2018 Seminar Speakers

Bob O'Donnell, "The Fossil Guy"

Bob has presented his Fossil exhibits for 22 years at Schools, Libraries, Museums, Gem and Mineral Shows, Field Naturalist Groups, Retirement Homes etc. He is the Curator of the Arkona Lions Museum at Rock Glen Conservation Park and the liaison for the owners of 2 quarry pits in Arkona, Ontario. He is on the Board of Directors of The Central Canadian Federation Of Mineralogical Societies and is an Administrator of 6 Facebook groups on fossils. Bob is also a member of The London Gem and Mineral Society.

George Lavorato

I have been working with Mosaics for about eight years in an effort to marry two areas of interest that I always pursued; a love of Renaissance and Rococo Art with a love of geology. I have visited many of the art houses in Northern Italy and I have also gone to Ravenna which is a revered site in the world of mosaics. I know the techniques of original commesso, but arthritis prevents me from doing this very physical type of mosaic work so I work with diamond power tools. I have created work with glass, smalti, coloured tessera, cast offs from construction sites (Antonio Gaudi), and a public community project that was a venture into very old but now artistically re-emerging form known as Pebble Mosaics.

Many of my vacations over the past 10 years were to geologic sites coast to coast, and over the past three years I have done Back Roads of Ontario drives to abandoned mines, the North Shore of lake Huron and I drive around Elliot Lake when I know there is major construction project where I can dig around in a geologically rich environment.

Professionally I had a wonderful career as a Worker Adviser for the Ministry of Labour for almost 30 years and retired in 2014. My work was arguing medical-legal issues, in regard to industrial diseases and injury, before Boards and Commissions. I also designed courses and instructed labour unions in legal arguments.

I have also been fencing since age 12 and was a member of the National Team when I was in my early twenties and in my fifties as a member of the Veteran's Mens Foil Team at the World Championships on a couple of occasions. I owned and coached Bladeworks Fencing until 2015 when it was clear that a little arthritis in the ball of my left foot meant that I couldn't get 15 year-olds to move faster and that was the end of that. I also choreographed fencing for movies and television.

Peter LeBaron, P.Eng 

District Geologist, Southern Ontario

Ministry of Northern Development and Mines

Tweed, Ontario

Following graduation in geological engineering at Queen’s University in 1979, Peter worked for 8 years in exploration for gold and base metals in northern Ontario.

He then began a series of contracts with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines in Tweed, where he was introduced to industrial minerals and dimension stone and produced reports on talc, graphite, high-purity dolomite, dimension stone, and gold in southern Ontario.

In 2006 he became District Geologist for southern Ontario in the Resident Geologist Program of the Ontario Geological Survey.

Much of his focus continues to be on the potential for industrial minerals, dimension stone, gold and zinc in southern Ontario.

Zulekha Noormohamed, Blue Sapphire Beads

Zulekha Noormohamed is a successful business woman who has been making breathtaking one-of-a-kind jewellery for 13 years. Each unique piece is hand crafted and made with love and care to accentuate the inner beauty of all who wear her creations. She specializes in working with high quality precious and semi-precious beads both in her jewellery and her bead company. Zulekha believes deeply in the healing qualities of the stones she works with. Her commitment to this results in her often making custom pieces for her customers to benefit from their healing properties. 


Zulekha juggles a full-time job, running two successful businesses along with raising her three beautiful daughters. She regularly jokes that she works a full-time job in order to pay for her addiction, which is her jewellery. Along with her partner, Salim Moorani, they run two successful and growing businesses to channel their creative energy. Blue Sapphire Beads ( sells their hand crafted creations along with importing sterling silver, precious and semi-precious beads and components.

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The Gem Expo ( is a gem, jewellery, lampwork and mineral trade show. The show is open to the public as well as wholesalers.

Zulekha has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Lakehead University, a Human Services Counselor diploma from George Brown College and is working on getting her Reiki Master and Homeopathy certifications. 

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