Founder, Belinda Stronach Foundation
Belinda Caroline Stronach is a business and public leader who is focused on developing economic opportunity and quality of life both at home and abroad, and on finding innovative solutions to the challenges of poverty. In 2008, she established The Belinda Stronach Foundation to provide educational opportunities for young women and Aboriginal youth, and to improve the lives of young people in developing nations. In keeping with its mandate to assist Aboriginal youth, the Foundation introduced the One Laptop per Child Program to Canada in 2010, an initiative that combines leadingedge technology with culturally relevant programming to deliver a unique platform of learning tools to Aboriginal children.
Through this program, up to 5,000 laptops will be provided to children aged six to twelve in Aboriginal communities across Canada. Also in 2010, the Foundation launched the G(irls)20 Summit, a global forum modeled after the G20 that brought together one girl from each of the G20 countries and one girl from Africa. The G(irls)20 Summit focuses on the economic prowess of the 3.3 billion girls and women in the world and the importance of their inclusion to build strong economies and politically stable countries.
Senator Anne Cools
Canadian Senator, Trail Blazer
Anne Clare Cools is an Ontario Senator representing Toronto- Centre-York. Ms. Cools was summoned to the Senate in January 1984 by His Excellency Governor General Edward Schreyer on the recommendation of the Rt. Hon. Pierre Trudeau. She is the first Black person appointed to the Senate of Canada and the first Black female senator in North America. For twenty years, from 1984 to 2004, Senator Cools sat as a Liberal Senator and then briefly joined the Conservative Caucus. Presently, she sits as an Independent Senator with no party affiliation. In October 2004, in CBC’s The Greatest Canadian contest, Senator Cools was chosen as one of the 100 greatest Canadians of all time, and also one of CBC’s Top 20 Canadian Women.
Through her dedication to public service, she has touched the lives of many. Senator Cools, in her Senate work on the divorce law, has ever upheld the entitlement of children to meaningful and continuous relationships with both their mothers and fathers. She is a veteran parliamentarian, seasoned in Canadian constitutionalism and experienced in parliamentary process. Currently the longest-serving member of the Senate, she is a ready voice on the Senate floor for the people of Canada.
Businessman and Philanthropist
Harpreet Sethi is Chairman and Owner of the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Grand Victorian Convention Center in Mississauga, and the President of Black Diamond Entertainments – a premier events company. When it comes to hospitality & entertainment, his name is synonymous with grand events. As the President of Black Diamond Entertainments, Mr. Sethi promotes, organizes, hosts and sponsors numerous cultural & community events, supporting local and global talent.
A successful and well-established immigrant, Sethi is well known for his generosity and volunteer work for numerous charities in the community and on an international scale. He is an actively involved member of the Indo-Canadian community, and continuously finds ways to give back to the community. Notably, his sizeable donation of $500,000 to the William Osler Health Centre in 2007, one of Canada’s largest hospitals, drew praise and distinction from the Federal and the Provincial Government of Ontario.
Most recently, Sethi supported the Salvation Army ‘Toy Mountain’ campaign in December 2011 with a $10,000 donation toward the purchase of toys for needy children. He has been named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce and “South Asian Person of the Year” by Midweek Media Group.
Regional President, RBC Royal Bank
Jennifer Tory leads a team of 4,000 employees as Regional President, Greater Toronto Region, providing financial advice and services to RBC’s personal, small business and commercial clients. With a long history of supporting numerous community causes, Ms. Tory is currently on the board of Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto International Film Festival, and Toronto Board of Trade. Ms. Tory is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion and is a recipient of the 2011 Catalyst Canada Honour for Championing Women in Business.
Since joining RBC in 1978, Ms. Tory has held a variety of senior leadership and executive sales management positions in personal, business and commercial banking. Immediately prior to her current position Ms. Tory was Senior Vice President of Operations for Canadian Banking RBC. Ms. Tory is a graduate of Queen’s University and has completed her ICD.D designation through the Institute of Corporate Directors at The Rotman School of Management. She and her two daughters reside in Toronto.
Deputy Chief, Toronto Police Service
Peter Sloly is in his 24th year with the Toronto Police Service where he is Deputy Chief of the service’s Executive Command. He has held this position since September, 2009. He has a Criminal Justice Education Certificate from the University of Virginia, Incident Command System Certification from the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from McMaster University and a Masters in Business Administration from York University’s Schulich School of Business. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the University of Toronto Rotman Police Executive Leadership Program. Prior to his policing career he played professional soccer and was a member of the Canadian National Soccer Team.
Sloly has authored articles for several police and justice magazines on community mobilization, crime prevention and emergency management. He is an adjunct Professor at the University of Guelph- Humber and guest lecturer at the Ontario Police College. Peter is presently in charge of Divisional Policing Command which has 4084 police officers, 221 civilian members and a budget of $447 million and includes the 17 Police Divisions along with the following functions: Toronto Anti-Violence Intervention Strategy (TAVIS), Community Mobilization and Special Events.
Mayor, City of Markham
Frank Scarpitti was first elected as a Markham regional councillor in 1985. He attained the position of deputy mayor in 1991 and was appointed mayor in 1992 following the death of Mayor Anthony Roman. From 1994-1997 he worked for the radio station, CFMT, hosting a show on business and politics. Interviewing a number of city councillors and mayors, he gained further insight into the political arena – insight he would one day put to the test.
He subsequently was elected deputy mayor in 1997, 2000 and 2003. In 2006, Mr. Scarpitti was elected mayor for the Town of Markham. Under his guidance, the township has since gained City status. Since 1985, he has held a wide variety of positions, has served and continues to serve on several committees - too numerous to mention here. Scarpitti devotes considerable time and energy to his charitable foundation which assists many worthwhile charities, hard working students and those in need in Markham. His foundation has raised in excess of $1 million.