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MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors

Our Board members are selected for their knowledge, skills, experience and expertise in a variety of disciplines including finance, technology, marketing and medicine. This ensures that directors reflect MD's many constituencies including clients and non-clients, business/industry expertise, and CMA board representation.

Board members meet twice annually and may serve as directors for up to three consecutive terms of three years each. The chair of the CMA Holdings board of directors reports quarterly to the CMA board of directors on strategic and policy matters.

Directors are also appointed to various standing committees, which hold regularly scheduled meetings and present recommendations to the Board in concert with their mandates.


Dr. Suzanne Strasberg
Chair of the Board

Dr. Suzanne Strasberg

Dr. Suzanne Strasberg was appointed Chair of MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors in 2014.

Dr. Strasberg works in Toronto as a member of the Jane and Finch Family Health Team, where she is the lead physician responsible for submission of budgets to the Ministry of Health, as well as development of the business and operational plan for the corporation.

A staff member at the Humber River Regional Hospital, Dr. Strasberg's interests include pediatrics, adolescent medicine, gynecology and shared-care obstetrics.

Dr. Strasberg has had extensive involvement with the Ontario Medical Association, including time served as a board director, board chair and past president. She has also served on many OMA committees, including chairing committees that pertain to communications, physician revalidation and family health organization model negotiation.

Dr. Strasberg has also worked closely with the Canadian Medical Association, as a board member, co-chair of the CMA committee on public/private interface, as a member of a committee dedicated to health care and education, and as a CMA Council delegate.

Rounding out her community involvement, Dr. Strasberg has also been part of the executive committee for the Coalition of Family Physicians of Ontario, and well as treasurer for that organization.

Brian Peters
President and CEO

Brian Peters

Brian Peters provides the vision and leadership that MD Financial Management needs to deliver on its mandate of assisting Canadian Medical Association members throughout their lifetime to achieve financial well-being, and build rewarding practices that deliver quality health care.

In 2006, Mr. Peters was chosen by the CMAH Board as the President and CEO of MD, based on his strong vision for the organization. He is steadfast in his belief that MD's ownership by the Canadian Medical Association uniquely positions MD to act in the best interests of clients, and to focus exclusively on helping physicians and their families. This conviction drives him to build stronger partnerships with the Canadian Medical Association and the provincial and territorial medical associations—all with the goal of delivering more significant value to members.

Mr. Peters started his career as a financial advisor at RBC Dominion Securities, moving steadily up the ranks to become President and CEO of RBC Dain Rauscher. There, he applied his strategic and business leadership to acquisition-based growth strategies.

Mr. Peters is a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a degree in Business Administration, holds a CFP designation, and is a member of the board of directors of the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.

Dr. Brian Brodie
Chair of the CMA Board

Dr. Brian Brodie

Dr. Brian Brodie joined the CMAH board in 2012 as the Honorary Treasurer of the CMA. Dr. Brodie joined the Canadian Medical Association as a director in 2010 and was elected the Chair of the Board of the CMA in May 2013.

Dr. Brodie entered medical politics based on his interest in health care and his belief in the need for transformation of the system to one that is more patient centred. He has served in many capacities at the British Columbia Medical Association since 2000 including being the Chair of Finance, Chair of the Board and President during the year 2009-2010. He has fostered closer working relationships with the Ministry of Health and was an active agent for change particularly in Primary Care in British Columbia, building consensus and restoring a greater sense of professionalism amongst the physicians of this province.

Dr. Brodie works as a family physician in the community of Chilliwack, British Columbia and has a full spectrum family practice. Having had a special interest in obstetrics, he has had the pleasure of delivering over 2000 children over the last 27 years and enjoys providing care to families in the beautiful Fraser Valley.

Mr. Tim Smith
CEO, Canadian Medical Association

Mr. Tim Smith

Mr. Tim Smith has an economics degree and an MBA from the University of Ottawa and joined MD Physician Services (CMA Holdings Inc.) in 1996 after a successful career at The Ottawa Hospital and managing the University of Ottawa family medicine resident teaching unit.

Over the past 25 years Tim continued his progressive healthcare and executive management experience in both the financial services and healthcare industries. Tim has led and managed several large strategic initiatives, including the acquisition, start-up and management of several key businesses for CMA Holdings Inc. His last assignment within CMA Holdings family was the acting Executive Vice President of Member Solutions for MD Physician Services Inc. He was responsible for leading the corporate marketing segmentation strategy that set the direction and priorities for products and services needed to meet physician members’ needs.

