Dobson Fellows form a network of experienced entrepreneurs who teach and mentor students.
The Dobson Centre honours those who have made a significant contribution to the spirit of entrepreneurship over a meaningful period of time by naming them Dobson Fellows. Representing entrepreneurial activity across Canada, the Fellows lecture in Dobson courses, mentor students, and act as impartial judges on the awarding of prizes.
Robert Asch. (2006) A native Montrealer, Bob Asch was educated at Roslyn School and at Westmount High School. His early career began with Mitchell Photo Supply before he moved on to Kruger Paper. There, he spotted opportunities for new product diversification that could best be exploited through his own company Twinpak, which he founded in 1954 and sold in 1971. An abortive bottled water business was sold in 1973 when he started a new company, Twincraft. Asch is currently Chairman of Twincraft, which is one of the largest private label soap manufacturing companies in the world. Over the last five years, Bob has shared his extraordinary life experiences in Dobson classrooms.
René Bellei. (2004) René Bellei identified a significant market opportunity in the video transmission industry. With more than 12 years experience in the telecommunication, film and broadcasting field, he co-founded Invidex Inc. in February 2000 and assumed the role of CEO. He raised private capital, assembled an experienced management team, developed the company’s patent pending technology and brought the company to revenue generation. In 2002, he became Chief Operating Officer. In mid-2003, Invidex successfully raised finances and is currently on its way to becoming a major world player in the video services and technology market. Presently, Invidex’s customer list includes leading broadcasters such as ABC, APTN, BBC, FOX, Reuters and Televisa.
Derrick Blay. (2007) Derrick Blay is the Managing Director of Environmental Standards Inc. (ESI). He received his undergraduate degree at McGill University and his MSc at the University of Wales. Blay has fulfilled many roles within the Canadian environmental industry since 1989. He has performed and managed waste audit and reduction programs, environmental assessment and characterization studies and implemented remediation projects for many large industrial and commercial corporations. He is a member of the Canadian Environmental Auditing Association and the Canada Green Building Council. Over the past few years, he has motivated many students in both the Desautels Faculty of Management and the Faculty of Engineering about green building.
Brian Casey. (2005) Brian Casey obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1966. He has since developed a large personal tax practice of both Canadian and U.S. taxpayers including corporate executives, professionals and athletes. He taught tax for five years in the CA program at the Desautels Faculty of Management, and is often asked to lend his expertise to informal workshops and seminars, both private and public. Over the years, his articles on tax strategies and other subjects of interest geared to high income-earning individuals have appeared in local newspapers and journals.
Andrea Courey. (2010) Named ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2007 for her work in the community for the advancement of women, Andrea Courey comes from a family of entrepreneurs. She lectures at the Desautels Faculty and HEC, sharing her first-hand experience of ‘how to grow a small business and survive the ordeal’. After graduating from McGill (BCom cum laude 1982), Courey worked through eight different jobs before founding Grandma Emily’s Granola (GEG) in 1997. Specializing in organic and natural cereals and snacks, GEG ships to food service clients around the country – including McGill University!
Charles Crawford. (2004) After working for several Fortune 500 companies, Charles Crawford worked as a university professor and consultant before setting out on his entrepreneurial career. He has been involved in the start up of five companies in the manufacturing, computer hardware and software industries. Most recently he launched Pinnacle Estates a rapidly-growing producer of Ice Cider. He is actively involved in community affairs; he is the President of Youth Employment Services (YES), the founder of the annual YES Entrepreneurship Conference and the editor of the Montreal Entrepreneurship Guidebook, now in its third edition.
Claude Dagenais. (2003) Former President of Idégée (now known as Arinso) and former Director General of l’Alliance Numérique. Dagenais has lectured in all of the Dobson courses for the past three years. He has been particularly helpful to the students in analyzing the ethical components of the Cinar story. His insights into the technological effervescence in the primarily francophone community has given Dobson students significant insights into emerging entrepreneurial situations.
Jim de Wilde. (2003) Jim de Wilde received his PhD at McGill University. He has taught in the MBA programs both at Western and Desautels. In recent years, he has done considerable consulting in the start-up of venture capital firms both in eastern Europe and in North America. He has shared his life experiences in dozens of Dobson classes over the years and maintains close liaison with the Dobson Centre for hands-on mentoring for individual students and student teams.
