The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson
Universally acknowledged as having transformed the office of Governor-General, Adrienne Clarkson was sworn in as Canada's 26th Governor General on October 7, 1999. During her six years in Rideau Hall, her energy, enthusiasm and passion left an indelible mark on our nation's history. A leading figure in Canada's cultural life, Madame Clarkson has had a rich and distinguished career in broadcasting, journalism, the arts and public service. While at the CBC, she created and starred in numerous series such as the fifth estate and Adrienne Clarkson Presents. An eminent author, she has published six books, including the memoir Heart Matters, a biography of Norman Bethune, and Room for All of Us, which recounts the dramatic stories of 10 Canadians who lost everything and rebuilt their lives in Canada. Her work has been recognized with dozens of awards in Canada and the U.S., including 29 honourary doctorates. Most recently, Madame Clarkson gave the 2014 CBC Massey Lectures, published as Belonging: The Paradox of Citizenship.
Essayist and novelist, John Ralston Saul proposes a new humanism through what he calls responsible individualism. His philosophical trilogy and its conclusion — Voltaire's Bastards, The Doubter's Companion, The Unconscious Civilization and On Equilibrium: Six Qualities of the New Humanism — has impacted political thought in many countries. In A Fair Country: Telling Truths about Canada, he argues that modern Canada is profoundly shaped by Aboriginal ideas. He is general editor of the Extraordinary Canadians biographical series and contributed his own biography of Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine & Robert Baldwin. In 2012, he published his first novel in 15 years, Dark Diversions: A Traveller's Tale. The Comeback, his latest release, explores how Aboriginal peoples are empowering themselves for a grand return to a position of power and influence. Saul is also the President of PEN International, and Founder and Honourary Chair of French for the Future. Saul is a Companion in the Order of Canada and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. His many literary awards include Chile's Pablo Neruda Medal, the Governor General's Award and the inaugural Gutenberg Galaxy Award. Photo by Gianluca Battista.
Select a board member for more information including their biography and photo.
Upkar AroraManaging Director & Co-Founder, Illumina Partners
Upkar Arora is the Managing Director & Co-Founder of Illumina Partners, an independent boutique advisory firm specializing in providing operational, financial and strategic expertise to help organizations successfully navigate transformational events. He is also the Co-CEO of HomeOptima.
For almost 30 years, Upkar has worked extensively with public and private companies in Canada, the US and Europe on operations, capital markets transactions, acquisitions, dispositions, turnarounds and financings as senior executive, advisor and/or principal. Prior to forming Illumina in 2002, he was Executive VP and shareholder of Reliance Aerotech. In 1999, he helped establish Oncap Investment Partners, a $400 million private equity fund sponsored by Onex Corporation. From 1995-1999, Upkar held senior financial and operational roles with TrizecHahn Corporation in Canada, the United States, and England. From 1988-1995, he held various finance related roles at Olympia & York Developments and Reichmann International.
Upkar is a committed community service leader. He has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for the past four years, and Chair of the Canadian Arts Summit in 2014. Upkar serves on the Advisory Council of the University of Waterloo's School of Accounting and Finance, and teaches at the University. He has previously volunteered at Big Brothers of Peel, Fort York Food Bank and Children's Aid Society.
Upkar is a CPA, CA and holds an ICD.D designation. He obtained a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree in Accounting from the University of Waterloo in 1985.
Winston S. L. KassimVP, Strategy & Strategic Performance Management, Royal Bank of Canada
Winston is currently theVP, Strategy & Strategic Performance Management at RBC where he has worked in progressive senior leadership roles including Branch Manager, Private Banking, Commercial Banking and several strategic roles within RBC's National Office.
In 2009, Winston was recognized as a member of the Order of Canada for his extensive 30 plus years of volunteer services in community involvement, economic development and advocacy for groups and individuals (including lobbying the Canadian Government in the early 1980's to support the release of Nelson Mandela). During this time, he played an instrumental role in establishing several faith-based community centres that provide outreach services for newcomers to Canada.
In 2010, he was appointed as the Chair of the Board of Directors of IDRF (the International Development Relief Foundation), a Canadian organization that's been performing relief and development work in several African, Asian and central European countries for more than 25 years. Winston also volunteers as a Presiding Officer at Canadian citizenship ceremonies, and in June 2012, he was recognized with The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Winston holds an MBA from Athabasca University and is a Certified Director as a graduate from the Institute of Corporate Directors.
Martin KatzPresident & Founder, Prospero Pictures
Martin F. Katz is President and founder of Prospero Pictures, a Toronto-based film production and finance company specializing in international co-productions.
Martin has a twenty-year history in all aspects of media production and finance. Prior to founding Prospero Pictures, Martin was President and Chief Operating Officer of Grosvenor Park Film Financing Corporation. Previously, Martin served as Executive Producer at The Microsoft Network, and as a Producer and Executive Producer at Alliance Atlantis. He has also served as Head of Business Affairs at CBC Television.
Martin's feature film credits include Richard Attenborough's Closing the Ring, Nick Hurran's It's a Boy Girl Thing, Terry George's Hotel Rwanda, Philip Saville's The Gospel of John, David Cronenberg's Spider, Michael Winterbottom's The Claim and Bronwyn Hughes' Stander, which the London Observer called "the greatest heist film since Reservoir Dogs."
