Community leaders are joining The Best Care for Life Campaign. As the campaign moves forward, other members of the leadership team will be announced and profiled here.
Normand Rinfret is a seasoned executive who is passionate about improving health care. Designated interim director general and chief executive officer of the MUHC by the board of directors on December 5, 2011, he is leveraging the vast knowledge and experience he has developed in administration and governance, human resources, labour relations and government negotiations to influence and shape positive changes at the MUHC and, more generally, in the health sector.
Most recently, Normand Rinfret was associate executive director and chief operating officer. In his 32 years within the MUHC family, he has held a number of senior roles, including that of director of human resources and director of planning, real estate and technical services. Mr. Rinfret has served on a number of boards; been a guest professor for the MBA programmes at McGill University and the Université de Montréal; taught a course for the Health Sciences Certificate at McGill; and served as a member of the McGill Faculty of Management’s Continuing Education Committee. He continues to be a supervisor for McGill’s MD-MBA program. He is also the founding president of CRISO, a MUHC-affiliated, not-for-profit research and consultancy group.
Fluently bilingual, Mr. Rinfret is a certified human resources professional and industrial relations consultant accredited with the Ordre des conseillers en ressources humaines et en relations industrielles agréés du Québec and also a member of the Canadian College of Health Service Executives. In 1993, Normand Rinfret proudly accepted the Canadian Association of Healthcare Human Resources Management’s award in recognition of his loyalty and dedication as its president and one of its founders.
John Rae is presently Executive Vice-President, Office of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Power Corporation of Canada, where he has worked as an executive since 1971. He has been actively involved with the board of directors of Queen's University and was a key player in their capital campaign. Mr. Rae graduated with an honours B.A. in Political Studies and Economics from Queen's University in 1967. That same year, he became executive assistant to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien. Since that time, Mr. Rae has been actively involved with the Liberal Party of Canada.
In addition to his position with Power Corporation, Mr. Rae holds directorships of BNP-Paribas, and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Fund. Mr. Rae is chairman of the Best Care for Life campaign and a member of the Order of Canada.
Honorary chair, The Best Care for Life Campaign
Claudio F. Bussandri is a retired business leader who is committed to improving the quality of life of the community and the healthcare environment. Until 2006, he was the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of McKesson Canada. His vision: encouraging people and organizations to reach their full potential—something he has endeavoured to do at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), first as a board member, then as vice-chairman and chair of the board’s human resources & organizational culture committee (2007-2011).
Before taking the helm of McKesson, Mr. Bussandri was president and CEO of Lantic Sugar (1987-1995) and held senior positions at Nabisco Brands (1974-1987), including that of president of the food services division, and Gillette Canada, amongst other companies. His board service illustrates the esteem he has garnered amongst his peers and the business community at large.
Past board memberships include: Canadian Council of Chief Executives, a not-for-profit organization of Canadian CEOs dedicated to public policy development and solutions, (member); Canadian Association for Pharmacy Distribution Management (member of executive board; chairman); Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada (chairman); Canadian Food Services Association (member); Adherex Technologies Inc., a publicly-traded biopharmaceutical company (member; chair of compensation, governance and audit committees, 2007-2011), and Patheon, a leading global provider to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries (chair, corporate & governance committee, 2007-2009). In addition, Claudio Bussandri is a board member of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation and a past chairman. In 2008, he co-chaired the 64-member Quebec Coalition for Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, which worked tirelessly for two years until the Quebec government launched a province-wide screening program.
Mr. Bussandri shared his knowledge and time so that children’s language-acquisition capacity, literacy, cognitive development and performance in school would not be inhibited by an undetected hearing loss. Similarly, Mr. Bussandri continues to serve on the boards of directors of the Montreal Oral School for the Deaf Foundation and World Wide Hearing Care for Developing Countries (WWH), a global non-governmental organization that seeks to promote better hearing through the provision of hearing aids and services in developing countries. He is also a member of the McGill University Desautels Faculty of Management’s advisory board. Claudio Bussandri graduated with honours from McGill University with a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) degree. He subsequently earned a MBA from McGill. Mr. Bussandri is fluent in English, French and Italian.
Senator W. David Angus was born in Toronto in 1937, but grew up and still resides in Montreal. He is presently a senior partner of Stikeman Elliott LLP, Canada's global law firm, and has been associated with the firm's Montreal office since his graduation from McGill University's Faculty of Law with First Class Honours in 1962.
He was appointed Queen's Counsel in December 1984 and is an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Maritime Law Association. He is also very knowledgeable about corporate governance of public companies and institutional investors.
