John M. Beck
Janet De Silva
Joseph S. Mancinelli
Douglas E. Turnbull
Geoffrey A. Wilson
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Blue Orange Capital
Bertrand Badré is the CEO and Founder of BlueOrange Sustainable Capital. As former Managing Director and World Bank Group Chief Financial Officer, Badré was responsible for the financial and risk management and IT strategies of the World Bank Group. He contributed to international dialogue on financial standards and practices through his representation of the Group at the Financial Stability Board, as chair of the World Economic Forum Global Action Council on Sustainable Development, and through his participation in meetings of the G20 and G7 as well as the heads of multilateral development banks. Previously, he was Group CFO at Société Générale and Crédit Agricole, and Managing Director of Lazard. During the 2003 Evian G8 summit, Badré served as President Chirac’s deputy personal representative for Africa and as a spokesperson on new international financial contributions to fund development. He was on the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure, chaired by Michel Camdessus, and served in the French Ministry of Finance. He currently co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Governance and Public-Private Cooperation; he is also on the advisory board of the International Water Bank.
Chief Executive Officer & Group Head, BMO Capital Markets
Dan Barclay was appointed CEO & Group Head of BMO Capital Markets in November 2018. In this role, he is responsible for BMO Financial Group’s interactions with corporate, institutional and government clients worldwide.
Previously, Dan was Co-Head, Global Investment & Corporate Banking (I&CB) where he oversaw relationships with corporate and government clients, including equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, mergers and acquisitions advisory services and global trade and banking.
Dan has over 27 years of investment banking experience in a broad range of industries. He joined BMO’s investment banking group in 2003 as a Managing Director in the Mergers and Acquisitions group, and in 2009 was named Head of Canadian Mergers and Acquisitions. In 2014 he was appointed Head of Investment & Corporate Banking Canada and International. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Barclay spent 13 years in investment banking at a global and Canadian investment dealer.
Dan serves on BMO Financial Group’s Executive Committee and chairs BMO Capital Markets’ Operating and Executive committees.
As a proud supporter of the United Way, Dan acted as past co-chair of the BMO Capital Markets Employee Giving Campaign and is a recipient of the Women in Capital Markets Champion of Change Award (2016). He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours from the University of Alberta and an MBA from the University of Calgary.
Chief Executive Officer, RATP Dev
Laurence Batlle is Chairwoman of the RATP Dev Executive Board, and has sat on the RATP Group Executive Board since 1st January 2017. She joined RATP Dev in 2007 as CFO, and since then has played a major role in defining its strategy and supervising its international growth. She became a member of the Executive Board in 2011, and was in charge of its Americas-Africa and Sightseeing Business Units from 2014 to 2016. She has also been an independent Board member of Elior Group since 2014.
Laurence Batlle has a proven executive management track record: prior to joining RATP Dev, she spent 14 years driving sales growth in major consulting firms, first for PricewaterhouseCoopers and then as VP Global Finance Support at Atos Origin for two years. She is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Institut Commercial de Nancy, and is a Knight of the French National Order of Merit.
President, Bergevin Capital and Past Chair of the Board, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
An accomplished senior executive with a track record in finance, transformational leadership and governance with leading organizations, Christiane is a savvy trilingual communicator, recognized for her strategic investment advisory expertise and her business and institutional relationships across Canada and internationally.
As a business leader and strategic adviser to major clients and governments in sectors such as infrastructure, resources, energy telecom, transport, banking and financial services in Canada and emerging markets for close to 30 years, Christiane is deeply familiar with public policy, stakeholder management and the global competitive landscape. Through her C-suite roles, she brings firsthand experience in growing business and understands the risks and sustainability challenges to drive innovation and grow profitable market share for small firms and multinationals alike.
