Our People

Our success and contribution is due in large part to: our partners, who provide the financial support/backing we need to keep our efforts going; our board of directors, who provide the structure and leadership to our success; and our executive committee, who provide the backbone to our operations.

Michael Comisarow
Director, Credit Suisse Securities

Michael co-founded Daytrippers in Toronto and served as Executive Director from its inception until 2013. He believes strongly in the value of school trips as both an educational tool and as an opportunity to show children the world outside their classroom. Michael is an investment banker with Credit Suisse based in Calgary. He has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management in Chicago and a Master of Science in Management from Queen’s University. He has two children whose favourite question is “Why?”

Sean Robitaille
Founder, Griffen Capital

Sean created Markland in 2006 and was responsible for growing the company to almost $500 million of assets under management in its first year. In 2008, Sean was nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for his role at Markland. In October 2009 Markland Street was acquired by Manulife Financial. Sean is also Managing Director and Deputy Head of Capital Markets at Manulife. Formerly Sean spent 10 years with a Canadian bank-owned investment dealer where he was most recently Head of Equity Private Placements. Sean has a degree in Business Administration (honours) from the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration at the University of Western Ontario. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the Toronto CFA Society. Sean lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

Victoria Bovaird
Partner HC Consulting, Deloitte

Victoria is a leader in the Toronto practice of Deloitte who focuses on the Financial Services Industry, and is the National Human Capital Merger and Acquisition advisory leader. She has over 15 years of experience in management consulting and project leadership in Europe and North America, based out of London, U.K., and Toronto, Canada. Victoria is a leader on the account team for one of Deloitte’s largest banking clients, and leads a team of over thirty practitioners focused on M&A. Her area of expertise lies in financial services transformation and talent initiatives as well as the people/human resources aspects of mergers and acquisitions. Victoria holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and an M.A. from the University of Sussex. Victoria is a member of the McGill Women, Leadership & Philanthropy Advisory Committee, and enjoys skiing and tennis with Stewart and daughter in her spare time.

Melanie Johnston
President, DDB Canada

Melanie is President of the Toronto and Montreal offices of global advertising network DDB. She is responsible for operations, talent development, creative product, revenue growth and the overall stewardship of the agency. Since joining DDB, Melanie has held numerous positions, contributing to the agency’s growth and innovation story, and has helped guide leading brands in the CPG, retail, automotive, corporate, tourism, pharmaceutical and financial sectors. Prior to joining DDB, Melanie worked client side at TD Bank, where she developed advertising for the bank and its affiliated companies. A strong advocate for results-driven big ideas, Melanie has served on creative effectiveness juries for the Canadian Marketing Awards, the Cassies, the North American Effies and Cannes. She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Communication Agencies in Canada.

Allison Pether
Senior Manager, TD

Allison became Daytrippers’ third Executive Director in September 2016. Her interest in our organization was piqued after attending Battle of the Brains in recent years and being inspired by our mission and the energy and passion of our volunteers at the event. She brings a passion for our cause, a high level of energy, and experience in organizational effectiveness and operations. Allison is a Senior Manager, Organization Effectiveness at TD Bank, providing advice to the Technology function. Prior to that she was a Manager at Deloitte Consulting working with clients on business transformations, while supporting Deloitte’s GTA partner as Chief of Staff. She currently lives in the west end of Toronto and enjoys everything the city has to offer.

Jeff Freeborough
Partner, Caldwell Partners

Jeff is a partner in the Toronto office with Caldwell Partners, an international executive search firm, and is a key member of the Financial Services and Professional Services practice groups, as well as the Legal, Risk and Regulatory Oversight practice. His clients include leaders in global banking and markets, regulatory oversight, commercial banking and asset & wealth management, as well as high profile consulting firms and technology service providers/Fintech companies. His search practice has focused on senior executive roles, front and middle office leaders, as well as partners, subject matter experts and practice leaders within the professional services sector. Prior to executive search, Jeff spent several years as a consultant in the US and Canada specializing in business and technology strategy, and also worked for a number of start-ups in various management roles. Jeff attended Babson College in Massachusetts and earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a focus on finance and entrepreneurship. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Western University. Jeff is an active volunteer board member of Bay Street Fore a Cause, sits on 2 fundraising/event committees for Covenant House Toronto, Canada’s largest shelter for homeless youth, is a frequent Movember participant and past United Way campaign chair for Caldwell’s Toronto office.

Lloyd Hong
Chief Legal Officer, Franco-Nevada

Lloyd is the Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary of Franco-Nevada Corporation. Lloyd joined Franco-Nevada in December 2012. Prior to joining Franco-Nevada, Lloyd was the Senior Vice‐President, Legal Counsel and Assistant Secretary of Uranium One Inc. Prior to that, he was a partner with the Canadian law firm of Davis LLP (now DLA Piper (Canada) LLP) with a practice focused on mining, corporate finance and M&A. Lloyd holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Queen’s University. He is a member of The Law Society of Upper Canada and The Law Society of British Columbia. Lloyd lives in Toronto with his wife and son.

Krista Matheson
Entrepreneur

Krista is an entrepreneurial executive in the investment industry. She has deep ties in the Toronto business community and a fantastic network. Krista has been a significant supporter of Daytrippers as both a donor and a Battle guest. Krista has a BBA from UPEI and an MBA from Dalhousie.

Rita Russo, Special Advisor to the Board
Superintendent of Education, York Region District School Board (YRDSB)

In addition to her role as Superintendent of Education at the YRDSB, Rita sits on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association. As an elementary school teacher, with the Toronto District School Board, Rita accessed Daytrippers’ funds to subsidize school trips often. Rita understands the many benefits of experiential learning through field trips and proudly advocates to identify and remove barriers of access for all students. Rita is the proud mother of two young adult children and lives in Richmond Hill.

ALLISON PETHER
Executive Director

Allison became Daytrippers’ third Executive Director in September 2016. Her interest in our organization was piqued after attending Battle of the Brains in recent years and being inspired by our mission and the energy and passion of our volunteers at the event. She brings a passion for our cause, a high level of energy, and experience in organizational effectiveness and operations.

Allison is a Senior Manager, Organization Effectiveness at TD Bank, providing advice to the Technology function. Prior to that she was a Manager at Deloitte Consulting working with clients on business transformations, while supporting Deloitte’s GTA partner as Chief of Staff. She currently lives in the east end of Toronto and enjoys everything the city has to offer.

Fundraising Committee
Bryan Grier, Co-Chair
Chris Kennedy, Co-Chair
Arman Baniasadi
Nikhil Gupta

Trips Committee 
Leslie Havers, Co-Chair
Charlotte Sobolewski, Co-Chair
Sharon Ng
Kathy Ai
Neera Arya
June Li

Marketing Committee
Ashley Mayhew, Co-Chair
Fathima Jaffer, Co-Chair
Matthew Cheuk
Sarmishta Revanoor
Katie Pollock

Finance Committee
Amy Ding, Chair
Patrick Lam

 

Battle of the Brains
Gaspar Csete, Co-Chair
Christina D'Alimonte, Co-Chair
Ian Ruberry
Eleni Tsimpragos
Priya Jamnadas

 

Operations
Michael Hickey, Secretary
Matthew Cheuk