Jeanne Beker, journalist, author and fashion entrepreneur, is one of the most iconic and influential women in the fashion industry, both in Canada and around the world.
Host of Canada’s leading fashion series Fashion Television for 27 years, Jeanne is a featured columnist for The Globe and Mail and Post City Magazines, a published author of 5 books, and was guest curator of a recent exhibit at The Design Exchange, “Fashion of Politics”. She is also creative director of a number of lines of clothing, shoes and accessories that bear her name, sold across Canada at The Bay, The Shoe Company, and The Shopping Channel. Jeanne has just been named “Style Editor” for the Shopping Channel, where she launches her new series, entitled “Style Matters with Jeanne Beker” on March 12th.
In 2012, Jeanne was honoured with the prestigious Canadian Award of Distinction at the Banff World Media Festival, and also received a Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award in the Arts & Communications category. In 2013, The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television presented her with an Academy Achievement Award for Exceptional Contributions to the Canadian Television Industry. Last year, she was named to the Order of Canada.
Photo credit: Gabor Jurina
Kiki Delaney is President of C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., an investment counselling firm which provides independent investment management services to institutional and private clients.
Kiki began her career in the investment business in Toronto at Guardian Capital Group,where she was an analyst and portfolio manager and finally Executive Vice-President. Prior to founding Delaney Capital Management in 1992, Kiki was a Partner and Executive Vice-President of Gluskin Sheff + Associates for 7 years.
Kiki is a past Director of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts. In addition, she is a past president of the Ticker Club.
Kiki is the Chancellor of OCAD University. As well, Kiki serves on the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children, is co-chair of SmART Women for the Art Gallery of Ontario, a member of the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, co-chair of the Endowment Campaign of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Kiki earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba. In 1977, she gained her Chartered Financial Analyst designation. She was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree (honoris causa) from the University of Manitoba in 2011.
In October, 2006, Governor General Michaëlle Jean appointed Kiki a Member of the Order of Canada.
Arlene Dickinson, owner and CEO of Venture Communications, a company she grew from a small, local firm to one of the largest independent agencies in Canada, is also the CEO of District Ventures and Youinc.com. Companies all aimed at helping market, fund and grow entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies. She is a two times best-selling author, accomplished speaker and is best known to Canadians as one of the venture capitalists on the award-winning CBC series¹ Dragons¹ Den.
Arlene¹s leadership has been recognized with honours including Canada¹s Most Powerful Women Top 100, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine¹s Top 100 Women Business Owners and, is a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee.
She is an Honorary Captain of the Royal Canadian Navy and the recipient of honorary degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University, Saint Mary¹s University and the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Arlene sits on the Leadership Council of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, several boards including the Omers Venture advisory board, and is the proud recipient of The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
Over the past decade and a half Jordan Fogle has become one of Canada’s leading event producers and marketing specialists. Beginning his career in advertising at Communiqué, Fogle later acquired Mandell Xtreme, specializing in private and corporate event management and production.
Since founding The Mint Agency and Mint Lifestyle Events Inc. in 2004, Fogle has been privileged to work with clients such as Google Canada, Vitamin Water, Cartier, RBC, Creative Artist Agency (CAA) Porsche, Molson in executing large-scale marketing and event campaigns across North America. Fogle’s passion for music, design, fashion and film has allowed him to become the go-to lifestyle expert in brand activation.
Bringing his creative spirit to life, Fogle has established himself as one of the leading event architects at the Toronto International Film Festival, producing events for a-list talent and industry insiders including Brad Pitt, Harvey Weinstein and Sean Penn to name a few. Upon establishing himself in Toronto, Fogle has gone on to produce events at various International Film Festivals including Sundance and Cannes. Working closely with the film industry on the west coast led Fogle to open a satellite office in Los Angeles in 2012.
Fogle was also one of the co-founders of Lobby Bar and Lounge in 2003 and is currently co-proprietor of Brassaii Restaurant & Lounge located on King Street West in Toronto.
Fogle contributes his time to numerous charities including Sick Kids Hospital, UJA, One Family Fund and is currently a Board Member for Mount Sinai’s Leadership Foundation.
Heather Reisman is the founder, Chair and CEO of Indigo, Canada’s largest book, lifestyle and specialty toy retailer, and co-founder of Kobo, a leading global eReading company. Ms. Reisman was born in Montreal and educated at McGill University.
For the first 16 years of her career Ms. Reisman was Managing Director of Paradigm Consulting, the strategy and change management firm she co-founded in 1979. Paradigm was the world’s first strategic change consultancy and pioneered many organizational change strategies still in use today.
Heather is a former Governor of McGill University and of the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has served on many North American boards and continues to serve as a Director on the board of Onex Corporation, and as an Officer of Mount Sinai Hospital. She is also a member of the Bilderberg Steering Committee, a geo-political think group.
In 2014, Ms. Reisman co-executive produced the feature documentary “Fed-Up,” focussing on the role which the processed food industry is playing in the worldwide obesity crisis.