For the last two years, she has been advising Toronto-based Hydro One, Canada’s largest electricity transmission and distribution service provider and other clients. Prior to starting her consulting firm, she successively served as President of SNC-Lavalin Capital, where she built a highly-regarded international investment advisory business, and as Executive Vice President Strategic Partnerships and Business Development for Desjardins Group accountable for Canadian and international corporate development.
Christiane advised or arranged over $10 B in innovative infrastructure and M&A transactions, including the acquisition of the Canadian insurance activities of State Farm, the $3 B acquisition of Highway 407 in Ontario named Euromoney Deal of the Year and the landmark Canada Line LRT Public-Private Partnership in Vancouver. Christiane started her career in institutional real estate for Standard Life prior to moving on to Export Development Canada in international financing roles in North & West Africa and OECD departments.
In 2017, Christiane became the fourth woman to Chair the Board of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. She serves on the Supervisory Board of RATP Dev, the Paris-based mass transit operator moving 14M passengers daily in 15 countries. She is also a Director of Yamana Gold and chairs the Audit Committee of AGF Group. She is a former Director of Talisman Energy, Fiera Capital, Qtrade, Tennis Canada, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec (CDPQ). An active supporter of several causes including the International Women’s Forum, she currently serves on the Foundation of the Montreal Heart Institute, the advisory Board of the Toronto Global Forum and the McGill President’s International Advisory Board. She is co-president of the Montreal Chapter of the Women Initiative Foundation inspiring women entrepreneurs to grow internationally.
A graduate of McGill University (B.Com with distinction Finance/Entrepreneurship) and of the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of Business (Philadelphia), she has completed the ICD Directors Education program and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
In 2018, Christiane was recognized in Canada’s WXN’s Top 100 Hall of Fame and was also named as Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada.
President and Chief Visionary Officer, Triumspear International
Committed to excellence, Stefanie Crosby’s general knowledge and expertise is proven with over 15 years of working experience in Canada, in the United States and has travelled over 50 countries for her work. She has engaged in managerial positions in several businesses across a wide spectrum of industries; energy, infrastructure, real estate, hospitality, clean-tech, entertainment, sports, media and defense technology.
As a seasoned executive, Stefanie has launched her consulting firm; Triumspear International, providing strategic leadership towards new business development activities, origination, market entry strategy, developing innovative ideas, as well as effective cross-border M&A. She develops projects and initiatives through close strategic partnerships with various constituents, including government leaders, head of States, captains of industries and executives and worldwide family offices.
On top of spearheading her firm, Stefanie was appointed a role as Professional Alliance Group to Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, where she leverages a specialized group that was created to help address the distinct wealth management needs of athletes, family offices, top professionals, captain of industry and institutional clients in various sectors. Stefanie has access to customized resources and programs needed to craft creative financial strategies that account for the unique challenges and dynamics of the ultra-high net worth client.
On a personal note, Stefanie was an Olympic-level athlete and holds an executive MBA from John Molson business School in Montreal, Canada. Stefanie has done several speaking engagements including at the United Nations, Penn State, Family Offices, etc. She was awarded the Konde prize for woman of the year in the New Jersey/New York area and has been nominated by Finance Capital International in 2015, and 2017 for best advisory group in Canada.
Key words: Professional Sport Franchise, Wealth management, Media and Entertainment, Energy, real estate, Global, Non-for-profit
John M. Beck
Founder and Chairman, Aecon ; and Chairman of the Advisory Board, Toronto Global Forum
John M. Beck is Founder and Executive Chairman of Aecon Group Inc. (TSX: ARE), Canada’s premier construction and infrastructure development company. A leader in providing services to private and public sector clients throughout Canada and internationally, Aecon primarily serves the Infrastructure, Energy and Mining sectors.
A graduate in Civil Engineering from McGill University, Mr. Beck has more than 50 years of experience in the construction industry in Canada and internationally. His background includes corporate leadership in numerous construction activities including heavy civil projects and public-private partnerships for the development of infrastructure, such as airports, toll roads and transit systems.
