National Bank’s Melissa Tan Receives WCM Rising Star Award

On November 28th, I was proud to attend the 2019 Women in Capital Markets Awards Ceremony at the TMX Broadcast Centre in Toronto. WCM recognizes and celebrates the exemplary leadership and contributions of the 2019 award recipients who have demonstrated a commitment to accelerating the progress of gender diversity in the Canadian capital markets and to creating a culture of diversity and inclusion in which everyone can thrive.

This year, National Bank’s own Melissa Tan was one of the 5 recipients of the WCM Rising Star Award. Melissa is the Vice President of the Equity Capital Markets team and is responsible for structuring, leading and participating in equity and hybrid equity offerings. She also advises public and private clients on optimal capital structures and financing alternatives, while navigating the Canadian and U.S. regulatory framework.

WCM Rising Star Award recognizes female professionals who have demonstrated professional excellence and who are on the path to becoming future leaders. As an award recipient, Melissa is actively involved with a number of organizations and is co-chair of NBF’s Toronto United Way Campaign. She has also acted as team captain for NBF’s Covenant House Guts and Glory Challenge for three consecutive years.

The WCM Rising Stars are strong advocates for gender diversity and inclusion and have undertaken efforts to improve their corporate culture by leading through example, engaging men as allies, and actively supporting the advancement of fellow female colleagues and peers. Melissa fits this description for her role as a mentor to young women and men both inside and outside of National Bank.

I am so very proud of Melissa and her accomplishments. She is most deserving of the WCM Rising Star award and being recognized for her leadership. Congrats Melissa!

The Heroes Gala, in support of Right to Play.

Together with the Right to Play organizing committee and the Right To Play Canadian Advisory Board, we raised a total of $2.6 million last night to protect, educate and empower some of the world’s most vulnerable children. The dollars raised will create a huge impact on the children of Right to Play programs, from Canada’s indigenous communities to rural villages outside of Canada. This year’s honourees included: Dean Connor (CEO, Sunlife, Corporate Hero Award), Pascal Siakam (Power Forward, Raptors, NBA 2019 Champions, Athlete Hero Award), Ralph Lean (18-Year Chairman for RTP, Founding Chairman Award), Danny Charles (Youth Hero Award).

National Bank has been a proud partner of Right to Play for over 3 years. At last year’s Heroes Gala, Louis Vachon was awarded the Corporate Hero Award. This spring, the bank had announced a $300,000 donation to the organization in support of the Aboriginal Youth PLAY Program. Together, we rise.

NBC Table 1, from Left to Right: Ihor Danyliuk, Jeff Clap, Sean St. John, Michael Levin, John Di Libero, Brian Stemle, Rene Cayouette, Jason Ellefson

NBC Table 2, not in photo: James Feehely, Ralph Barcan, Kevin Lind, Chris Dale, Peter Hepburn, Yves Locas, Steve Fleckenstein, Noel Heavey, Alex Lemieux, Marjorie Nadeau

Learn more about Right to Play here:

The power of youth: an incredible opportunity to meet Children’s Aid Foundation, Samidha Singhal


Founded in 1979, the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is a national charity focused on improving the lives of vulnerable children in Canada. The Foundation strategically raises and grants funds and develops programs that are delivered in partnership with 74 child- and youth-serving agencies across the country, with the goal of reaching the unique and diverse population of children and young people involved in child welfare.

Being on the board and a member of the Scholarship committee, I am thrilled to be a part of an organization that is dedicated to helping children in need.

I agree that it has never been more pressing to find solutions to the issues that many of these kids face, such as child poverty, homelessness and abuse and neglect. Together, we are working to remove the barriers that limit the potential of these children, while providing access to the opportunities they need to become contributing members of society.

On September 11th, I was honored to attend the Foundation’s annual Stand Up for Kids Night at Koerner Hall. The annual event is organized to honour the resiliency, achievements, impact and commitment of the bright and deserving young people we support, along with the extraordinary Canadians who have made a mark on the child welfare landscape.

SeanSt.John-Children’s Aid. Stand Up for Kids
Sean St. John with Samidha Singhal at Children’s Aid Foundation’s Stand Up for Kids Night.

During this year’s event, I was thrilled to meet Samidha Singhal, a girl who has worked so hard to defeat the odds stacked against her in life.

Born and raised in India, Samidha’s life changed forever when her mother passed away when she was only seven. She immigrated to Canada with her family at 12, but after such devastating loss and adjustment to a new country, her father was unable to provide parental support and care. As a result, Samidha entered foster care, moving from school to school and home to home.

Despite these challenges, she promised herself she would continue to keep moving forward. Samidha has made the choice to persevere and advocate for current and former children and youth in foster care and has joined the Foundation’s youth council and ambassador teams to raise awareness, to ensure there’s adequate support, to pay it forward, and, most of all, to stand by those who feel that they are alone.

In talking to Samidha, I got to know a bright, motivated and optimistic young woman who is currently completing a summer internship at CIBC. She is studying at McMaster University for a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, with a minor in sustainability. In addition to advocating for changes to the foster care system, she is passionate about environmental and economic sustainability, healthy active living and education in under-developed countries. She aspires to be an entrepreneur and use her degree to make our world a better place.

Samidha was this year’s Stand Up for Kids Night recipient of the 2019-2020 Sean St. John Scholarship, and I couldn’t be more honored or proud to support her on her journey for higher education.

There are nearly 67,000 children and youth living in foster placements across Canada. Please consider being a part of their success by donating to Children’s Aid Foundation.

-Sean St. John