Senator Angus was appointed to the Senate of Canada by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney on June 10, 1993 and has served on the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce since October 1993. He is currently its chairman.
He has been very active with community and public service organizations throughout his career and currently is the Chairman of the Board of the McGill University Health Centre and is the immediate past president of the Montreal General Hospital Corporation and a past member of the Board of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation.
David M. Culver is a well-known and highly respected member of the Canadian business community, and was formerly the chairman and CEO of Alcan Aluminium Limited. Mr. Culver is a member and a former chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He has served on the board of directors of American Express Company, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., American Cyanamid Company and The Seagram Company, Ltd., and on the International Council of J.P. Morgan & Co.
Mr. Culver is Chairman Emeritus of the board of the McGill University Health Centre. He is a former member of Stanford University's Institute for International Studies Advisory Council, and was a co-founder and Canadian Chairman for 11 years of the Canada-Japan Business Committee. Mr. Culver is a Companion of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Québec, and he was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Grand Cordon, of Japan. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. He is a former director of Aster-Cephac SA, Bio-Research Laboratories Ltd., Country Style Food Services Inc., Livingston International Inc., Sodisco-Howden Group Inc., Sunquest Vacations Limited and Zalev Metals Inc.
Mr. Culver holds Honorary Doctorates from McGill University, York University and the University of Sherbrooke. He received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, a B.Sc. from McGill University and a Certificate from the Centre d'Études Industrielles in Geneva.
H. Arnold Steinberg is currently a principal of Cleman Ludmer Steinberg, Inc., an investment holding company. He has extensive board experience including positions as chair of the board of governors of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Research Institute, interim chair of the McGill University Health Centre Board, director of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation and the MUHC Research Institute, chair of Canada Health Infoway's board and chairman of the advisory board of the Faculty of Medicine of McGill. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
For many years, Mr. Steinberg was a senior executive and director of Steinberg Inc., as well as a director of numerous corporate, charitable, educational and cultural organizations. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from Harvard University. A member of the Order of Canada, Mr. Steinberg was awarded an honorary doctorate from McGill University and is also Governor Emeritus.
Alex Paterson is a former senior partner at the Montréal office of Borden Ladner Gervais. Mr. Paterson was admitted to the Québec Bar in 1957, started his professional career in 1957 with McMaster Meighen, and in 1971 was admitted to the Bar of Alberta. He is a graduate of the McGill University Law School, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Bishop’s University in 1952.
Mr. Paterson is active in the community and is Chairman of the Foundation for Greater Montreal. He also serves on the boards of the MUHC, the Butters Home Foundation, the Eastern Townships Disabled Skiers Foundation and the Advisory Board of the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. He is an Emeritus Governor of McGill and an Honorary Trustee of Bishop's University. He presently reads to kids at the Mackay and St-Gabriel Schools as part of BLG’s Reads to Kids program.
From 1990 to 1995, Mr. Paterson was Chairman of McGill’s Board of Governors and from 1995 to 2005 Chancellor of Bishop’s University. He also served as interim Chairman of the McGill University Health Centre from 1994 to 1995 and Co-Chairman of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada from 1995 to 2008.
In 1996, he was awarded both the CASE District I Distinguished Friend of Education Award and the Bar of Montréal’s Medal of Honour, and the citation read "For his major contribution to the cause of justice and his exemplary devotion to the communities of Québec and of Canada". In 1998, he was named to the Academy of Great Montrealers.
Mr. Paterson has also been appointed officer of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Québec and holds Honorary Doctorates in Law from both McGill University and Bishop’s University.
In 2006, Mr. Paterson was appointed chair of the advisory council to the Quebec English School Boards Association which reported on October 26, 2006 after visiting several schools around the province and interviewing principals, teachers and parents.
Mutsumi Takahashi was born in Shiroishi, Japan, and moved to Montreal in 1963 by way of Boston. She received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Concordia University where she started her media career as a reader on Radio Sir George. By the time she graduated in 1979, she had become the news director. During her time at Concordia she was also a reporter for the student newspaper The Georgian, and hosted a series of interview programs for Concordia University TV in conjunction with CTV Montreal, then known as CFCF 12.
After a brief career in radio, first as an intern at CKGM and then as a newsreader and interviewer at CJFM, Mutsumi arrived at CTV in 1982 as a news reporter. Her professionalism and credibility quickly earned her a spot at the anchor desk where she has remained since 1986. She currently co-anchors the noon and 6 p.m. newscasts with Todd van der Heyden.
A talented musician, Mutsumi began studying piano with the Toronto Conservatory of Music at the age of six.