Mr. Beck is currently a member of the Board of Directors of PPP Canada, the Ontario Financing Authority, the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as Co-Chair of the Infrastructure & Urban Development Industries at the World Economic Forum. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary and is also a member of the Business Council of Canada. He was previously Chairman of the Board of the Ontario Power Authority, a government agency with responsibility for planning and procuring all of the province’s power needs for the next 20 years. He was named P3 Champion of the Year by the Canadian Council of Public Private Partnerships in 2013. In recognition of his distinguished achievements and career-long service to the engineering profession, Mr. Beck was inducted as a Fellow into the Canadian Academy of Engineering.
Janet De Silva
President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Region Board of Trade
Vice President of Global Security, Intelligence, Protective Intelligence, Investigations & Protective Services, Facebook
Mr. D’Souza is a seasoned, results-producing leader with experience steering and directing all aspects of risk management, security processes, investigations and intelligence frameworks. He has extensive international skills through working, travelling and living in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. He spent close to a decade with the Toronto Police Service, the majority of which, he was involved in an undercover capacity dealing with major, large-scale investigations. He has led several cases to successful conclusions through every level of the court system. In addition to working for large multi-national organizations, Mr. D’Souza also spent time consulting on regulatory requirements and laws, as they apply to business, ensuring compliance across a wide cross-section of financial, retail and commercial sectors.
Currently, Mr. D’Souza leads an elite team of global managers, investigators, lawyers and analysts at Facebook positioned across the globe, to resolve complex internal and external investigations, including but not limited to insider threat, anti-fraud and piracy, threats to people or the workplace, asset protection, supply chain and data center investigations and misconduct. His intelligence Team is focused on issues related to geopolitical, counter-terrorism, dangerous organizations and due diligence analysis. He also leads all protective intelligence operations for the CEO, COO and company Executives globally.
Mr. D’Souza holds an MBA degree from Columbia Southern, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He is a frequently called upon speaker and subject matter expert, accredited as a Forensics Investigator and has been formally trained in Mobile Surveillance, Workplace Violence Detection and Prevention, Major Case Management, Interviewing and Interrogation, Drug Interdiction and Investigation, Death Investigations, Anti-Terrorism and Anarchist Detection, and Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED). He sits on a number of international boards and provides strategic expertise to multiple industries.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Export Development Canada
Since joining Export Development Canada in 2014, Mairead Lavery has put values and ethics at the center of her leadership approach. Appointed President and CEO on February 5, 2019, Mairead set out three pillars for her leadership: Champion for Trade; Environmental, Social and Governance Responsibility; and Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. These values are the centerpiece of her – and EDC’s – business agenda.
Under her direction, EDC has pursued ambitious objectives, achieving unprecedented growth, and helping more Canadian companies do business in 200 markets around the world, while generating over $100 billion in trade and investment annually. In 2020, EDC became a major contributor to the Federal government’s COVID-19 economic response, helping deliver billions of dollars in liquidity to companies across Canada.
EDC also stands as the single largest financier of Canadian cleantech, a proud supporter of women-owned and women-led businesses, and regularly ranks among Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Mairead is also the Board Chair for the EDC subsidiary, FinDev Canada, Canada’s international development finance institution.
Prior to joining EDC, Mairead held executive roles at Bombardier, where she managed a range of large complex portfolios over a sixteen-year career. She is a native of Northern Ireland, has a degree in Management and Accounting from Queen’s University Belfast, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She is also the first woman to occupy EDC’s chief executive role in its 75-plus year history.
In 2015, Mairead experienced another very proud milestone: becoming a Canadian citizen.
Joseph S. Mancinelli
International Vice President and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada, Labourers' International Union of North America (LiUNA)
Joseph S. Mancinelli is International Vice President and Central and Eastern Canada Regional Manager of LiUNA, the Labourers’ International Union of North America.
With over 120 000 members across Canada and half a million strong across North America, LiUNA is the most progressive, aggressive and fastest growing union of construction workers and one of the most diverse and effective unions representing various sectors across North America.
