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Board of Directors

Don Mercer
President

Don Mercer has been involved in a variety of roles with the Council since he retired in April 2007 after a long career in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver with Competition Bureau Canada, which administers the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act, the Textiles Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act. These laws, intended by Parliament to foster healthy competition and a trust in the marketplace, interdict anti-competitive behaviour, such as price-fixing and abuse of dominance among marketplace players and help ensure trust in Canada’s marketplace by outlawing misleading advertising, misrepresentations, fraud and deception.
Don and spouse Susan are ardent boaters, hikers, walkers and global travellers. Don is past Commander, Vancouver Power and Sail Squadron, a Unit of Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS), and is currently national MAREP (marine reporting re navigation chart and aids to navigation issues), officer of CPS as well as holding CPS Pacific Mainland District and Vancouver Island North District positions.
He resides in Ladysmith, B.C.

Dennis Hogarth
Vice President

Dennis Hogarth has more than 40 years of experience in the business world, including 27 years working in international leadership positions as a Partner with KPMG, one of the world’s leading professional service firms. Starting in KPMG’s Toronto Office in 1973, he moved to KPMG’s national Department of Professional Practice in 1984 where he headed up a group investigating and implementing emerging technologies to support the Canadian audit practice. 

In 1994, Dennis transferred to KPMG’s International Headquarters in The Netherlands to form and lead the firm’s first Global Technology Group, a function that included development of the change processes and communications involved with the formation and restructuring of global information processes. After returning to North America in 1999 as an International as a Partner in KPMG’s U.S. firm, Dennis continued his involvement in the design and execution of major KPMG International initiatives and reforms, and the management of implementation projects to achieve major organizational change. 

Dennis has worked as an independent consultant since retiring from KPMG in 2011. He has also has assisted clients in the public, private, financial and health care sectors with their strategic planning and transformation projects, and then working with management on plans to achieve success. He has performed long term assignments for a multi national public company and for several United Nations and Canadian government agencies, helping them to chart their strategic directions. 

Through his management and consulting roles, Dennis brings a unique and intuitive business mindset to the structure of business functions through his combined knowledge of finance, business, IT management, information security and risk management acquired through years of international experience in both the private and public sectors. He has also played a major role in identifying risks associated with the increasing use of integrated databases for information and knowledge management and also in the rapidly developing field of predictive analytics using “Big Data”. 

Dennis holds an Honours Degree from the Ivey Business School at Western University in Canada, and is a CPA and Fellow of the Ontario Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants (FCPA). He also holds professional certifications in the information risk and security and data privacy areas. 

Dennis has served as a board member of the Consumers Council of Canada since 2012, and is currently its volunteer Vice President.  He has testified on behalf of the Council before the CRTC and a Parliamentary Committee reviewing Canadian Privacy laws (PIPEDA). He is currently a Trustee for the Port Hope Capitol Theatre Endowment Trust Foundation and is a member of the Audit Committee for the Port Hope Community Health Center. His previous board roles have included the Committee of Management of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, where he also served as Vice-Commodore, Finance and Administration. Dennis resides in Northumberland County, Ontario with his wife and two children.

Simon Wong
Secretary

Simon Wong is an information professional who focuses on the complex interplay between business needs and information systems. He has been involved in the design and implementation of a variety of information system projects, including the Public Policy and Governance Portal spearheaded by the University of Toronto, and the OCREB Online system under the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
He resides in Markham, Ontario.

Howard Deane
Treasurer

Howard Deane owns Acme Metric Company Ltd., a Greater Toronto Area based consultancy in social media, web analytics, knowledge management and search engine optimization. He is a Chartered Accountant with more than 30 years of experience, most of it with KPMG, where he was the Chief Knowledge Officer of the Canadian firm, managing significant portions of the firm’s knowledge and research functions. He also ran the IT Consulting Group for KPMG in the Bahamas.
He resides in Pickering, Ontario

Chris Ballard
Director

Chris Ballard is a former member of the Ontario Legislature and Ontario cabinet, serving as Minister of Housing, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and Minister Responsible for the Poverty Reduction Strategy. Chris is an experienced communications and public affairs executive with a background that includes public affairs, strategic planning, business development and project management.  Chris has been president of CSB Communications Inc., a small consulting firm, since 1989. He has worked with a wide variety of clients, including associations, small and medium sized businesses, governments and multi-national corporations. Chris has extensive expertise in facilitation, project management, quantitative and qualitative research and has conducted surveys, focus groups and workshops on behalf of a variety of corporate, government and not-for-profit organizations.  Chris has a background in consumer advocacy and consumer affairs. He was a founding board member of the Consumers Council of Canada, a past executive director of the Consumer’s Association of Canada (Ontario), (and managed its transition into the Council), a member of the provincial Retail Sector Strategy. Chris is an honourary lifetime member of the Public Affairs Association of Canada and served in various capacities, including President. During the past 15 years Chris has worked closely with numerous First Nation communities across Canada’s far north, in business development, governance and sustainability. He is active in his community of Aurora, Ontario, where he served as a Town Councilor.

He resides in Aurora, Ontario.