Richard & Sylvia Cruess
Richard L. Cruess graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton in 1951 and a MD from Columbia University in 1955. He is a Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and a member of the Centre for Medical Education at McGill University.
As an orthopedic surgeon, he served as Chair of Orthopedics (1976-1981), and was Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University from 1981 to 1995. He has served as president of the Canadian Orthopedic Association (1977-1978), the American Orthopedic Research Society (1975-1976), and the Association of Canadian Medical Colleges (1992-1994). He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, an officer of the Order of Canada and of l’Ordre national du Québec. He has been a founding member of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation since 1999, and currently serves on the Research Institute’s Advisory Committee.
Sylvia R. Cruess graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1951 and a MD from Columbia University in 1955. She is an endocrinologist, a professor of medicine and a member of the Centre for Medical Education at McGill University. She previously served as director of the Metabolic Day Centre (1968-1978) and as medical director of the Royal Victoria Hospital (1978-1995). She was a member of the Deschamps Commission on the Conduct of Research on Humans in Establishments.
Raymond Royer & France Denis (Royer)
Raymond Royer served as President and CEO of Domtar Corporation from 1996 to 2008. He is former president of Bombardier Inc. and has played a key role in the company's development over the past decade, transforming it into a Canadian centre of excellence in the transportation equipment industry. He successfully concluded one of the largest export contracts in Canadian manufacturing to supply subway cars for New York City.
Raymond Royer is a director of Power Financial Corporation. He was elected as an officer of the Order of Canada, a commander of the Order of Leopold II of Belgium, and an officer of the Ordre national du Quebec. He has been a member of the McGill University Health Centre Board of Directors since 2006.
France Denis (Royer) has been chief clinical perfusionist at the Royal Victoria Hospital in the Division of Cardio-Thoracic surgery for over 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science, specializing in Nutrition, from the Université de Montréal. She is a member of the Canadian Society of Clinical Perfusion and of the Association de Perfusionnistes du Québec.
From 2001 to 2003, Mrs. Royer was co-president of the Volunteer Association of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts since 2006 and of the board of directors of the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation since 2005.
Ian & Helgi Soutar
Ian Soutar, a McGill University graduate, started his investment career with the Sun Life Assurance Company and spent three years as manager of the All-Canadian Venture Fund prior to co-founding Pembroke. Mr. Soutar is currently the vice-chairman of Pembroke Management Ltd., an investment management company founded in 1968 and located in Montreal, Quebec.
Throughout his career, Mr. Soutar has been active in community affairs and has had leading roles in the Study School Board & Foundation, St-Andrew’s Church and St-Andrew’s Nursery School, the Brome Lake Land Foundation and the Montreal Association for the Blind Foundation.
He has been a governor of McGill University, presently chairs two committees of the University and serves on the boards of two related McGill organizations. He is vice-chairman of the Board of Montreal Medical International Inc.
Helgi Soutar was born in Tallinn, Estonia, and was educated in England and at McGill University, graduating in 1958. From 1961-1996, she conducted research in the Geology Department at McGill.
Since 1996, Mrs. Soutar has dedicated herself to philanthropy, volunteering for several organizations including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Montreal General Hospital.
Peter Abraham is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario Business School and the president of Simard Transport and Simard Warehouses Inc., a leader in the Canadian transportation and warehousing industry for over 60 years.
Mr. Abraham joined the board of directors of the Cedars Cancer Institute at the McGill University Health Centre in 2000, serving as president from 2006-2008. Under his leadership, the Cedars Comprehensive Oncology Program at the McGill University Health Centre flourished.
Mr. Abraham also served as a member of the Audit, Finance and Budget Committee of the board of directors of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation.
Mark Beaudet is co-founder and vice-president of Sales and Marketing of Paladin Labs Inc, a publicly traded specialty pharmaceutical company based in Montreal. He holds a B.Comm. in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from McGill University and is a co-instructor of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurship in the MBA program at McGill’s Faculty of Management. He has also been a guest lecturer in entrepreneurship and management at Concordia’s John Molson School of Business.
Mr. Beaudet led the pharmaceutical division for Centraide of Greater Montreal campaign in 2007 and currently serves on the standing committee on policy for Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Industry Association (Rx&D).
Mr. Beaudet has been a member of the board of the MUHC Foundation since December 2005.
Joan Ivory holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Sociology from McGill University and a Diploma from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Mrs. Ivory has served on the boards of the National Ballet of Canada, The Study School Foundation and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Mrs. Ivory has made extensive contributions to the McGill University Health Centre. She served on the board of the Montreal Chest Institute from 1986 to 1994, as president of the hospital’s auxiliary for two years and chaired the Montreal Chest Institute Hospital Foundation for three years. From 1988 to 1998, Mrs. Ivory was a member of the board of the Royal Victoria Hospital. She has been a member of the MUHC Foundation’s board since September 1999.