Mr. Mancinelli leads many of LiUNA’s entities including serving as Chair of the Labourers’ Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada (LPF), named Canada’s 5th fastest growing pension fund by Benefits Canada. Established in 1972, the LPF is a Multi-Employer Pension Plan (MEPP) established which has grown to over $8 Billion in assets. The LPF continuously seeks out investments that provide long-term rates of return in order to maximize value while managing risk through diversification strategies. Investments include the Long Term Care, Hospitals, Courthouses, Transit Infrastructure, Hotels and more.
Joseph Mancinelli is a visionary who has brought LiUNA into areas that other unions have never ventured, including the world of Public Private Partnership (P3). Under his leadership, LiUNA has become a new face of Labour, working together with industry, private sector and government to build better communities in partnership, across North America.
Joe has been an advocate of P3 initiatives for many years and LiUNA has experienced first-hand the benefits of working in tandem with both the public and private sectors. LiUNA has successfully yielded strong returns for its pension fund, while building much needed infrastructure for the community and employing unionized workers to get the projects done. It has been a rewarding model that we will continue to advocate for and build upon in years to come.
He is also an advocate of community building and a champion of benevolent causes. He is an ardent supporter of the arts, is passionate about the restoration of historical sites and is an accomplished artist in his own right.
Over the years he has served on numerous committees including serving as the Co-Chair of the Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Talent Cabinet, serving on the province’s Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel; serving as a founding director of the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation, and as the first Chair of the Bay-Area Health Trust.
Joe has also been a leader in community advocacy and fundraising initiatives for the betterment of building inclusive futures, including children’s charities and causes, hospitals and health care centres, the Children’s Wish Foundation, Camp Trillium, Easter Seals, the United Way, Mt. Sinai, St. Joseph’s Healthcare, the ALS Society, Down Syndrome Research Foundation, Larger than Life Kindergarten School for children with cancer in Israel, as well as natural disaster relief initiatives and cultural inclusiveness initiatives.
He has also been acknowledged for his leadership and dedication to community building as the recipient of many awards, including the Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club, Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, has been inducted into Hamilton’s Gallery of Distinction and has been bestowed an honorary Doctorate of Laws Degree from McMaster University. He received a National Philanthropy Award as Outstanding Volunteer by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, has been named Sons of Italy Citizen of the Year and was awarded a ‘Spirit of Ontario’ award by the National Congress of Italian Canadians, to name a few.
Joe is a lifelong Hamiltonian. He and his wife Enza have been married for 33 years, they have five children and two grandsons.
Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Medical Association (OMA)
Allan O'Dette is a high profile, results-oriented leader with more than 30 years’ experience in public, private, and not-for-profit and volunteer sectors where he has a proven track record of success in leading change and organizational renewal.
Allan is the CEO of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), which represents the political, clinical and economic interests of the provinces more than 41,000 physicians, residents and medical students. In this role, Allan is tasked with driving transformation and modernization in the 138-year-old organization.
Previously Allan was appointed the first Chief Investment Officer for the Province of Ontario, in which he led the creation of a customer-focused, cross-functional enterprise generating billions of dollars in new attraction and retention investment to the province.
As president and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce for more than five years, Allan led the revitalization of Ontario's most influential business organization, which has 60,000 members in more than 135 communities. In doing so, he established the OCC as an influential thought leader and change agent, with an engaged membership and a sustained financial foundation.
Allan is an entrepreneur with more than 25 years experience in progressive leadership roles in the bio-pharmaceutical sector. Passionate in support of Canadian business and his community, Allan has served on numerous private and not-for-profit boards and committees, including serving as vice chair of the Markham Stouffville Hospital Board of Directors. Allan was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to his community and his philanthropic activities.
Vice-President, Power Generation Business and Nuclear Operations, Cummins Sales and Service
Benoit Parent manages the Power Generation Division and Nuclear Operations’ teams inside Cummins Eastern Canada LP.