Ms. Reisman is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates from Ryerson University (2006), Wilfred Laurier University (2009), Mount Allison University (2010), and St. Francis Xavier University (2013), as well as several awards including The Order of Canada, The WXN Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Financial Times of London Top 50 Women in World Business, Waterloo Entrepreneur Hall of Fame, University of Waterloo; International Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, University of Manitoba; and the John Molson School of Business Award of Distinction, Concordia University. In January 2015, Ms. Reisman received the Desautels Management Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Canadian business and society. In May 2015, Ms. Reisman was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
Ms. Reisman is married to Gerald Schwartz, Chair and CEO of Onex Corporation. She has four children and nine grandchildren.
Fran Sonshine has been a prominent leader in the Toronto community for many years. Fran is currently the National Chair of the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem, whose mission is to promote awareness of the Holocaust and its universal lessons through education and commemorative programming in Canada.
Fran was the 2009 Annual Campaign Co-Chair of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, raising $65 million for that year’s campaign. In addition, Fran has served as Chair of Baycrest, as well as Chair of Baycrest Foundation. As the first female Chair, she initiated its inaugural Annual Campaign.
Fran is an accomplished and inspiring fundraiser. She was the 2005 Chair of UJA Federation Women’s Campaign and Advocacy as is a past member of the National Women’s Philanthropy Board, the umbrella organization for North American Federations. Throughout her volunteer career, Fran has chaired major events, including the Toronto Hadassah Bazaar, the largest one-day sale of its kind and the 1999 Brazilian Ball which raised substantial funds for Baycrest.
In 1996, Fran received Hadassah-WIZO’s Volunteer of Distinction award; in 2003 UJA Federation’s Shem Tov Award, its 2010 prestigious International Kipnis-Wilson/Friedland Award; in 2011 the Ben Sadowski Award of Merit and in 2012, the Golda Meir Leadership Award. As a couple, Fran and her husband Ed have been honoured in 2003 by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem; were the 2003 recipients of the International Spirit of Jerusalem Award; the 2006 Jewish National Fund Negev Dinner honourees and were one of five couples honoured by Baycrest at its 2008 Tribute Gala.
Kirstine Stewart is Former VP Media for @Twitter’s TV, Sports, Music, Talent, Entertainment, News & Government Partnerships, NYC, SF, LA, DC, TO, airplanes. Previously Kirstine was Managing Director of Twitter Canada, challenged with expanding the brand of the already well-known social network to Canadians.
Formerly the head of English language services at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Kirstine was appointed to the role of Executive Vice-President of CBC’s English Services, CBC/Radio-Canada in January 2011. She was responsible for overseeing CBC’s English radio and audio, television and digital operations across the country. Her role had been to revolutionize the CBC as the modern public broadcaster, providing a new generation of programming and content to inform, educate and entertain.
Kirstine’s vision resulted in record breaking viewership, continual ratings success for CBC Television, as well as achieving the highest share for the network for CBC Radio One. It is also under Kirstine’s leadership that multiple program apps for sports, news and entertainment, and a new digitally based music distribution service, CBC Music, were launched. She is known for her strong leadership abilities, her broad industry knowledge and her vision of CBC.
Prior to joining CBC, Kirstine was Senior Vice-President, Programming, Alliance Atlantis. She has also been General Manager and Vice-President, Programming Trio/Newsworld International.
Kirstine is a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, selected to advise the World Economic Forum. She was named Canadian Women in Communications (CWC) 2010 Woman of the Year, has been recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, and in 2006 was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. Marketing Magazine has also recognized Kirstine’s role in naming CBC Media Player of the Year, 2009.
She is a founding board member of Culture Days, sits on the Banff Television and Film Festival board and on the boards of White Knights and Amfar. Kirstine is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Global Leadership in the 21st Century program at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Michael Wilson currently serves as the Chairman of Barclays Capital Canada Inc. where he is responsible for managing client relationships in Canada. Previously, he was Canada’s 22nd Ambassador to the United States of America from March 13, 2006 to October 9, 2009. Prior to taking up this position, Mr. Wilson was Chairman of UBS Canada, an operating division of UBS AG. Before joining UBS in July 2001, he was responsible for RBC Financial Group’s Institutional Asset Management business and also served as a Vice Chairman of RBC Dominion Securities.
Mr. Wilson was a Member of Parliament from May 1979 to November 1993. In September 1984, he was appointed Minister of Finance. In May 1991, he became Minister of Industry, Science and Technology and Minister for International Trade. During his tenure as a member of the Cabinet, he had responsibility for the NAFTA negotiations and represented Canada at the G7, IMF, World Bank, OECD, GATT and other international meetings.
Prior to his career in public life, Mr. Wilson worked in investment banking and was charged with various responsibilities in corporate, government and international finance. He was also director of several companies, including BP p.l.c. and Manulife Financial.
Mr. Wilson has been active in a number of professional and community organizations, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, and the Canadian Coalition for Good Governance. He was instrumental in establishing the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto. Currently he is Vice Chair of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Honorary Chair of Brain Canada. He was elected 33rd Chancellor of the University of Toronto for a three-year term beginning on July 1, 2012. In 2015 he was re-elected to an additional three-year term, the maximum service length permitted by the University of Toronto Act, 1971, and on April 8, 2015, he was appointed Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
He has received numerous awards for his work in these fields, including honours from the Conference Board of Canada, Canada’s Public Policy Forum, the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, and the Rotman School of Management. Mr. Wilson is a Companion of the Order of Canada and holds honorary degrees from the University of Toronto, Trinity College at the University of Toronto, York University, the University of Calgary, and the Royal Military College of Canada. An alumnus of Trinity College at U of T, he graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1959.
