Halifax Grammar School's Board of Governors

Meet our Current Board Members

The Board of Governors of the Halifax Grammar School is made up of volunteers from our school community, be they parents, faculty or alumni. Care is taken to nominate individuals with diverse skill sets, experience, and backgrounds to assist the Board in fulfilling its important stewardship responsibilities. We are fortunate to have dedicated and capable individuals serving on the Board. Grammar benefits from their collaborative efforts to advance the best interests of the School. 

David Wilson, Board Chair

David serves as the Chair for the Board of Governors and is currently the President of Wilsons Security, a subsidiary of Wilson Fuel Company Limited. Prior to Wilsons, he worked extensively in the venture capital industry in both Canada and in the United States. He has worked with numerous early and growth stage privately held companies as an investor and board member. 

He is a past board member of the Canadian Venture Capital Association, the United Way of the Halifax Region, and has worked on campaign cabinets for the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. David holds a BA(Hons), magna cum laude, in Engineering from Dartmouth College, and a MSc in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
David and his wife Christine have two children Edie'18 and Henry'20, who both attend Grammar. 

Executive Committee

List of 4 frequently asked questions.

  • Vice-Chair- Jeannine A. Lagassé

    Jeannine has Bachelor of Arts from the University of Regina and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Saskatchewan. She joined the Nova Scotia Civil Service in 1998 after practicing law in the private sector in Ottawa and Halifax. From 1998 - 2004, Jeannine was a member of the Department of Justice Legal Services Division. During this time, she completed the Master of Public Administration (Management) program at Dalhousie University.  Jeannine has worked at the Executive Council Office since 2005, and is currently the Executive Director, Executive Council Operations.  

    Jeannine and her husband, Gordan, have a son, Seamus'21, who attends Grammar.
  • Treasurer - Greg Blunden, CPA, CA

    Greg is the Chief Financial Officer for Emera Inc. In addition to serving as Treasurer, he also chairs the Board's Finance and Audit Committee. 

    Greg is a proven leader with vast experience. Greg joined Emera in 2000 and has held financial leadership roles at Emera Inc., Emera Maine, and Nova Scotia Power. Greg has extensive experience and industry insight into all aspects of Emera’s business including corporate finance, business development, utility operations, customer service, renewable energy and regulatory policy. Most recently, he was Emera’s Vice-President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, and before that held the position of Executive Vice-President, Customer, Business and Financial Services at Nova Scotia Power.

    Greg is a native Nova Scotian who has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Mount Allison University. He achieved his Chartered Accountant designation while working with Price Waterhouse. 

    Greg is on the Board of Directors of the Brigadoon’s Children’s Camp, currently serving as Past Chair. He is also the Past President of the Atlantic Chapter of Financial Executives International and a current member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. 

    Greg and his wife, Tania, have two children, William'17 and Katie'19, who both attend Grammar.
  • Secretary - Suzanne Rix 

    Suzanne Rix is a partner at Cox & Palmer, an Atlantic Canadian law firm. Suzanne has been practicing Canadian immigration law for 19 years. She acts for regional, national and international companies in a number of industries in the relocation and retention of foreign workers. She also assists clients in applying for Canadian permanent resident status, retaining their permanent resident status and applying for Canadian citizenship.
    Suzanne is the Honorary Consul for Germany for Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.

    Suzanne is an Executive Member of the National Citizenship & Immigration Law Executive of the Canadian Bar Association, as well as a member of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce Skilled Worker Task Force. She was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Canada for Immigration Law from 2013-2017 and as a Lexpert Rising Star – Leading Lawyer in Canada Under 40 in 2010.
    Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University and a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in French and German from Dalhousie University.
    Suzanne and her husband have 4 children who all attend Grammar: one in the Senior School, one in the Middle School, and two in the Prep School.
  • Communications Counsel - Michael Dunn, BSc, BPR

    Individuals and organizations in Canada and beyond call on Michael to help them understand, connect, and collaborate with those who matter to their success.

    Applying formal decision science research and behavioural communications to strategic management, Michael helps his clients achieve success through behavioural outcomes.
    He brings a wealth of expertise and experience to his clients from 20 years’ national and international experience as principal of his own Halifax-based boutique firm – Dunn & Associates Communications and Public Affairs Inc. – and as a practitioner in the Toronto offices of two global public relations firms – Ketchum, and Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.
    Michael has counselled and supported a variety of public, private, and non-governmental organizations across Canada in the areas of decision research and behavioural communications, stakeholder relations, change management, risk communication, issue management, and crisis preparedness, and response.

