Pay It Forward in the New Year

While most of us in the business world have set goals related to increased productivity and profitability in 2019, I’d like to make an additional suggestion. Let this be the year you give back to your community and increase your charitable involvement.

As I look back over 2018, I am glad I took time outside the office to chair “Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer” at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. The event raised $2.7 million for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation to continue cutting edge research. I sat down with Courtny Vandervelde over the holidays and outlined a plan to grow the Bay Street participation and fundraising target this year.

Also in 2018, I co-chaired Right To Play’s “The Heroes” gala honoring Louis Vachon, National Bank’s CEO. We raised a record-breaking $2.8 million for the organization, a success that I am very proud of, and that I forward to co-chairing the event again this year, alongside members of the Sunlife team, as we honor Dean Connor.

Another event that I was thrilled to be a part of was the “Tech4Good” hockey tournament that supports Connected North, a breakthrough program reaching Indigenous communities in Canada’s remote north. We hit the ice with 350 players to raise critically needed funds that will add more schools and students to the network. Charity work and community participation is a large part of our culture at National Bank. It’s a wonderful way to spend time with your peers. Honestly, I think a lot of people engulf themselves in work, tending to neglect life outside of the office. But we all know the important aspects of life are family, friends and community.

Of course, I’ve also set professional goals for 2019. I want to help even more entrepreneurs raise capital that will build their businesses. It is such an honor to be trusted enough to play a part in someone’s success.

As for my own team, I’ll be focusing on my new role as Co-Head of Fixed Income, Currencies and Commodities, as we integrate the different groups and bring together a collective strategy that will grow the business. We have a top notch group of leaders. I am excited about that new challenge as well.

Outside my career and philanthropic efforts, I will continue to spend most of my spare time with my son. As parents, we have the capacity to motivate our children in so many positive ways. Encouragement is so powerful that it can actually alter the course of someone’s life. We must carve out time to build confidence and character in our children.

Taking time to get out there, help others in the community, being involved with yourfamily –these are all important keys that will make 2019 a healthy and balanced year.

Tech4Good Hockey Tournament

I am proud to support the inaugural Tech4Good Hockey Tournament in support of Connected North – a breakthrough program leveraging interactive, high definition video to deliver education and youth mental health and wellness services to students in Indigenous communities in Canada’s remote north.

This event is on April 7, 2018. We will hit the ice with 350 other players to help raise critically needed funds to enable us to service more communities and add more schools and students to the network. Help us ensure that children in our northern-most communities have access to the support, experiences and opportunities that they deserve.

The Power in Positivity

If this video doesn’t move you – then nothing will.

It makes one realize that positivity, encouragement is so powerful that it can actually alter the course of someone’s life.

I see so much value in this – as a parent, and as a leader.

As a parent, you have the capacity to motivate your child in so many positive ways – so much so that your child uses this as a catalyst to build confidence, character.

(While we are on this note – I am looking forward to seeing “Wonder” which hits the theaters this weekend. This great dialogue from the trailer speaks volumes.

Isabel (Mom) : You are not ugly. Anyone who cares to know you would see that.

Auggie (Son) : You’re only saying that because you’re my mom.

Isabel (Mom) : Because I am your mom, it counts the most. Because I am your mom, I know you the most.

Those simple words you use for reassurance, “Good job!”, “Way to go, buddy!”, etc., resonate to them and they use these to keep going – in school, in sports, in the arts.

In the same way that as a leader, you have to realize how important those coaching sessions are; how important recognition is; how invaluable encourage and positive reinforcement are. These are all excellent tools in managing people, and teams. This positive force, as I like to call it, is what catapults them to deliver results.

The power IN positivity, need I say more?

Champions for the second year in a row!

So incredibly proud of this team. For the second year in a row, we took the Gold Medal spot at this year’s Guts + Glory challenge hosted by the Covenant House (Toronto).

Covenant House helps homeless youth move from a life on the streets to a life with a future. Since 1982, the organization has served more than 90,000 young people.

Our team raised $24,231.00 for last night’s event. (Total raised for Covenant House – +$650,000.00).


World’s Largest Road Hockey Fundraiser in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Once again this year I’ll be serving as Board of Governor for Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer (RHCC), in support of raising funds for ground-breaking research at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, one of the top 5 research centres in the world. Officially the world’s largest road hockey fundraising event, the 8th annual Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer provides an opportunity for corporations and community leaders to rally around a common goal:
Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime

In 2015, the event established two official Guinness World Records, and subsequently broke them in 2017 to reach #1 worldwide.


It’s always fun, as an industry, to come together for a great cause. This event allows us to play this country’s national sport with our industry friends while raising funds for a world-class institution that’s transforming cancer care for Canadians.

Event Highlights

  • Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer is a one-day road hockey event in which teams play five games throughout the day. In addition to some old-fashioned road hockey fun, there will be live bands, a massive sponsor expo, onsite massage therapy and over 50 celebrities supporting the event.
  • Last year’s event included over 1,700 participants and raised over $2.6M.
  • Since its launch in 2011, Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer has raised more than $18 million for research at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

RHTCC Photo 2

  • Please watch the RHCC 2017 Highlight Video here, and to get involved register here.