Mr. Wilson is married to Margie. They have two children and five grandchildren. He also finds time for golf and powder skiing.
Ken Aber is the founding partner of Blueprint Business Architecture.
Ken has spent his entire career creating innovative strategic partnerships and media programs for blue chip companies in Canada. As a partner in and president of HYPN (now PhD, a division of Omnicom), Ken led marketing and communications programs for Labatt, Cara (Swiss Chalet and Harvey’s), American Express and Alberto Culver. He was also instrumental in transforming the role of media companies from simply buyers of advertising to actually buying, producing and packaging programming for clients and broadcasters.
Prior to HYPN, Ken worked with MacDonald’s, Ford and Ontario Tourism. He conceived and developed the Hero Certified Burger chain and sold it to Lettieri.
Ken supported the creation of the Adopt An Athlete Foundation, which is now managed by the Canadian Olympic Committee.
Ken has a MBA from Harvard University.
Lisa Borsook began her legal practice at WeirFoulds LLP in 1982, after being one of the youngest graduates in its history from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. WeirFoulds LLP is a downtown Toronto law firm, consistently regarded as one of the top 10 law firms in the Province, which has been in existence for 151 years. During the course of her career there as a commercial property development lawyer, with particular emphasis on sophisticated development and commercial leasing issues, she has been a member of its students, associates, compensation, marketing, business development, and management committees, while practicing law full time and raising her two sons, Isaac and Seth, with her husband, Symon Zucker. Symon is a well-known civil litigation lawyer at the firm of Danson, Zucker.
Lisa is currently Executive Partner of WeirFoulds LLP, and is one of the few women to manage a law firm (in all of Canada). She is also the Chairperson of its Commercial Leasing Practice Group, and a member of the Business Law Practice Group and Women Lawyers Group at WeirFoulds LLP. Over the course of her career, Lisa has written over 150 articles for legal and scholarly publications and is a regular speaker at legal and other business conferences. She represents a vast array of clients, both large and small, local, regional, national and international, as well as numerous governments and government agencies, in connection with their retail, industrial, office and brownfields properties. She has been recognized as a leading practitioner by Lexpert® and named one of the best lawyers in her practice area by The Best Lawyers in Canada. Lisa has also been recognized as a leading practitioner in The 2011 Lexpert®/American Lawyer Media Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada.
Lisa has always been a strong advocate for women in the legal profession. In 2009, she was a recipient of the Zenith Award in recognition of her accomplishments as a leading business lawyer and a leading woman in the business of law. Lisa was a member of the Steering Committee for the Law Society’s Retention of Women in Private Practice Working Group, which launched the Justicia Project in the Province of Ontario.She is an advisory board member for the Young Women in Law organization. In 2016 Lisa was recognized in Women Executive Network’s Canada’s Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Lisa has, either personally or with the firm, been involved with a number of charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Sick Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Negev dinners, the Koffler Centre for the Performing Arts, the “Night to Nurture Gala”, Hoops for Israel, Kerry’s Place Golf Tournament, the Walk for Israel, Azrieli Foundation’s Dinner of Miracles, Interval House, Canadian Society for Yad Vashem and the United Way.
Vivien Brown MDCM, CCFP, FCFP, NCMP is a family physician in Toronto and is the Vice President for MEDISYS Health Group, Inc., in charge of Medical Affairs. Educated at McGill University, she currently is appointed to the Department of Family & Community Medicine at both the University of Toronto and at McMaster University. She teaches medical students, residents and is highly respected for her work in continuing medical education for family doctors.
As a NAMS certified Menopause Practitioner, Vivien is the Chair of the Consumer Education Committee for NAMS. As an expert in Menopause, she is influential in numerous advisory boards, helping to edit teaching modules for the SOGC aimed at both practicing physicians and the public at large.
An award winner for teaching on many levels, Vivien’s major interests are in the area of health promotion and prevention for women, and continuing medical education. She is particularly focused in the area of Adult Immunization and Vaccine Preventable Illness. In 2009, she won the prestigious Enid Johnson MacLeod Award from the Federation of Medical Women of Canada for teaching in women’s health and has just been bestowed a great honour by the College of Family Physicians by being awarded “Physician of the Year” for the region of Toronto.
Vivien has lectured locally, nationally and internationally on preventative medicine and implementation issues around vaccination. She currently is the Toronto Branch President of the Federation of Medical Women of Canada, serving on their Board of Directors, linking female physicians, students and residents throughout the country.
Mark Girard is a Chartered Accountant and Chief Financial Officer of Cedarpoint Investments Inc., a private equity and alternative investments management firm based in Toronto, Ontario. Mark is also CFO of Tanurb, a commercial real estate partnership with assets in the US and Canada.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Windsor (1980), and earned his CA designation in 1983. Mark has spent 8 years in public practice with Deloitte LLP, and has extensive audit and tax experience in real estate, investments, foodservice, franchising and non-profit organizations.
