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Board of Directors

CFEE’s work is overseen and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Board members are from across the country and represent the perspectives of a wide variety of stakeholder groups. CFEE is committed to non-partisanship and a diverse Board of outstanding individuals helps to ensure we achieve and sustain that goal.  We extend our thanks to them for their service.

Prakash Amarasooriya | TD Canada Trust Manager, Scorecard Operations

Prakash Amarasooriya is the Manager of Scorecard Operations at TD Canada Trust and the former School Boards Lead for the Toronto Youth Cabinet (TYC). He has been featured in the media for the financial literacy campaign he initiated in October 2016 in his work with the TYC. Prakash created a proposal to have financial literacy incorporated into the Ontario Grade 10 Career Studies course as well as a petition to get the attention of the public and the media. After months of preparation, and three weeks after publishing the petition, he obtained a meeting with the Ontario Ministry of Education and sat down with the Minister of Education herself, Mitzie Hunter. She readily saw the strong case Prakash made for financial literacy in schools and, two days after the meeting, Minister Hunter published a press release stating that she had accepted his proposal and will be putting financial literacy into the Grade 10 Careers course, which was incorporated in 2019. He has done multiple interviews and podcasts on the importance of financial literacy as well as countless presentations teaching financial literacy through the Canadian Bankers Association, Junior Achievement and in his own spare time. Prakash graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Science Honours degree, majoring in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. He was involved in a number of organizations while at York University, ranging from being the President of Doctors Without Borders and a Student Senator to the Salsa Club President (the dance, not the dip). He is also a published neuroscience researcher.

Michel Branchaud | Groupe Montaigne President

Mr. Branchaud is a civil engineer with a Masters degree in transport from Imperial College, London and an MBA from Strathclyde, Scotland. From 1973 to 1992, he held various positions, as project manager and president of subsidiaries within the Lavalin Group, the largest engineering and construction group in Canada. He joined the Société Générale de Financement du Québec in 1992 and, for 5 years, acted as Vice President, Metals and Minerals. From 1996 to 2000, he was the General Partner for an international infrastructure fund with, as Limited Partners, the Caisse de Dépôt du Québec and other key institutions such as Manulife, the Royal Bank of Canada and Hydro-Québec. Since 2001, Michel Branchaud is the President of Groupe Montaigne, a private business advisor group with North American and European principals whose mission consists in the identification, conception, negotiation, financial engineering, and syndication of real estate and other investment programs in Europe, Asia and North and South America.

Simon Brascoupé | First Nations Health Managers Association Director of Capacity and Member Services

Simon Brascoupé, Anishinabeg/Haudenosaunee – Bear Clan is a member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Maniwaki, Quebec. Simon Brascoupé is an Adjunct Research Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Carleton University and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Indigenous Studies at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.  He has a B.A. and M.A. from State University of New York at Buffalo.  He has been designated Certified First Nations Health Manager (CFNHM) from the First Nations Health Manager Association and a Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator (CAPA) from the AFOA Canada. He was formerly Vice President, Education and Memberships at AFOA Canada were he oversaw the professional education certification programs, membership, community capacity workshops and financial literacy. He was engaged in the development and delivery of training for the Certified Aboriginal Professional Administrator and the Certified Indigenous Leadership programs. He has taught at Carleton University, Trent University, Queen’s University and McGill University. He is involved research on land-based healing, cultural safety, traditional medicine and traditional knowledge.   He published an article Cultural Safety – Exploring the Applicability of the Concept of Cultural Safety to Aboriginal Health and Community Wellness in the Journal of Aboriginal Health, which is the most downloaded JAH article. Previously Simon Brascoupé was Chief Executive Officer, National Aboriginal Health Organization; Director, Primary Health Care Division, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, Health Canada; and Director, Aboriginal Affairs Branch, Environment Canada. He has written and worked in the field of traditional knowledge and intellectual Property Rights and is on Trent University’s Ph.D. Indigenous Knowledge Council.

Lori Cranson | Pret-A-Porter Jewels

Lori Cranson retired from her role as Dean, Centres for Community Services and Early Childhood, and Health Sciences, at George Brown College. Upon retirement, Lori has embarked on an entrepreneurial venture Pret-A-Porter Jewels. In her spare time, she is sought after as a consultant and project developer in the education world.