He has a Bachelor’s degree from Sherbrooke University in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree from Sherbrooke University in Engineering Management.
He has occupied every single sales positions in the Power Generation Division of Cummins Eastern Canada LP, beginning his career as a Sales Representative for the South Shore of Montreal, being promoted to Sales Managers, then General Manager of Power Generation of Ontario, (that is when he first met the OCI) then General Manager of the Power Generation Division and, finally, to his current position of Executive Director – Power Generation Division and Nuclear Operations.
Vice-Chair, Global Investment Banking, CIBC Capital Markets
The Honourable Lisa Raitt joined CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, having previously worked in both the public and private sectors. Ms. Raitt’s current focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors, which align closely with her deep expertise.
Prior to her current role, Ms. Raitt was the President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. She was elected into the House of Commons in 2008, where she went on to hold three senior portfolios serving as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Transport. Most recently, Ms. Raitt was the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Ms. Raitt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Guelph. She possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. In 2020 Ms. Raitt was named a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow of the Canada Institute.
President and Chief Executive Officer International Economic Forum of the Americas
Nicholas Rémillard, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Economic Forum of the Americas (IEFA), is responsible for the direction and strategy of the IEFA’s four major economic events: the Conference of Montreal, the Toronto Global Forum, the World Strategic Forum and the Conference of Paris.
Since the organisation’s inception over 20 years ago, Nicholas Rémillard has held a variety of management roles, ultimately serving as President and CEO from 2010. His contribution led to the rapid expansion of the organization where he launched the Toronto Global Forum and the Palm Beach Strategic Forum in 2007 and 2011, respectively. The latter event is now held in Miami under its new appellation: the World Strategic Forum. In addition to these North American conferences, the IEFA has announced its shift towards Europe and will be hosting its first edition of the Conference of Paris in December 2017.
Beyond his role at the IEFA, Nicholas Rémillard also serves as Honorary Consul General of Iceland in Montreal and President of RDÉE Canada’s working group, the Economic Corridor of La Francophonie.
Nicholas Rémillard holds a law degree from the University of Ottawa.
President and Chief Executive Officer, InstarAGF Asset Management
Gregory Smith is widely recognized as a pioneer and authority in the infrastructure investment community. As President and CEO of InstarAGF, Gregory brings more than 20 years of experience in the investment, operation, acquisition, and financing of public and private infrastructure, real estate, power, and utility businesses.
Prior to founding the Instar Group of Companies, Gregory was Managing Partner and head of Brookfield Financial’s Global Infrastructure Advisory Group. During his tenure, Brookfield Financial expanded to over 100 professionals in eight countries and became a leading developer in North American Public-Private Partnerships. Gregory was also the President of Macquarie Capital Funds Canada Ltd. where he was responsible for the establishment, growth and operations of Macquarie's unlisted and listed funds business in Canada along with the active management of Macquarie's Canadian assets owned by off-shore funds. During this time, he also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Power & Infrastructure Income Fund (TSX:MPT.UN), a Toronto Stock Exchange-listed fund, and as a Director and Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie Essential Assets Partnership, a private fund. Prior to Macquarie, Gregory was Managing Director and Co-Head of RBC Capital Partners - Mezzanine Fund and a Managing Director at Deloitte & Touche Corporate Finance.
Gregory has held various board positions and acted as an observer/advisor to the Board of Directors for several reporting issuers, including 407ETR International, AltaLink Management Ltd. and Leisureworld Senior Care GP Inc. as well as private companies such as Sea-to-Sky Highway Investment Limited Partnership and Erie Shores Wind Farm. Gregory is currently the Executive Chairman of Nieuport Aviation Infrastructure Partners, which owns the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and also sits on the advisory boards of Lighthouse Equity Partners, a private equity provider, and Avrio Ventures, an agriculture technology fund. Active in the private equity and venture capital sector since 1994, Gregory previously served for a number of years on the Board of Directors of Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, including as Chair and President.
