Jane Brydges ’95
President, Brydges and Associates Inc., Ottawa
Jane graduated with a BA in Political Studies from Bishop’s and Master’s degrees from MIT in City Planning–Environmental Technology, and in Science, Technology and Policy.
When Jane decided to start her own management consultant company, she thought “my education trained me for something different.” But her path reveals a continuity that terms such as innovation, development and transformation best describe.
After Bishop’s, Jane went to work at Nortel Networks, responsible for the implementation of environmental technologies as business opportunities. Her mentor and colleague at the time told her, “if you are not lead dog, the scenery never changes.”
“So together we changed the scenery,” she says. Jane and her team developed the world’s first lead-free telephone, receiving several awards for innovation.
To advance her career in the “green” business, Jane pursued graduate studies at MIT, writing her thesis on hydrogen fuelling stations for fuel cell buses. Recruited by several Fortune 500 companies, she chose to become an internal consultant in the Corporate Strategic Initiatives group at General Motors. She worked on developing non-automotive applications for fuel cell technology and exploring the possibility of GM getting into the general aviation business. In 2002, GM sent her to Europe as project leader for HR Operations Service Transformation and Integration. She helped to reduce GM’s HR costs and increase its productivity in 16 different countries.
Jane returned to North America to head up a similar project for GM and later worked at a small US boutique firm called EquaTerra (now KPMG). “I spent five years as a senior advisor, providing global enterprises with advisory, transformation, and governance services that enabled clients to achieve sustainable value in their business processes and service delivery excellence.”
Recognizing her ability and passion for management consulting, Jane went out on her own and has not looked back. She and her associates assist global clients designing strategies and solutions for sustainable business transformation.
Chris Burns ’94
Research Associate, Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena CA
Chris graduated with a BSc in Honours Physics and an MSc and PhD in Theoretical/Observational Astrophysics from the University of Toronto.
Chris remembers how Bishop’s influenced his career path. “As one of only a few Physics students in a relatively new department, I became more involved than students in larger, more established departments at other universities. During the summers, Dr. Lorne Nelson hired me to do astrophysical research, test laboratory equipment and even design experiments. This work showed me how to apply what I learned to real-world problems.”
Dr. Nelson also sparked Chris’s love for astronomy. He went to the U of T for graduate studies, but “Bishop’s wasn’t done with me. My PhD adviser, Prof. Charles Dyer, graduated from Bishop’s in 1968.”
He taught for five years at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania before going to Pasadena for a three-year postdoctoral research position at Carnegie. While there, a local college offered his wife Jenny, also a professional astronomer, a tenure-track position and then Carnegie offered Chris a permanent position. “We quite unintentionally solved our two-body problem (the difficulty for both spouses to find employment in the same field at the same institution or at least in the same geographic region).”
Carnegie is a special place, and its environment reflects the values of an institution dedicated to enabling exceptional scientists to pursue their ideas with complete freedom. Chris’s primary responsibility is to do great science.
Among other interests, he spends time working on the Carnegie Supernova Project (CSP). Supernovae, the explosive ends of stars’ lives, are essential to understanding the origin of the elements and can also be used to measure distances to other galaxies. The CSP attempts to provide independent constraints on the nature of Dark Energy by both improving our understanding of the nearby supernovae and working with infra-red telescopes to better measure the expansion of the universe.
An enthusiastic scientist with a significant record of achievement in research and instruction, Chris is a recognized expert in the astronomical distance scale, cosmology, and supernova physics.
Colin Feasby ’94
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, Calgary
Colin graduated with a BA in Honours History and Classical Studies, an MA in History from the University of Western Ontario, an LLB (with distinction) from the University of Alberta, and an LLM and JSD from Columbia University.
During his year of articling, Colin spent lots of time watching court and found the most compelling lawyers were effective storytellers. “I realized the true essence of oral advocacy is storytelling, not argument,” explains Colin. “A story or narrative is the dominant way people make sense of the world.”
