Board and Advisory Council

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David Ross, Board Chair, Toronto

A retired partner of Deloitte and Touche Canada, David Ross has a broad range of commercial experience in accounting, auditing, acquisitions, regulation, litigation support including forensic investigations and management consulting. Mr. Ross’s board governance experience includes consulting to boards and serving on boards and board committees including those of Deloitte Touche Canada, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Baycrest Centre.

W. John Bennett, Chairman & C.E.O. of Benvest Holdings Ltd (“Benvest”), Montreal

W. John (“John”) Bennett has had a long and distinguished career in the Canadian financial and investment community commencing in 1972 with McLeod, Young, Weir & Company (the predecessor of Scotia Capital Markets). He is currently Chairman and C.E.O. of Benvest Holdings, a private investment holding company and also Chairman and principal shareholder of New Look Eyewear Inc., a publicly listed integrated optical retailer. John is also Co-Founder and Chairman of MacKinnon, Bennett & Company, a specialized financial services boutique focussed on renewable energies, energy efficiencies and related businesses. He has been a director of many public and private Canadian companies, is an active philanthropist and has been on the board and involved with many leading Canadian educational and charitable institutions. John holds an Honours Degree in History and Philosophy (1967) and an L.L.B. (1970) from the University of Toronto and is a long-time student of Canadian history and politics.

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Michèle Dagenais, Historian, Montreal

Michèle Dagenais’ main area of research is cities, seeking to demonstrate that the physical organization of cities shapes the way in which they are governed and contributes to the structuring of social relations and policies at this level. Michèle has published a monograph on the transformation of the relationship between Montreal and water in seeking to restore the role of water and its successive transformations in the process of urbanization of this city since the beginning of the nineteenth century. Since then, she has continued her work on the history of the environment to the larger scale of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River system. Michèle is also interested in issues related to writing and public uses of history, theoretical and practical. She has participated in various debates and reflections on the teaching of history, and has collaborated in the development of exhibitions or production of historical documents for various audiences.

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Edward S. Kennedy, President and CEO, The North West Company, Winnipeg

Edward Kennedy is President & CEO of The North West Company, having served in a number of senior management positions in both the U.S. and International divisions of the company as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer respectively. Edward is very proud of the heritage of his company, a history enthusiast and longtime supporter of Canada’s History. He chaired the United Way campaign in Winnipeg, and through the North West Company is actively involved in a number of health and economic development initiatives to support Aboriginal communities in the North. Edward serves on several boards of non-profit organizations as well as being a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the Associates of the Asper School of Business (Faculty of Management, University of Manitoba), and the Business Council of Manitoba.

Stéphane Lévesque, Associate Professor of History Education, Ottawa

Stéphane Lévesque studied history and political science at Laval University and Collège militaire royal du Canada and holds a doctorate from the University of British Columbia. He is Vice-Dean Research and Professor of history education at the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa. In addition to being the author of many books, he is the founding-director of the Virtual History Lab at the University of Ottawa and creator of the Virtualhistorian.ca, an innovative software to teach Canadian history. His research focuses on students’ historical thinking and consicousness, Canadian history, citizenship education, and new media and technology in education. He was expert advisor for the creation of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and educational expert on the revision of the Ontario curriculum.

Sharon McAuley, Publishing and Marketing Consultant, Toronto

Sharon McAuley is a print and digital publishing and marketing consultant, speaker and seminar leader, as well as the co-founder and publisher of CanadianGolfTraveller.com. Prior to launching her consulting business, she was most recently Vice-President Group Publisher of the Urban Group, St. Joseph Media, overseeing the day-to-day operations of Toronto Life, Ottawa Magazine, Quill & Quire, and Where Canada.

Ry Moran, Directory of National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Winnipeg

Ry Moran is the Director of National Research Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. Appointed to the role in 2014, his work involves liaison and coordination with Aboriginal communities and Survivor organizations, governments, partners, external agencies and university departments. He works closely with the Centre’s Governing and Survivor Circles comprised of Survivors, partners and community members. Since 2010, Ry has been the Director of Statement Gathering with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Prior to this, he owned YellowTilt Productions, delivering professional services in a variety of areas including Aboriginal language preservation. Moran, a bilingual member of the Metis Nation, is a Masters of Business Administration candidate, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria.

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Sasha Mullally, Associate Professor, History, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton

Sasha Mullally holds a doctorate in history from the University of Toronto, where she studied Canadian and American history with a specialization in the social history of medicine and health. Prior to joining the Faculty at the University of New Brunswick in 2009, she was Co-Director of the History of Medicine Program at the University of Alberta (2008–2009). Dr. Mullally teaches and supervises graduate students in the history of medicine and health care, Canadian social history, women’s history, the history of the Atlantic region and digital history. Her current research projects include the gendered professional and community roles of women physicians in rural and small town practices. As well as collaborating on other projects, she is examining the transnational history of physician migration in the second half of the twentieth century, looking “outward” from Canada.

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Dave Obee, Editor in Chief, Times Colonist, Victoria

Dave Obee is Editor-in-Chief of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia, and has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972. He has written a dozen books on history and genealogy, and has given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Victoria. Dave is one of the founders of the British Colonist website, which features digitized images from the first century of the leading newspaper in Victoria. Dave also runs CanGenealogy, a link site designed to make research in Canada easier for all.

