Who are our members?
Directors of the George Brown College Foundation have a strong interest in and commitment to the goals and long-term objectives of George Brown College. Our Directors bring credibility, integrity, and respect to the Foundation.
Current board members come from diverse backgrounds and all have demonstrated a dedication to excellence in their chosen fields.
Officers of the Board
Chair of the George Brown College Foundation Board of Directors
Chief Operating Officer, Capco
As Chair of the Foundation's Board of Directors, Gary brings his significant financial management experience to bear on the oversight of George Brown College Foundation's finances. He is the CEO at Capco, a global business and technology management consulting firm and his experience extends across the spheres of wealth and investment management, banking, financial planning and brokerage. Gary holds a master’s degree in Mathematics that he obtained from the University of Western Ontario. In addition, Gary also holds an MBA from the Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, which is widely regarded as the best MBA program in Canada.
Gary also brings his dynamism, financial acumen and managerial experience to his role as a director on the George Brown College Foundation's Board of Directors.
Leen Yong Li
Director, Chair of George Brown College Finance and Investment Committees
Chief Executive Officer, Wealthsimple Foundation.
Leen is the CEO of the Wealthsimple Foundation, a not-for-profit organization with the mission to enable a brighter future for everyone in Canada through access to post-secondary education. She has over 20 years' experience in the financial service and technology sector and holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from St. Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.
A self-made woman, Leen hailed from humble beginnings in China, coming to Canada by herself as an international student in her mid-twenties. Over her career she has held major portfolios including, CFO, Wealthsimple; VP, Finance & Operations, Influitive; CFO Advisor to Medchart, #movethedial, and Pressly.
Dr. Cindy Gouveia
President, George Brown College Foundation
Cindy is an accomplished leader with over 20 years of management experience in the private and public sectors. She is a results-driven individual whose strengths are relationship development and management, formulating optimal strategies, troubleshooting complex problems and bringing together diverse clientele. She is an inspiring individual who identifies opportunities where they are the least present, is a known problem-solver and an innovative solutions provider. She has travelled overseas establishing cross-cultural partnerships, delivering strategic results through an appreciation and respect for diversity and inclusion.
A college graduate, Cindy holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Toronto. She also has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Guelph.
Julian De Gasperis
General Manager/Executive Sales, DG Group
Julian brings significant experience and extensive networks in the construction industry to the Foundation’s Board of Directors. He is guided by the tenant, “Leave it better than you found it” and, as part of the executive team at DG Group, balances his strong commitment to sustainable development and stewardship within the construction sector.
Julian is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and holds a BA in psychology. He has 15 years’ experience in multiple areas of land development, including project management, market analysis and residential construction.
He is also focused on personal growth and helping with local community causes. As a result, he hopes, through his work on the board, to encourage mentorship opportunities in the construction industry.
Dr. Gervan Fearon
George Brown College
Dr. Gervan Fearon became President of George Brown College in August 2021. Working with colleagues across the college, he aims to support career-oriented programs to meet the needs of students and the demands of employers; advance college-led research; and enhance community engagement. With a proven track record of collaboration, transformative leadership and engaging higher learning communities in a shared mission, he leads George Brown’s efforts to provide transformative education opportunities that benefit learners, industry and the greater community.
Gervan has a strong professional background in post-secondary education. Prior to being President and Vice-Chancellor at Brock University (2017-2021) and Brandon University (2014-2017), he held numerous progressive roles in post-secondary education, including Dean of the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University; Associate Dean at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies; Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington; and as an Associate Professor at York University. Dr. Fearon also has a strong teaching and research record.
His career also included serving as the Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and a Senior Analyst at the Treasury Board, Ontario Ministry of Finance. He has also served on numerous community boards, including Ontario Trillium Foundation, Brandon Urban Aboriginal Peoples’ Council, United Way Niagara, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, and the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. He was also Co-Chair of the Niagara Region’s Community Safety and Well-Being Planning Committee, Chair of the Budget and Audit Committee of Council of Ontario Universities, and President of Tropicana Community Services. Gervan is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2013), The Michaëlle Jean Foundation Influencer Award (2017), The University of the West Indies Vice-Chancellor's Award (2020) and several other awards of recognition.
He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Western Ontario and received his master’s and Bachelor of Science degrees in agricultural economics from the University of Guelph. He holds a Chartered Professional Accountant designation (CPA, CGA) and Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D).
As an ex officio member of the George Brown College Foundation’s Board of Directors, Dr. Fearon brings a track record of collaboration and transformative leadership.
Director, & Member of the Finance and Investment Committees
Senior Vice President, Client Solutions & Direct Investing, Scotiabank
Erin Griffiths is the Senior Vice President, Client Solutions & Direct Investing at Scotiabank. In this role, she is responsible for leading Scotia Wealth Management’s Financial Planning and Insurance groups, as well as the Scotia iTRADE business. Prior to this, Erin was the Vice President of Total Wealth Strategy for Scotia Wealth Management, leading a number of strategic transformational initiatives, including the evolution of Scotia Wealth Management's client engagement model, technology roadmap, advisory development programs, and analytics capabilities. With her 20+ years of industry experience, Erin is recognized for her ability to build and lead high-performance teams and to drive strong business results in complex, rapidly changing environments. She sits on a number of boards and is a frequent speaker at industry events. She also co-chairs the Scotiabank Women Initiative for Global Wealth Management and is the Executive Champion for Scotia Wealth Management’s Inclusion Council.
