Northerner Jean-Louis takes over as chair of Ontario research network

    TORONTO, Dec. 7 /CNW/ - Maxim Jean-Louis, one of Ontario's most
accomplished education leaders, takes over as Chair of the Board of the
Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO), which owns and operates
the ORION ultra high-speed optical research and education network.
    The President and CEO of Contact North/Contact Nord, Jean-Louis replaces
York University VP of Research and Innovation, Dr. Stan Shapson, who steps
down as Chair and board member after three years at the helm.
    An executive specializing in technology and education, distance learning
and alternative delivery with a special focus on small and remote communities,
Jean-Louis has been President and CEO of Contact North/Contact Nord since
    With network use growing over 600 per cent in the last two years alone,
ORION is playing a growing and increasingly vital role as critical
infrastructure for research and education in Ontario - enabling advanced
teaching and learning, distributed high-performance computing, collaborative
research projects spanning the globe and supporting researchers in fields such
as medicine, the environment and physics.
    "This is just the beginning and I am very excited about the future and
the role the board and ORION can play," says Jean-Louis.
    "Having access to this world-class technology places Ontario in the top
rung of global players. I'm proud that we have been able to contribute in a
very tangible way to providing our province with this critical asset and to
support our transformation towards a knowledge-based economy," he says.
    "We are grateful to Dr. Shapson's leadership during the last few years
and his role in our success in expanding the network and helping introduce new
and exciting collaborations in Ontario's research and education community,"
says ORANO President/CEO Phil Baker.
    "Our focus now is on introducing new services and applications that can
take advantage of ORION to accelerate the use of sophisticated new enabling
technologies to support the work of our researchers, scientists, teachers,
learners and innovators in Ontario," he says.
    Apart from his work with ORION, Jean-Louis has served as Chair of the
Broadband Wireless Multimedia Group, and has held board memberships in leading
organizations including the Chair's Advisory Council on e-government for the
Government of Ontario, the Ontario Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment
Board and World University Service of Canada. He currently serves on the
Groupe de travail permanent sur l'éducation en langue française of the Ontario
Ministry of Education, the board of Computers for Schools Ontario, and the
Citizenship and Immigration Canada-Francophone Minority Communities Steering
Committee (CIC-FMC).
    Prior to assuming his current position at Contact North/Contact Nord,
Maxim held a variety of senior posts with Athabasca University in Alberta from
1980 to 1995. Maxim is a graduate of the University of Alberta. Maxim, his
spouse Lise and their two sons live in Sudbury.
    Other ORANO board members include Lisa de Wilde, CEO of TVOntario; Dr.
Khaled El Emam, Canada Research Chair, Electronic Health Information Associate
Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa; Terry Mosey, Past
Executive Vice-President, Bell Canada; Robert J. Kennedy, Educational
Consultant, Apple Canada; Anne Sado, President, George Brown College and
Patrick Spence, VP, Cingular Wireless & Rogers Wireless Business Unit,
Research In Motion (RIM), as well as ORANO's President/CEO Phil Baker.

    About ORION
    The Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION) is Ontario's
ultra high-speed research and education network which connects all of
Ontario's universities, most colleges, several medical and other public
research facilities and a growing number of school boards to one another and
to the global grid of research and education networks. Stretching 5,800
kilometres over 21 communities throughout Ontario, ORION connects over
1.3 million Ontario researchers, scientists, students, teachers and staff to
critical infrastructure for research, education and innovation. Learn more at

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Tamara Stoll, Communications
Officer, ORION, (416) 507-9860 ext. 224,

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Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)

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