Colin’s own story reflects his broad, liberal education as he gained a solid background in the arts before entering the profession of law. He joined Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt as an associate in 1999 but kept his mind on further studies.
When the chance came to take time off from his firm in Calgary and attend Columbia, he eagerly left for New York City where he completed a JSD (equivalent to a PhD) in law in 2007. That year, Lexpert Magazine named Colin a “Rising Star” in their “Top 40 under 40” list of Canadian lawyers.
Colin acts for multinational corporate clients in complex litigation. He continues to write about constitutional law and the democratic process, the subject of his JSD dissertation, with some of his articles cited in Supreme Court of Canada decisions.
Colin has represented the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) in a number of public interest cases, including in the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2011, he took on a case regarding critical Facebook postings by students and the constitutional right to free expression in universities.
In 2012, he represented the CCLA in a case before the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal concerning the constitutional right to strike.
About his pro bono work, Colin says, “I’m happy to fight for important principles.” In court or out, the stories he constructs often serve the cause of the individual’s rights and freedoms in democracy.
Chris Hirsch ’00
Creative Director, John St. Advertising, Toronto
Chris graduated with a BA in Philosophy and has a postgraduate diploma in Advertising from Humber College.
A member of John St. Advertising since 2005, Chris helped the company grow from 20 to over 100 employees in five short years. He was instrumental in John St. becoming Marketing Magazine’s Agency of the Year in 2008 and played a leading role in transforming a traditional creative department into a digitally integrated workplace that won silver for Agency of the Year and for Digital Agency of the Year at the 2012 Strategy Magazine Agency Awards. That same year, John St. named Chris the company’s first Creative Director (CD) since it was founded in 2001.
“One thing you quickly learn in the advertising industry,” says Chris, “is that the awards you win for building successful campaigns are the currency by which your career gets measured.” As a young copywriter, he won awards at national and international competitions, including Silver and Gold at New York’s One Show and the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in France.
His commercials have gained recognition for their effective use of humour, appearing on TBS’ World’s Funniest Commercials.
While Chris takes pride in building successful campaigns for clients in the private sector, he finds his work for various causes “an especially rewarding part of my job.” He’s used his creative skills to foster real change for many not-for-profit and charitable organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, Kids Help Phone, War Child, and the Canadian Cancer Society.
One of the youngest and most innovative CDs in the country, Chris might just have changed your life. Men: check your liquor cabinet and the brand of your latest underwear. Chris created the wildly popular “Wiserwood” campaign for Wiser’s Whiskey and the “Guy at Home in His Underwear” for Stanfield’s—named one of the top five social media campaigns in the world at the influential SXSW conference in 2011.
Sonia Isaac-Mann ’95
Associate Director of Health
Assembly of First Nations, Ottawa
Sonia graduated with BSC in Biology from Bishop’s and an MSc in Medical Sciences – Public Health Sciences from the University of Alberta.
Originally from Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation in Quebec, Sonia went west after Bishop’s. Working in the field of First Nations health in the summers while studying at the University of Alberta sharpened her awareness of the many health concerns in First Nations communities. She realized she wanted to influence government policy through research and program development.
Hired by the Assembly of First Nations in 2004, Sonia began to have her say in making sure government money was put to good use. In 2005, Health Canada announced Upstream Investment program funding of $700 million (since renewed for $660 million) to address such issues as suicide, diabetes, maternal health and early childhood development with the goal of developing policies and programs to be rolled out into various communities.
Along the way Sonia worked with the First Nations Information Governance Committee to develop a tool on principles of research that continues to guide her work today: Ownership, Control, Access and Possession. She also gained valuable experience in the area of Indian Residential Schools (IRS), managing a team to ensure necessary health supports were readily available to former IRS students during their healing journey.
