2021 Board of Directors
Susan Vail – President
Susan has served on the Golf Ontario Board of Directors since 2017 and was appointed President in 2021 after holding the position of Vice President for the previous two years. For three consecutive years, she chaired the Governance Committee and has sat on the Nominating Committee. She has been a member of the strategic planning work group and currently co-chairs the board work group addressing facility partnerships.
Susan, recently retired, was employed by York University for 28 years. Her last post at York was as the Associate Vice President Teaching and Learning. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in Kinesiology and Health Science from McMaster and the University of Western Ontario. Her doctorate was completed at the University of Ottawa in Education Administration, with a specialty in organizational effectiveness. Prior to joining York, Susan was a consultant with Sport Canada for eight years and played a key role in establishing its Women and Sport Program. She has also served on the boards of such organizations as Tennis Canada and Parks and Recreation Ontario. Susan is a recreational golfer who values golf as a lifetime activity and who hopes to give back to the game some of what she has gleaned from it.
Leslie Ferrari – Vice President
Leslie joined the Board in 2018 and is a member of the HR & Compensation Committee, and Governance Committee and the Facilities Work Group. During the mid-1980s, Leslie tried her hand at professional golf, playing on the Futures Golf Tour in the US for 5 years. She remains an avid recreational golfer to this day. Leslie is a member of Ladies Golf Club of Toronto and was a Board member from 2014 - 2018.
Leslie Ferrari is a multi-dimensional business leader with a proven track record of delivering year-over-year growth within the North American manufacturing and consumer goods sectors. She is known as a strategist, change agent, and collaborative partner in making things happen within complex and competitive settings. She has taken on and successfully met challenges in senior positions spanning Sales, Operations, General Management and Human Resources – culminating in the role of CEO for ABM Canada. Lifting from this experience and passion for human development, Leslie chose to continue her career part-time as a professional leadership coach with President of Enterprising Organizations – Leadership. PEO cultivates and accelerates members’ leadership abilities to achieve great impact through the organizations they lead, the communities they serve and the lives they live.
Leslie attended Queen’s University and earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree. She then joined the Conference Board of Canada as a Research Associate to Dr. James Nininger, working with him to launch the Compensation Research Center. After two years, she returned to school to pursue a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations at the University of Toronto.
Jay Aspin, a member of the Board since 2017, was introduced to golf during his participation as an executive member of the Pinewood Golf Club League in North Bay. He has been a board member for two years and is currently a member of the Human Resources and Compensation committee. Jay is a strong advocate of the expansion of public members participation in golf as well as Golf Ontario’s initiative to grow our footprint in Northern Ontario.
Jay is the owner/ President of Aspin International Development Inc. which provides business consulting assistance to companies committed to developing international business opportunities. Prior to developing his own business, Jay held executive positions in finance, strategic planning, and international consulting with the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission, Ontario’s largest public transportation conglomerate. He is a director of numerous public and business boards in Canada and currently sits on the board of Ontario Health, the agency charged with the transformation of Ontario’s Health system. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo (B. Math & B. Econ) and holds CMC, CITP, EcD and ICD.D designations. He has had extensive municipal and school board experience culminating in 2011 when he was elected as the Member of Parliament representing the district of Nipissing-Timiskaming.
Howard Atkinson – Past President
Joining the Golf Ontario Board of Directors in 2016, Howard was appointed President in April 2019. Prior to that, he held the position of Vice-President for two years. Since joining the Board, Howard has actively served and continues to serve on the Finance & Audit Committee, Governance Committee, HR & Compensation Committee and Nominating Committee. He has also served as chair of the successful Junior Golf Drive and Gala.
Having began playing golf at the age of 10, Howard competed in junior and high school events, including Golf Ontario events. He attended the University of New Orleans on a golf scholarship and competed at the NCAA Division I level for 4 years. He then went on and earned a CPGA tour card and competed on the Canadian Tour, New England and Florida mini tours for 4 seasons. Howard currently belongs to Goodwood Golf Club, Toronto Hunt Club, Rattlesnake Golf Club (Clublink) and Redtail Golf Club.
Howard holds the CFA, CIMA and ICD.D designations, is a past President of Horizons ETFs Management Inc. and is also a past and founding Chairman of the Canadian ETF Association. Howard brings over 28 years of investment management industry experience to the board, including executive positions with Mackenzie Financial Corporation, CI Funds, and Barclays Global Investors Canada Ltd. Howard currently sits on several public, private and not-for-profit organization boards of directors.