In 2012, he came to the Canadian Medical Association and served as Vice-President of Professional Services and Leadership, was responsible for leading the launch of the new website, the CMAJ, Knowledge for Practice, Clinical Products and Services, and the Professional Leadership Program. In December 2014, Tim took on the role as Interim CEO and led a corporate and governance restructuring of the CMA and in January 2015 was appointed as the Canadian Medical Association, Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. Aaron Chiu
Director, Manitoba RSV Prophylaxis Program Associate Professor (Neonatology), Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

Dr. Aaron Chiu

Dr. Aaron Chiu is a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a clinician researcher, as well as a seasoned educator at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level. He is an Associate Professor at the University of Manitoba and was a member of the University Senate from 2010-2015. He has held the positions of Program Director for Pediatrics as well as for Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, and is the past Chair of the Neonatal Perinatal Medicine Subspecialty Committee of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

An active member of Doctors Manitoba, Dr. Chiu is a member of the DocsMB Board Executive currently serving as the Treasurer. He is an active member of the Canadian Medical Association and is part of the MD-MP Program.

Dr. Chiu also holds an MBA from the University of Manitoba where he graduated as the Gold Medalist for his class. He remains involved as a guest lecturer at the Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba.

Dr. Chiu joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors in 2015.

George Davie
Managing Director for the Hazelton Innovation Group

George Davie

George Davie is Managing Director for the Hazelton Innovation Group, a leading Growth and Innovation consulting company providing growth strategies, corporate and brand innovation counsel on a Global basis for Fortune 125 clients. He is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the firm including the management of consulting engagements, business development, client counsel and the day to day operations. Under Mr. Davie’s leadership, the firm is regarded as one of the premiere Growth and Innovation consulting companies in North America.

Over the past 20+ years with the firm, Mr. Davie has worked with many of the top Fortune 125 firms, including: American Express, BMO, MasterCard, RBC, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Dole– conducting work in North America, Western Europe, Asia, South America, Latin America, South Africa, Australia, and Malaysia.

Prior to the Hazelton Group, Mr. Davie worked as Vice President, Director of Client Services – McKim Advertising (BBDO); Director of Brand and Market Development, Molson Breweries; and Director of New Product Development, S.C. Johnson & Son Ltd.

Mr. Davie is a past director of the Royal Conservatory of Music, Moosehead Breweries, and currently sits on the board of the 407 ETR. Mr. He is an alumnus of the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Eric Howatt
Head, Western Nova Scotia Orthopaedic program

Dr. Eric Howatt

Dr. Eric Howatt is an orthopaedic surgeon at the Valley Regional Hospital in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, and former chief of surgery and head of the Western Nova Scotia tri-district orthopaedic program.

For many years, Dr. Howatt has been instrumental in establishing the orthopaedic program at Western Nova Scotia, which encompasses three district health authorities to serve the area.

Dr. Howatt was the inaugural president of the Nova Scotia Orthopaedic Society and has served on numerous committees for Doctors Nova Scotia. He is a past president of the Atlantic Provinces Orthopaedic Society, and was a board member of the Canadian Orthopaedic Association for a number of years.

Dr. Howatt has served on several boards of directors, including Maritime Medical Care, Atlantic Blue Cross and Atlantic Blue Cross Care—which later became Medavie Blue Cross, which he chaired for two years. Dr. Howatt served as chair of Medavie EMS from 2005–09. He was on the board of the Blue Cross life insurance company as well.

Dr. Howatt was appointed to the board of directors of MD Financial Holdings Inc in 2009.

Dr. Brendan Lewis
Honorary Treasurer

Brendan Lewis

Dr. Brendan Lewis is an Orthopaedic and Spinal Surgeon. Since 1991 he has worked at Western Memorial Regional Hospital, where he is currently the Chief of Surgery and Chief of Orthopaedics. He is also Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery at Memorial University, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).

A graduate of Memorial University’s Medical School, he completed his residency through a joint Memorial/Dalhousie Program.

Dr. Lewis completed a fellowship in Trauma and Spinal Disorder at the University of Toronto prior to starting practice in Corner Brook, NL.

