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Appointee Biographies

Ontario Heritage Trust


John Ecker is a communications, marketing, branding and fundraising executive. He is the Director, Family of Faith & Special Projects at Archdioceses of Toronto where he oversaw brand development and marketing for the $170 million Family of Faith Campaign. Previously, he was a Vice President at Indspire and held director level positions at the Ontario Trillium Foundation, ECHO: Improving Women’s Health in Ontario and Toronto Board of Trade. Until the late 90s, John was Manager of Marketing and Communications at the Ontario Heritage Foundation and oversaw development of its Heritage Community Recognition Program, forerunner of the Lieutenant Governor Awards for Heritage. John is also a member of the annual June Callwood Awards Selection Committee. An active volunteer, he has served on the board of Credit Canada and is a former Chair of the Whitby Public Library Board and the Waterview Child Care Centre. He most recently served as Chair of Heritage Whitby (LACAC) and has been a volunteer for Doors Open. He also served as Chair of the Lynde Marsh Alliance, a land trust. Internationally, John established Bimini Bound which sent over 10,000 of Bimini, Bahamas.


Bob Taylor-Vaisey studied at Trent University, The University of Toronto and Cambridge University, holding an M.A. in mediaeval history, specializing in medieval law. He held the position of Assistant Archivist at the University of Toronto Archives and then Corporate Archivist and Sr. Document Management Consultant at Imperial Oil Limited. At Imperial Oil, he developed the records retention program and was the principal contact for several document productions. A volunteer in public service for over 30 years, he is currently Chair, Parks, Recreation and Culture Advisory Committee, Municipality of Trent Lakes, Vice-President, Peterborough Historical Society, Vice-President, the Cavendish Community Ratepayers Association , Inc (CCRAI) and member, Task Force on the Future of Archives in Peterborough County. He is also a level II, NCCP softball coach.


Heather White has been a long-term resident of the Durham Region with a history of volunteering across the education, healthcare and not-for-profit sectors. She served as a Board of Governor in the early days of the establishment of Ontario’s newest university, Ontario Tech. During her tenure, she served on the Advancement and Governance, Nominating and Human Resources committees. She also served on the boards of Durham Hospice, Yves Landry Foundation and Community Builders Network of Hope. For the past four years, Heather has been with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division with the primary responsibility of identifying and securing sponsorships for City cultural events and more recently for COVID-19 recovery events and initiatives. She previously worked with the Toronto Region Board of Trade where she was responsible for membership retention efforts for large and mid-market clients as well as overseeing the events portfolio of identifying speakers and ticket sales.


Over the course of a long public service career, Larry Ostola held a variety of positions related to Canada's history and heritage conservation including that of Director of Museums and Heritage Services with the City of Toronto, where he was responsible for 10 museums and a large portfolio of heritage buildings, and Vice-President of Heritage Conservation and Commemoration with Parks Canada. In this latter role he oversaw national policy and legislation related to National Historic Sites and heritage conservation and served as Secretary to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and as the Head of the Canadian Delegation to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee. He holds a B.A. in Canadian History from McGill University, a M.A. from the University of Montreal and a Ph.D. from Laval University. He lives outside Carleton Place, Ontario.


Zygmunt Janeck graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors BA in Urban Geography and Planning in 1973. He had a municipal career of 47 years serving as a city planner in various positions with the City of Kitchener until 2001, as a Senior Planner with Planning and Engineering Initiatives until 2006, self-employed planning consultant until 2010 before being elected as a Kitchener City Councilor and serving from 2010-2018. He has sat on numerous committees including Centre in the Square, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Waterloo Heritage Foundation, Committee of Adjustment, Heritage Kitchener Committee, City's Finance, Planning and Community Services committees and others.


Jimmy Vlachos is a real estate broker with expertise in all areas of residential and commercial real estate, with a particular specialization in the area of investment properties. Over the course of his 22-year career he has developed a deep knowledge of the GTA and Golden Horseshoe, including its many heritage buildings and landscapes. Jimmy is an avid snowboarder, cyclist and martial artist.


Richard Hall counts nearly 30 years of experience in public affairs, communications as well as organization management. Born and raised in Toronto, educated at several Canadian universities including a PhD from McGill in Public Policy, Rick has lived and worked internationally, as well as in Federal and provincial public affairs. He has volunteered with local community heritage groups and city-wide social service agencies. He currently resides in Port Colborne, Niagara Region.


Steve Pellegrini has worked in municipal government for 35 years as both a staffer and as an elected representative. He began his work career with the City of Mississauga and has worked for the City of Brampton for the past 30 years. He was first elected as a Municipal Councillor in 2000 for King City and has been the sitting Mayor for King since 2010. He has a wealth of knowledge in Project Management and teaches Council/Staff relations and Municipal Management.


Jennifer McGill, from Port Hope, is a business executive with 30+ years of experience in the global building materials manufacturing industry. Most recently, Jennifer served as VP of strategy and business development for Masonite International’s Commercial door division. Jennifer is passionate about renewing organizations for the future. Jennifer currently serves as a member of the Board of Governors of Trinity College School, its Infrastructure committee and two sub-committees focused on sustainability and the campus master plan. She has served on the boards of several non-profit organizations. She has contributed in the areas of governance, strategy, risk management, environment sustainability and governance (ESG) and as well as diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Jennifer is a graduate of the University of Toronto - Bachelor of Arts (Victoria College) and an M.B.A. from the Rotman School of Management.


Heather A. Nicol, BMath, MBA, CPA, ICD.D. Heather is a long-time resident of Ontario and appreciates its beauty. She has diverse business experience in senior financial roles in the corporate sector, financial services and not for-profit. Some of her experience includes a startup fund (CFO and CRO), a small business (CFO), MaRS Discovery District (CFO), Chapters Online (CFO, taking it public and helping it achieve national leadership) and Canadian Tire Corporation (senior advisor). Earlier in her career, she worked in investment banking at Canadian and international firms. In addition to OHT, she is a board member of Chubb Insurance Canada. Prior to this, she was a board member of Genworth MI Canada Inc. She was a founding board member of Desjardins Credit Union (part of Groupe Desjardins) and served as its Vice-Chair and Chair of the Audit Committee until the company merged. She also served on the board of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, the insurer for all of Ontario’s credit unions. She has served other non-profit organizations including The Bishop Strachan School’s Board of Governors, BioDiscovery Toronto, and the Danny Grossman Dance Company. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration from the Ivey School at the University of Western Ontario. She is also a Chartered Professional Accountant and holds her ICD.D from the Institute of Corporate Directors.


Rudy Santos is a Managing Director for RCS Media Solution, and a former National Account Manager for Outfront Media. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University.