Barbara joined Golf Ontario’s Board in 2017 serving on the Finance & Audit Committee in 2016 – 17 and the Governance Committee 2017 - 19. A member of Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Barbara has served and chaired many committees at the Club including a long stint as chair of the Building Committee to successfully renovate the Clubhouse as well as Pro Shop, Greens, House and Membership chairs. Barbara served as Club President in 2007 and is a keen inter-club player and chairs an inter-club team in Florida.
Barbara was an automobile dealer in the Southwest Ontario and Niagara Region for 31 years and is a current member of the Joint Board of Governors, St Joseph’s Health Hamilton currently serving as Chair of the Quality Committee of the Hospital, Long Term Care facility as well as the Home Care division. She has served in various capacities on numerous Boards and Foundations in the Hamilton area for over 20 years, and is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD), and a graduate of the ICD.D program at Rotman School of Management. Barbara is a member at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, Clublink and Copperleaf Golf Club in Florida.
Nancy joined the Board in 2020 and has been an avid golfer for over 20 years. She is a member of the Granite Golf Club and passionate about increasing the number of women and people of colour who play golf.
Bertrand is a Managing Director at Citi Private Bank with over 25 years of capital markets experience. She advises ultra high net-worth families, foundations and single family offices on wealth preservation and creation, with a particular focus on alternative and international investments. Previously, Nancy practiced U.S. securities law at the global law firm, Shearman & Sterling LLP specializing in cross-border corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
Nancy is a Past President of the Toronto CFA Society and the former Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee. She was a member of the CFA Institute's Capital Markets Policy Committee and a member of CFA Institute's Global Corporate Governance Task Force. She received her Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2002.
Nancy sat on the cabinet of the Royal Ontario Museum’s Young Patrons’ Circle.
Bertrand graduated with an Honours in Business Administration (Dean's List) from the Richard Ivey School of Business of the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Laws (great distinction) from McGill University. She has been called to the Bars of the State of New York, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Province of Ontario.
A member of the Board since 2018, Murray is a passionate, innovative and experienced leader who has made golf his passion and his career. Murray grew up in Calgary where he learned to play golf at Earl Grey Golf Club. He played collegiate golf in the United States for two years at Arizona Western College before transferring to Ferris State University in Michigan for his final two years. Upon graduation from University, Murray began his career in the golf industry where he worked as a Golf Professional at a number of high profile golf courses in the United States and Canada.
Following his time as a golf professional, Murray has held senior management roles within the golf industry including Executive Director of Fairmont Golf, Fairmont Hotels Golf Division; Vice President of Member Services for ClubLink; Consultant with Global Golf Advisors; and his current role, General Manager of Granite Golf Club. Murray has regained his amateur status and looks forward to playing in senior amateur events in the coming years. Murray and his family live in Port Perry, Ontario.
Sheldon has served on the Board since 2018 and is a member of the Finance & Audit Committee and Nominating Committee. An avid golfer since he was 6 years old, Sheldon was Junior and Men’s Club Champion many times at his home course in Saskatchewan. He is currently a member at Beacon Hall Golf Club. Prior to joining Beacon Hall, Sheldon was a member at the Briars Golf Club where he was Men’s Captain.
Sheldon Chychrun is the Head of Equity Canada at Bank of American Merrill Lynch (‘BAML’). He is responsible for Global Cash Equities, Stock Lending and Equity Derivatives for Canadian clients. Sheldon rejoined BAML in January 2017 from Deutsche Bank where he was Head of Equity Canada (Cash Equities and Derivatives) from June 2009. Prior to Deutsche Bank, he held Senior Equity Derivative Roles with Merrill Lynch and CIBC in Canada. Sheldon started his career in the Canadian Insurance Industry and set-up an off-shore Life and Annuity Company in Bermuda.
In 1999, Sheldon became a Fellow of the Life Management Institute (FLMI). In 2002, Sheldon received an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario) and obtained a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University in 1992. From 1990 to 1996, Sheldon coached the Nova Scotia Special Olympics Team and became an active member of the Board.
Sheldon is happily married with two teenage daughters and resides in Aurora, Ontario.