As an adjunct professor at Laurentian University, she is currently investigating the use of tobacco among First Nations youth. One encouraging result: when young people learn about the traditional uses of tobacco they begin to feel empowered and proud of their identity and linkage to their past which influences their decisions of today.
Sonia’s career so far has been a journey in the cause of healing for the First Nations. Her work involves extensive travel across Canada as well as internationally.
“Part of my job is to ensure communities have access to quality services and equality of services.” Obstacles remain but the goal is clear: “to establish a comprehensive health service model that is developed, implemented, and led by First Nations.”
Steve Losty ’96
Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Banking
CIBC World Markets Inc., Toronto
Steve graduated with a BBA, Major in Finance and Minor in Economics.
Steve has enjoyed a successful career in Investment Banking in Canada and Europe. While still studying at Bishop’s, Steve interned for two summers at RBC Capital Markets in Toronto and on graduation secured a full-time position there.
He moved to the UK in 1998 to work for a leading European bank, wanting to gain international experience in a key centre for global finance. While there, Steve advised on a number of significant transactions for leading global clients, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “Working in London afforded me an opportunity to advise a range of clients from a variety of countries across Europe and beyond, as well as a chance to live in one of the world’s great cities.”
Steve returned to Canada from London in 2005 to join CIBC. He has continued his Investment Banking career, advising clients across a range of industries, including Rio Tinto on its $45 billion acquisition of Alcan, the largest ever Metals & Mining transaction at that time, and more recently Leon’s on its acquisition of The Brick.
Steve also devotes considerable time to community and charitable initiatives. For several years he has led CIBC’s contribution to “Movember”, a moustache growing fundraising campaign in support of Prostate Cancer Canada, with the team raising over $1.7 million to-date. CIBC has been ranked #1 nationally and globally for fundraising for a number of years. Steve was recently appointed to the Audit & Finance Committee of the Board of Directors of Prostate Cancer Canada.
Geoff MacDonald ’92
Founding Partner, CIO and co-CEO of EdgePoint Investment Group Inc., Toronto
Geoff graduated with a BBA from Bishop’s and an MBA from the University of Windsor and earned his CFA designation in 1997.
When Geoff co-founded EdgePoint Investment Group in 2008, a business reporter at the National Post wrote: “It takes guts to launch a new fund company near the bottom of the most vicious bear market in most investors’ lifetimes.” But Geoff maintained at the time, “an increased emphasis on sales and marketing in the industry took the focus away from what matters most: investment results for the end investor.” And so he launched a small investor-led mutual fund company driven by individuals with investment backgrounds.
Geoff knows small. He hails from Canada’s smallest province, PEI, and spent four years at Bishop’s before eventually settling in Toronto. In the world of finance, however, his story is large.
He worked as an Analyst/Portfolio Manager for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (1994-98) where he successfully managed a Canadian equity portfolio in excess of $1 billion. As Vice President at Invesco Trimark (1998-2007), he continued to enjoy success: under his management, for example, assets of an income growth fund grew from $2.7 billion to over $8 billion.
Barron’s named Geoff one of the 50 best fund managers of 2007 and the World Economic Forum selected him as a “Young Global Leader” in 2009. No wonder EdgePoint can cite many gains in its five years, such as all portfolios returning top quartile performance and assets growing to over $5 billion.
Geoff claims: “My professional accomplishments result from executing a deceptively simple idea—focusing solely on the end investor, helping lead a staff of only 33 individuals to compete against companies with 300-800 employees, and stealing a bit of market share every day since our launch of EdgePoint.”
Vince Morena ’93
President and Co-owner, St-Viateur Bagel, Montreal
Vince graduated with a BBA in Human Resources.
The challenge for Vince was not how to make a great bagel, but how to expand a small family business. After all, Vince and his brothers Nick and Robert started making bagels at the age of 14—by hand, just as they are still made today.
When their father, Joe Morena, bought out his partner in 1994, Vince joined the family business on a full time basis, bringing what he had learned about the food and service industry from his year as manager and event planner at Le Crystal reception hall in Montreal.