Lori is a catalyst and leader in the transforming of concepts and ideas into well-scoped large-scale projects. Lori was the recipient of the National Entrepreneurship Development Institute Award for Innovation in Entrepreneurship Education. Lori was a founding staff member of The Learning Partnership and under her leadership, the National Take Our Kids to Work program was launched in addition to several other national programs, such Entrepreneurial Adventure and Invention Convention, that support publicly funded education. Lori has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Masters in Education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Lori is also the author of 4 books and numerous articles. Lori has been an active member of the CFEE Board for more than 20 years, most recently serving as Chair of the Board.

Joanne De Laurentiis

Throughout her career, Joanne has focused on building, managing and guiding multi-stakeholder financial services organizations. She recently retired as President of the Investment Funds Institute, and has held a number of executive positions, including President & CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada, Mondex Canada, and Interac. She has served on a number of financial services, public sector and not-for-profit Boards and is currently a member of the National News Council.  Developing and delivering financial literacy programs and information has been a constant through all of her endeavours. Joanne holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Western Ontario.

Jeremy Fleming | FFS Consulting Managing Partner

Jeremy is a financial services executive with over 35 years of experience in capital markets and wealth management. He is currently Managing Partner, FFS Consulting, a firm specializing in financial services expertise. Prior to this, he spent the bulk of his career at TD Securities as Managing Director, where he was responsible for managing the firm’s relationship with TD Wealth. Jeremy has a BA in Economics from Queen’s University and holds numerous professional designations including that of a Chartered Investment Manager. He is also a Past Chair of the Toronto Bond Traders Association. Jeremy is married with three children and lives in Toronto.

Trevor Krahn | IG Wealth Management Director, Sponsorship and Community Engagement

Trevor Krahn is the Director of Sponsorship and Community Engagement for IG Wealth Management. In his role, he is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of the company’s sponsorships and national community investment program. He has over 16 years’ experience within the financial services industry in various marketing and community related roles. Trevor also sits on a number of national thought and practice leadership councils, including the Conference Board of Canada’s Corporate Community Investment Council and Volunteer Canada’s Corporate Council on Volunteering. In addition, he is an Advisory Council member for the Manitoba Financial Literacy Forum which works to improve financial literacy within the province. He is an Honours graduate from Red River College and has also obtained an Investment Funds Institute of Canada Certificate, Marketing Management Certification and his Certificate in Corporate Community Involvement Management through Boston College.

Denis Leclerc | Fonds de la solidarité FTQ Executive Vice-President, Shareholder Services and President, Economic Training Foundation

Denis Leclerc was present since the early days of the Solidarity Fund QFL in 1985. The Fund is a development capital company that is offering and solidarity of all Quebecers. Its main mission is to help create and maintain jobs in Québec by investing in small and medium enterprises. Denis Leclerc has held since 1997 as Senior Vice President of the Fund and the shareholders registered as such, the steering committee. Upon his arrival in office, the Fund counted 328,338 shareholders. It now has over 615,000. Since 2002, Mr. Leclerc is also president and CEO of the Foundation for economic education. union activist for many years, Denis Leclerc was, in 1980, president of the Association of Workers Central Quebec. He was also part of the union bargaining committee at CIP group inc., Trois-Rivières. He also served on the boards of directors of the Association of Certified Human Resources and Industrial Relations, House Casks and institutions Dulong, in Bordeaux, France. Denis Leclerc studied communications, administration and marketing. He holds a diploma in corporate governance, the College of Corporate Directors of the University Laval. Mr. Leclerc is on the Board of Directors Kruger Wines and Spirits. He is also a member of the Federation of Workers of Quebec, the Directors College, Advertising Club of Montreal, the American Marketing Association and the Association of Financial and tax planning.

