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Appointee Biographies

Province of Ontario Council for the Arts (Ontario Arts Council)

RITA DAVIES

Rita Davies worked in theatre and publishing, and from 1984 to 1999 was the Executive Director of the Toronto Arts Council, where she produced the ground breaking reports Cultural Capital and Cultural Equity, among others. Later, during her tenure as Executive Director of Culture for the City of Toronto, Ms. Davies spearheaded the highly successful Nuit Blanche. In 2011, the Canadian Urban Institute honoured Ms. Davies with its City Soul Award in recognition of her vision, her promotion of cultural diversity, and for her pioneering understanding of the link between culture and municipal economic competitiveness.

DANIELLE PETERS

Danielle Peters is the President of Magnet Strategy Group, a public affairs consulting practice with a presence in Toronto and Washington, D.C. Dani’s community involvement includes serving as Co-Founder of Cross-Border Health, a US based non-profit organization dedicated to fostering Canada-US dialogue on common priorities in health, a Health Leader-in-Residence for the World Health Innovation Network (WIN) within the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business, and Co-Chair of the Women in Politics Mentorship Program through the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee (CJPAC). She serves on the Industry Advisory Board for Bloom Burton & Co., a healthcare investment advisory firm in Toronto. A life-long lover of the arts, Dani studied both music and dance in her youth and regularly attends theatre performances throughout the year. She and her husband actively encourage her young children in their arts activities.

ROBIN JONES

Robin Jones is the Mayor of Municipality of Westport, and a former Deputy Chief & Chief of Police for the Nishnawbe-Aski Nation. Her community involvement includes serving as Chair for Westport Arts Council.

ALEXANDRA DE GASPERIS

ALEXANDRA DE GASPERIS is vice president of DECO Communities, a community building who is committed to a forward-thinking approach to planning with the vision of responsible management of the environment and stakeholders to achieve complete sustainable communities. Prior to founding DECO Communities, Alexandra practiced law in the areas of land use planning, development and municipal law. Alexandra obtained her LL.B. from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom and received an Honors degree in Business Management and Organizational Studies program at Western University. Alexandra is co-founder and executive director of the Burgundy Brick Foundation, which supported affordable housing and homeless initiatives in Toronto and the GTA. Alexandra is a build ambassador for Habitat GTA’s Women.

MARY MEFFE

is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Municipality Property Assessment Corporation. Her community involvement includes serving as an Accounting Instructor for Seneca College.

SIMON FOSTER

Simon Foster is CEO & Founder of Chatter Research, an AI powered customer feedback solution. Chatter Research works with Fortune 5000 retailers to provide previously unknown consumer data, by talking to shoppers in a completely new way. Conversational surveys capture rich quantitative and qualitative feedback in real-time. Prior to founding Chatter Research, Simon was SVP of Digital & Corporate Development at Blue Ant Media, in charge of building a fast growth digital business in the US & Canada. At QuickPlay he launched the first worldwide audio and video podcasting service on BlackBerry, as well as the launch of Sirius XM on mobile in the US. Simon is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Queen’s University and is the Co-Founder and Chairman of The Framework Foundation/ Timeraiser. He was recognized as Humanitarian of the Year from Queen’s University and received the Arnold Edinborough leadership award from Business for the Arts. Prior to founding Chatter Research, Simon was SVP of Digital & Corporate Development at Blue Ant Media, in charge of building a fast growth digital business in the US & Canada. At QuickPlay he launched the first worldwide audio and video podcasting service on BlackBerry, as well as the launch of Sirius XM on mobile in the US. Simon is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Queen’s University and is the Co-Founder and Chairman of The Framework Foundation/ Timeraiser. He was recognized as Humanitarian of the Year from Queen’s University and received the Arnold Edinborough leadership award from Business for the Arts.

ISABELLE BOULERICE-LEBLANC

Isabelle Boulerice-Leblanc has been a teacher with the Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Ontario since 1996. Originally from Casselman, in Eastern Ontario, she has always been passionate about teaching. Isabelle enjoys guiding young children within the context of a school environment. She creates a caring learning environment for her students by demonstrating patience, creativity and adaptability. She focuses on the overall development of her students, fostering their academic, social and emotional growth. Isabelle has been a resource teacher for 5 years, providing support and advice to students with special education needs. She is a member of the Board of the Maison des Arts in Embrun, a Franco-Ontarian cultural centre that offers a wide range of artistic programming. In her spare time, Isabelle enjoys travelling, spending time at the cottage, and cooking. Above all, she likes to spend quality time with her family and friends.