Since leaving Deloitte in 1988 to pursue a career in industry, Mark has held CFO roles at Pizza Pizza Limited, Stephenson’s Rent-All, Retirement Life Communities and Cedarpoint Investments Inc and Tanurb.
Mark is an avid photographer and golfer.
Susan Hodkinson is the Chief Operating Officer at Crowe Soberman, where she has management responsibility for the operations of the firm, including finance, information technology, human resources, facilities and marketing. Susan also heads the firm’s
HR Consulting Group. In this capacity, Susan provides advice on all aspects of Human Resources, and demonstrates how strong HR practices can assist small to medium sized business owners to manage, grow and secure their businesses.
Susan is a frequent writer, speaker and facilitator on a variety of HR, operational and general business topics. Her background includes over twenty years of senior management experience in professional services firms, as well as five years acting as Senior Vice President, Operations, for ClubLink Corporation, Canada’s largest owner, operator and developer of private and resort golf courses.
Susan is very active in community activities, and is particularly committed to groups that focus on creating opportunities for women to work together to achieve greater levels of business and personal success. Included in Susan’s community activities are the Board of Directors of the McMichael Canadian Art Foundation, an agency of the government of Ontario under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. She is the Chair of the Toronto Chapter of the International Women’s Forum, Toronto and sits on the National Board of this organization.
Susan is also Chair of the Board of Directors for Nightwood Theatre, the oldest professional women’s theatre company in Canada. Nightwood Theatre forges creative alliances among women artists from diverse backgrounds while advocating for women, providing a training ground for emerging talent and engaging artists in play development and theatre production. Susan is also an Honorary Chair of One Walk to Conquer Cancer.
Susan is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario. She has completed Executive Education at Queen’s University, Chicago Booth University, McGill University and the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.
JoAnne Korten, a dynamic fundraiser and marketing executive with over 30 years of experience, specializes in the health, social services and service club sectors. JoAnne is adept at developing high-value relationships to secure the mission-oriented work for not-for-profits. An effective communicator, skilled negotiator and analytical thinker, JoAnne develops long and short-term strategies for organizations of varying sizes, and puts them into action.
JoAnne’s vast experience includes Executive Director of The Giving Tree Foundation of Canada, Director, Startegic Partnerships at Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health, Director of Development and Marketing at Delisle Youth Services, Director of Philanthropy at Hospice Muskoka, National sales & Key Accounts at Newville Classic Candles, and Director of Development at Hospice Toronto, Project Management at Niagara Gateway Project.
Highlights of her career include the development of ‘Pillars of Discovery, Recovery & Hope’ for Ontario Shoes Foundation for Mental Health, Strategic Fund Development for Delisle Youth Services, Hospice Toronto and Hospice Muskoka, Delisle Rocks, Delisle Youth Services signature fundraising event and Tree of Lights holiday celebration for Hospice Toronto, to name just a few.
Volunteer activities include Out of the Cold, Rotary Club of Toronto-Eglinton and Toronto-Sunrise, Aspin Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, and CNIB.
Mark Lash is one of Canada’s most prominent, well-loved and respected jewelry designers, whose name is synonymous with innovative design, quality workmanship and personalized customer service. Established almost thirty years ago, Mark Lash Fine Jewelry currently has two locations, a flagship showroom and factory in Richmond Hill, Ontario, and a retail store in mid-town Toronto.
Mark’s keen eye, incredible talent and determination drove his passion into the successful business it is today. The world is Mark’s canvas and through his extensive travels he continues to be inspired by the world of art, architecture, fashion and entertainment. With a flare for selecting and designing stunning pieces of jewelry that are versatile and timeless, Mark Lash designs, current or traditional are inspired by eras past and current trends today.
Mark Lash has gained international notoriety by dressing many celebrities at red carpet events. His jewelry has been worn by Cee Lo Green, Freda Pinto, Shania Twain, Naya Rivera and Celine Dion to name a few. Mark’s celebrity following includes Cheryl Hines, Cameron Manheim, Julia Ormon, Eva La Rue, Taylor Hicks, William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Connor Cruise and Dianna Agron. People magazine featured Mark’s jewelry on Melody Scott Thomas and In Style magazine sported Rachel Bilson’s Mark Lash designed engagement ring.
Mark is contributing editor to Revive magazine and has made guest appearances on Entertainment Tonight Canada, eTalk, CTV and Breakfast Television, and has been interviewed on XM Sirius Radio, and Just.Jared.com. Mark is a genuine philanthropist, generously donating exclusive pieces for auction in support of a wide variety of charities, and supporting The Blue Jay care Foundation, Children’s Wish Foundation, The Hospital for Sick Kids Foundation, Music Counts, The Aids Project of Los Angeles and Elton John’s Fashion Cares.
Lynn Posluns is Founder, President & Board Chair of the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, the global foundation raising money for research and education to combat women’s aging brain disorders. While serving as Founder and Chair of Women of Baycrest, Lynn recognized the need to raise awareness and funds beyond Toronto to help women stay brain healthy longer. Lynn’s passion and commitment for the cause now continues on a worldwide basis supporting worthy institutions that want to combat this impending crisis.