Among his various memberships, Dr. Lewis is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada; a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

He is past president of the NL Orthopaedic Association (NLOS); The NL Medical Association; The Atlantic Provinces Orthopaedic Association (APOS) and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA). Dr. Lewis also held the position of Treasurer with NLOS, APOS and COA.

Yezdi Pavri
Corporate Director

George Vasic

Yezdi Pavri, M.Sc., FCA, is an Engineer and Chartered Accountant. He was a former Vice-Chairman (June 2010 to June 2012), and a former Toronto Managing Partner (June 2004 to May 2010) of Deloitte Canada, a leading professional services firm for audit, tax, consulting, enterprise risk and financial advisory services.

Mr. Pavri's experience with Deloitte Canada included overall responsibility for a number of the firm's key clients in the financial, retail and governmental sectors. Between 1990 to 2004, Mr. Pavri was National Managing Partner for Deloitte Canada's Enterprise Risk Services practice.

A Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario, Mr. Pavri obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai in 1972 and a Master’s degree in Thermal Power Engineering from Imperial College in London in 1974.

Mr. Pavri is Chairman of the Canadian-Indian Business Council and is Audit Chair on the Boards of both ICICI Bank Canada and Enterra Holdings Ltd. He has also served as Chair of the Board of United Way, Toronto and was on the Board of Hydro One Inc. Mr. Pavri is also soon to be appointed to the Board of Ontario Power Generation. His interest in the MD Financial Holdings Board initially arose due to the fact all three of his daughters are involved in medical field.

Mr. Pavri joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc., Board of Directors in 2015.

Courtney Pratt
Corporate Director

Courtney Pratt

Courtney Pratt was named chairman of the Toronto Region Research Alliance in October 2007, and was the organization's CEO from 2007 to 2010.

Previously, Mr. Pratt was chairman (2006 to 2007) and president and chief executive officer of Stelco Inc. (2004 to 2006). He held leadership positions with Toronto Hydro Corporation, Hydro One Networks Inc., The Caldwell Partners and Noranda Inc.

Mr. Pratt is a director of 407ETR and Australian resource company Orocobre Limited. He is also chair of the CMAH (2014) Board.

He has served as chairman of Knightsbridge Human Capital, chair of Imagine, director of Career Edge, director of Moosehead Breweries Limited, and director of the Toronto Board of Trade.

Mr. Pratt's ongoing community involvement includes director of the Canadian Council on Learning, The Learning Partnership and the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. He has served as chair of the board as well as campaign chair of the United Way of Greater Toronto, and was chair of the board of the United Way in Calgary.

Mr. Pratt is the founding chair of the Charter for Business of the Duke of Edinburgh's Awards in Canada, and a past director of the University Health Network.

Mr. Pratt was awarded the Order of Canada in January 1999.

Mr. Pratt joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors in 2011.

Dr. Mark Schonfeld
President, Langbury Holdings Ltd.
Clinical Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Mark Schonfeld

Dr. Mark Schonfeld was a full-service family physician delivering care from obstetrics to geriatrics and general hospital care for 22 years. Throughout these years, he has been actively involved in the British Columbia Medical Association (now The Doctors of BC), holding various key positions including director, president, and chief executive officer (CEO).

Dr. Schonfeld also served as CEO of the BCMA from 1998 to 2011 before retiring from the association to pursue other interests.

From 1994 to 1995, Dr. Schonfeld was president of the BCMA, and sat on the board of both the BCMA and the Canadian Medical Association. He has chaired the CMA CEOs Forum for three years, as well as the CMA Health Information Technology committee for seven years.

Dr. Schonfeld remains actively involved in healthcare issues and currently is a director of the Vancouver Board of Trade and chairs the Health Care Policy Committee. He is committed to the medical community and understands the needs of today's physicians in terms of clinical, financial and personal needs. He maintains active licensure in British Columbia and is on visiting staff duties at Vancouver General Hospital. He also sits on the board of Pacific Blue Cross, a not-for-profit third-party insurer for Extended Health Benefits in BC.