Erin has a BA in Sociology from Queen's University and an MBA from York University's Schulich School of Business.
Michelle S. Henry
Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP
Michelle brings her significant legal expertise to the George Brown College Foundation Board of Directors. A Partner at Borden Ladner Gervais, LLP, Michelle's standing as a legal professional is also evident in her position as a member of the Federal Judicial Advisory Committee for the GTA. Michelle has been, and continues to be, actively involved in addressing social issues, co-founding the Black Business Law Clinic, also served on the Board of Directors for LOFT Community Services for 10 years. Michelle has both a Masters in English and a J.D. from the University of Toronto. She is a recipient of the 2021 recipient of the Ontario Bar Association Pro Bono Award, for her significant contribution to the legal profession and/or community through pro bono activities and community service.
Chef Mark McEwan is one of Canada's most celebrated chefs. He began his illustrious career as the youngest ever executive chef at Toronto's upscale Sutton Place Hotel. From here, he opened the ground-breaking North 44 which set the standard in Toronto's culinary landscape. Chef McEwan continued to push dining innovation with the launch of Bymark; winner of the enRoute Award for Canada's Best New Restaurants in 2003 and a pioneer in the Toronto Financial District food scene. Never one to rest on his laurels, Chef McEwan partnered with the chic Hazelton Hotel in 2007 to open ONE Restaurant, considered the heart of Yorkville.
Driven by the freshest ingredients and influenced by the marketplaces of the world, Chef McEwan turned his attention to upscale gourmet food and opened McEwan Gourmet Grocery at The Shops at Don Mills then at the TD Centre, offering shoppers the best produce from local purveyors and unique international culinary finds. Chef McEwan then moved to Italian cuisine with Don Mills' Fabbrica serving authentic rustic dishes made with the finest ingredients. Always pushing boundaries with new cooking techniques, styles and partnerships, The McEwan Group aligned with the Aga Khan Museum to successfully manage its stunning restaurant, Diwan.
Chef McEwan's brand continues to grow both in size and recognition. Now, Chef McEwan mentors budding chefs in his kitchens and also as head judge on Food Network's hit series Top Chef. Chef McEwan continues to elevate Canadian cuisine onto the global stage through his bestselling cookbooks, television appearances and, one dish at a time, in his award-winning restaurants.
Leslie McLean, RN, MScN
Health Care Consultant
Leslie is a health care consultant who holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from McMaster University and her Master of Science in Nursing (Ethics) from Dalhousie University. Leslie has worked for over 30 years in a variety of areas and roles in health care, both within Canada and abroad, and she is passionate about education and helping to create healthy work environments for healthcare providers. Among her many roles, Leslie was an adjunct professor at Dalhousie University's School of Nursing in Halifax, where she taught oncology nursing and contributed to graduate student supervision, clinical instruction, and guest lecturing on a variety of topics. In addition, Leslie has had extensive international work and volunteer experience in places such as Africa, Central America, India and Norway with a specific focus on health and social justice concerns and she has and continues to serve on a large number of local and national professional and not-for-profit committees and boards. Currently, Leslie is providing consulting services in areas such as collaborative practice, compassion fatigue and ethical issues in clinical practice.
President and CEO
IG Wealth Management
Damon Murchison, President and CEO, IG Wealth Management, brings more than a two and a half decades' worth of experience in financial investment management to the George Brown College Foundation Board of Directors. Over the course of his career, Damon has consistently shown his financial acumen, rising through the ranks of major financial institutions such as Fidelity Investments, Manulife Financial and Mackenzie Investments.
Damon received his MBA through the Executive MBA Program at Ivey Business School at Western University, London, Ontario.
Director & Member of the Finance and Investment Committees
Chief Executive Officer, Mission Inc.
Marissa Soumalias is a passionate fundraising executive, with 15 years of experience in the charitable and not-for-profit sector. Throughout her career, Marissa has raised over $150M in charitable donations, with expertise in the areas of strategic major gift fundraising, corporate sponsorship, advanced donor stewardship and case development. As CEO of Mission Inc., Marissa works with an array of charities and not-for-profits, implementing and leading Campaigns in the range of $3M-$120M. Committed to volunteerism, Marissa is also a former Campaign Cabinet member with the MLSE Foundation and donates her time and effort to such organizations as the MLSE Launchpad, Holland Bloorview Kid's Rehabilitation Hospital and Plan Canada International.
Managing Director and Vice Chairman, Financial Markets, National Bank Financial
Ray Williams brings a wealth of financial experience to the Foundation’s Board stemming from his work in the financial sector in London, New York and Toronto. In his current role he is responsible for facilitating engagements with strategic accounts working closely within financial markets to promote the banks One Mission synergistic approach.
As a Financial Services executive, specialized in global capital markets, Mr Williams has extensive experience in Cash and Derivatives products in multiple asset classes, Infrastructure Financing, Provincial & Federal Liability Management, and Mortgage Finance Companies (MFC) Financing and Hedging of Securitized Product.
Mr. Williams is also committed to community engagement, in particular in the area of diversity and inclusion efforts. He serves on leadership boards for various organizations, including 100Strong Foundation. Ray is also a vocal advocate for diversity in the workplace and is a Founding past president and member of the Canadian Association of Urban Financial Professionals (CAUFP). He is also a graduate of the Culinary Arts programme (2011). He is also one of the co-founders of the Black Opportunity Fund and the current Chair.