William McNamara | Torys LLP Partner

EDUCATION

  • BCL, 1985, McGill University LLB, 1981, McGill University
  • BA, (Honours), 1977, Concordia University
BAR ADMISSION
  • British Columbia, 2013
  • Québec, 1986
  • Ontario, 1983
PRACTICE
  • William (Bill) McNamara’s practice involves a broad range of commercial litigation matters, with emphasis on the defence of product liability class actions, anti-trust law (price fixing, bid-rigging, misleading advertising, illegal trade practices and deceptive marketing practices), infrastructure and construction claims, banking law, insolvency, restructuring and corporate disputes.
  • Bill has appeared before the courts in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta; the Competition Tribunal; the Federal Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Appeal; and numerous private arbitral panels. He is fluently bilingual in English and French, and completely at ease conducting trials or appellate advocacy in either language.
RECOGNITION
  • Law Business Research's Who’s Who Legal: Canada—Leading Canadian lawyer in in life sciences (2014)
  • Law Business Research's Who’s Who Legal: International Who’s Who of Life Sciences Lawyers—Leading lawyer in life sciences (2011–2013)
  • Practical Law Company's Cross-border Life Sciences Handbook (2007-2011)
REPRESENTATIVE WORK
  • a manufacturer of construction materials in connection with product liability and recall issues relating to asbestos-containing products
  • various construction sector clients in the defence of infrastructure and construction claims relating to the timeliness of project completion, design, building envelope integrity, heating and ventilation systems, tendering fairness and project costs
  • Bayer and related entities in the defence of product liability class actions and single-plaintiff claims relating to prescription combined oral contraceptives
  • Bayer and related entities in the defence of product liability class actions in multiple Canadian provinces relating to an intraunterine contraceptive device
  • Tecumseh Products and related entities in the defence of class actions relating to allegations of price-fixing and anti-competitive behaviour in the compressor and small-engine industries
  • LAN Airlines in the defence of class actions and criminal proceedings relating to allegations of price-fixing and anti-competitive behaviour in the air cargo industry
  • GlaxoSmithKline in the defence of product liability class actions relating Paxil (anti-depressant; allegations of birth defects and depression in adolescents).
  • Merck Frost Canada in the defence single-plaintiff claims for economic and equitable damages relating to allegations of patent manipulation in respect of prescription medications Cosopt and Trusopt
  • Merck Frost Canada in the defence of class actions and single-plaintiff claims relating to Fosamax (bone mineral density; allegations of necrosis of the jaw)
  • Wyeth Canada and related entities in the defence of class actions relating to Cough and Cold medications (allegations of consumer misrepresentations in the labelling)
  • Wyeth Canada and related entities in class actions relating to Premarin and PremPlus (hormone therapy; allegations of breast cancer in women)
  • Pfizer and Pfizer Canada Inc. in the defence of class action and single-plaintiff claims for economic and equitable damages relating to allegations of patent manipulation relating to Viagra (ED)
  • Pfizer and Pfizer Canada Inc. in the defence of product liability class actions and single-plaintiff claims relating to Depo-Provera (injectable contraceptive; allegations of Bone Mineral Density loss); Champix (smoking cessation treatment; allegations of neuropsychiataric events); Lipitor (cholesterol; allegations of adverse cardiac and related events) in Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec
  • SGL Canada and related entities in the defence of class actions relating to allegations of price-fixing and anti- competitive behaviour in the graphite electrodes and carbon electrode industries
  • Sears Canada in the defence of criminal and quasi-criminal proceedings before the Competition Tribunal relating to ordinary price claims
  • Clarke Transport Canada in the defence of anti-trust criminal proceedings relating to allegations of price- fixing in freight forwarding
  • Les Laboratoires Servier, Servier Canada and related entities in the defence of product liability class actions and single-plaintiff claims relating to Pondimin and Ponderal (appetite suppressant; allegations of PH and cardiac valvular disease)
PROFESSIONAL INVOLVEMENT
  • Bill served as counsel to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Presence of War Criminals in Canada between 1985 and 1987. The commission’s report led to the adoption of amendments to various Canadian laws, including the Criminal Code. These amendments have facilitated the prosecution of war criminals in Canada and, in at least two cases, led to the deportation of war criminals who gained entry into Canada illegally.
MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS
  • The Advocates’ Society
  • Canadian Bar Association (Past President, National Construction Law Section; Former member, National Sections Council Executive)
  • DRI - The Voice of the Defense Bar

