Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2006)
Muhammad Yunus is a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader. In 2006, Professor Yunus and his Grameen Bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance and "for their efforts through microcredit to create economic and social development from below". Microcredit loans are given to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. The Norwegian Nobel Committee said that "lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways in which to break out of poverty" and that "across cultures and civilizations, Yunus and Grameen Bank have shown that even the poorest of the poor can work to bring about their own development".
To date, Professor Yunus has received 132 international awards, 58 honorary doctoral degrees and is a member and advisor on major international Committees and Commissions including the Board of Directors of the United Nations Foundation.
Professor Yunus is now working to establish Social Business which is described in his books Creating a World Without Poverty - Social business and the future of capitalism and Building Social Business - The new kind of capitalism that serves humanity's most pressing needs.
Photo Credit: Nasir Ali Mamun/Yunus Centre
Vice President, Operations, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
David Abbott of Ojibway–Metis descent (with family ties to the Pays Plat First Nation in Northern
Ontario) is a seasoned management professional, who has over 22 years of private sector experience
having gained operational, product marketing, business development and client serving experience
through various roles in the financial industry. Through his CCAB recognized Aboriginal owned
consulting practice, he works with Aboriginal non-profits by providing a range of professional
management and business based services.
He has held leadership roles at CIBC Mellon, State Street Canada, RBC Dexia as well as SS&C
Technologies (formerly Financial Models Company, Inc.). He has served on several community boards
including the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, Native Women's Resource Centre of Toronto and is
currently a member of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada Advisory board.
David received his MBA from the Edinburgh School of Business, Heriot Watt University.
Entrepreneur, Co-Founder of The Shit Starts Here
Officially retired in 2016, Jeff Rayman has been an entrepreneur for the majority of his working career.
Immediately prior to retiring, Mr. Rayman was involved in three major initiatives. He was Chairman of 108 media, an international film and television distribution company; Chairman of OneUp, a mobile sports media app company, and co-founder of The Shit Starts Here, a multi impact agricultural initiative, in Rwanda, Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo.
From 2002 until 2011, Mr. Rayman was President, Chief Executive Officer, and a co‐founder of Secutor Capital Management Corp, an investment advisory firm, specializing in defensive capital management. Prior to that, he was the President of Student Awards Inc., an online resource assisting students in accessing Grant and Scholarship funding for post‐secondary education.
From the late Seventies until 2000, Mr. Rayman was in the Canadian Film Industry. As both a board member of Alliance Atlantis Communications and the President of Alliance Atlantis Equicap Corp., Mr. Rayman has over 30 years experience in the Financial Industry, involving the creation, distribution, and management, of financial services and products.
As well, Mr. Rayman is involved in the world of philanthropy as both a fundraiser and board member of several charitable organizations. He is active in areas of advocacy, awareness raising through public speaking, fundraising, and strategic development, Mr. Rayman's primary focus is in the world of Micro Finance. Before Jeff and his wife Rita founded The Shit Starts Here, a Guardian Project initiative, he was actively involved with FINCA Canada. As a concept, the idea of providing people with the means to learn to help themselves while achieving a sense of pride and dignity is the direction in which Mr. Rayman feels charity should move - “a hand up” as opposed to a “hand out”.
Most recently, Mr. Rayman has become a member of Rotary International, one of the world’s oldest service organizations, whose motto is “Service Above Self”.
Mr. Rayman resides in Toronto Canada with his wife, Rita. Together, they have four grown children, and five grandchildren.
Suzanne Stewart, PhD
Psychologist, Associate Professor (University of Toronto),
Canada Research Chair in Aboriginal Homelessness and Life Transitions
Dr. Stewart is a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation. She is a registered psychologist and Associate Professor of Indigenous Healing in Clinical and Counseling Psychology at OISE/University of Toronto, where she is Special Advisor to the Dean on Aboriginal Education and Interim Director of the Indigenous Education Initiative. Research and teaching interests include Indigenous mental health and healing in psychology (homelessness, youth mental health, identity, and work-life development), Indigenous pedagogies in higher education and psychotherapy practice/training.
She is Chair of the Aboriginal Section of the Canadian Psychology Association and is committed to advancing Indigenous healing issues through the discipline of psychology.
Thomas Haubenreisser, PhD
Vice-President and Director, SolarShare
Dr. Haubenreisser champions the advancement of impact investing through the development of initiatives that provide investors a financial and social return. He is Vice-President and Director of SolarShare, Canada's leading community owned renewable energy developer.
SolarShare offers its community investors a competitive financial return, the opportunity to support local commercial scale solar developments and is committed to reinvest all profits in community-based sustainable projects and initiatives. With more than 1,200 community investors; 35 solar projects in operation and 12 projects under construction SolarShare will have over $50 million in renewal energy assets by end of 2017.
Prior to entering social finance, Dr. Haubenreisser spent 25 years in financial services and worked with Royal Bank of Canada where he held various executive positions, including Vice President of Strategy and Business Development. In prior roles, he worked at CIBC where he was General Manager of Commercial Mortgages and was a Partner with Brendan Wood International where he worked as a consultant to financial institutions.
Dr. Haubenreisser is active in community-based initiatives and participated on not-for-profit boards such as Toronto Dollar and Community Power Capital. His interests include microfinance and he was a founding volunteer of the Toronto International Microfinance Summit.
Dr. Haubenreisser holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Waterloo.
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