Skip to main content

Appointee Biographies

Centennial Centre of Science and Technology (Ontario Science Centre)

JOHN CARMICHAEL ICD.D

John Carmichael has been serving as Vice-Chair for the Centennial Centre of Science and Technology since May 2020. He is the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar for Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council, a former Member of Parliament, Don Valley West, and a former President, Dealer Principal at City Buick Pontiac Cadillac Ltd.

DAMIAN SYDOR

is an ETF specialist for retail sales at Invesco Canada Ltd. Damian has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from York University- Schulich School of Business.

DEVEN SANDHU

is a Corporate Director with over 20 years of industrial leadership experience in regenerative medicine, vaccine and biotherapeutics and non-profit board(s). Currently, Deven is the Executive Director and President of Biocule Inc. He has worked in senior leadership positions at Biotherapeutics Manufacturing Centre (TOH), Therapure Biopharma, Sanofi Pasteur, OCI/PMH and MRC NIMR (UK). Deven has PhD (Biochemistry), MBA, and ICD.D designation (Corporate Governance). He was also the Chairman of the Vaughan Public Library Board and board member for almost twelve years (2006-2019).

CHRIS TAMBAKIS

Chris Tambakis is a CEO for Adgar Investments and Development. He actively owns office investments with holdings in North America, Israel and Europe. A graduate of Ivey School of Business, Mr. Tambakis has 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. He started his career at Knowlton Realty in 1986 and prior to serving in his current position Mr. Tambakis was Vice-President of the Investment Services Group with Colliers International specializing in the sale and acquisition of office properties and special projects. Mr. Tambakis currently serves on the Ontario Advisory Board for the Heart & Stroke Foundation, and the Ivey Business School Advisory Board at Western University.

RUTH BRINSTON

Ruth Brinston has over 30 years of applied science-marketing experience in radioisotopes used worldwide to sterilize medical disposable products and eradicate harmful bacteria in pharmaceuticals, consumer products and food items: and proven expertise developed and implemented a series of educational seminars on the technical application and benefits of gamma radiation processing, held in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She was the Organizing Chair for the 16th International Meeting on Radiation Processing (IMRP), Montreal 2011- Where science and business connect: attended by over 500 delegates from 39 countries. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from the University of Guelph.

JOSHUA KRANE

Joshua Krane is a recognized leader in competition/antitrust who works closely with companies in the agricultural, consumer products, energy, entertainment, technology, and telecommunications industries to address complex business issues. Joshua holds degrees from the University of Ottawa (B.Soc.Sc), McGill University (B.C.L/LL.B.) and the University of Toronto (LL.M.).

SUMIT OBERAI

Sumit Oberai co-leads the Digital organization at RBC with responsibility for the technology teams that deliver online banking, mobile banking, loyalty & rewards, discount brokerage, and robo-advisor. Additionally, he has responsibility for RBC’s API strategy including the mid-tier and the external developers platform.rbc.com and for RBC Ventures technology team. As a member of RBC’s Technology & Operations (T&O) Operating Committee (OC), he contributes to the development of the overall strategy and direction of T&O. Additionally, he sits on the Personal & Commercial Banking (P&CB) OC. Sumit is a member of the board of directors of RBC InvestEase and RBC Direct Investing. Sumit began his career as a software developer at Nortel Networks. Prior to joining RBC in 2016, Sumit spent 10 years at Indigo Books & Music. His last role was Chief Information Officer & Executive Vice President of Loyalty. Prior to Indigo Sumit led technology teams at venture backed DocSpace and Eloqua,e ach of which exited over $500M, and worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Company. He also sat on Visa Canada’s Advisory Committee. Sumit holds an MBA from INSEAD in France, a M. Eng. in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, and a B.Eng. in Mathematics & Engineering from Queen’s University.

KALID AMERY

Kalid Amery is the Vice President of Global Partner Management at Telus, and a former Senior Advisor for Vodafone CZ. Kalid’s community involvement includes serving as a board member for the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario chapter.

MARIANNE GOURAS

Marianne Gouras is an Independent Director of HedgeServ Holdings LP, a leading New York headquartered hedge fund and money manager administrator, and the President and CEO of Petra Group in Toronto and New York City, a finance and business consulting firm. Ms. Gouras is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors and the National Association of Corporate Directors. She holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Columbia University.

