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

 
Kevin Waller, BA, BBA
Vice-Chair
Kevin is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager with RBC Dominion Securities. He joined the firm in 1993 as an Investment Advisor. Prior to RBC, Kevin worked at the accounting firm of Ernst & Young and achieved his Chartered Accountancy designation in 1990.

Kevin's background includes a BA (Economics) from Carleton University and BBA from the University of New Brunswick. Kevin is currently the Chair of the Brunswick Street Mission Corporate Breakfast, a Trustee of the Halifax Youth Foundation, and an Assessor and Interviewer for the Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation. Kevin was a Trustee of the QEII Hospital Foundation from 2003 to 2008, and Treasurer from 2007 to 2008. He has also been very active as a Scout leader and basketball coach.

Kevin and his wife Lyn have four children. Katie'18 and David'21 currently attend Grammar, and Michael'16 and Richard'14 are both alumni.

Greg Blunden, CPA, CA
Treasurer
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. 

Jeannine A. Lagassé
Secretary
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. 

Current Board Members

Bill Black'66, B.A., B.Sc
Bill graduated from Dalhousie University (B.A., B.Sc. 1970) and completed his actuarial training (FSA, FCIA) in 1974. He worked with Maritime Life for 34 years, rising to the office of President and CEO in 1995. Under Bill’s leadership, Maritime Life had a strong commitment to both customers and employees– appearing every year among the leaders in the Report on Business list of Top 50 Employers in Canada. At the same time, growth and profitability were consistently excellent. 
In 2004, he chaired a summit on the future of economic development in Halifax. In 2008, he chaired the Panel reviewing Pension legislation and regulation in the Province of Nova Scotia. 

He is past or current chairman or lead director of the Boards of Symphony Nova Scotia, the IWK Hospital for Children, the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of Canada, and the Capital Markets Regulatory Authority. He has also served on the boards of Neptune Theatre, Dalhousie University, and Standard Life; currently, he sits on the boards of the Global Risk Institute and the Shaw Group of Halifax.

He leads an executive leadership seminar for senior executives twice a year and has been a frequent and visible advocate for better public policy in Nova Scotia. In 2015, he was made a member of the Order of Canada.

He and Lorraine have been married for more than 40 years, and have three children and three grandchildren.   

Bill is an alumni of Grammar, graduating in 1966. He was a member of the school's first class when it opened its doors in September, 1958.
 
Diana Cassie, Ph.D., 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 counselling, 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 counselling, 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 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. 

Ariz David ’91, CFA, MBA
Ariz David is a Global Strategist at IceCap Asset Management Limited. Ariz has more than 18 years of experience in corporate finance, business development, and entrepreneurship. He is a CFA Charter holder (CFA) and holds an MBA (Finance) from Dalhousie University.
 
Throughout the last nine years, he has founded and operated a retail business with multiple locations as well as a national online store. Ariz continues to direct the company's overall operations and strategy.
 
Ariz began his career at PwC Corporate Finance and spent many years in Toronto and Vancouver before returning home to Halifax and starting his own business.
 
Ariz is an alumni of Grammar. He and his wife Margaret have three children, who all attend 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.
 
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.
 
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.