BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Burlington Symphony Orchestra [formerly Symphony on the Bay] is operated by the Greater Hamilton Symphony Association, a registered Canadian charity. The volunteer Board of Directors meets nine times a year and is comprised of a good cross-section of professionals from the business, education, and social services sectors, as well as musicians from the orchestra and community.
Anda Protopopescu is an accomplished business professional with 30 years of experience working with Fortune 500 organizations in Financial Services, Consulting, High Tech and Telecommunications. She’s held senior management and executive positions in various disciplines including Finance, Marketing, Operations and Project Management. Anda has a Master of Business Administration with a Marketing Major and an Honors Bachelor of Commerce with a Finance Major from McMaster University and is a Project Management Professional with the Project Management Institute. Anda’s love for the arts started at a young age through her education in Eastern Europe where she grew up prior to moving to the Hamilton/Burlington area where she currently resides with her husband and their two sons.
Gina Milanese is the Vice President of the Board for the Burlington Symphony Orchestra. Gina has sat on the membership committee and chaired the social committee at the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club. She is also an entrepreneur and accomplished vocalist. Gina received a Bachelor of Arts degree in vocal performance from the University of Calgary and has performed all over Canada. She is a winner of many awards including a Hamilton Singer/Songwriter award in 2007. Gina brings her experience for event, fundraising and concert planning to this role. She lives in Hamilton with her husband and 2 sons and enjoys sailing, live music events and creating opportunities for musicians to perform.
Cynthia Vermeer resides in Welland, Ontario with her husband Gerry where they share ownership in Vermeer’s Garden Centre and Flower Shop, a generational, family-owned business. Cynthia is actively involved in the daily operations of their business while sharing her life with her children and grandchildren.
Cynthia is a flute and piccolo player who performs with several ensembles throughout the Niagara region while continuing her musical studies with Suzanne Shulman in Hamilton. Cynthia is excited to share her love of music with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra and look forward to working alongside its members and the Board of Directors to grow the orchestra.
secretary and director
Jess Hinchliffe is the Secretary of the Board at Burlington Symphony Orchestra. An administrative professional with more than 15 years of experience in the post-secondary sector in Ontario, Jess is eager to share her governance expertise with BSO and assist in expanding community awareness of this incredible organization. Jess and her husband have called Burlington home since 2008. She enjoys live music of all genres, traveling, wine tasting in Niagara, and spending time with cherished family and friends. Jess is a graduate of Huron University College in London Ontario and holds a Governance Professionals of Canada designation.
Evan Papadopoulos is a post-secondary student attending the University of Guelph. He is in the Bachelor of Commerce program majoring in Marketing Management on the Dean’s Honours List. Evan was born and raised in the Aldershot area and is an alumni of Aldershot High School where he participated in an Ontario-wide business case competition - representing Aldershot High School for the first time - and was a member of the basketball team for three years. He brings a passion to learn about music and business and is always looking for ways to contribute to the community through volunteer work either with the orchestra or coaching youth basketball. Evan’s involvement with the BSO started in 2019 when he contributed to the BSO’s social media campaign. In his free time, Evan enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, collecting vinyl records, playing basketball and travelling.
Vanessa is a graduate from the University of Toronto and holds an Honours Bachelor of Science with a double major in political science and biology. She currently works at the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Having worked with a number of organizations in retail and banking, she is eager to bring her experience to the Burlington Symphony Orchestra (BSO). As an active volunteer, Vanessa has volunteered with a number of organizations including Peel Public Health and the University of Toronto Academic Affairs Committee. Vanessa looks forward to using her experience and passion for music to help grow and advance the BSO.
Raja Chhatwal is a retired sales and marketing executive who spent over 40 years in the IT industry focussing on network security, data protection and disaster recovery. Raja sings, plays guitar, and enjoys writing songs and creating graphic music videos. He has a passion for music of all kinds and regularly jams with other musicians in the area. Raja is eager to work with the symphony and help grow support and attendance for the orchestra performances.