Gregory is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered Business Valuator, and holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from Queen's University.
Chairman, Letho Resources; Vice-President, Groupe Selection, Co-Founder Kids Inc
Dimitri Soudas is a Toronto-based entrepreneur and corporate executive who has developed a well-earned reputation as a top performer at the highest levels of government, the private sector and not-for-profit organisations.
He is best known for his role as Chief Spokespeman and Director of Communications to the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, where he served with distinction for a decade.
Dimitri invest in Ontario based start-ups such as Aleafia Health Inc. (TSX: ALEF). He currently serves as Vice-President responsible for Investments and Acquisitions for Groupe Selection and leads the Group’s expansion team in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. He is the co-founder/owner of Toronto’s Kids Childcare & Preschool, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Letho Resources which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Chairman of the Board of Montreal en Fetes and Advisory Board Member of the Montreal International Triathlon.
He is also the former Executive Director of the Canadian Olympic Committee, former CEO/Executive Director of the Conservative Party of Canada, former Senior Advisor to the President of Cavalia and former Managing Partner and co-founder of Stampede Group.
He is a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Senate Canada 150 Commemorative Medal for his contributions to Canada and the Commonwealth.
Mr. Soudas was awarded a Master in Business Administration from the Ivey Business School in 2018 and a Master of Arts (International Relations and Communications) from Simon Fraser University in 2015.
He studied Biochemistry at Concordia University and Health Sciences at Dawson College. Dimitri Soudas is fluently trilingual in English, French and Greek as well as intermediate Spanish.
Founder and Owner, New Franchise Media
Jeffrey Steiner is a Canadian lawyer and public-policy specialist based in Toronto. He is a board member of FinDev Canada Inc, a subsidiary of Canada's official trade credit agency, Export Development Canada. He served as the President & CEO of the Toronto Economic Development Corporation (TEDCO) from 2002-2009 focused on real estate development, green buildings and waterfront revitalization. He is currently the President of New Franchise Media Inc which is an IP rights-ownership company in the film & television business. In 2019 he joined the board of the Toronto Parking Authority. Mr. Steiner is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).
Chairman, Kilmer Developments; and Vice-Chairman, Kilmer Van Nostrand (KVN)
KEN TANENBAUM is Chairman of Kilmer Developments, the entity leading the $400M renewal and 50 year concession operations of the 23 ONroute Highway Service Centres, in partnership with HMS Host, as well as the design, finance and construction of the $800M 2015 Pan Am Games Athletes’ Village project in partnership with Dundee Realty; he is the Founder and Chairman of the Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund, which is committed to creating value by remediating and repositioning contaminated land; and, he also serves as Vice Chairman of Kilmer Van Nostrand (KVN), a family holding company with interests in sports & media, private equity and infrastructure. Ken joined KVN's wholly owned subsidiary, The Warren Paving and Materials Group in 1991 and, following the merger of this business with Lafarge in 2000, served with the combined entity on its Executive Team and as President of concrete producer Innocon before returning to KVN in 2006. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Ken has a long history of volunteer leadership with many organizations, including UJA Federation, Mount Sinai Hospital, MADD Canada, Evergreen, University of Toronto, and Upper Canada College. He is an active member of YPO, is a recipient of the Canadian Urban Institute’s “Brownie Award”, and was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 in 2001. Ken is passionate about the promise of Canada and is committed to aligning his business interests with building healthy cities and vibrant communities. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Jennifer, and their four children.
Deputy Mayor and Chair, Economic and Community Development Committee, City of Toronto
Councillor Michael Thompson is Deputy Mayor, Chair of Toronto’s Economic and Community Development Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. Now in his fifth term as Councillor, Michael has earned a reputation as one of Toronto’s hardest working and most effective political leaders.