Chief Billy Diamond. (2008) Billy Diamond, former Grand Chief of the Grand Council of the Crees and former President of Air Creebec, was inducted into the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame. The CCAB is the only national aboriginal organization that neither seeks nor receives operational funding from governments. As President of the Cree Niskamoon, he works to develop the Crees full potential under their agreement with the Quebec Government and Hydro Quebec. He is also President of Diamond Sylvico and Waska Resources, the former of which builds transmission lines and the latter of which manages forestry projects in Northern Quebec. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Carlton University (1997) and he is a member of the Order of Quebec. His daughter Lorraine is a recent graduate McGill University’s Faculty of Education.
Pino Di Ioia. (2005) Pino Di Ioia (McGill MBA ‘93) was 11 when he started his first venture: selling soft drinks and salvaged golf balls at a neighbourhood course. His passion for entrepreneurship eventually led him to become the first franchisee of BeaverTails Pastry. He is now CEO of BeaverTails Canada Inc., franchiser of 84 shops located mostly in Canada. Along with his wife and twin brother he has also launched ‘Moozoo yogurt and chocolate bar’, which is wholesaling and opening franchise shops across Canada and in parts of the US.
Dennis Dwyer. (2004) Dennis Dwyer is a Montrealer who has been a guest lecturer at the Dobson Centre for 4 years. Dwyer is the author of two books on conflict resolution: “Beyond Jargon” & “This Business of Family”. Furthermore, he has received three degrees from McGill Univeristy (B.Comm. 59, B.Th. 80 and M.Div 81). His background includes 20 years as an investment dealer and counsellor, 14 years as a United Church parish pastor, and 10 years mediating disputes in family-owned businesses.
Robert Gervais. (2004) A lifelong entrepreneur, Robert Gervais is founder and president of Pre2Post, acclaimed by PROFIT magazine and the National Post as one of Canada’s leading emerging growth companies. Involved in the Concordia International MBA Case Competition and the Fondation du Maire pour la Jeunesse, Gervais also sits on the board of the MS Leadership Awards, the Geordie Theatre and Youth Employment Services. A featured expert for Radio-Canada, RDI, The Gazette, Les Affaires, and the National Post, he has lectured at First Tuesday, McGill University and the John Molson School of Business.
Mark Goldenberg. (2010) After graduating from Concordia’s Sociology program, Mark Goldenberg began his career in retail management. In 1998, Goldenberg left the retail sector to work for STS Systems: a large private company that develops software for the retail industry. During his 4 years at STS Systems, Goldenberg worked as a business analyst specializing in software training for retail applications. He worked with clients such as Adidas, Sony, Caesar’s Palace (Park Place Entertainment), Foxwoods Casino, and many others. During his free time, Goldenberg taught himself an open source computer language (PHP) and began creating and designing a new online Content Management and Template System. With his new software, he left STS Systems in June of 2002 and co-founded Myevent.com Inc. Today, Goldenberg’s company Myevent.com hosts more than 30,000 websites and employs 18 full time employees in its offices located in Old Montreal. He remains extremely active in the company as Vice President. Myevent.com continues to expand and is a leader in its space. Personally, Goldenberg enjoys spending time with his family. He has been involved with the Terry Fox Foundation for the last 10 years. Furthermore, he likes to draw and is an avid runner, having completed marathons in Ottawa and Toronto over the last 2 years.
Peter Johnson. (2005) Peter Johnson was the Director of the Dobson Centre from 1990 (the year of its inception) until his retirement in 2005. Before, Johnson’s career lay in large corporations, consulting and entrepreneurship. He is the winner of the Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award, a leader of numerous Study Abroad sessions, and a mentor to countless young entrepreneurs both within and outside the McGill community. During his time at the Dobson Centre, Johnson fostered an environment that encouraged the Centre’s rapid expansion and diversification into programs that could help enrich other faculties and universities.
Bryan Jones. (2006) Bryan Jones has over 41 years of experience in the selling, marketing and production of flat-rolled products. In 1967, Jones and a partner founded St. Laurent Steel. In 1979, after a number of years as Vice President and General Manager of St. Laurent Steel, Jones left to incorporate Nova Steel Ltd. Since its founding, he has served as a director, as President and as Chief Executive Officer of the company. Since April 4, 1997, Jones has been director, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of the Novamerican Steel company.