Michael Rea

Michael Rea earned a degree from the Ivey Business School in 1965 and a Chartered Accountant degree in 1968 while working at Price Waterhouse. A former Chair of the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association, Michael held a variety of roles at Key Publishers in Toronto, Including board member, shareholder, and Vice-President, Finance and Administration.

He served as a board member and Treasurer of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and when expansion at NCC led to the need for more management, was appointed Chief Operating Officer and later a Vice-President. Michael retired from NCC in 2009 and has volunteered there since then, lately as President of American Friends of Nature Conservancy Canada. Michael supports several environmental causes and is on the Heritage Committee of the Toronto Golf Club. In 2002, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for his work with Canadian Geographic Magazine. He grew up in Oakville and has lived in Toronto for 40 years with his wife Barbara. He has 2 adult sons and 3 grandchildren.

Stephen Thomas, Chairman & Executive Creative Director, Stephen Thomas Ltd., Toronto

Stephen Thomas has been described as both the ‘Guru' and the 'Godfather' of Canadian direct response fundraising. Though he started off life as a historical geographer and a teacher, he has been a fundraiser for well over 30 years. Stephen's early career began with Oxfam Canada as Development Director, where he established their direct mail program as Canada's first modern and scientific use of the medium. In 1980, he founded Stephen Thomas Associates (now Stephen Thomas Limited), Canada's first direct response fundraising agency working exclusively in the not-for-profit sector. Over the years, Stephen has worked with thousands of charitable and not-for-profit organizations in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. He was Canadian Ambassador of the International Fundraising Conference (IFC) from 1993–2008, serving as Chair in 2004 and 2005. In 2012 Steve published 30 Letters that Changed the World.

As a resident and former businessman in the Beaches of Toronto, Stephen carries his belief of involvement and political activism to his own community where he has been a basketball coach for twenty-four years at Malvern C.I.

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Aritha van Herk, Author, Calgary

Aritha van Herk is the author of five novels, JudithThe Tent PegNo Fixed AddressPlaces Far From Ellesmere, and Restlessness. She has published hundreds of articles, reviews and essays. Her irreverent but relevant history of Alberta, Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta frames the permanent exhibition on Alberta history at the Glenbow Museum and Archives in Calgary; Audacious and Adamant: the Story of Maverick Alberta, accompanies the exhibit. With George Webber she has published In This Place: Calgary 2004-2011 (Photographs by George Webber, Words by Aritha van Herk) and Prairie Gothic, both books that develop the idea of geographical and historical temperament as tonal accompaniment to landscape. She has published a history of the University of Calgary, The Age of Audacity, and a work of prose-poetry, Stampede and the Westness of West. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence, and recipient of the Lorne Pierce Medal, awarded to recognize achievement in imaginative or critical literature in Canada. She has been honoured as one of the 25 most influential artists in Alberta.

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William Wicken Governor General's History Awards Winner, Historian, Toronto

William Wicken is Professor of History at York University in Toronto and teaches broadly on various aspects on Canada’s history. He is the author of two monographs, including The Colonization of Mi’kmaw Memory and History: The King vs. Gabriel Sylliboy, 1794-1928, which in 2013 won the Sir John A. Macdonald/Governor General’s award for Scholarly Research. Professor Wicken has testified as an expert witness in 17 court cases relating to aboriginal constitutional issues, including four which have been heard on appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also worked for various governments. In 2015 he was appointed to a New Brunswick government’s EIA panel. He is currently writing a book, which examines the movement off reserve of Six Nations community members, a book focusing on the life story of his maternal grandfather’s family who integrated into the urban working class of early 20th Century Hamilton.

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Joseph E. Martin, President Emeritus and Past Chair 1997–2001, Toronto

Following graduation from United College (now known as the University of Winnipeg) in 1959, with an honours Arts degree, Joseph E. Martin embarked on a varied and successful business career. He served as the Executive Assistant to the Honourable Duff Roblin, Premier of Manitoba. He completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in 1983. He was a Partner in what is now Deloitte Consulting, serving as Partner in Charge of Canada and Chair of the Global Consulting Committee. He is now Director of Canadian Business History at the Rotman School of Management. Past president of the Manitoba Historical Society, Past Treasurer of the Ontario Historical Society, Mr. Martin joined the Board of Canada's National History Society in 1994, and served three consecutive terms, stepping down from the Board in June 2003. He is Founding President of the Canadian Business History Association.

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Rolph Huband (1929–2016), Founding Publisher, Oakville

Former Vice-President and Secretary of Hudson's Bay Company, it was Rolph Huband's vision, initiative and leadership that established the History Society and for which he was named Founding Chair in recognition of his contributions. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Huband held dual positions as Chairman of the Board of the History Society and Publisher of The Beaver, the publication with which he had been closely associated since 1960. He was responsible for the shift in focus from a magazine about the North to one of general Canadian history, which lead to an increase in The Beaver's circulation and visibility. In August 2003, Mr. Huband was appointed to the Order of Canada.

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