John D. Morgan is a graduate of McGill University, and past chairman of the board of CIBC Trust, a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. He is also a retired executive of Midland Walwyn, a major Canadian securities brokerage that merged with CIBC WoodGundy.
Mr. Morgan is past president of the Investment Dealers Association and past director of the Montreal Stock Exchange.
An avid yachtsman, he is Honorary Commodore of the Royal St- Lawrence Yacht Club.
Mr. Morgan has been involved in the McGill University Health Centre for many years. He is honorary director and past chairman of the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation and past director of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation. He has been a member of the MUHC Foundation’s Board since September 1999.
Gwen Nacos & Family
Thomas Nacos arrived from Greece in 1957 and joined a fur manufacturing company as an entry-level “floor boy”. Within years, he had mastered every fur manufacturing skill and branched out on his own with Natural Furs. Mr. Nacos also owns DECCA77, Wienstein & Gavino’s, Guido & Angelina’s, Burgers & Benedicts and Newtown. He is a partner in Sir Winston Churchill Pub, Winnie’s and Karina’s.
Gwendolyn Andrews Nacos was born in New Jersey and immigrated to Canada in 1973. She graduated from Monticello College in Theatre Arts, and Harvard University in Social Sciences. In 1977, she joined The Hudson Bay Company as the first Fashion Director of Menswear and Childrenswear. In 1980, she joined Jandabar Fashions as merchandise manager and sales director of their Loungewear Division. At the age of 37, she was treated for cancer at the RVH. Since then, she has been a dedicated volunteer leader at the MUHC. In 1988, she founded Cedars CanSupport, offering free psychological and emotional support, financial assistance and other services to cancer patients. She is a member of the RVH Foundation board and chairs the Cedars Cancer Institute Dragon Boat Race & Festival. She previously served on the boards of the MUHC and the Royal Victoria Hospital, as president of the Cedars Cancer Institute, as chair of the Royal Victoria Hospital Patients’ Committee, on the MUHC Clinical Integration Committee and the MUHC Glen Campus Steering Committee.
Christina Nacos graduated from McGill University in 1992 with a B.A. in Art History. She spent seven years in London in advertising, first with Bates Dorland, then Poppe Tyson. She returned to Montreal in 1998 to help the family fur fashion business. Today, she oversees the USA distribution and sales office and the design of product lines, merchandising, sales and advertising. She is also vice president of the Canadian Fur Trade Development Institute.
Christopher Nacos is a graduate of Dalhousie University with a B.A. in Political Science. After graduation in 2006, he joined Sylcorp Inc., a boutique real estate consulting firm. Two years later he joined TNG Inc., his family’s food and restaurant business, and today oversees the operations of Wienstein & Gavino’s, Guido & Angelina’s, DECCA77 and the newly acquired Newtown.
Melina Nacos has split her professional life in theatre between acting and producing. With a degree in production management and as a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse (New York City) Melina has applied her skills and talents to diverse projects, including traditional theatre, film, and corporate training, where she uses theatre to help clients develop sharper interpersonal and presentational skills. Melina has a strong interest in ensemble creation and research-based theatre. She cocreated and acted in “After the Crash: a Play about Brain Injury.”
Norman Steinberg is global co-chair at Norton Rose Fulbright Canada. His principal area of practice is mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, privatization and corporate governance. He is listed in LEXPERT’s 2007 Guide to the Leading U.S./Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada. He is in the 2006 edition of the Lexpert-Thomson Guide to the Leading 100 Creative Lawyers in Canada. Mr. Steinberg is also listed in the Canadian Who’s Who and in the Financial Post Directory of Directors, and is designated as a leading Canadian lawyer in the field of corporate/mergers and acquisitions in Chambers Global – The World’s Leading Lawyers. In June 2007, he was appointed to the Board of the Conseil du patronat du Québec.
He has served on many philanthropic boards, including The Canadian Club of Montreal (past President), the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (vice-chairman), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation, the Centaur Theatre Company and the Canadian Paraplegic Association. In 2007, he co-chaired the Centraide Campaign of Greater Montreal. He has served on the board of the MUHC Foundation since December 2005.
Pierrette Wong was raised in Mauritius, educated in Paris and London, and has lived in Montreal for more than 30 years. She is a successful businesswoman with broad career experience in the real estate, hospitality, and fashion industries. In addition to a long list of trustee and directorships in the fields of education and community services, she is actively involved at the Montreal Chinese Community Centre.
