Board of Directors

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Jonathan Guss, BA (Econ), LLB           Chair

Former CEO, Ontario Medical Association (OMA)

Joined the PRI Board: 2012

Mr. Guss is an experienced leader and manager who provides consulting on strategy, governance and implementation of change. At present, he runs a consulting firm offering strategic advice to Boards and CEOs. His most recent executive role was Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) which serves and represents the 37,000+ physicians in the Ontario healthcare system. As CEO of the OMA for seven years, from 2005 through 2011, he led a staff of over 300 and worked with a Board of 25 physicians, focusing on planning and strategy, enhancing governance, implementing electronic medical records (EMRs) for over 9,000 physicians, and raising the level of physician leadership and public dialogue on healthcare system change.

Prior to 2005, he was President and CEO of Credit Union Central of Ontario, the $1.5 Billion central banking facility and association for the $20 Billion network of 200 credit unions in Ontario, which he led for over 12 years. He negotiated the merger with BC Central which created Central1, a thriving central bank for credit unions.

Mr. Guss has served on many financial services and healthcare boards. At present, he serves on the Boards of the Harvard University Alumni Association, the Pine River Institute, and Ecclesiastical Insurance, and as Past-President of the Harvard Club of Toronto and Chair of the University of Guelph’s Health for Life Advisory Board. Prior to his business career, Mr. Guss spent eight years in the federal government, five as a diplomat in the Department of Foreign Affairs. He holds an Honours BA in Economics from Harvard University and a law degree from University of Toronto. He is married and has two children.

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Edyta Pacuk
Vice-Chair

President, MarchFifteen Consulting

Joined the PRI Board: 2015

Ms. Pacuk is the President of MarchFifteen Consulting a firm that specializes in Strategic Talent Management. She has over twenty years of experience in her field and specializes in leadership and executive effectiveness. She is known to be an innovative and effective business partner.

As a coach and assessor, she focuses on leveraging her expertise and experience to assist her clients in making the desired impact. She has a reputation for candour and responsiveness. Adept at identifying game-changing priorities, she provides pragmatic advice and practical solutions for achieving individual, team and organization-wide goals.

As a consulting Partner, she engages Senior Teams in the alignment process, helping create a culture of collaboration and results-orientation. She works extensively with leading Canadian and international private and public organizations in finance and investment, insurance, aerospace, publishing and mining industries.

As a keynote speaker, Ms. Pacuk is charismatic and engages audiences with her awareness of current trends, subject matter expertise and thought provoking questions.

In addition to her law degree, Ms. Pacuk holds Masters Degrees in Industrial Sociology, Organizational Psychology and Adult Education. She also serves as a member of the Faculty for the University of Toronto’s MMPA program and is a member on the Board of Outward Bound Canada. She is certified in a variety of behaviour and personality assessments and is a Master Trainer in the Management Research Group (MRG) suite of tools.

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Cory Estrela, LLB

Vice President, Legal, Oxford Properties Group

Joined the PRI Board: 2019

Cory currently holds the position of Vice President, Legal with Oxford Properties Group.  Oxford Properties Group is the real estate investment arm of OMERS, responsible for the ownership, management, and development of industrial, residential, office, retail, and hotel assets.  In his current role, Cory provides primary legal support for Oxford’s Canadian development activity, with projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.  He provides legal support from project commencement to completion, including procurement of design and construction services, municipal entitlements, negotiating and settling development agreements, and ultimately dispute resolution. 

Prior to joining Oxford, Cory worked at several firms in the Toronto area focusing on land use planning and municipal work, including considerable work on Aggregate Resources.  Cory holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Alberta, and a LLB from Osgoode Hall.  Born and raised in western Canada, he relocated to Toronto for law school and has lived in Ontario ever since.

Cory is married with three daughters.

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Claire Fainer, B.S.W., M.S.W

Joined the PRI Board: 2017

Claire Fainer has recently retired from her position as Executive Director of East Metro Youth Services [EMYS], an accredited community based child and youth mental health center in East Toronto and the Toronto Lead Agency for the MCYS Moving on Mental Health Transformation. While at EMYS Ms. Fainer led several key service innovations including community outreach programs with Chinese, Afghan and Syrian populations, Ontario’s Youth Outreach Worker Program, and Toronto’s what’s up walk-in clinic network.

Ms. Fainer was a key player at both the municipal and provincial levels in program development and implementation, serving on government and sector initiatives ranging from system design to pathways to care.  Her background includes many years of diverse work experiences with children, youth and families both in Ontario and Quebec to include community service centers, school social services programs, hospital-based psychiatric clinics and private clinical practice. She has also participated in a program designed to train indigenous community workers in Northern Quebec.

Ms. Fainer was a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Mental Health Ontario serving as President of the Board, held the position of Chair, Community Advisory Board, Whitby Mental Health Centre, and was a member of the Board of Directors of The Welles

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Andrea Fellows, LLB

Vice-President, Corporate Legal

Joined the PRI Board: 2019

As a corporate lawyer at Oxford Properties Group, Mrs. Fellows advises Oxford on a broad range of complex real estate transactions, development projects and corporate law matters across all asset classes in Canada, the US and Europe.