Julie Caissie
Director

Julie Caissie is currently working for Neil Squires Society as an Employment Specialist and is also the business owner of JC Research and Consultation. She has bachelor's and master’s degrees in family studies and a doctorate in francophone minority education from the Université de Moncton. She just recently obtained the Newborn Behavioral Observation certification (level 1) from the Brazelton Institute located in Boston. She is a member of the Greater Moncton Chamber of Commerce, the International Federation for Home Economics, the New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice and the New Brunswick Home Economics Association. She is acting as a member of the continuing education committee for NBHEA and she is also responsible for their Facebook page.
She resides in Dieppe, New Brunswick

Marshall Leslie
Director

Marshall Leslie is the owner and principal of M. Leslie Inc., a consulting firm in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Since 1985 – employing a project based business model – the firm has helped integrate the market plans, competitive analyses, market research, forecasts, and distribution plans of manufacturers, and other organizations, that serve the construction industry. Clients include some of North America’s largest manufacturers of building products, Canadian and American trade associations, independent power generators, First Nations, and standards development organizations.
He resides in Toronto.

Sherry Monahan
Director

Sherry Monahan has spent 25 years as President or Vice President of organizations directing consultations with health care organizations across Canada and internationally. She is experienced in professional staff recruitment, team building and delivery of services, aimed at achieving superior client satisfaction. She has led interdisciplinary health teams, with service providers from the full care continuum, to implement best practices, improve patient flow, reduce length of stay and improve benchmark performance. Expertise in performance improvement, process redesign and change management, applied to processes in the clinical setting. Her clients have included academic health science centres, community general hospitals, provincial ministries of health and community-based agencies. Sherry has a BSCN, Nursing, from the University of Washington, Seattle and an MBA from Concordia University.
She resides in Toronto.

Ken Morden
Director

Ken Morden obtained his B. Comm from McGill University and his Chartered Accountant’s designation from the Quebec Institute of Chartered Accountants. In his career, Morden has been the CFO of a large steel building company and the president of the largest sheet fed printer in Canada. In 1987 he and a partner formed a marketing services company, PG Communications of which he was President until selling the company in 2010. Ken now concentrates his efforts, with his wife, on the racehorse industry from his horse breeding farm in Northumberland County. He has served as the Chair of the Governance Committee of Standardbred Canada, past President of the Port Hope Friends of Music and is the Chair of the Port Hope Citizens’ Association, an advocacy group. 
He resides in Campbellcroft, Ontario.

Harvey Naglie
Director

Harvey Naglie has over 40 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, primarily in financial services. He is a former Senior Policy Advisor for the Ontario Ministry of Finance's Financial Services Policy Division. Mr. Naglie holds an LL.M. in securities law from York University, an MBA from the University of Western Ontario Ivey School of Business and an MA in economics from Johns Hopkins University.
He resides in Toronto.

Trevor Shaw
Director

Trevor Shaw is a professional auditor and accountant with designations of Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Chartered Accountant (CA), Certified Management Consultant (CMC), and Certified Quality Auditor (CQA).  He is a member of various professional bodies including CPA Institute, the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES), the Institute of Certified Management Consultants, and the American Society for Quality. Trevor has more than 40 years of diverse audit experience in both public and private sectors.  In approaching his work he is innovative and integrative and values both people and results.  He is familiar with accounting, audit and evaluation standards, guidance, and functions as pronounced by various professional bodies. For 30 years (1984 to 2014) Trevor was a Director and then Principal (senior management) with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. He conducted many performance audits to evaluate a wide range of government departments, agencies and Crown corporations at both the federal and provincial levels in Canada.  

He resides in Ottawa.

Christine Simpson
Director

Christine Simpson is an experienced consultant with extensive knowledge of consumer product safety issues. She developed her experience based on her many years of public service as a Consumer Product Safety Officer at Health Canada. She has specialized knowledge about toys, children's products, textiles and consumer chemical products and has more than 35 years of experience working with manufacturers, importers and third-party test labs in Asia and the U.S. related to ensuring compliance with Canadian requirements. 
She resides in Toronto.

Larry Swartz
Director

Larry Swartz is a professional leader, award-winning lawyer, CFA Charterholder, in-house counsel. He has expertise in independent financial, regulatory compliance, pensions, corporate governance practice. He is a member of the adjunct Faculty at Osgoode Hall Law School, with an emphasis on investments and insurance, administration and risk management, contracts and drafting, restructuring and insolvency, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation and litigation, benefits and tax. He has worked for Canada’s largest firm administering pensions and fastest growing administrator of retirement savings plans. Experience includes public sector, financial institutions, and international law.
Larry is a resident of Toronto.

Ken Whitehurst
Executive Director

Ken Whitehurst has served as Director of Research and Communications and then Executive Director of the Consumers Council of Canada since 2008. He has 30 years of senior-level general and project management experience in consumer representation and research; news media; sales, marketing and regulated disclosure communications; business information systems; management consulting; and financial services. 
He has served as manager for Canada of news agency United Press International, vice president and general manager of broadcast news network Standard Broadcast News, director of media services for Global Strategy Financial Inc., and editor-in-chief of Metroland North Media.
He resides in Aurora, Ontario.

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