Lloyd joined the Board of Golf Ontario in early 2020 and is a member of the Governance Committee and has served on the GO Task Force that was created in response to the global pandemic. He has been a member of Cedarbrae Golf Club where he has served on the Finance Committee as well as on the Board as the Club’s Treasurer for several years. He has been an active junior golf advocate and coach with one of his students being named Canadian Junior Golf Association Player of the Year twice.
His professional background spans over 35 years during which he has worked in the financial services, energy, consulting and institutional pension management in various senior executive roles that have included head derivatives trader, Chief Risk Officer, Partner and SVP and Head of Risk Management.
Lloyd is a founding faculty member of The Directors College where he has taught pension plan governance and risk oversight to board directors for the past 19 years. He is also an active faculty member of the College’s Innovation Governance Program where he teaches board director oversight of cyber risk and other risks that arise from digital innovations. He is also a founding faculty member of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst program delivered by Ryerson University where he teaches students how to navigate the intersection of cyber risk and business.
He holds all 3 Director College accreditations (e.g. Chartered Director, Audit Committee Certified as well as Human Resources and Compensation Committee Certified) awarded by McMaster University. In 2017 he completed a Professional Masters’ Degree in Information Security, Privacy and Data Protection at Ryerson and in 2018 he completed the Artificial Intelligence Impact on Business program at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (“CSAIL”).
He has served (and continues to serve on) numerous private, public and crown agency boards of directors and currently delivers insights and action steps to boards of large public corporations focused on information relating to cyber risk. He resides in Toronto and in Scottsdale Arizona and travels to see both ancient and natural wonders of the world.
Mike joined the Golf Ontario Board in April 2021. Mike sat on the Board of Special Olympics Canada from 2009 to 2019 and chaired the Board from 2015 – 2017. Mike also held the positions of Treasurer, Vice Chair and Past Chair. His passion for Special Olympics and golf led him to set up and coach a competitive golf program for Special Olympics Ontario at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club, where he has been a member since 2015. Mike’s athletes have been successful at provincial, national and international games. Mike has played golf for over 50 years and prior to joining HG&CC, was a member of Clublink from 2005 to 2014.
Mike has had a successful professional career over the past 30 years holding executive positions at Gentherm Canada, Etratech Enterprises, and Wolseley Canada. Mike retired from Gentherm Canada in 2019 after the successful sale of Etratech Enterprises in 2017 to Gentherm. While at Wolseley, Mike was responsible for completing 10 acquisitions and re-structuring the finance organization across Canada. Mike holds a Bachelor of Administration from Brock University and holds the designations CPA/CA and CBV. He also completed the Directors Education Program of the Institute of Corporate Directors at the Rotman School of Management and holds the ICD.D designation. Mike currently sits on the Board of Special Olympics Canada Foundation as well as a start-up company in the energy management sector.
Matt has served on the Board since 2020 and sits on the Finance & Audit Committee. Matt joined the St. Marys Golf & Country Club team in 2014 as Director of Operations, later being promoted to President and General Manager. He is committed to instilling a vision for the best possible golf, restaurant dining, and wedding & special event experience for every customer. Since joining the business, he and his wife Ashton (Director of Special Events), have grown the staff from just over 20 staff members to now over 70 throughout the various business units. Matt brings a relentless passion to everything that he does and in particular, is focused on growing the game of golf in his community for future generations.
After graduating from the Ivey Business School with an Honours in Business Administration (HBA) degree, Matt worked for Loblaw Co. Ltd. as a Senior Category Manager. He later left for a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) at Ivey before taking on the lead role in managing his family's holding company. Matt feeds on being an entrepreneur and creating opportunities for customers and employees - his family's holding company owns and manages a number of businesses in the commercial real estate, retail, golf, and hospitality industries.
Matt is happily married with two young daughters and resides in Stratford, Ontario.
2021 Committees Of The Board
Chair – Lloyd Komori, Nancy Bertrand, Murray Blair, Mike Lamontagne, Susan Vail*
Finance and Audit Committee:
Chair – Sheldon Chychrun, Barbara Beaudoin, Jim Bristow, Mike Lamontagne, Matt Staffen, Susan Vail*
Human Resources and Compensation Committee:
Chair – Leslie Ferrari, Jay Aspin, Nancy Bertrand, Murray Blair, Susan Vail*
Chair – Howard Atkinson, Leslie Ferrari, Lloyd Komori, Matt Staffen, Susan Vail*
* President is an ex officio member