Since graduating from the University of Toronto with an undergraduate degree in Commerce & Finance, and a Masters degree in Business Administration, Lynn has held a number of positions within the Retail and Fashion industries, including President of Fairweather and Managing Partner of Canadian clothing designer Joeffer Caoc. Lynn is currently Managing Director of Cedarpoint Investments Inc., a private equity and alternative investments firm based in Toronto.
Lynn’s other community involvements have included Director, Baycrest Centre Foundation, Director, Toronto Fashion Incubator, Trusteeship Council, Koffler Centre of the Arts and Founding Member, Invest in Research Program, Princess Margaret Hospital. Fundraising campaigns include Baycrest, University of Western Ontario, Toronto Fashion Incubator, Princess Margaret Hospital, Israel Cancer Research Fund, and United Jewish Appeal, raising millions of dollars for these and other worthy causes. In 2010 Lynn won the Baycrest Award for Foundation Leadership and in 2012 received an ICRF Women of Action award for Philanthropy. Lynn also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding leadership at Baycrest and her vision for launching the Women’s Brain Health Initiative. In 2012, Lynn was the recipient of WXN’s prestigious “Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women” Award, which celebrates the professional achievements of women across the country in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. In 2015 Lynn received a Top 10 High Achieving Women award for Social Impact from the Rotman School of Management, and in 2017 Lynn was recognized with a Paul Harris Fellow award from Rotary International.
Ellen Rachlin is currently Managing Director at J.P. Morgan and previously was the Lead Portfolio Manager for the Fund of Funds products at Mariner Investment Group. Prior to joining Mariner in 2002, she was a Director and founding member of Deerfield International Administrative Services, Ltd. Her responsibilities included overseeing sales, marketing and product development.
Prior to her time with Deerfield, Ellen was Co-Head of the IBJI Agent Department at both New Japan Securities International and Aubrey G. Lanston & Co., Inc. overseeing sales and trading of international fixed income products into the Americas. Ellen has also served as a Managing Director and a Director at S. G. Warburg and Co., Inc. and S.G. Warburg, plc. in the Fixed Income department and traded Fixed-Income arbitrage for five years at Citibank, N.A. and Government Arbitrage Co.
Ellen has written several chapters for financial textbooks edited by Frank J. Fabozzi on economics and investment management, as well as other articles for finance journals. She holds an A.B. economics degree cum laude from Cornell University, an M.B.A. specializing in Finance from the University of Chicago and an M.A. in creative writing from Antioch University McGregor. Ellen serves as Board Member and Treasurer of the Poetry Society of America and is a member of Cornell University’s Investment Committee: Hedge Fund Sub-Committee.
Mark Raynes Roberts is an award-winning goldsmith and one of the world’s leading crystal artists and designers. Born in Sutton Coldfield, England, in 1961, he trained at the Birmingham City University, Institute of Art and Design, graduating with honors, before immigrating to Toronto, Canada, in 1982. Over the past 35 years, he has built an international reputation with commissions being presented to royalty, heads of state, sports superstars and distinguished business leaders; and his art resides in many private and corporate art collections around the world. Recent solo exhibitions have been held in London, England, (2013 and 2014) SoHo, New York City, U.S.A., (2014) and in 2015, he was the first crystal artist invited by the prestigious Gardiner Museum, in Toronto, to hold a solo exhibition of his extraordinary crystal artworks.
Recipients of his work include such luminaries as Dr. Nelson Mandela; the Prime Minister of Canada; the Archbishop of Canterbury; Muhammad Ali; HRH Alwaleed bin Talal and HRH Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, and his recognizable award designs include the WTA and ATP Rogers Cups; the Pegasus World Cup Thoroughbred Trophy; Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award; the Governor Generals Award for the Performing Arts; the Hilary Weston Prize for Nonfiction and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 Awards among others. In 2008, his 53ft hand-engraved glass wall installation “A View To Our Heritage,” located at the Health Sciences Library, at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, was designated a cultural property of Canada.
In addition to serving on the WBHI Board, Mark also serves as a Champion Mentor of the DAREarts Children’s Foundation, (2003 – present) which provides unique arts programming to “children at risk” to help build their confidence, courage and leadership skills. Most recently Mark was made a Director of The ADESTE Academy, an organization which provides university education to 3rd World students, (2017 – present) and is also a former Director of the Canadian Counsel of Christians and Jews, (2000 – 2006) an organization which promoted the values of diversity, difference and inclusion for a Canadian society without prejudice and discrimination through educational programming.
His next major crystal exhibition “War Flowers” celebrates the 100th Anniversary of Vimy Ridge, France, and Canada’s involvement in the First World War, and will be exhibited in Grand Metis, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, Vimy Ridge, (France) and Montreal, from June 2017 to January 2019.
Sarah Widmeyer, former Managing Director CIBC, Head Wealth Advisory Services was accountable for CIBC’s specialty Wealth advisory teams – including Wealth Advisory, Business Transition Planning, Tax and Estates – supporting the growth of CIBC’s Wealth Management businesses through the delivery of customized financial solutions to High Net Worth Clients. Sarah was responsible for CIBC Wealth Management’s Financial Planning Strategy, and was responsible for the strategy, development and growth of the Fee Based and Managed Account Programs for CIBC’s Wealth businesses.