Prior to joining Oxford, Mrs. Fellows spent eight years as a student and lawyer practicing at Goodmans LLP, gaining experience advising multinational clients on a broad range of commercial real estate and corporate law matters.

Mrs. Fellows holds a Bachelor of Science from Queens University and an LL.B from the University of Western Ontario. She was named to The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Canada for 2016-2017, a list recognizing the most influential and innovative in-house corporate counsel in the country, and she was a 2016 recipient of the Women in Build Awards, recognizing her dedication and creativity in a typically male-dominated industry. Mrs. Fellows is also a member of the Women’s Law Association of Ontario and Women General Counsel of Canada. She is an active mentor with the OMERS Connections Mentoring Program and Osgoode First Generation Network and an advisor to the Pine River Institute and Canada’s Ballet Jorgen.

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Richard Fridman

Partner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Joined the PRI Board: 2016

Richard Fridman has been a partner with the law firm of Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP since 2004. He is a leading member of the firm's mining practice and has a broad range of experience in all aspects of corporate law and M&A, devoting a considerable amount of his practice to advising Boards and Board Committees on matters of corporate governance and various other legal issues.  Richard is called to the Bars of Ontario, Québec and New York.  He holds Bachelor of Civil Law (LL.L) and Bachelor of Common Law (LL.B.) degrees from the University of Ottawa where he graduated as the gold medalist, and a Masters of Law degree from New York University.  Before joining Davies in 2002, Richard worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. He also clerked with the Honourable Mr. Justice Charles D. Gonthier of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1998.  He is married and has two children.

Having witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by addiction, Mr. Fridman became involved with Pine River because of his belief in PRI’s mission to improve the health, development, and quality of life of youth and their families struggling with addiction and related mental health issues. He considers Pine River’s ability to offer renewed hope to youth and families to be unparalleled. 

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Soumya Ghosh, MBA

Vice President and Global Client Partner - Financial Services at Capgemini 

Joined the PRI Board: 2015

Mr. Ghosh has more than 20 years’ experience in Technology and business consulting and outsourcing industry and worked  with large global enterprise clients in various leadership roles across US, Canada, Europe and Asia. His professional experience includes P/L management, digital transformation, client relationship management, business development and account management, marketing , strategic program delivery and organizational transformation.

Mr. Ghosh holds a Bachelor of Engineering from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), India and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, USA. Mr. Ghosh  is also Executive Committee Member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) - Ontario GTA West Chapter since 2015.

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Mina Mawani

President & CEO, Crohn's & Colitis Canada

Joined the PRI Board: 2015

Ms. Mawani joined Crohn’s and Colitis Canada as President and CEO in April 2015.  With 15 years of experience in non-profit, private sector, hospital, and government roles, she is now turning her attention to making Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis stop. For life.

Ms. Mawani is an experienced leader and change navigator, guiding non-profits from vision to strategy to results. Applying her passion and enthusiasm to the Crohn’s and colitis community, she is deeply engaged with the issues that matter most to her constituents – finding cures and improving lives for the nearly 250,000 Canadians affected by these chronic diseases.

Ms. Mawani serves on the Board of Women’s College Hospital and is a member of the International Women’s Forum Canada (IWFC). She has also recently been appointed to Seneca’s Board of Governors. She has held a number of leadership roles, including President and CEO of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, Chief Development Officer and Executive Committee member at Civic Action, and CEO of the Aga Khan Council for Canada. Earlier in her career, she held key roles at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ms. Mawani holds a Master’s Degree in Health Science/Health Administration from the University of Toronto, a Bachelor's Degree in Administrative Studies from York University, and a Diploma in Nuclear Medicine Technology from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.   

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Kevin McKenzie

Global Client Service Partner, Financial Services, Ernst & Young LLP

Joined the PRI Board: 2017

As a Global Client Serving Partner, Kevin is focused on leading EY’s Exceptional Client Service market strategy in the banking and capital markets sector.

Kevin has held various senior leadership positions at EY. Prior to his current role, he was in EY Global in the UK where he served as the Global Director of EY’s Office of the Chair Accounts program. In this role, he was responsible for developing and leading our major global client relationships strategy.

Kevin has also served as Global Markets Leader for EY’s Global Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice. As a member of the TAS executive committee, he was responsible for implementing a global client service and accounts platform.

In the US, Kevin served as the firm’s Americas Director of Business Development for Technology and Security and Risk Services, and before that, was Managing Partner of Business Development for the Canadian firm.

Kevin was also the Senior Vice President and Head of Origination in the capital markets division of a major Canadian bank. He successfully developed and implemented a Business Banking Board recognized global best practice relationship management approach.

Kevin is active in promoting board diversity, and mentoring young professionals. He also served on the board of the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario.

