Canadian Manufacturing

Rhonda Barnet new CEO at Palette Skills

Barnet was the first woman in history to chair the national board of Canada’s oldest, largest trade association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

January 11, 2022   by CM Staff

TORONTO — Palette Skills, a non-profit employment organization, has appointed Rhonda Barnet as its interim CEO, according to a company statement.

Rhonda Barnet has worked as an executive in the manufacturing sector as well as President & COO of AVIT Manufacturing. According to Palette Skills, Barnet was also a board member of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Ontario’s Electrical Safety Authority, and Next Generation Manufacturing Canada.

Rhonda was also a member of the Federal Government’s Industry Strategy Council.

Palette Skills stated that Barnet was the first woman in history to chair the national board of Canada’s oldest, largest trade association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Additionally, she is also the founder of the CME Women in Manufacturing initiative that strives to elevate women and support people facing barriers to employment in the economy.

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Ms. Barnet brings more than 30 years in financial and strategic roles; including corporate governance, modern industrial policy, environmental, social, and corporate governance as well as working towards diversity and inclusion for people in non-traditional roles, modernizing workplace culture, fostering STEM equity, skills transformation, and national trade association leadership experiences to Palette Skills.

“I am delighted to welcome Rhonda as interim CEO to Palette Skills where she will help to guide the organization’s ongoing growth and expansion,” said Sean Speer, acting chair, Palette Skills in a statement.

“As Canada recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Palette Skills’ work to place people in jobs will be more important than ever.”

Ms. Barnet is a graduate of Trent University with a B.Sc. in Mathematics & Computer Science and a Chartered Director. She received a distinguished Alumni Award from Trent University in 2020, the Inspiring Fifty Canada – Women in Technology Award in 2018 and a Business Hall of Fame Inductee in 2017.


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