Mrs. Wong is the primary supporter of the McGill University Faculty of Dentistry’s Jamson T.N. Wong Laboratories for Bone & Periodontal Research – named in honour of her late husband. Alongside Maryse Bertrand, she is co-chair of the Women’s Health Division of The Best Care for Life Campaign. Mrs. Wong is also a member of the McGill University Health Centre board.
Claude Dauphin is an attorney and was elected to represent the provincial riding of Marquette, on the island of Montréal, for three consecutive terms from 1981 to 1993. He then served as Québec’s delegate to New England. From 1997 to 2001, he was chief political adviser to the federal Finance Minister, the Hon. Paul Martin. In 2001, he was elected as a city councillor and served as Lachine borough President, member of the Executive Committee (in charge of transportation) and chair of the board of the Société de transport de Montréal, member of the board of the Agence métropolitaine de transport and chair of the Inter-regional Merchandise Transportation Committee of the Conseil régional de développement de l’île de Montréal (CRDIM) until November 2005.
Since being re-elected in the most recent municipal election, in November 2005, Mr. Dauphin has been vice-chair of the executive committee, and is responsible for public safety and intergovernmental relations. He is also the chair of the Conférence régionale des élus. In June 2008, Mr. Dauphin was promoted to chairman of the executive committee, which includes many portfolios such as labour relations, administrative services and the city’s real-estate corporation. Mr. Dauphin still oversees the police and fire departments and intergovernmental relations.
Peter Duffield received a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from McGill University in 1959 and spent 23 years working for Dupont Canada in a variety of positions, culminating as vice-president of operations for the Fibres Group.
Since 1983, he has been a consultant with his own company, has run other companies in a variety of industrial sectors and has served on the boards of a number of large companies as well as cultural and community organizations.
Mr. Duffield, a former city councillor of Westmount, has been a member of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation since 2006. He is currently chairman of the Human Resources Committee. He has also been a member of the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation since 2003.
David Laidley received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University in 1967 and is currently chairman emeritus of Deloitte & Touche LLP (Canada), where he served as a partner from 1975 until his retirement in 2007.
As a chartered accountant, Mr. Laidley has enjoyed a distinguished career spanning 40 years with Canada’s largest professional services firm, notably in its tax and audit practices. He was elected chairman of the firm in 2000 and served in that capacity until 2006.
Mr. Laidley currently serves on the boards of the Bank of Canada, Nautilus Indemnity Limited (Chairman), Biovail Corporation, Aviva Canada Inc., ProSep Inc., EMCOR Group Inc., the Fraser Institute, the Institute of Corporate Directors, Groupe Aeroplan Inc., the Lester B. Pearson College of the Pacific, and the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University. He has previously served on the boards of a wide range of not-for-profit organizations in Canada.
Mr. Laidley is presently on the board of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation, and was chairman of the board of the Royal Victoria Hospital from 1983-1991, and chairman of the Royal Victoria Hospital Foundation from 1991-1999.
Steve Merling graduated from McGill University with a degree in Psychology and the Social Studies of Medicine. He is co-founder and CEO of Eventure, a Montreal-based firm specializing in the conceptualization, creation and management of special events. In the last five years, his involvement in the production of major fundraisers has raised millions of dollars for an array of worthy foundations, including the Cedars Cancer Institute and the McGill University Health Centre. He has also worked with major corporate clients including Ben & Jerry's, Ericsson, Ogilvy Renault, Pfizer, Sun Life and the National Hockey League, and was involved in the production of the NHL's 2009 All-Star Weekend in Montreal.
Steve's volunteer experience is significant—a pastime he enjoys tremendously. He has dedicated innumerable hours in support of a variety of admirable causes across our community. In 2005, Steve was invited to speak at Destiny Quebec, an annual youth conference committed to engaging Quebec secondary students by providing a forum to discuss relevant world issues.
Cheryl Campbell Steer received a Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill in 1972, and since 1991 has been the president of Campbell Steer and Associates, a management consulting practice. She is a member of the Order of Chartered Accountants and Certified Management Consultants of Quebec and she is also a Certified Corporate Director. She was partner at Caron Belanger Ernst & Young from 1982-1990.
Mrs. Steer also served as commissioner representing the business sector for the Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Quebec (Belanger-Campeau) from 1990-1991. Since 1999, she has served in various capacities on the board of Héma-Québec, most recently as chairwoman.
She is a member of the board of directors of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, and was vice-president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitain Montreal/Chambre de Commerce de Montréal métropolitain, from 1987-1994.