Susan Moellers FCPA, FCMA, MBA, BA, CDir, ACC, HRCCC

During the first half of her career at Scotiabank, Susan held progressively senior roles in finance and risk management, culminating with VP & Comptroller International Banking. She then fulfilled a number of special-project assignments, taking leadership roles in mergers and acquisitions, the implementation of an international shared services organization, the development/execution of Scotiabank’s international leadership strategy, promoting diversity and inclusion and creation of a corporate finance function dedicated to supporting HR, Marketing and Communications. Susan develops young leaders by participating in the McMaster MBA and Chartered Professional Accountants (CPA) mentoring programs. She supports her community through board/council leadership roles with CPA, Queen’s University and Theatre Passe Muraille. Susan has held various committee and board chair roles on not for profit boards over the past 9 years. Susan led the Certified Management Accountants of Ontario board during the merger of the accounting bodies in Ontario and was Chair of the merged CPA organization following integration, initiating governance reform. She is now serving CPA on the national board.  

Stephen Petherbridge Media Consultant

Stephen Petherbridge has been associated with CFEE for more than 20 years and is a member of the Executive Committee as well as the Board. He has long experience as a media executive in Britain, Australia and Canada. He has been managing editor of the Toronto Star, Executive Editor of the Financial Post and publisher of several magazines, including the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business Magazine. As a Vice-President of the Globe, he was a co-founder of Report on Business Television, now the Business News Network. He was also a professor of journalism at Ryerson for five years. He is currently editor of the online Globe and Mail Classroom Edition and a consultant in all aspects of media, providing advice on reshaping business models, including the transition to the digital era.

John Platt | Manitou Investment Counsel Director, Institutional Investment Management

John Platt joined Manitou in 2016 as Director, Institutional Investment Management. Prior to joining Manitou he was a principal at HighView Financial Group for eight years and prior to that John held a senior management position in BMO Nesbitt Burns’ Private Client Group. John is a graduate of the University of Toronto and Dalhousie University and has been a board member of several charitable organizations including Appleby College, The Oakville Hospital Foundation, The Oakville Community Foundation and Knox Heritage Place, a not-for-profit senior’s residence in north Oakville. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Appleby College Foundation, (serving on its Investment Committee), and is on the Stewardship Committee of the Oakville Hospital Foundation.

Tom Prins

Tom Prins lives in Manitoba with his wife and daughter. He has worked in the educational system with teachers and students from Middle Years to Post Secondary for the past three decades. During his career with the Manitoba Department of Education he provided leadership in the areas of Career Development, Business Education and financial literacy. Tom has been the departmental lead in partnering with CFEE to integrate financial literacy into compulsory curricula (Building Futures Project). Tom’s responsibilities included bringing the following programs to Manitoba: The Blueprint for Life/Work Designs, Manitoba’s framework of career development learning outcomes; The Real Game Series, Canada’s most popular career simulation program; Career Cruising, Manitoba’s online career information system; and Take Our Kids to Work. All of these programs are now integrated into the school system. He was also the founder of the Winnipeg and Brandon Career Symposium. As well as providing leadership and professional development regarding the integration of the various programs, Tom also served in various other capacities. He was the Department spokesperson on policies regarding graduation requirements and the evaluation of out-of-province course completions for credit towards Manitoba High School graduation. Tom’s favorite pastime is cruising on the beautiful Lake of the Woods in Kenora, Ontario, with his family on their sailboat.

René Vézina

A journey through print and electronic media. René Vézina has been working in communications for over 40 years. As a journalism and political science graduate from Université Laval, he began his career in 1977 on the radio and on television for Radio-Canada in the Gaspésie region before moving on to the national network in Montreal. He then moved onto scientific journalism, with an interest in economics, which has since became the area he enjoys most. He was editor-in-chief of Les Affaires from 2002 to 2005, and then remained there as a columnist until June 2018. He also hosted the show Finances on the TVA network for three years, and Déficit Zéro on Télé-Québec in 2013. He is still on the radio with daily shows on Radio-Canada in Montreal in the morning and at noon, and frequently collaborates with various radio stations throughout Quebec. In the fall of 2008, he published the guide Comment parler aux médias, through Éditions Transcontinental. The Institut québécois de planification financière awarded him the Prix de journalisme en littératie financière 2014 for his work. His ongoing challenge is to help others understand the movements of the economy, as it is experienced day to day.

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