An internet pioneer, Martin was employee number 3 at Microsoft's MSN Canada where, as Executive Producer, he created the first episodic "web-umentary." The web-based documentary entitled Splice examined the work of Marshall McLuhan in the context of a society in transition from an analogue to a digital world. He developed and produced innovative interactive programming in collaboration with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Carol Shields, celebrated director David Cronenberg and comedians Jean-Guy Moreau and Rick Mercer. He also created the first 3-D internet experience, a Halloween special based on the successful YTV kids' series, Freaky Stories.
Martin has extensive experience as a producer of international treaty co-productions involving Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Luxembourg, Germany, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Martin holds degrees in law from the Universities of Toronto and Paris and has served as professor of law at the French-language University of Moncton and Special Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Toronto.
Stéphane MarceauCo-Founder & CEO, OMsignal
Stéphane Marceau is the co-founder and CEO of OMsignal, a venture capital backed company that develops wearable bio-sensing technology.
Stéphane has been building and growing technology and communications businesses for more than 15 years. As the Chief Marketing Officer of Yellow Media, he led the development and marketing of digital and mobile products for numerous company brands, including RedFlagDeals.com, YellowPages, LesPAC, AutoTRADER and Mediative. Stéphane was also the co-founder and CEO of Theralive, a company specializing in mobile health applications and services, and the co-founder and CEO of Mobivox, a global mobile VoIP platform. In addition to his entrepreneurial background, Stéphane served as Bell Canada's Vice President where he built and grew new lines of business such as Bell Interactive, the company's e-commerce group.
Stéphane holds a master's degree in Management of Technology from the University of Waterloo and a bachelor's degree in Finance from the Université du Québec à Montréal. He also sits on the board of several Internet and gaming start-ups.
Ruth Ramsden-WoodPast President & CEO, United Way of Calgary and Area
Ruth Ramsden-Wood is actively engaged in the Calgary community. Formerly a teacher and Principal in the Calgary Board of Education, Ruth recently completed 14 years as President and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area, where she oversaw the organization's mandate to raise $54M annually and build community solutions to some of the most intractable social issues. She is also the Past President of the Calgary Chapter of the International Women's Forum.
Ruth is currently a member of the Board of Governors for Mount Royal University, the Board of Trustees for the Canadian Crown Corporation of the Museums of Civilization and War Museum, and the Board of the Calgary Opera. She is also a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Centre for Advanced Leadership in Business, the Calgary Greenway Patrons Council and of the Alberta Champion Society.
Ruth has received numerous awards including an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Calgary, the Strategic Leadership Forum's President of the Year, and Consumers' Choice Business Woman of the Year. A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal for volunteer service and the Alberta Centennial Medal, Ruth has dedicated her life to creating conditions for people to reach their full potential and to creating lasting change. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.
Irfhan RawjiVP, Strategy & Corporate Development, Parkland Fuel Corporation
Irfhan is Vice-président, Stratégie et développement corporatif, Parkland Fuel Corporation, Canada's largest independent marketer and distributor of fuels, managing a nationwide network of sales channels for retail, commercial, wholesale and home heating fuel customers.
Prior to Parkland Fuel, Irfhan was a Director at Onex Corporation (TSX:OCX), one of North America's oldest and most successful private equity firms with $14 billion of assets under management. Before that he was a Principal at Birch Hill Equity Partners, a Canadian mid-market private equity firm with over $2 billion of assets under management. Irfhan also has experience as a management consultant both at Accenture and McKinsey and was previously an Adjunct Professor at the University of British Columbia where he taught business economics, finance and strategy.
Actively involved in his community, Irfhan is the Chair of the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship and Director of the Harvard Business School Club of Toronto. Irfhan has also previously served on the boards of Business for the Arts, the Harbourfront Centre, the Cedrus Group Support Society and many others.
Irfhan has his B.Comm. (Honours) from UBC, where he was designated a Wesbrook Scholar and an MBA (High Honours) from Harvard University where he was designated a Baker Scholar and McArthur Fellow.
Khalil ShariffChief Executive Officer, Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Mr. Khalil Shariff joined Aga Khan Foundation Canada as Chief Executive Officer in August 2005. He was previously with the Toronto office of McKinsey & Company, an international management consultancy, where he advised governments, financial institutions, and health care providers on strategy, organization, and operational improvement.
Khalil served on AKFC's National Committee for five years, and has cultivated his interest in international development and conflict resolution issues through a variety of activities including as: Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Harvard Negotiation Law Review; Policy Co-ordinator and Research Associate, Harvard Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research; Legal Intern, Chambers of the Vice-President, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in Arusha, Tanzania; Intern, Office of Under-Secretary-General, UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He was the youngest member ever elected as a School Trustee in 1993 for the Board of School Trustees in Richmond, B.C.
Khalil holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from the University of British Columbia and a J.D. magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School.
Andreas SouvaliotisFounder & CEO, Social Change Rewards
Known as one of Canada's leading serial social entrepreneurs, Andreas was the original founder of Green Rewards, the world's first mass eco-points initiative, which was eventually fused with Canada’s largest loyalty program, and spawned innovative partnerships with government to reward Canadians for healthy and responsible lifestyle choices. He subsequently launched Social Change Rewards, a global wellness promotion venture that partners with national governments to inspire and reward positive behaviour changes on a mass scale.
Andreas has been recognized globally for his entrepreneurial and social change achievements. His recent bestselling memoir, Misfit: Changemaker with an Edge, has proven uniquely popular among younger audiences and is also spawning the creation of a biopic film. He is a prolific public speaker, writer and advisor to a number NGOs and University business schools. He serves on the Canadian Executive Board of the Young & World Presidents' Organization, on the Executive Board of Toronto's Harbourfront Centre and on the National Board of the Immigrant Access Fund.
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