Prior, Sarah was Executive Director, National Office, Private Wealth Management and was responsible for the day to day operations, product, marketing, strategy and business management of our High and Ultra High Net Worth businesses at CIBC. Sarah was also Senior Vice President and Managing Director, BMO Nesbitt Burns, where she oversaw the fee based and managed account solutions group, financial planning, wealth advisory, high net worth offer, and global inter-business collaboration initiatives. Prior to BMO Nesbitt Burns, Sarah also worked at Spectrum United Mutual Funds as a Regional Wholesaler in addition to SunLife Assurance Company of Canada as a Sales Manager, Representative and Financial Planner.
Sarah is a graduate of the University of Toronto and received her CIMA designation from the Investment Management Consultants Association and The Wharton School, at University of Pennsylvania in 1999. She is actively involved in the community through the Juvenile Diabetes Association, the United Way and her daughters’ independent school, Kingsway College School. Sarah is married to a Financial Consultant and the busy mother of two very busy daughters.
Laura Best is a young neuroscientist working both in the Research Imaging Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and at Lululemon. She is currently completing her PhD in Medical Science at the University of Toronto after graduating from McGill University with her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology. Laura has also completed research in the Emergency Department at Sick Kids Hospital, and has been actively involved in a global health project in rural Dominican Republic for the past 3 years. As an aspiring physician, Laura values a preventative, holistic approach to medicine and health care. After retiring as the Captain of the McGill Varsity Cheerleading Team, she began to use running, yoga and meditation to condition her mind and body, and hopes to incorporate these elements into her future practice. She currently leads the Lululemon Midtown Run Club, and in the coming year, hopes to complete her first marathon and obtain her yoga teacher certification. Laura has a deeply-rooted passion for mental health, and is excited to be working with the Women’s Brain Health Initiative to encourage millennials to take care of their brains.
Laura Best is a young neuroscientist working both in the Research Imaging Centre at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and at Lululemon. She is currently completing her PhD in Medical Science at the University of Toronto after graduating from McGill University with her Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology. Laura has also completed research in the Emergency Department at Sick Kids Hospital, and has been actively involved in a global health project in rural Dominican Republic for the past 3 years.
As an aspiring physician, Laura values a preventative, holistic approach to medicine and health care. After retiring as the Captain of the McGill Varsity Cheerleading Team, she began to use running, yoga and meditation to condition her mind and body, and hopes to incorporate these elements into her future practice. She currently leads the Lululemon Midtown Run Club, and in the coming year, hopes to complete her first marathon and obtain her yoga teacher certification.
Laura has a deeply-rooted passion for mental health, and is excited to be working with the Women’s Brain Health Initiative to encourage millennials to take care of their brains.
Vitina Blumenthal, Founder of WanderfulSoul & Align Creative Minds, is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for mindful travel. Vitina became an intern in the entertainment industry when she was 19 years old, while studying for a Bachelors in Design at OCAD University, specializing in Advertising. Alongside her studies, Vitina co-founded an online entertainment outlet, BestFan.com, which lit a flame of entrepreneurial spirit. After graduating, Vitina realized that she had a burning desire to see the world, to travel to places where she could step away from modern society and explore different, more mindful ways of living. Her journey began in Southern India, where she lived in an ashram for a month and qualified as a Yoga Teacher. After this, she immersed herself in local culture and travelled to Rishikesh and on through South East Asia, living in a tree house in Laos and spending time with elephants in Thailand. This inspiring adventure led Vitina to reconnect with her creative flair, developing a collaborative company called Align Creative Minds, focusing on creativity and design. Vitina continues to explore the world, and recently spent a month in Guatemala, and she feels passionate about offering everyone the opportunity to unplug from everyday life and discover hidden depths within themselves. This is the inspiration for Vitina’s new project, WanderfulSoul, an online booking platform where retreat hosts and those who are looking for a mindful travel experience can connect. WanderfulSoul perfectly combines Vitina’s passions: creativity, technology, health and travel. Vitina believes that yoga and wellness retreats are a positive way to move towards better health, and a better world. Her intention is to inspire wellness in others, and to share the potential of mindful travel.
Vitina Blumenthal, Founder of WanderfulSoul & Align Creative Minds, is a creative entrepreneur with a passion for mindful travel. Vitina became an intern in the entertainment industry when she was 19 years old, while studying for a Bachelors in Design at OCAD University, specializing in Advertising. Alongside her studies, Vitina co-founded an online entertainment outlet, BestFan.com, which lit a flame of entrepreneurial spirit.
After graduating, Vitina realized that she had a burning desire to see the world, to travel to places where she could step away from modern society and explore different, more mindful ways of living. Her journey began in Southern India, where she lived in an ashram for a month and qualified as a Yoga Teacher. After this, she immersed herself in local culture and travelled to Rishikesh and on through South East Asia, living in a tree house in Laos and spending time with elephants in Thailand. This inspiring adventure led Vitina to reconnect with her creative flair, developing a collaborative company called Align Creative Minds, focusing on creativity and design.
