Recognizing Niagara Champion with Lifetime Achievement Award


February 3, 2015


Debbie Zimmerman to be Honoured at Greenbelt Local Food Reception

Today at the Greenbelt Local Food Reception in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of the Grape Growers of Ontario, will be receiving a lifetime achievement award for her 36 years of public service and for her significant contributions to the grape and wine industry, and to Ontario as a whole.

Ms. Zimmerman’s esteemed career in municipal politics, along with her effective contributions to many boards and associations, including the Niagara Escarpment Commission and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority, has given her a voice in advocating for a successful Greenbelt, and increasing the economic success of the Niagara grape and wine industry.

“I’m pleased to have this opportunity to honour Debbie Zimmerman for her tireless work for all things Niagara,” says Burkhard Mausberg, CEO, Greenbelt Fund. “Through Debbie’s impressive achievements and remarkable career, the Niagara Region continues to be home to a strong and viable grape and wine sector.”

Mausberg continued, “More than that, Debbie has shown tenacity, commitment, and conviction to unshakeably lobby, fight, and cheer for Niagara. There’s no fear in wanting to help her area and her constituents.”

First elected in 1978, Ms. Zimmerman was elected in 10 consecutive elections in various positions with the Town of Grimsby and Regional Council. In 1989, she was elected to Regional Council, serving for 25 years, and was the Region’s first female Chair, a position she held for two terms. In 2002, she co-founded the Agriculture Task Force, a group comprised of Niagara’s major agricultural groups. The Task Force helped to deliver one voice for the sector when advocating for the interests of the agriculture sector.   

“It has been a privilege to represent the Town of Grimsby and the Region of Niagara over my time in office. Local governments play a critical role in shaping communities and the people they serve,” says Debbie Zimmerman, CEO, Grape Growers of Ontario. I am honoured the Greenbelt Fund recognizes our role as municipal partners, and I appreciate this recognition today.”

Since its launch in 2010, the Greenbelt Fund has supported dozens of projects, increasing the amount of local food purchased across the province. Ontario’s investments in the Greenbelt Fund are connecting more farmers to new markets and putting more Ontario food in hospitals, schools, daycares, universities, and restaurants. To date, for every dollar the Fund has invested, seven more dollars in Ontario food has been purchased.


About the Greenbelt Fund:

The Greenbelt Fund supports and enhances the viability, integrity, and sustainability of agriculture in the Greenbelt and Ontario.

As a non-profit, the Fund delivers support to farmers and local food leaders to ensure more of the good things that grow in Ontario are being served and distributed through our public institutions, retail, and foodservice markets. The Fund’s goal is to create systemic change to permanently increase the amount of local food consumed in the province through strategic investments, effective education, innovative policy, and valuable networking initiatives. The Fund is supported by public and private sources. For more information about programs, investments, and local food, visit



James Berry
Communications Manager
Greenbelt Fund
Phone: (416) 960-0001, ext. 306
[email protected]