Table Hosts


Table Hosts

We are thrilled to introduce this year's distinguished table hosts for Couchiching's 2014 Gala. 

Donald Schmitt is a graduate of the University of Toronto School of Architecture where he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal in the thesis year. Donald Schmitt’s experience includes academic, healthcare and research facilities with an emphasis on sustainable design. Significant projects include the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Symphony Hall, Detroit and the Bahen Centre for Information Technology at the University of Toronto. Current projects include the Sick Children’s Hospital Research Tower in Toronto, the Global Innovation Exchange Building at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario and the Regent Park Arts and Culture Centre in Toronto. A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a member of the American Institute of Architects, Mr. Schmitt and his firm have won over 200 design awards including six Governor General’s Awards. He is the Founding Chair of the Public Art Commission for the City of Toronto for which he was awarded the Civic Medal. He is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Real Estate for the National Capital Commission, Ottawa and a member of the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel. He is a member of the Canadian Art Foundation Advisory Committee and is an academician with the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Edward L. Greenspan, Q.C., L.S.M., L.L.D. D.C.L, is the senior partner of the Toronto law firm of Greenspan Partners LLP. He received his B.A. from the University of Toronto in 1965, his LL.B. from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1968 and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1970. He has been practicing in Toronto since 1970 and received his Queen’s Counsel in 1981. He taught at Osgoode Hall law School for 10 years and at the University of Toronto Law School for 28 years. He is the author of Greenspan: The Case for the Defence, the best selling autobiography co-authored by George Jonas. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Criminal Cases since 1975; he is co-editor of Martin`s Criminal Code, Martin`s Related Criminal Statues and Martin`s Annual Criminal Practice. He has been awarded four honourary degrees, the G. Arthur Martin Medal, The Advocates’ Society Medal and the Law Society Medal. Mr. Greenspan has been involved in many of the major criminal trials over the last 44 years in Canada. In 1986, he left the practice of law for several months to travel across the country and debate successfully against the return of the death penalty. 
Matthew Jocelyn is the Artistic & General Director of Canadian Stage. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Matthew Jocelyn became very active in the performing arts parallel to his university studies in Canada (Mt. Allison University, McGill University); in France (Université d’Aix-en-Provence) and in England where he completed his formal studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. For the past 20 years he has worked primarily as a theatre and opera director, an arts administrator and advocate, and also has taught extensively on an international level. From 1998-2008, Matthew was the Artistic and General Director of the Atelier du Rhin in Colmar, a national drama centre in France, where over a ten year period he worked to establish it as a major centre for the production of theatre, opera, contemporary dance, and also as one of Europe’s foremost training centres for opera. Matthew was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture in July 2008. He made his Canadian Stage directorial debut with Fernando Krapp Wrote Me This Letter by Tankred Dorst opening the 2010-2011 Season and directed This by Melissa James Gibson in the 2012-2013 Season. Upcoming projects include a production of a new opera by Oscar Strasnoy based on Requiem for a Nun by William Faulkner for the Theatre Colon in Buenos Aires and direction of Simon Stephens’ Harper Regan for Canadian Stage’s 2014-2015 Season. 
Mary Jo Haddad is Past President & CEO of the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). She was appointed President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in November 2004 and retired December 31, 2013. SickKids is one of Canada’s most research-intensive hospitals, teaching and generating discoveries that have helped children globally. Since joining SickKids in 1984, Ms. Haddad held several leadership positions, including Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Chief Nurse Executive, Vice-President Child Health Services, and Director of Neonatology and Critical Care. Ms. Haddad is recognized for her innovative leadership and commitment to children’s health, through a distinguished career in health care in Canada and the US. She has championed collaboration and partnerships to enable health system improvement, building capacity and enabling individual and team success. She has held a number of Board appointments including Chair, MaRS Innovation, Chair, Provincial Council for Maternal Child Health (PCMCH). Trustee (Ex-Officio) SickKids, and Director, SickKids Foundation Board. She is a member of the Pine River Foundation, Advisory Committee. Emphasizing the values of leadership and development of future health-care leaders, Ms. Haddad is committed to lifelong learning and mentorship. She is an adjunct faculty member at the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and at the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business, and she is a mentor for aspiring leaders from the Women's Executive Network and The Creative Institute for Toronto’s Young Leaders. Ms. Haddad received The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, and was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010. She is a recipient of the Premier’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. Ms. Haddad is an honours graduate of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Windsor where she holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. She earned her master’s degree in Health Science from the University of Toronto. 
Preet Banerjee is a personal finance expert and host of Million Dollar Neighbourhood. When you think of a neuroscientist, an author, a television host, and a racecar driver, you rarely think of it being one person. Preet Banerjee is all those things–and more. Best known as a personal finance expert, host of Million Dollar Neighbourhood on The Oprah Winfrey Network, and financial panelist on CBC’s The National, Banerjee inspires others to become financially empowered. Sharing his world-class expertise and unique ability to take the complexity out of money matters, Banerjee speaks on topics including behavioural finance, neuroeconomics and investor advocacy. Formerly a stockbroker, financial planner, and life-licensed insurance agent with a Bay Street firm, Banerjee has also worked in institutional investment sales and product development for an index fund manufacturer. Banerjee writes a personal finance column for The Globe and Mail and is the author of RRSPs: The Definitive Guide to Registered Retirement Savings Plans, and Charitable Giving Strategies for Canadians. His blog,, was voted Canada’s best investing blog in 2010 by Globe and Mail readers and named him one of Canada’s Top 10 Financial Visionaries in 2011. Banerjee also hosts a podcast on iTunes, “Mostly Money, Mostly Canadian,” which is one of the highest rated podcasts in Canada for business and investing. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI) and also holds the Derivatives Market Specialist (DMS) and Financial Management Advisor (FMA) designations. He was awarded First Place in the 2012 Portfolio Management Association of Canada’s Excellence in Investment Journalism Awards.
Sheldon Levy is President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University, and has been a respected postsecondary leader and analytical visionary for the past forty years. He previously served as Vice President Finance and Strategy, University of Ontario Institute of Technology; Vice President Government and Institutional Relations, University of Toronto; President, Sheridan College; and Vice President Institutional Affairs, York University. Current appointments include: Council of Ontario Universities Executive Committee and Government & Community Relations Committee; Board of Directors, Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation; Advisory Council, Toronto Region Board of Trade; Board of Governors, Trails Youth Initiatives; and Honorary Board of Directors, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance. Sheldon is recognized for championing an entrepreneurial academic model with the international impact of both the Ryerson Digital Media Zone and the Centre for Urban Energy, and is dedicated to student success, distinctive programs and research, and the university’s role as city-builder. He was awarded a BSc, MA, and Doctor of Laws honoris causa by York University, and lectured in computer science and mathematics. He is on the list of “The Power 50 Most Influential in Canadian Business Today” (Canadian Business) and “The 50 Most Influential” (Toronto Life), and was chosen recipient of the 2013 Toronto Region Board of Trade Builder Award.
Anna Porter has extensive experience in the publishing industry. She held several executive positions in leading book-publishing houses, among them Key Porter Books, which she founded with Key Publishers. She was chief executive officer and publisher until 2006. She is the author of one award-winning biography and three novels, all of which have been published in several languages throughout the world.  Her most recent non-fiction book, Kasztner’s Train, was shortlisted for the Charles Taylor Award.  She has written about culture, history, formidable individuals and politics for several publications including Macleans and the Globe and Mail. She is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was appointed to the Order of Ontario in 2003 in recognition of her work in promoting Canadian authors internationally.  She is a member of several boards, including the Shaw Festival and York University. Anna Porter was appointed as a member of the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts on January 29, 2008 for a four-year term. In December 2011, it was announced that her term was renewed for another four years effective January 29, 2012 to January 28, 2016.