Alexander Kalil. (2003) Alexander Kalil is CEO of Groupe Conseil Kalil. He has 50 years experience in investment management, private equity, and in the re-engineering of various small entrepreneurial companies. Over the last seven years, he has shared with the MBA and BComm students his experience, in purchasing companies, changing their orientation, implementing controls, and molding emerging corporate philosophies. He has guided student teams to present real-life analysis of various companies, as an integral part of their educational process.
David Lank. (2008) Director Emeritus of the Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies, David Lank received his degree from Princeton before moving to Geneva, Switzerland where he worked in international business for seven years. Returning to Montreal as Deputy Director of Operations for Expo ‘67, he became active in the area of conservation. He was inducted into the Atlantic Salmon Hall of Fame after 10 years as President of the Atlantic Salmon Association. Author of more than 30 books, he has won awards for book design, and has illustrated hundreds of articles and catalogues. Former Chairman of the McCord Museum of Canadian History, he was Curator of Audubon’s Wilderness Palette exhibition which toured Canada. Fellow of the Explorer’s Club of New York and the Royal Society of Arts, Lank received the Order of Canada in 1996.
Keenan Lapierre. (2008) Formerly a partner at PouliotMercure, Keenan Lapierre has had a distinguished and varied career in law since graduating from St. Francis Xavier in 1966 and McGill University’s Faculty of Law in 1969. Through his experience in real estate assessment, product liability, and pleading on behalf of corporate clients from both nationally and internationally industries, Lapierre has built up a wealth of knowledge that he has been imparting on Dobson students for many years. Specifically, Lapierre has created the template for evaluating student attempts in writing partnership and shareholder agreements. He continues to review and critique their efforts annually.
Ian Lightstone. (2007) Ian Lightstone is a director at MJI Global Inc., an international business strategy practice. Prior to establishing MJI, he was a director and founding principal of Thompson Lightstone & Company; one of Canada’s largest market research counsel and service firms. His career has included high profile assignments involving strategic positioning, new product development, market structure analysis and public attitude assessment. Ian is Chair of Opera Canada magazine and is currently a member of the Board of Bridgepoint Health Foundation. In the past, he was a board member of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, and President of the Professional Marketing Research Society as well as the Canadian Association of Marketing Research Organizations.
Richmond Lisser. (2006) After studying at Lower Canada College and Clark University, Richmond Lisser joined his family’s houseware firm, D. H. Lisser & Co. He was instrumental in guiding the company towards become one of Canada’s leading firms in its niche. After a highly successful national and international career in the design and selling of housewares, he joined Trudeau Corp. as Vice-President, Product Development. With his unusually extensive experience in outsourcing product manufacturing to the Far East, Lisser has been able to share insights on the advantages and drawbacks of long-distance business relationships. His “McSushi and the Fondue Pot” lecture and subsequent discussion have exposed Dobson students to one of the most extraordinary examples of how appropriate corporate behaviour can turn catastrophe into a success.
Stephen MacCulloch. (2006) A native of Toronto, Stephen MacCulloch graduated in Economics from the University of Western Ontario in 1980. After several years in the consumer products sector, he chose to pursue a career in investment banking. Over the last 18 years, he has gained extensive experience in all facets of investment banking including financing, mergers and acquisitions, and advisory mandates. In 1989, MacCulloch moved to Montreal. Currently, he is Head of Scotia Capital Inc. (Quebec Region) as well as Managing Director, Investment Banking. He serves on the Board of Directors of Velan Inc., and is involved in several charitable organizations.
Ken MacKinnon. (2010) Ken MacKinnon, a McGill graduate (BA ’80; MBA, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, 1984), has had a varied and entrepreneurial career in the investment banking, private equity and international shipping industries. He is co-founder and President of MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., a newly formed financial services consulting and investment boutique focused on the emerging clean technology sector. He was formerly a Managing Partner with a private equity investment management firm and prior thereto was a Managing Director at Merrill Lynch & Co., where he was head of technology investment banking for Canada. In this capacity, he raised billions of dollars for Canada’s leading information technology companies and, amongst many successful financing and strategic advisory mandates, took Research in Motion, C-MAC and EXFO public on US stock exchanges. Ken is a past and current member of several corporate and educational boards including: Velan Inc (past Chair of Audit Committee and current member of Audit and Corporate Governance Committees); Noank Media, a spin-off from the Berkman Center for Society and Internet at Harvard University; the Advisory Board of the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University; and the Board of Governors of Loyola High School.