In 2006, as Chair of the Scarborough Community Council, he led the campaign to create the first ever TTC transit strategy for Scarborough, a strategy designed to significantly expand and enhance public transit services for all Scarborough residents. Throughout his years on Council, Michael’s unrelenting drive for public safety in the face of increased gun violence ultimately led to the development of a city-wide Community Safety Plan, a GTA-wide police task force on guns and gangs, an increase in the numbers of police officers in the street, and a new young offender program designed to divert young people into jobs instead of jail.
Under the banner of “getting things done,” Michael is known to his constituents as a community builder committed to bring people together in a spirit of collaboration. He has led and assisted in the formation of local community associations, youth leadership initiatives and Business Improvement Areas, and holds regular public meetings to engage residents throughout his ward.
In addition to a strong focus on resolving local issues and serving his constituents, Michael’s commitment to developing Toronto’s city-wide economy is longstanding. In his first term in office, he spearheaded the creation of the Wexford Heights Business Improvement Area and established a Job Fair that annually brought thousands of job seekers together with dozens of employers.
He maintains a widespread network of business relationships that has helped the City to enhance business retention, promote growth and increase private sector employment. His active engagement with business has helped speed the launch of new business ventures, resolved business/residential conflicts and gained business participation in a wide range of community-building initiatives. In recent years, the international connections he has developed and nurtured have played a significant role in attracting billions of dollars in new investment to the City, contributing to a more robust economy and substantial job creation.
Recently, Michael was a key member of a Toronto project team that successfully lobbied executives of Collision, one of the world’s leading high technology conferences, to choose Toronto as the conference’s home for 2019 – 2021, bringing 25,000 technology executives and investors to the City and injecting tens of millions of dollars into Toronto’s economy.
Michael is a firm believer in the critical value of culture as a builder of strong communities. When he first took office, he co-founded the Taste of Lawrence Avenue East Festival, which brings together tens of thousands of people each year to experience local performing arts and cuisine. In 2013, he led the City’s efforts to create a new arts and culture plan that provided a bold, new roadmap for cultural vitality, strengthened arts spending and launched a new era of collaboration among arts and culture groups across the City. Michael was also the first Chair of Toronto’s Music Advisory Committee, and played a key role in efforts to attract international film and television productions and studio investments to Toronto.
Michael received his public school education in Scarborough, and his BA from Concordia University in Montreal. Prior to entering politics, he earned his business credentials as an entrepreneur in the business and financial services sector. In 2017, he successfully completed the ICD Directors Education Program offered by the Rotman School of Management and Institute of Corporate Directors.
He is the recipient of the African Achievement Award for Excellence in Politics, the York University International Award, the Jain Society of Toronto Community Award, the Bob Marley Award and the Bob Marley Lifetime Achievement Award.
He continues to work with a number of charitable organizations including participation in the LIUNA Local 506 scholarship fund.
Douglas E. Turnbull
Vice-Chairman and Country Head, Canada, DBRS
Doug Turnbull is Vice Chairman and Country Head, Canada at DBRS. In this role, Mr. Turnbull is responsible for overseeing all of DBRS’s day-to-day operations in Canada. As part of the executive team, Mr. Turnbull also focuses on the strategic development of DBRS’s global rating business and senior outreach activities for the company.
Mr. Turnbull has more than 35 years of experience in the investment banking industry, and is the retired Deputy Chairman, TD Securities Inc. Mr. Turnbull has worked in Toronto, Tokyo and New York, where he advised government, corporate, infrastructure and public sector clients on numerous public and private market transactions.
Mr. Turnbull is Chairman of the board of directors of The Canadian Ditchley Foundation, is a member of the Public Advisory Panel of the Canadian Electricity Association and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation. In addition, Mr. Turnbull has held a number of board positions with public sector and not-for-profit organizations, including, Metrolinx, the Ontario Financing Authority, George Brown College Foundation, the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and ORBIS Canada. In 2014, Mr. Turnbull was appointed by the Government of Canada as one of two Co-Chairs of the Canada-Assembly of First Nations, Joint Working Group on Resource Development, and delivered the final report in 2015.
