George Smitherman (Co-Founder) has 30+ years experience in public life as a grassroots organizer and community activist, an elected official and senior advisor at the local, provincial and federal level. Most recently a candidate for Toronto Mayor, he previously served as Ontario’s Deputy Premier. Elected 3 times as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Toronto Centre, he served in both opposition and on the McGuinty Government’s front bench. During his time in Cabinet, he was responsible for the allocation of more than $250 billion. He was one of Ontario’s longest serving Ministers of Health and Long-Term Care, holding the portfolio from 2003-2008. Widely viewed as the most transformative health minister in a generation, he brought drug spending and hospital budgets under control while at the same time dramatically reducing medical wait times to the lowest in Canada. His tenure brought significantly improved access to doctors and nurses. Ontario’s Family Health Team model, which serves more than 3 million Ontarians, was pioneered during this period. In 2008, he was appointed Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, where he shepherded the passage of Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act, internationally recognized as a leading piece of renewable energy legislation, and which has allowed Ontario to emerge as North America’s renewable energy leader, producing billions of dollars in new investment and thousands of green energy jobs.
Kenneth J. Richards (Co-Founder) has 25+ years’ experience in corporate and investment banking, including serving as Managing Director with CIBC World Markets in Los Angeles and Toronto, and CFO of both public and private companies. At CIBC, he was Managing Director of one of CIBC’s largest debt portfolio. Throughout his career, he has completed many large debt, high yield and equity financings, in both North America and across the globe. He was a NASD Supervising Principal. He is co-founder of the Westlake/Santa Barbara Chapter of Tech Coast Angels and previously served on TCA’s Board of Governors. (TCA is the largest angel-funding network in the U.S.). He also served on the Biotechnology Industry Organization (“BIO”) Finance Committee (BIO is the biotechnology industry’s principal trade organization). B.S. Biology; B.S. Finance; MBA, Dalhousie University.
Bill Choi has been an executive for more than 25 years with a majority of that time spent in the energy sector in North America and Asia. He is also an independent property developer and is currently Vice Chairman with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Korea. Bill has significant experience as a business owner/operator in the retail gasoline and food service industry. Over his career, he has also developed extensive expertise in the areas of business development, project management as well as market planning and execution. He has advised companies such as SK Energy, Petro-Canada and Sunoco in areas such as retail business strategy and redesign, customer loyalty initiatives, and marketing.
Thomas Garofalo has 30+ years experience as a senior executive in executive management, operations management, and business development in both North America and Asia. He has held senior positions with Fortune 500 companies (DuPont Asia – 18 years), as well as serving as President, North Asia Operations, Comverse Technology (software/mobile media systems), VP, Century Computers Inc. (telecom IP) and Regional Vice President, Auspec Systems (enterprise storage systems. Tom has also served as an advisor and/or Board member to a wide range of large corporate and emerging technology companies, globally, as well as acting as an advisor to the Singapore Economic Development Agency. BS Engineering, Clarkson University.