W. Iain Scott
Dean, Faculty of Law, Western University

W. Iain Scott

W. Iain Scott brings to the board many years of executive-level experience in law, financial services and academia. He was recruited by Western University in the spring of 2011 as Dean of the Faculty of Law and was appointed to a five-year term. In 2012, Mr. Scott was appointed by the University Provost to the Western University Decanal Search Committee for the Ivey School of Business.

Prior to his academic posting, Mr. Scott was chief executive officer (CEO) of the law firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP from 2002 to 2010. During his tenure as CEO, he appointed and worked with a firm-wide leadership team focused on the firm’s strategic direction. He also oversaw the implementation of a team-oriented approach to the delivery of high-value legal services to the firm’s clients.

Mr. Scott’s term as CEO of McCarthy Tétrault was highly successful, better positioning the firm and managing the business to produce strong returns. He has substantial experience in transactional law, which includes significant work in the financial services sector.

At Western University, Mr. Scott has brought together faculty to focus on the development of a new strategic plan for the law school, including curriculum reform.

George Vasic
Corporate Director

George Vasic

George Vasic is a seasoned economist with more than 30 years in the industry, the majority as a chief economist and investment strategist, applying economic insights to investment decisions on behalf of clients.

Most recently Mr. Vasic was Managing Director, Head of Canadian Equity Research, Equity Strategist and Chief Economist with UBS Securities Canada. As a member of UBS Global Securities Executive Committee, he oversaw a 900+ person global securities research effort that covered 3200+ stocks across the world. He also oversaw the Canadian Equity Business as a member of Canadian Equity Management Committee.

Prior to joining UBS in 1993, he worked as a director of research at Global Insight and as a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Vasic has a B.A. (Econ) from the University of Windsor (1978) and an M.A. (Economics) from McMaster University (1979).

In addition, he has served on the Economic Policy Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, as a Contributing Editor to Canadian Business Magazine, on the Toronto Association of Business Economists, and is a past-president of the Ticker Club.

Mr. Vasic joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc., Board in 2015.

Joanne Vézina
Corporate Director
Human Resources and Compensation Committee Chair

Joanne Vezina

Joanne Vézina has spent more than 25 years in the service industry, focusing on financial services. She had a growing executive career path with Desjardins Leasing and Talvest Fund Management for 15 years prior to founding her own firm, Professo Consulting Inc. Ms. Vézina was also general manager of the International Investment Funds Association for five years.

Ms. Vézina was a member of the Talvest Fund Management's strategic planning and management committees. As a board member of the Bureau des Services financiers du Québec, she helped to create the regulation Respecting the Distribution of Financial Products and Services.

Ms. Vézina has served on several boards, including the Investment Funds Institute of Canada, the Quebec Investment Fund Council, FundSERV and Fleury Hospital. She was the first woman director at life insurance company La Survivance, where she chairs the Business Conduct and Governance Committee. Ms. Vézina is a member of the board and audit and priority committees of Brome Financial Corporation; an advisory committee member of SecurFinance; and a Director of the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés. She also chairs the Independent Review Committee of the Standard Life Mutual Funds.

Ms. Vézina holds a certificate in Public Relations and an MBA, and completed the Corporate Governance program from the Collège des administrateurs de sociétés in 2006.

Ms. Vézina joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors in 2008.

Wendy Watson
Corporate Director Chair of Audit & Risk Management committee

Wendy Watson

Through her bank regulatory experience and work with audit, risk management and governance committees of some of the United States' and Canada's largest financial institutions, Ms. Watson has become an expert in the area of good corporate governance.

At Citizen's Bank, Ms. Watson is a director, chair of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Risk and Compensation Committees. She is also a director of DAS Canada Insurance Co. Inc. (a subsidiary of Munich Re), where she chairs the audit committee and sits on the Governance Committee. In Boston, Ms. Watson serves on the Children's Hospital Board Committee on Community Service, and is actively involved with Crittenton Women's Union.

Ms. Watson is a past director of Women's College Hospital and Women's College Hospital Foundation in Toronto.

Ms. Watson recently retired from State Street. Previously, she was head of Global Private Banking and Trust at CIBC; president and CEO of CIBC Finance, Inc.; CIO and head of internal audits for Confederation Life Insurance Company; and Assistant Vice President of Sun Life Assurance Company.

Ms. Watson resides in Boston and holds dual Canadian and U.S. citizenship. She joined the MD Financial Holdings Inc. Board of Directors in 2010.