    He has worked with some of Canada’s best-known independent schools in the areas of issue management and crisis response: Upper Canada College, Royal St. George’s College, Havergal College, and Rothesay Netherwood School. With a national outlook, Michael is connected to the Atlantic Region by family roots and a love of the ocean. He keeps tabs on the interaction between national and regional business and public affairs through membership in the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, a long-standing affiliation with Edelman Canada, and consuming regional, national, and social media.
    In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dalhousie University, Michael holds a Bachelor of Public Relations (Distinction) degree from Mount Saint Vincent University, and is a certified and licensed practitioner of Mental Modeling Technology™.

    Michael and his wife Holly (née McCurdy, HGS ’88) live in Halifax with their daughters Livia'21 and Beatrice'24. Both children attend Grammar.

Current Board Members

List of 12 frequently asked questions.

  • Erica Green

    Erica Green is currently Co-Chair the HGS Parents Activities Committee (PAC) and has been an active member of the HGS community.  She grew up in Hammonds Plains and earned her BSc. at Saint Mary's University as well as a Certificate in Criminology. She then completed law school at Dalhousie and worked in private practice in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia for nearly 15 years.  After a short period in Arizona, she returned to Halifax and is currently employed with the Nova Scotia Barristers' Society as an Officer, Education & Credentials.
    Erica and her husband, Laine, have a son, Henry'26 who attends Grammar.
  • Dr. Anila Najaf, MBBS

    Anila completed her Medical Degree in 1995 from Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan. She then did her Internship and Residency in Psychiatry from The Aga Khan University, Pakistan. She served as the Chief Resident of the Psychiatry program from 1998-2000.
    Anila moved to Canada with her family in 2007 initially staying in Toronto. The family then moved to Halifax in 2008. Since then, she has been very actively engaged in community events helping out immigrant families in Nova Scotia. She organized the first ever Pakistan Festival in 2015, which attracted a large local gathering and was well appreciated. Since then the group has hosted annual festivities helping immigrant families to integrate into the local community.
    Anila is married to Dr. Najaf Nadeem, who works as an Interventional Cardiologist at QEII Health Sciences Center. They have two children, Talha’19 and Ayman ‘21, who both attend Grammar.
  • Åsa Kachan

    Åsa Kachan is the CEO & Chief Librarian for Halifax Public Libraries. In her role, she oversees 500 staff working across the 14 branch library system. Halifax Public Libraries recently received international acclaim with the opening of Halifax’s new Central Library, and continues to capture the attention of the community as they work to reach diverse populations and serve as a model of equality and respect. Prior to taking on the CEO role in November 2014, Åsa spent 16 years in senior administrative roles within universities, most recently serving 10 years as the Assistant Vice-President Enrolment Management & Registrar for Dalhousie University. During Åsa’s time at Dalhousie, she undertook critical transformations to improve the student experience, including revamping undergraduate scholarships and bursaries and improving front-line service.
    Åsa volunteers her time with a number of community organizations, including serving as a Board Member and Chair of the Governance Committee of the United Way of Halifax and on the Board of Halifax Dance. She was recently named a Circle of Justice Champion by the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.
  • Diana Cassie, PhD, R.Psych

    Diana Cassie is a Registered Psychologist practicing primarily in the area of Educational Psychology. In private practice, Diana provides Psychoeducational Assessments of learning challenges such as Learning Disabilities (LD) and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Giftedness Assessments to identify multiple intelligences and wide-range competency parameters, and Vocational/Psycho-vocational Assessments. She also provides LD/ADHD screening assessments, personal counseling, and academic coaching services at Dalhousie University Counselling Centre.
    Diana has a strong interest in decision-making in personal, social, educational, career- and life-related contexts. A primary focus has been on identification of educational interventions that promote literacy and student learning. Through assessments, educational consultations, and counseling, Diana seeks to enable each learner to enjoy the learning process and experience success.
    Diana is a volunteer Board Member of the Scottish Rite Charitable Foundation Learning Centre for Children. She is also an active member of the APA/APNS Psychologically Healthy Workplace Committee.
    Her undergraduate studies were completed at Wellesley College (Boston, MA) where she majored in Psychology and minored in Educational Studies. She completed her graduate degrees (MA and Ph.D.) at the University of Toronto in Counselling Psychology.
    Diana and her husband, Marcelo, live in Halifax with their son, Massimo'30 who attends Grammar.
  • Leanna Christie

    Leanna Christie is a co-chair of HGS Parents Activities Committee (PAC) and an active member of the HGS community. Prior to moving to Halifax in 2011, Leanna lived in the United States and Russia. She worked for Sempra Energy in Texas and Connecticut, advancing within the company’s business units from Information Technology to Commodities Trading and Asset management.  Leanna served as a Treasurer and Community Outreach leader for the Russian School Austin and was involved in the Sempra Energy Trading Campus recruiting program.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Spanish from the University of Houston and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.  