EUGENIA DUODU

Eugenia Duodu is the CEO of Visions of Science Network for Learning (www.vosnl.org), a charitable organization that empowers youth from low-income communities through meaningful engagement in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). She is an educator, speaker, community organizer and advocate who is passionate about creating equitable opportunities for youth to achieve their full potential. Eugenia Duodu holds both an honors bachelor degree in Chemistry and Biology and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto.

KIRK NYLEN

Kirk Nylen is the Vice President of Research and Analytics at the Ontario brain Institute where he leads the Institute’s research, analytics, and knowledge translation activities. Through this role he serves on numerous provincial and national committees related to data sharing, improving care, and advancing innovation. Kirk received his PhD from the University of Toronto where he holds an adjunct appointment and lectures regularly. After graduation he worked at Cancer Care Ontario as a Senior Planning officer, helping lead the organizations strategic and business planning efforts. Kirk is also the co-founder and board member of ReachUp Inc., a registered non-profit organization that runs ultimate frisbee training session to build confident, inspire health and active lifestyles, and develop transferable skills in Indigenous children and youth.

CHUKWURA EZEOKAFOR

Chukwura Ezeokafor serves as a member (part-time) for the Sheridan College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning Board of Governors and is an Executive Director of IT for Levitt-Safety Limited. His community involvement includes serving as a member of the Tax and Economic Affairs Committee for the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

REFAT JIWANI

Refat Jiwani recently retired as CFO of the Aga Khan Museum. His career spans four decades having worked in Europe, North America and Central Asia. He has been a CFO and CEO. Refat sits on the Board of Directors of Imagine Canada (since 2014) where he is Treasurer and Chair, Finance and Audit Committee. He also sits on the Board of COSTI Immigrant Services (since 2016) where he is Treasurer and Chair, Finance and Audit Committee, and Chair, Nominations and Governance Committee. Refat has also been an active volunteer in the wider community through the Aga Khan Development Network.

ASHUTOSH JHA

Ashutosh Jha is an experienced executive and passion-fueled serial entrepreneur. Over the past two decades, he has been working with leading Thinkers, Change Makers, Artists and Entrepreneurs across Public Policy, Philanthropy, Arts and Business projects. Presently, Ashutosh is focused on investing-in, consulting-for and operating businesses that initiate or improve radical changes across diverse industries, including global public procurement, clean food and low-income real estate. Past interests and experiences have been in retail, e-commerce, software development and publishing. Prior to taking entrepreneurship full time, he worked with Accenture Canada. Since 2002, he has served as the Director of Projects for the POA Educational Foundation, and as an "Entrepreneur-In-Residence" at the Kingbridge Innovation Hub. Ashutosh holds a B.Sc. (Hon) in Computer Science from Trinity College, University of Toronto, and a certificate in business from the Rotman School of Management.

KEN MACDONALD

Ken Macdonald is a seasoned broadcast executive and co-founder of Short Street Media. Previously he was Vice- President and General Manager of Discovery Channel at Bell Media. He also served as National Vice President, News for the Global Television Network. His community involvement includes event supporter, sponsor, contributor for Big Brothers and Big Sisters Association of York Region, World Vision Canada and The United Way. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Flato Markham Theatre. He holds a B.A. Political Science from McMaster University. He is a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

GILLIAN SMITH

Gillian Smith is currently Vice President, Strategy for TAS and responsible for guiding the corporate strategic planning process. Community involvement includes serving as a board director for Business for the Arts, The Walrus Foundation, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund and the Curators Circle Committee at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She holds a BA (Honours) from Queen's University.

JULIAN DIBATTISTA

Julian DiBattista has a wide range of professional and community involvement. In addition to working for CIBC as a Senior Consultant, he helps train tomorrow's future leaders as a Professor of Finance at George Brown College. Julian is active in the community, sitting on the board of the Ontario Science Centre, his condominium corporation and as a volunteer member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Department of Accounting and Finance at George Brown College. Julian obtained an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Finance degree from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He has been recognized with the Chartered Financial Analyst designation by the CFA Institute and the Chartered Insurance Professional designation by the Insurance Institute of Canada.

JANIS FIELD

Janis Peleshok is currently an Independent Director at Empower Pharm. She has formerly worked in the Office of the Chief Risk Officer at CIBC. Her community involvement includes serving as a director for Opera Atelier. She holds a B.A.Sc. (Chemical Engineering) from the University of Toronto.

TINA YUAN

Tina Yuan, of Toronto, is an Associate with Mckinsey & Company and a former Associate of the Corporate & Securities Group with Baker & McKenzie LLP, and Policy Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Health.