Vitina continues to explore the world, and recently spent a month in Guatemala, and she feels passionate about offering everyone the opportunity to unplug from everyday life and discover hidden depths within themselves. This is the inspiration for Vitina’s new project, WanderfulSoul, an online booking platform where retreat hosts and those who are looking for a mindful travel experience can connect.
WanderfulSoul perfectly combines Vitina’s passions: creativity, technology, health and travel. Vitina believes that yoga and wellness retreats are a positive way to move towards better health, and a better world. Her intention is to inspire wellness in others, and to share the potential of mindful travel.
Elizabeth Chertkow, MDCM, CCFP, NCMP is a family physician in Toronto with a special interest in Women’s Health. She did her medical training at McGill University followed by a residency in Family and Community Medicine at University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital. Elizabeth’s interest is in understanding how gender influences our experience of health and wellness, from primary care and dementia to sexual and reproductive health. Elizabeth has done additional training in menopause health and is certified menopause practitioner, accredited by the North American Menopause Society. She was recently awarded the TEVA/NAMS Women’s Health Award, recognizing her commitment to women’s health and excellence in the field of menopause. She subsequently completed a Fellowship in Sexual Medicine at Women’s College Hospital and works as a consultant at the Sexual Medicine Counseling Centre where she sees men, women and couples for their sexual concerns. In addition to her family practice and sexual medicine consulting, Elizabeth is also on staff at the Bay Centre for Birth Control at Women’s College Hospital.
Dr. Elizabeth Chertkow
Elizabeth Chertkow, MDCM, CCFP, NCMP is a family physician in Toronto with a special interest in Women’s Health. She did her medical training at McGill University followed by a residency in Family and Community Medicine at University of Toronto, Toronto Western Hospital. Elizabeth’s interest is in understanding how gender influences our experience of health and wellness, from primary care and dementia to sexual and reproductive health.
Elizabeth has done additional training in menopause health and is certified menopause practitioner, accredited by the North American Menopause Society. She was recently awarded the TEVA/NAMS Women’s Health Award, recognizing her commitment to women’s health and excellence in the field of menopause. She subsequently completed a Fellowship in Sexual Medicine at Women’s College Hospital and works as a consultant at the Sexual Medicine Counseling Centre where she sees men, women and couples for their sexual concerns. In addition to her family practice and sexual medicine consulting, Elizabeth is also on staff at the Bay Centre for Birth Control at Women’s College Hospital.
Jason Fenn is a portfolio manager at CGOV Asset Management. Established in 1995, CGOV Asset Management oversees in excess of $3 billion on behalf of high net-worth individuals and families, charitable organizations and institutions. Jason joined CGOV in 2011 and is responsible for managing and developing new private client relationships.
Previously, Jason worked at Rohmer & Fenn, specializing in litigation, corporate law (primarily private M&A), corporate reorganizations, amalgamations and various tax matters. Jason earned his under graduate degree from the University of Western Ontario. He then completed his law degree at the University of Toronto and went to obtain his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business. Jason is a member of the Ontario and New York Bars. Jason is also a holder of the CIM (Chartered Investment Manager) designation from the Canadian Securities Institute.
Jason is an avid hockey player and enjoys golfing and flying. He is currently working towards his instrument rating. Jason’s main love is spending time with his young daughter, Leni.
Shannon Gaudet is a lawyer at Lerners LLP, practicing in the areas of health law, insurance defence and professional regulation. She regularly defends physicians against allegations of medical malpractice and works to protect their interests with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. She also works to defend several Ontario municipalities against a variety of allegations.
Shannon volunteers with Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Law Help program to provide free legal assistance to members of the community. She also works with Eva’s Initiatives, a Toronto based organization aimed at assisting homeless and at-risk youth, to provide free legal advice and as a member of the organizing committee for the Eva’s Golf Classic 2015. Shannon is a graduate of both McMaster University and Queen’s University. Shannon is also a runner, plays beach volleyball and has been working to improve her golf game. She is a passionate traveler and is one country away from reaching her goal of traveling to 30 countries in 30 years.
Julia Hamer is a young neuroscientist at St. Michael’s Hospital working in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute as part of the Neuroscience Research Program. Julia studied Exercise Science at the University of Connecticut, graduated from the University of Toronto with a neuroscience specialization, and is currently completing her Master’s of Medical Science, also at the University of Toronto.
As a future neurologist, Julia is incredibly passionate about brain health and finding harmony between Westernized practices and holistic practices of medicine. Julia was a former professional athlete on Team Canada in the sport of beach volleyball and she continues to use yoga as both mental and physical conditioning for her career.
Julia is delighted to get involved with Women’s Brain Health Initiative and share her passion for brain sciences, health and education.
Nazeefah Laher is a recent graduate from the Health Sciences program at Wilfrid Laurier University. She is currently completing her Master’s in Public Health with a global health emphasis at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Nazeefah’s interest in public and global health peaked at a young age.