    Leanna and her husband Mark have a son, Sasha'29, who attends Grammar. 
  • Dr. J. Colin Dodds

    Dr. J. Colin Dodds is President Emeritus of Saint Mary’s University and Professor of Finance, Sobeys School of Business. He serves as a Director of the Bank of Canada and sits on the board of World University Services Canada, as well as the Board of the Asia Pacific Foundation and the Discovery Centre.
    Dr. Dodds served as President and Vice Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University from 2000-2015; having served as Vice-President Academic and Research and Dean of the Sobey School of Business at the University.  Following his transition from the President’s Office, he has returned to the classroom as a Professor of Finance.  Dr. Dodds is a former Chair of the Board of the Canadian Bureau of International Education and past Chair of the Board of the Canadian Scholarship Trust, the Greater Halifax Partnership and the Board of the Better Business Bureau for Atlantic Canada.  A former member of the Board of the Atlantic Institute of Market Studies, he continues to serve on the Board of Research Advisors.  He has also chaired the Association of Atlantic Universities (AAU) and the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP) and has been named one of the Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs, received the 2014 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration, and was inducted into the Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame and has received many other awards, including the Queen Elizabeth Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and an honorary doctorate from the Atlantic School of Theology.
    Dr. Dodds is a member of the Pugwash Park Commission and has been active with the Pugwash movement and has served as a judge for many national scholarship programmes and currently in on the selection committee for the Investment Industry Hall of Fame.  He is a member of many professional associations, including the Chartered Management Institute (UK).
    Dr. Dodds served on the Canadian Government’s Advisory Panel on International Education Strategy, chaired the Nova Scotia Boundaries Commission in 2002 and was Vice Chair in 2012 and is on the Campaign Cabinet for the Discovery Centre, Ross Farm, and the Black Loyalist Cultural Centre.  He has published many books, journal articles, and conference papers, particularly on financial markets and continues to teach international finance to graduate students at Saint Mary’s University and is an invited speaker at many community events.  Educated in the United Kingdom and holding BA, BSc, MA and Ph.D. degrees, Dr. Dodds has taught at many universities in the U.K., Asia, and Canada.

    Dr. Dodds has two children, who are both Grammar alumni.
  • Paul Jewer, FCA

    Paul Jewer, FCA has an extensive background in financial leadership. As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for High Liner Foods, he leads the company's finance, controllership, internal audit, investor relations, and financial planning functions.

    Prior to High Liner Foods, Paul was most recently CFO of Sobeys Inc., a leading Canadian grocery, and food distributor. He is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) and began his career with Ernst & Young LLP providing audit, tax, valuation, and business advisory services for a variety of clients in various business sectors. Prior to joining Sobeys Inc. in 2003, he held a number of progressively senior finance positions in the technology sector.

    Paul graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University. Paul has been Chair of the Board of Governors of Acadia University since October, 2009, and was previously President of the school's Alumni Association.

    Paul is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC).

    In May 2008, Paul was recognized as a recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM award, which annually honours 40 Canadians under the age of 40 for vision, leadership, innovation, achievement, and community involvement.

    Paul and his wife Nadine live in Halifax with their two children, Ella'23 and Ethan'26. Both children attend Grammar.
  • J. Michael Lee, PhD

    Michael grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and earned a first class honours degree in Mathematics from the University of New Brunswick, while active in local bands, baseball, student radio, and university arts programming. After summers as an aerial navigator and at the National Research Council’s Biosciences labs in Ottawa, Michael went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Western Ontario in 1982, winning the Canadian Cardiovascular Society’s Annual Research Prize.
    After two years of post-doctoral training in materials engineering at the University of Toronto, Michael was named an Ontario Ministry of Health Career Scientist and stayed on at the University of Toronto until 1995, co-founding the Centre for Biomaterials and organizing the fifth World Biomaterials Congress. There, Michael won the Annual Teaching Prize from the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and was named one of the final 20 candidates for the first Canadian astronaut search with Roberta Bondar, Marc Garneau, et al. (He withdrew over concerns with the Reagan-era “Star Wars” militarization of the space shuttle program.) In Toronto, Michael played and coached fastball and softball, and continued music work in art rock, bar bands, the 65-piece Mississauga Concert Band, the Brampton Symphony, and many musical theatre shows.
    In 1995, Michael came to Dalhousie University during the amalgamation process with TUNS. He won a $1.25M grant from the Whitaker Foundation (2nd in Canada), and built Dalhousie’s School of Biomedical Engineering, serving as its first Director until 2006. As Director, Michael enabled the launch of the Dalhousie chapter of Engineers Without Borders. Later, he served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, won his second teaching prize, and was elated to be awarded SBME’s Community Builder’s prize.
    Michael is an international fellow of Biomaterials Science and Engineering (FBSE, youngest so-named in Canada) and has served four years as President of the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering. In his private work, Michael is a consultant to several medical device companies and holds patents on a vascular stent that has seen wide clinical use in Canada and Europe. In Halifax, Michael has remained very active in music, playing with or directing as many as five bands at a given time.
    With the arrival of his daughter, Kara'26, Michael served two years on the Board of Directors for the University Children’s Centre and has since gradually grown his involvement in music and science activities at HGS. Kara currently attends Grammar.
  • Mary Lynk