Peter McAuslan. (2003) Former Secretary General of Dawson College and founder and CEO of McAuslan Brewery, Peter McAuslan has successfully combined careers in academia and industry. He has shared his experiences with students in several Dobson Centre courses, from start-up and internal growth to strategic partnerships. In addition, he has addressed entrepreneurial audiences both within and outside McGill University at meetings or seminars sponsored by the Dobson Centre.
Duncan McNeill. (2003) Former lawyer with a major Montreal law firm, Duncan McNeill is now nearing retirement and has started his own law practice. McNeill has visited Dobson Centre classes for over a decade. In addition, he has advised young entrepreneurs on the proper methods of incorporating their businesses. His selfless sharing of experience has helped innumerable young entrepreneurs become aware of the legal pitfalls that can cripple or impede new ventures early in their operation.
Teresa Menzies. (2004) Funded by The John Dobson Foundation, Teresa Menzies has published national reports in 1998, in 1999, and in 2002 on Entrepreneurship Education and Entrepreneurship Centres in Canada. She was named an “eminent” authority on entrepreneurship education and development. In 2003, she visited Ireland where she presented a Keynote at the International Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship conference. Former President of the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and advisor to Industry Canada, Menzies is an associate professor at Brock University and teaches courses in entrepreneurship and family business.
Avrum (Avi) Morrow. (2005) Entrepreneurship and social responsibility are the twin foundations of Avrum Morrow’s life. Founder of Avmor, the ubiquitous hot air hand drier, Morrow has also devoted countless hours to helping underprivileged youth. His concerns for underprivileged youth are reflected in the annual Avmor Prize for Social Responsibility awarded to not-for-profit business plans developed by undergraduate student at the Desautels Faculty of Management. He supports numerous cultural institutions, such as having created a museum in Old Montreal. Morrow’s thought-provoking lectures in Dobson courses have become his hallmark.
Michael Needham. (2004) Micheal Needham is Chairman & CEO of SimEx ! Iwerks in Toronto. Established in 1992, Simex ! Iwerks is a Canadian company that designs and builds special venue attractions. Theses venues feature Large Format film technologies, simulation systems, digital film and F/X production. In 2001, SimEx acquired the assets of the RideFilm division of Imax Corp and in 2002, all the shares of Iwerks Entertainment of Los Angeles. SimEx ! Iwerks has installed 250 special venues in 30 countries to which it distributes films from its industry leading film catalogue. The SimEx story appears in the Ivey School’s Cases in Entrepreneurship, a Canadian Perspective.
Richard Ness. (2008) In 1999, Richard Ness founded ECE Electronic Clearing, the predecessor of Penson Financial Services Canada (PFSC). From 1999 to 2007, under his guidance, PFSC grew from virtually no revenues to over 60 million in revenues. The PFSC group of companies is successfully involved in regulatory consulting, trade routing technologies, algorithmic trading and all aspects of trading, settlement, custody and finance. PFSC enjoyed the top customer satisfaction rating in its industry and won the Hewitt top 20 employer distinction. Following the success of PFSC, Ness led a major turnaround of Penson UK and was involved in the creation of Penson Asia. More recently, he founded Tactico Inc. with his longtime associate, Liam Cheung. Tactico is a private equity firm providing hands-on management to companies in turn-around and growth situations. Tactico has invested in and assumed the executive management of Jitney Trading, an online broker dealer, Finpac Systems, an accouting technology firm, Gold Investment Management Inc., an investment counselor, and Embanet, an online education company.
Kerry Peacock. (2005) Kerry Peacock became Senior Vice President of Corporate and Public Affairs at TD Bank Financial Group in September 200. There. Peacock directs corporate donations and sponsorships through TD’s Community Giving program and the Friends of the Environment Foundation. She has lectured for five years on “Mining the Philanthropic Landscape,” giving real insights on how an organization identifies a niche, and then uses leverage to build community buy-in to have greater impact on the society (and communities) within which the parent company operates.
