The CanadaHelps Advisory Council represents experts in their respective fields, drawn from both the public and private sectors. As champions of CanadaHelps, Council members contribute their skills and expertise to help CanadaHelps continue to provide leading edge programs and services.
Advisory Council members serve as volunteers because they believe in our mission and our purpose. We’re deeply indebted to their support and the invaluable gifts of their time and knowledge
Borealis Advisors, Toronto
Patrick Johnston is Principal of Borealis Advisors – a consultancy advising foundations and charities. Patrick has held numerous leadership positions in Canada’s charitable and philanthropic sectors. At various times, he has served as Executive Director/CEO of the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation, the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy (now Imagine Canada), the Canadian Council on Social Development and the National Anti-Poverty Organization. Patrick has extensive governance experience at the community, national and international level including service on the Board of Directors of Philanthropic Foundations Canada, the United Way/Centraide Canada, the Council on Foundations (Washington) and CIVICUS (Johannesburg). In December 2014, Patrick was appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General “for his contributions to the charitable sector”. Patrick has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Education from York University and Queen’s University respectively. He also holds an M.S.W. in Social Policy, Planning and Administration from the University of Toronto.
Bill was a founding director of CanadaHelps, serving on the Board from 2000 to 2013 and as Chairman from 2005 to 2012. Bill’s global business career spanned 40 years working throughout Canada, the US, and Europe, and included senior executive positions with such companies as BCE, Nortel, PHH, and Forstmann Little. Most recently he served as CEO and Executive Chairman of TalentWise Inc, an emerging HR technology company based in the Seattle, WA area. Bill, who resides in Whistler, BC with his wife Alice, has three children and two grandchildren.
Aaron is excited about the spaces that people live in and how people live together especially through a mix of art, music and architecture. His most recent projects were with the Guggenheim/BMW urban lab in Mumbai, and Homegrown Cities also in Mumbai.
Aaron has been working on the Wellbeing Project for the past two years. The project is focused on connecting inner development and more profound social transformation through three pillars: piloting a programme of deep support for senior social entrepreneurs, a groundbreaking research study, and a Learning Partners programme. The Wellbeing Project is a co-creation with Ashoka, the Esalen Institute, the Fetzer Institute and the Synergos Institute. In addition, Aaron has been involved in a project in Paris blending music, art, and community living.
Aaron finished a many year sabbatical in June, 2012. Before that, Aaron co-founded CanadaHelps and led it for the first two years. In 2002, he co-founded Vartana which tried to launch a new financial institution for the social sector, and was part of a small group that advocated for the government to invest into social enterprise.
For his work as a social entrepreneur he was named an Ashoka Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Aaron has completed a degree with a minor in Economics from Queen’s University, and studied at Oxford University as a Skoll Scholar. He has also completed an executive education program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School.
Aaron Pereira was born in Goa, and grew up in India, the Middle East, and Canada. He now loves making his home in Paris and India.
Ryan Little is a seasoned entrepreneur with a focus on social and environmental businesses. He began his career as a teenager, as the co-founder in 1995 of an early business-to-business e-commerce platform focusing on the US energy sector. He co-founded CanadaHelps in 2000, serving as its Executive Director for several years and on the Board of Directors until 2010.
In 2006, Ryan co-founded StormFisher Biogas, a renewable energy company that designed what is now the largest operating biogas-from-organic-waste plant in North America.
He lives in Berlin, Germany where he leads the social finance and social entrepreneurship activities of the BMW Foundation. He serves on several boards of advisors, including as the Coordinator, Social Startups, at the German Startups Association.
Ryan has a B.A. from Queen’s University and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business.
Sean Van Doorselaer
Sean Van Doorselaer is the CEO of Lind Equipment, a Canadian Manufacturer of portable lighting and power equipment based in Markham Ontario. He joined Lind Equipment in 2007 as a member of a new management and ownership team which reinvented a longstanding family business.
Prior to joining Lind Equipment, Sean was Vice President of Social Capital Partners (SCP), an organization that invests in and supports businesses in economically marginalized communities across Canada.
Before Social Capital Partners, Sean was a strategy consultant at The Monitor Group. During his time with Monitor Sean provided strategy advice to top-level executives in Fortune 1000 companies.
Sean holds an MBA from Queen’s University and an undergraduate degree in business administration from the Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario).
Wayne C Fox
Chairman, Cygnus Investment Partners Inc.
Wayne C Fox retired from CIBC effective September 1, 2005. He was formerly ViceChair and Chief Risk Officer (CRO) responsible for Treasury, Balance Sheet and Risk Management of CIBC. Prior to his appointment as ViceChair in 1999, Mr. Fox worked with CIBC’s wholesale banking and brokerage businesses for 28 years, previously as head of CIBC World Markets global capital markets activities.
Mr. Fox is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cygnus Investment Partners Inc. and President of W C Fox investments Inc. Mr. Fox was the former Chair of the Board of Directors of the TMX Group Inc (2001-12) and E F Hutton Holdings Canada Inc. In addition, he was formerly a member of the Board of COM DEV International Inc., the Bourse de Montreal, Canadian Investor Protection Fund, CIBC Mellon, CIBC First Caribbean (Barbados), World Federation of Exchanges, McMaster University, Appleby College, CanadaHelps.org Inc, and Junior Achievement of Central Ontario. He was also a member of the Accounting Standards Oversight Council (2008-12). Mr. Fox holds a BA from the University of Waterloo (1971), a MBA from McMaster University (1973) and completed the Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business (1992). He is also designated a Chartered Director (C.Dir). from McMaster University – The Directors College (2006) and Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD) from McMaster University (2007). He was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (IIAC) in 2012.
Alec was a founding director of CanadaHelps, assisting in its creation and serving on the Board from 2000 to 2010. Since 2010, he has been a Director of Hope Air, and currently serves as its Vice Chair and as Chair of its Governance and Nominating Committee.
In his professional life, Alec is a partner in the Toronto office of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP as a member of its Financial Services, Insolvency and Restructuring, and Financial Services Regulatory Groups. He has extensive experience in advising Canadian and foreign banks and other lenders, as well as large corporate borrowers, in relation to acquisition, project and operating credit facilities featuring multiple borrowers, lenders, currencies, jurisdictions and tiered interests. Alec is also widely known for his experience and expertise in connection with insolvency and restructuring matters, principally acting on behalf of creditors or court-appointed officers. Throughout his career, Alec has been recognized in various national and international publications as one of Canada’s leading financial services lawyers in both the lending and the insolvency and restructuring fields.
Between 2002 and 2006, Alec was engaged with Aaron Pereira and others in the initiative to incorporate a Canadian chartered Schedule I bank to serve the charitable sector. He also co-founded and served as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of NexgenRx Inc., a publicly listed employee health benefit plan manager.
Alec is currently a Director and the Chairman of the Audit Committee of J.P. Morgan Bank Canada, a member of the Advisory Panel to Wakefield Canada Inc., and a member of the Advisory Panel to Daza Investments Limited.
Matthew Choi co-founded CanadaHelps along with his friends Aaron Pereira and Ryan Little. He has remained actively involved in the organization since its inception, serving the longest term as a Director for over 13 years before joining the Advisory Council.
Matthew currently practices academic and clinical medicine as an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at McMaster University, focusing on pediatric reconstruction and craniofacial surgery.
Matthew obtained his MD from Queen’s University and his MPH from Harvard University.