Nazeefah was born in South Africa and moved to Toronto 14 years ago. Nazeefah had the opportunity of viewing health care from two very different lenses – from both a developed and developing world perspective, where it became clear very early on how the disparities of the two health care systems influenced the socio-economic ethos of both countries. Nazeefah has been involved in a wide array of health related research projects over the past couple of years. Her current interest and research focus is on the social determinants of health, with a paediatric focus. Nazeefah is also involved in projects looking at racism and health in order to advocate for social justice and equity within the Canadian system. Nazeefah is passionate about sports and enjoys playing soccer, hockey, and beach volleyball in her spare time. She is also an amateur chef and an avid baker who loves experimenting with new and innovative cakes.
Jennifer Mooney is a Manager at Lynx Equity Limited, a private equity firm with a focus on acquiring small to medium-sized businesses from people who are retiring. Jennifer is responsible for managing the cash and banking relationships of the Company’s 42 Canadian and international subsidiaries.
Jennifer’s primary role is to source bank financing for new acquisitions and manage day-to-day banking needs. She previously worked in Commercial Banking at CIBC for 7 years, including 4 years working on financing Canadian movies and tv shows.
Jennifer is a graduate of McMaster University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce, and is a member of Women in Capital Markets, a leading professional association for Canadian women in finance with a special emphasis on the role and development of women. She is also a member of the Women’s Executive Network, Canada’s leading organization dedicated to the advancement and recognition of women in management, executive, professional and board roles.
Jennifer enjoys spending weekends at the cottage and taking her black lab to the beach during the week.
Rosie MacLennan is an Olympic Gold Medalist and the 2015 Pan Am Gold Medal winner in Toronto. Highlights of Rosie’s journey towards the London 2012 Games included winning a gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, a second place finish at the 2011 Trampoline World Championships in Birmingham and first place at the Olympic test event.
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Rosie received a score of 57.305 for her final routine. With her score, she reached a new personal best and earned Canada’s only gold medal at the Games.
Rosie is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in exercise science at the University of Toronto. Even off the trampoline, she remains active through some of her favourite sports like skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding or dancing.
Lyndsay McDonald currently holds an Account Executive position at HUB International, a leading global insurance brokerage that provides a broad array of property, casualty, risk management, life and health, employee beneﬁts, investment and wealth management products and services across North America. HUB is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals evaluate their risks and manage their insurance needs. Lyndsay’s role currently allows her to demonstrate her natural ability to meet and connect people.
Lyndsay graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2007 from McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario. In her spare time, Lyndsay enjoys networking, skiing, attempting to play golf, travelling and raising money for causes she cares about.
Most recently Lyndsay participated in the Covenant House Sleep Out raising funds and awareness for homeless youth.
Dina Pestonji graduated from the University of Toronto with a BSc Degree in Psychology and completed her Masters in Business Studies abroad. She has worked in the financial, food and beverage and pharmaceutical sectors as a consultant, manager and sales professional in cities across the globe including New York, London UK, Paris and San Francisco.
At 29 years of age, Dina had a massive stroke requiring emergency brain surgery. When she woke up, she could not speak and was paralyzed on the right side of her body. Through intensive rehabilitation, she re-learned how to talk, walk and eventually regained all brain functionality. Seven months after her stroke she completed her very first duathlon and two months after that, she ran her 7th half marathon.
In 2016, Dina decided to leave her corporate life and become an entrepreneur. She is an International Motivational Speaker, who speaks to large corporations, such as Google in Switzerland, financial institutions, universities and educational institutions. She discusses the principles she used while recovering from her stroke and relates it back to key challenges that a particular audience is facing so they can tackle their challenges head-on.
Dina has a passion for inspiring and empowering others and spoke at two different TEDx events in 2016 alone. She has published numerous articles for the Huffington Post and most recently completed her memoir.
Jordan Rasberry is a Managing Partner and Sales Representative at Core Assets Real Estate. Core Assets is a premier, Toronto-based real estate brokerage with a primary focus on residential transactions. As one of Toronto premiere sales reps, Jordan consistently ranks in the top 2% among Toronto Real Estate Board members year over year. He has sold almost $50M. in real estate, ranging from luxury single family homes to large multi-family investment properties.
Outside of his sales role, Jordan’s primary focus involves recruiting new agents looking for a boutique, team-focused brokerage. He also acts as a mentor to younger agents helping them to become high-producing Realtors who have a very clear mandate to collaborate, listen and learn together. This uncompromising commitment and dedication to higher standards has given the team a reputation as elite Brokers and is evident in their past results.
Jordan’s assiduous personality and strong leadership skills have been a key asset in helping Core Assets grow to a team of 13. Jordan is a graduate of the University of Guelph and holds an Honors, Bachelor or Arts degree. He continues to refine his skills and education and is currently working towards his Broker designation.
Matteo is an Investment Counsellor with RBC PH&N Investment Counsel, where he applies his diverse experience in portfolio management, investment counselling and financial planning to provide discretionary investment management services to help his high-net-worth clients achieve their long-term goals and aspirations. In previous roles, Matteo co-managed two investment funds and led presentations to clients and financial professionals across Canada. He has also been featured on the Business News Network (BNN) television channel as a commentator on markets, economics and investment products on several occasions. Matteo is an occasional instructor for the Passing the Canadian Securities Course at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.
As a graduate of McMaster University, Matteo holds the Canadian Investment Manager (CIM) designation, the FPSC Level 1® certificate in Financial Planning and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.
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