Brian Riordan. (2004) Having been named a Judge of the Quebec Superior Court in January 2005, Brian Riordan’s career as a Dobson Fellow is temporarily on hold. For the past several years, he has given a class on Partnership and Shareholder Agreements in Professor David Lank’s course on Entrepreneurship. Riordan has served on the boards of several charitable organizations, including that of his pet project, The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Montreal. He has also appeared in over a half dozen fund-raising plays benefiting the Centaur Theatre and the Geordie Theatre Company of Montreal
Ariel Shlien. (2005) Over the last two decades, Ariel Shlien has started entrepreneurial ventures focused on the creation of innovative, niche-oriented enterprises that quickly achieve a position of market leadership and dominance. In 1985, Shlien co-founded The Mad Science Group specializing in simplifying complex scientific phenomena and presenting them to children. He built the company into the world’s largest enrichment service provider with franchised offices in 206 major North American markets and 20 countries overseas. In 2003, Shlien completed a deal with MGM Studios of Hollywood to effectively create a global Mad Science brand with a Mad Science TV show and complete line of branded products for retail distribution. New partnerships with major retailers such as WalMart, Target and Toys R US are all part of this transaction as are international broadcasters Discovery Channel and NBC.
Marc St-Arnaud. (2008) A native Montrealer, Marc St-Arnaud has been building and managing profitable businesses for 20 years such as a highly profitable food brokerage company founded in the late 1980s, which brokered private label products for Quebec’s largest food chains. Furthermore, he was CEO/CFO of Tobit Software of North America, a fax and unified messaging software company. In 2001, he co-founded GWAVA, a company on the cutting edge of anti-spam/anti-virus software. Seven years later, GWAVA and its subsidiaries have achieved a global presence, marketing in 67 countries around the world, not only in anti-spam and anti-virus security but also archiving in both the e-mail and BlackBerry environments. He is also a past finalist (2007) of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Guthrie Stewart. (2010) Guthrie Stewart has extensive experience in private equity and venture investing, acquisitions and corporate governance. Until the end of 2007, he was a partner of EdgeStone Capital, one of Canada’s largest private equity buy-out and venture capital firms. Prior to that, he worked in the telecommunications industry as an executive at such companies as EVP, Global Development of Teleglobe Inc and as a founding officer of what is now Bell Mobility. He began his professional career as a corporate lawyer in Toronto with Osler’s. He is currently active on a number of boards and advisory boards: Advisory boards of Canada’s largest venture capital firm (Tandem) and Signal Hill (private equity buy-outs), Chairman of the Board of GBC North America mutual fund, Chairman designate of Orbit Garant, Canada’s largest independent mining drilling firm, Chairman of Enablis Financial Corp – providing financing to entrepreneurs in African countries through the Enablis entrepreneur network (established in 2003), and Advisory board of KWA, a leading Canadian human capital services firms (KWA) Faculty Advisory Board of the McGill Desautels Business Faculty.
Tim Tokarsky. (2008) Tim Tokarsky earned his BSc in Geophysics from McGill University in 1988. He moved to New York in 1992 where he managed networks and systems for a variety of Wall Street firms, including First Boston, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Tim joined a small startup called Micromuse in 1997 where he joined the executive team, designing and overseeing development of three software solutions;one of which he was granted a US patent as inventor. After the company’s IPO he was responsible for product strategy and mergers and acquisitions. During Tokarsky’s tenure with Micromuse, annual software revenues increased from less than $2.0 million to over $212 million. He has also been involved as a founder, board member, investor and operational manager in many successful (and unsuccessful) US based technology start-ups including mediapartnerships.com, handheld tours and Willow St. Technologies. Tokarsky served as a founding investor in two hedge funds: Alphaworks and Clearedge Capital management. Tokarsky’s most recent business was WysDM software Inc., a New York based storage software company with development in the UK, which he co-founded in 2002. At WysDM, he served as Chief Operating Officer and board member, responsible for sales, development and day to day operations. In 2008, EMC corporation acquired WysDM.
Martin Walter. (2007) Martin Walter was the VP Marketing/Sales worldwide and head of international operations for New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., Boston, Massachusetts. Nevertheless, he remains on the Board of Directors to this day. Walter is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Alliance for International Business. For years, he has enlightened students from McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management and Faculty of Engineering about the processes of international manufacturing, marketing and sales. He strongly supports programs that provide the required skills for business to succeed in the global economy.
Robert Winsor. (2003) Robert Winsor is an entrepreneur and an inventor. Winsor has identified market niche opportunities, and has subsequently designed and patented devices that are the world standard for attaching automobiles and trucks to intermodal carriers. He has also created several spin-off companies which have proven sustainable and successful. Exemplifying the need for a balanced life, Winsor pro bono activities have included the presidency of the Special Winter Olympics.