project Management.

Janet Knight

Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Chief Financial Officer for the Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority since 2008, Janet joined the HPA in 1998 as Accounting Supervisor and subsequently served as Controller.

Prior to joining the HPA, Janet held the position of Financial Analyst with St. Joseph’s Hospital, as well as various positions, including Marketing Communications/Research Lead with Zeneca Agro. Janet graduated from McMaster University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Commerce. She attained the professional designation of Certified Management Accountant in 1992.

Ian Hamilton

President & CEO

Ian Hamilton is President & CEO of HOPA Ports (Hamilton-Oshawa Port Authority). He assumed this role in 2017, after serving as the Port Authority’s Vice President of Business Development and Real Estate since 2008. Ian has been instrumental in developing working waterfronts in Hamilton, Oshawa, and Niagara by attracting new business and private investment, and creating an integrated marine network across Southern Ontario.

Ian possesses more than 25 years of experience in international transportation and logistics in Europe and North America, and has held progressively senior positions in the liner shipping industry, including Transatlantic Trade Director (Europe) for CP Ships and Business Development Manager for Hapag-Lloyd. Ian is Chairperson of the Association of Canadian Port Authorities, and holds positions on various other boards, including: the Chamber of Marine Commerce, the Hamilton Club, and Brigs Youth Sail Training.

Ian holds an MBA from Aston University (UK) and a BSc in business administration and economics from the College of Charleston, South Carolina.