    Mary Lynk has more than 30 years experience in the media, beginning her career as an awarding-winning newspaper journalist. She helped break the news of rampant child abuse within Newfoundland's Mount Cashel Orphanage an investigation that garnered international attention. Among other roles, she produced Morningside with Peter Gzowski for 5 years. Ms. Lynk has won several national awards, including a Gemini and international awards, including a Gabriel, World Golds at the New York Festival and a United Nations Award for her documentaries. An active volunteer, Ms. Lynk spent a year in India working with orphans in the foothills of the Himalayas; helped set up the Innovation Foundation for Creative Thinking for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, a project funded by Stevie Wonder; was a member of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Board for two terms, including chairing the development committee and produces an annual gala at Phoenix House, which helps homeless and at-risk teens, raising more than a million dollars.
    She is currently the national producer for CBC Radio in Halifax, and a producer with the CBC documentary series Ideas.

    An alumna of HGS, Mary and her husband Alexander Graham, have a daughter that attends Grammar.
  • Heath Moore, CPA, CA

    Heath is a tax partner in the Halifax office of Grant Thornton LLP.  He is the Tax Services Leader for Nova Scotia, a member of the Nova Scotia Management Committee and has served on the firm’s National Partnership Board since 2010. 
    Heath has over 19 years’ experience providing tax and business planning advice to various clients ranging from privately held owner-managed businesses to large publically listed companies.  Many of his clients are in the manufacturing, automotive and professional services sectors. 

    Heath is the course coordinator and a lecturer for CPA Canada's In-depth Tax - Advanced Owner-Manager course, which is, targeted towards seasoned tax specialists providing services to owner-manager clients. He is a former tutorial leader for Parts I and II of the In-depth Tax Course at CICA and has lectured at the Atlantic School of Chartered Accountants and at CPA Canada's National Conference on Income Tax.
  • Maureen Reid

    Maureen Reid is the President and Founder of BoardWorks Consulting Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in applied governance, strategic planning, and facilitation. 

    Prior to BoardWorks, Maureen was a partner in the Labour and Employment Law Group of a major Halifax law firm.  She has also held senior leadership positions in a learning technology start-up and more recently with The Shaw Group Limited, a land development, and manufacturing company.  She is a certified professional director with both corporate boards and extensive volunteer board experience.  Maureen also currently serves as a director on the Halifax Partnership board.

    Maureen and her husband Doug have a beautiful daughter, Lily, in Middle School at HGS.
  • Ian Smith, BA, MBA

    Ian D. Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of Clearwater Seafoods. Smith joined Clearwater in May 2010 bringing to this role over 26 years’ of global experience in the food and consumer products industry. Prior to joining Clearwater, Smith held senior leadership positions at Campbell Soup Company in the United States, China, and Canada including Vice-President and General Manager of Campbell Soup Company Greater China and Vice-President of Business Development for North America. Prior to Campbell, Smith held positions in marketing, sales and international business development with Allergan, Colgate-Palmolive, and the Gillette Company. Smith is a Board Member of the Business Council of Canada, a member of the Advisory Council for Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan for the Ministry of International Trade, a Board Member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada’s Corporate Oversight and Governance Advisory Board, a member of the Board of Governors of Food & Consumer Products of Canada and a Board Member of The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council. Smith is a four-time recipient of Atlantic Business Magazine recognition as a Top 50 CEO in Atlantic Canada.

    Mr. Smith is a graduate of McGill University (BA Economics, MBA) and a former Captain in the Canadian Armed Forces Reserve.
    Ian, his wife Nancy and their daughter, Charlotte live in Halifax. Charlotte attends HGS and their son, Jason is a recent graduate of HGS.

Learn more about our Board

Do you want to learn more about the Halifax Grammar School's Board of Governors? Are you interested in becoming a Board member? Please contact Meagan Shaw to learn more.