President and Chief Executive Officer, BNP Paribas Canada
As Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas in Canada, Sonja Volpe is responsible for leading the Canadian business strategy, overseeing the nearshoring operations platform and all aspects of regulatory and internal controls compliance. Sonja is a member of the Americas Executive Committee, the Americas Business Committee and the Global Banking Americas Executive Committee.
Sonja first joined BNP Paribas in 2015 as Head of Financial Institutions Coverage in Canada. In this role she was responsible for the firm’s global client relationships with the Canadian banks, insurance companies, pension plans and the government sector. She has been instrumental in building a strong client franchise across each client industry segment and establishing a high performance coverage team.
Sonja has 20 years of experience covering Canadian financial institutions and public sector clients. Prior to joining BNP Paribas, she was a Senior Banker at Citibank Canada where she covered a number of large global client relationships in the financial services sector.
Sonja has a Bachelor's Degree in Honours Modern Languages and Linguistics and an MBA from McMaster University.
Geoffrey A. Wilson
President and Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto
Geoffrey Wilson is an international business leader with more than 25 years in the multimodal transportation, shipping, infrastructure and aviation businesses. Having held senior executive roles throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific, with companies such as Triton Container International Inc., Budget Car and Truck Rental, and Kerr Steamship Agency Inc., Mr. Wilson brings a unique skill set and global perspective to his role as CEO of PortsToronto. A government business enterprise, PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Canada’s ninth busiest airport, the marine Port of Toronto and the Outer Harbour Marina.
Mr. Wilson’s professional experience includes global infrastructure and asset management, international market development and strategic alliances. Prior to his current role, Mr. Wilson served as Chief Operating Officer of Cartel Communications Systems Inc., Canada's leading wireless equipment distributor and integrator.
Mr. Wilson serves on the advisory board of Toronto Global Forum, associated with the International Global Economic Forums of the Americas, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Empire Club of Canada, the country’s oldest and largest speaker’s forum. Mr. Wilson joined the Board of the Council of the Great Lakes Region in October 2016.
National Counsel, McCarthy Tetrault
Paul Zed has a distinguished and successful career in business spending the last 10 years providing strategic leadership in the telecom and technology sector. In September 2015 he was appointed Chairman, President’s Advisory Board, Rogers Enterprise Business Unit, a division of Rogers Communications Inc. where he worked on public and private sector business development, connected and smart cities transformations and Internet of Things (IOT). From 2009-2015 he served as Chairman, President’s Advisory Board, Cisco Systems Canada where together with the team led the establishment and transformation of the largest technology investment in Canada’s history. They also established a $150 Million Cisco Canada Innovation Program for venture capital start-ups.
Currently, Mr. Zed serves as national counsel at the law firm, McCarthy Tetrault.
During his political career he was elected 3 times serving almost 10 years as the Member of Parliament for the federal ridings of Fundy Royal and Saint John. He served as the Chairman of several important committees of the House of Commons including the Standing Committee on Industry, Government Operations and Procedure and House Affairs, Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities. Mr. Zed also authored reports on banking, financing and doing business with governments and was the Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government and serving two Canadian Prime Ministers Chretien and Martin.
Mr. Zed is the founding member of the Urban Cities and Communities Caucus that hosted dozens of meetings with provincial governments and Canada’s big city mayors, publishing a report ‘Foundations for a Nation” on Canada’s infrastructure deficit and innovation.
Upon his return to the private sector, he co-founded a successful public policy and business advisory company in Ottawa, Summa Strategies Canada Inc., serving as its President for eight years representing some of the largest American and Canadian companies and their CEO’s with offices in Ottawa, Washington and London.
As a corporate commercial lawyer, he also was a business law professor at The University of Ottawa Law School and University of New Brunswick and been a member of the Canadian Bar Association for over 35 years, active in community and philanthropic affairs.