Board & Advisors
Andre is Treasurer of President’s Choice Bank (“PC Bank”). PC Bank is a Schedule 1 Bank and a wholly owned subsidiary of Loblaw Companies Limited. Prior to joining PC Bank in 2013, he spent over 10 years in various roles at Manulife Financial and CIBC. Andre is a CFA® charterholder, and has a Master of Finance from the Rotman School of Management as well as a Honours BA from the University of Toronto. Andre has served on the George Weston Limited corporate granting and employee fundraising committees and on the loan review committee of ACCESS Community Capital Fund. Andre is the chair of the Finance and Audit Committee at Laidlaw.
Dean, Academic Services & Student Affairs
George Brown College
Brenda is Dean, Academic Services & Student Affairs at George Brown College where she develops and leads large scale collaborative initiatives between the college and multi-sector community partners to deliver post-secondary education and training to non-traditional college students. She is a member of the Minister of Training, Colleges & Universities’ Advisory Panel on first-generation students as wellas a member of the City of Toronto’s Council of Educators, the United Way’s Community Practice on Youth Educational Attainment and Emerging Leaders Network.
Director, Community Services and Programs
St. Stephen’s Community House
Bridget is the Director of Community Services and Programs at St. Stephen’s Community House where she provides oversight of youth services, community development, and social action. She has worked at St. Stephen’s House for the past decade and has been involved with managing six distinct programs and services serving at-risk youth such as the City-wide MCYS Extra Judicial Sanctions Program for young offenders and Diversion programs; Anti-Violence Education and Support Program; Full-time Drop-in Centre for youth aged 12-21; and the Access and Support Alternative School. Bridget has also worked as a consultant in community development and a youth worker.
Cameron is a Low Energy Building consultant for Peel Passive House Consulting. He graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce, Real Estate, and Housing and holds a Master’s degree in Building Science from Ryerson University. Cameron is a great-grand son of Mr. Robert A. Laidlaw.
Derek is CEO of the Community Forward Fund and a Venture Partner at New Market Funds. With close to twenty years’ experience in managing large and mid-size organizations, Derek Ballantyne is a skilled, highly strategic senior executive. He has extensive experience in complex public and private environments, a comprehensive knowledge of the financial management and investment management business, as well as a deep understanding of the housing, real estate management, and development sectors. Derek is the Chair of the Investment Committee at Laidlaw.
Gave is the Executive Director of the Reelworld Film Festival. He is a trained lawyer with extensive volunteering and involvement activities in the community and the arts. He served as deputy director, English services with CBC/Radio Canada for a number of years. Prior to his work at the CBC he was an associate lawyer with Fasken Martineau LLP.
Hanifa Kassam, Chair
City of Toronto
Hanifa Kassam, a graduate from York University Sociology Department, has long been dedicated to working and volunteering with residents of Toronto. Beginning early on in her career, Hanifa became passionate about the role of government, policy and civic responsibility. Since then, she has participated in countless opportunities to give back and increase her capacity as a contributing member of society. In recent years Hanifa’s growing personal and professional experiences with violence prevention, youth engagement, immigrant and settlement issues and domestic violence have earned her opportunities to share, facilitate and speak on these matters cross the region. Hanifa currently works for the City of Toronto as a Community Development Officer with the city’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Office
Laidlaw Family Member
Jamie is a Laidlaw Family member with deep connections to the Foundation. He has been involved with the Laidlaw Foundation in different capacities including Board member, advisor, and mentor. He has great passion for the environment, history, effective philanthropy and urban renewal. Recently he led two Jane’s Walks taking people through a walking tour entitled “Down University Avenue to learn about the monuments, the buildings, and the story of Toronto and its grand avenue itself”.
Karen Ka Yan Ng
University of Toronto
Karen is a PharmD student at the University of Toronto and the founder of Toronto Multicultural Youth Council (TMYC). She has been widely recognized for her extensive volunteering and community leadership activities. Karen is the recipient of the 2014 Newcomer Champion Award given by the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration for her role in creating welcoming communities for immigrants and refugees settling in Markham and surrounding communities.
Lyon Smith is a Toronto-based award winning multidisciplinary artist who works primarily as an actor/sound designer and photographer. He has worked with some of the cities most celebrated theatre companies such as the Tarragon theatre, Canadian Stage, Soulpepper, Buddies in Bad Times, and Obsidian. He is a resident artist with the dance companies sore for punching you and Vazzari as well as a Gemini nominated voice actor.
The great grandson of Robert A.Laidlaw, Lyon has been involved with the Laidlaw foundation for close to 20 years serving as both an advisor and a board member. He resides in Parkdale with his children Holden James and Charlie Jane
May is Executive Director of the Omega Foundation and its SmartSAVER program, a national program focused on helping lower-income Canadian families to save for their children’s higher education using Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and the Canada Learning Bond. A foundation executive for over 20 years, May has worked with a number of philanthropic foundations to improve the strategy, delivery and results of their grant making. Prior to Omega, May held leadership roles with the Toronto Community Foundation, the Toronto Atmospheric Fund, and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. A dedicated volunteer, May has served on numerous boards and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Urban Institute.
Paul is a Director at the Bank of Nova Scotia Trust Company. Paul has a B.Com degree and has over 25 years experience in Estate and Trust Administration, beginning his career with National Trust Company. Paul is a member of STEP (the Society of Estate & Trust Practitioners) and a Director on a number of Charitable Foundations including the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation and the Agora Foundation, which publishes the Philanthropist journal. He also contributes on a regular basis to the All About Estate blog and has participated in presentations for STEP and the Law Society of Upper Canada Estates and Trust Summit.