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Patrick Nelson 

Principal, Santis Health

Joined the PRI Board: 2018

Patrick is currently a Principal at Santis Health. He brings over fifteen years of public affairs and communications experience to the team at Santis.

At Santis, Patrick helps health care organizations adapt to the changing health care environment, influence government policy and improve their engagement with members and stakeholders. Patrick has expertise in strategic communications, government relations, public affairs and board governance.

Prior to joining Santis, Patrick served as the Executive Director of Public and Corporate Affairs at the Ontario Medical Association (OMA), the voice of the province’s 34,000 physicians. Over almost ten years, he led the OMA through several strategic communications campaigns, a comprehensive governance review, as well as a major rebranding of the organization. Under his tenure, member satisfaction with the OMA doubled to a record high and, over the course of a five-month advocacy campaign, the profession witnessed a remarkable 12 per cent increase in public trust. Patrick also worked in senior communications roles in the Ontario government, as an aide to Ontario’s Minister of Health and as Director of Communications to the Minister of the Environment and to the Minister of Education.

Patrick volunteers his time as a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Client Services Advisory Committee at ALS Canada. He also served for six years on the Board of Trustees at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre, the largest children’s mental health treatment facility in Toronto. During that time, Hincks-Dellcrest presented him with an Award of Appreciation for his work in receiving additional funding from government to support mental health services for kids. Since 2014, Patrick has also served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Association of Physician Assistants.

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John Sinclair, CPA, CA

Partner, Baker Tilly WM LLP

Joined the PRI Board: 2016

John Sinclair is a Partner, Baker Tilly WM LLP providing business advisory and audit services to public and private companies in a wide range of industries. With more than 25 years of experience, John has worked on over 100 Initial Public Offerings and other related offering documents.

John is the Managing Partner of Baker Tilly WM’s Toronto office and is leading the growth of the firm in Toronto and Vancouver as a member of the firm’s Management Committee. He also serves as the International Business Leader to Baker Tilly International and in this capacity facilitates the in-bound and out-bound flow of international engagements for Baker Tilly WM LLP in Canada.

John is married with three sons, one of whom is a successful graduate of the Pine River Institute program.

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Athena Varmazis

Senior Vice President, Cards RBC

Joined the PRI Board: 2016

Athena is the Senior Vice President, Cards for RBC. She is responsible for the overall strategy for RBC’s retail, small business, commercial and prepaid cards, including acquisition, digital strategy, co-brand credit cards, value added services, and sales and client engagement strategies. 

Prior to her current role, Athena was the Vice President, Global Loyalty Programs & Rewards for RBC, and was responsible for the strategic direction of the RBC Rewards program, including creating roadmaps for future digital and platform infrastructure, and partnering with other areas of Digital, Payments & Cards to continue to drive market leadership.

Athena joined RBC in March 2015 from AMEX Bank of Canada, where she was Vice President and General Manager of Small Business Services. In that role, she was responsible for strategy and experience, business and product development, acquisition and sales and delivery. Prior to that, Athena held a number of senior leadership roles within different divisions of American Express, including acquisitions, strategy, online and mobile, customer engagement and strategic partnerships.

Athena is dedicated to giving back to the community, and has acted as the Canadian Banking co-chair for the annual RBC Employee Giving and United Way Campaigns for several years.

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Dr. Thea Weisdorf

Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto

Joined the PRI Board: 2013

Dr. Weisdorf is a staff Family Physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. In her clinical work, she practices as part of the Inner City programme at St. Michael’s Hospital. Her area of expertise is Addiction Medicine. The clinic at which she works provides care to the most marginalized populations; people with substance abuse disorders, HIV/AIDs, transgendered people, homeless and under housed, refugees and mental health disorders.

Dr. Weisdorf graduated with a B.Sc. in 1985 and a M.Sc. in 1987 from McGill University.  She completed her MD in 1991 from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She did her Family Medicine residency at the University of Toronto between 1991 and 1993. In 1995, she and her soon-to-be-husband went to Cleveland, Ohio where she completed a Fellowship in Addiction Medicine and Academic Family Medicine. The following year, they returned to Toronto, where she began working in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Wellesley Hospital. This was soon merged with St. Michael’s Hospital and she has worked at the same site since 1996.

Dr. Weisdorf has been involved in several community organizations, in various volunteer capacities and continues with this as a high priority in her values in giving back to the community. Dr. Weisdorf is married with two teenage daughters and a crazy yellow lab.

Advisory Group

NICOLA BANGHAM, M.A.

Director, Camp Towhee, Integra Foundation

RUTH DACOSTA

Former Executive Director, Covenant House

DR. JIM POWER

STEVEN SHARPE

Former Chair, Donwood Institute

MARG STANOWSKI

Executive Director, Operation Springboard

 

PRI Honorary Board Members

RONALD A. CRANE
MICHAEL COHL
MICHAEL MORGAN

PRI Honorary Patron

THE HONOURABLE R. ROY MCMURTRY, OC, O.Ont, QC
FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE OF ONTARIO