Tom Heintzman brings a distinguished record of service to environmental causes along with proven executive leadership experience to his role as co-founder of Bullfrog Power Inc. Prior to co-founding Bullfrog Power with Greg Kiessling in 2004, Tom spent more than 13 years in the private and NGO sectors, most recently with Zenon Environmental where he led their global M&A initiatives as director of corporate development. Earlier in his career, as Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Company, Tom provided consulting services to many of the world's largest corporations in the energy, manufacturing, financial services and telecommunications sectors. From 1996 to 1998, Tom was instrumental in establishing the Ecojustice Canada's (formerly Sierra Legal Defence Fund) Ontario office, where he led several precedent-setting litigation, public advocacy and lobbying campaigns associated with the environmental consequences of the oil refining, mining, forestry, fishing and automobile industries. Tom began his career practicing law with Goodmans, a leading Canadian law firm. Tom has volunteered with a number of children's health and environmental organizations. For more than a decade, Tom was an active member of the Camp Oochigeas community, a children's cancer camp in Ontario. He served on the board of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund from 1999 through 2004, and provided pro-bono consulting services to the Nature Conservancy of Canada during his tenure at McKinsey. In 2008, Tom was pleased to accept the "Leader of the Year" award from the Ontario Energy Association on behalf of Bullfrog's residential and commercial customers.

Andrew Coyne is a national columnist for Postmedia/National Post and has been a regular contributor to The National's At Issue panel since 2005. Raised in Winnipeg, he went on to study at the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. Over the past two decades he has been an editorial writer and columnist for The National Post and The Globe and Mail. He has also contributed to a number of other publications including The New York Times, National Review, Time and The Wall Street Journal. Andrew has won two National Newspaper Awards and the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism. Though he claims he to have a distaste for politics (calling it a "sleazy, awful business, full of desperate unpleasant people"), Andrew considers himself an optimist and believes that there is a better politics out there - and that it is the role of the media to help bring it out.




2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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