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Appointee Biographies

University of Western Ontario Board of Governors


Michael Surkont is a practicing physician. Following undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, he graduated from Queen’s University with a Doctorate of Medicine. He subsequently completed postgraduate studies in Family Medicine at University of Western University. Dr. Surkont’s practice is focused on chronic pain management. In this capacity, he is the Medical Director of several community pain clinics. He also practices as an Emergency Physician at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital. To improve the safety of healthcare for patients in Ontario, Dr. Surkont also serves as Investigating Coroner for the Province of Ontario and is actively involved in death investigations and safety improvement recommendations. As part of his administrative duties to improve the medical profession. Dr. Surkont serves on the Council of the Ontario Medical Association as well as the Section Chair on Chronic Pain.


Carol Stephenson was the Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business for 10 years, retiring in 2013. Prior to that, Ms. Stephenson was Chief Executive Officer of Lucent Technologies Canada Corporation in Markham, Ontario. She was also CEO of Stentor Resource Centre Inc. and held many executive positions at Bell Canada and BCE. She was Chair of the Ontario Research Fund Advisory Board and has served on several federal and provincial task forces over her career. She was inducted into Canada’ Telecommunications Hall of Fame and named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2009. She has been involved in a lot of community work including Chair of the United Way of London/Middlesex and member of the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee and served on London’s Economic Development Corporation. She is currently Chair of the Stratford Festival and serves on Western University’s Board of Governors.


Susan Bennett is the Managing Partner of Deloitte Canada’s Audit National Office, supporting all Audit services lines with respect to audit quality, innovation and thought leadership. Ms. Bennett has over 26 years of public practice experience and has led the external audits for a variety of multinational public companies with a focus on the mining industry. She has also served as the leader of the firm’s audit business for public companies, managing approximately 1000 professionals. She is a Chartered Public Accountant, Ontario, was elected a Fellow of Chartered Professional of Ontario, and holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Western University.


Geoff Pollock is a husband, father & lawyer, currently serving as an Elected Bencher with the Law Society of Ontario. He is thrice an Alumnus of Western University: Hons. BA, JD & MBA. During his time at Western, he also served as an Officer in the Canadian Army Reserves. He currently serves on the Board of Governors of Western. Twelve years ago, Geoff founded his law firm, Geoff Pollock & Associates. Geoff sits as an Adjudicator on the Law Society Tribunal. In his free time, Geoff volunteers as Duty Counsel for Pro Bono Law Ontario. He is also a Director of the Ontario Judicial Education Network. He has previously served as a Director of the Churchill Society. Geoff has been married to Evgeniya for 12 years. They have three small & very energetic children, Daniel (11), Elizabeth (10) and Alexandra (5). The family is passionate about hockey. All three children play, while Geoff both plays and coaches. When not on the ice, the family can be found enjoying Geoff's creations on his beloved Big Green Egg BBQ.