“Having the energy and drive that comes with youth, I immediately started to push the business in new directions,” says Vince.
To increase production, Vince opened a store in 1995 at the Esposito Super Market in St Laurent. A year later, he designed and built St-Viateur Bagel and Café on Mont Royal, a place he calls “ an extension of myself.”
In 1998, the café concept extended to include catering and by 2001 had evolved into a full-service restaurant in NDG’s trendy Monkland Village.
2008 saw the launch of Canada’s first online bagel shop: stviateurbagel.com. “I was able to use our growing popularity to sell our niche product online,” explains Vince. The company ships bagels all across North America, selling over 10,000 dozen online in 2012.
With retail stores outfitted to service a growing wholesale network, St-Viateur bagels can now be found in over 400 stores in different regions of Canada. “We believe this network represents the future for us and aim to double the number of stores carrying our bagels within the next two years.”
Long a Montreal institution, St-Viateur Bagel has achieved near celebrity status. It has been featured on television’s Today Show, the Anthony Bourdain Show, and Food Network’s Glutton for Punishment.
Proud that “we sell every bagel we make,” Vince lists William Shatner and Steven Spielberg among his online customers.
Jennifer Quinn ’94
Journalist, The Toronto Star, Toronto
Jennifer graduated with a BA in Honours History and a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University.
In 2006, after almost ten years reporting for The Toronto Star, Jennifer chose to go overseas even though newspapers were shrinking, not expanding, their ranks of foreign correspondents. “It was a huge risk,” says Jennifer. “But then—and now—I didn’t want to be the kind of person who looks back on her life and thinks, ‘I wonder what I could have done if only I’d tried that.’”
Eight days after arriving at Heathrow, Jennifer landed a job in the newsroom of the Associated Press, the world’s largest news agency. Fleet Street. In AP’s busy London bureau, she reported on British and international politics, the justice system, and terrorism, and wrote features on such topics as the Royal Family and illegal drugs.
For five years, she saw history close up, on assignment from the White House, the Palace of Westminster, Buckingham Palace, G8 conferences, NATO summits, and the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. She even filed a news alert on UN sanctions from a plane 35,000 feet above the Atlantic.
While becoming a better journalist, Jennifer also learned “reporters can do more than write.” From Fleet Street, she moved into the world of diplomacy as the Head of Communications at Canada’s High Commission in the UK. “I learned a whole new set of skills, ranging from how to work with our Prime Minister’s office to how much red and white wine an afternoon reception requires.”
In November 2012, Jennifer returned to The Toronto Star as an investigative reporter with a mandate to write highly detailed stories of national and international significance. For example, she helped expose loopholes in Canada’s laws that allow sex offenders to travel freely abroad and abuse children—a story which resulted in the Minister of Public Safety vowing to solve the problem.
Jennifer does not wonder, “What if? Only, what’s next?”
Chad Schella ’94
Director of Government Affairs
Canada Post Corporation, Ottawa
Chad graduated with a BA in Honours Political Studies.
When Chad arrived at Bishop’s in the fall of 1990, little did he know his time at the university would open up a world of friendships and personal growth that continue to enhance his life to this day.
Chad’s cheerful personality helped him become an active member of campus life: he served as an RA and as President of the Students’ Representative Council for two successive terms.
“I learned discipline and judgment, and that you must conduct yourself with integrity,” he says. “It also helps if you acquire the ability to deal with all types of individuals and personalities.”
After Bishop’s, Chad indulged his love of politics, working for the Honourable Jean Charest DCL ’13, at the time one of only two Progressive Conservative MPs sitting in Parliament, and then with The Right Honourable Joe Clark.
But after many years in the political arena, Chad turned to another love: sports. He served with the Royal Canadian Golf Association and the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club, where he was the only Director of Player Services in the NHL.
In 2012 Chad jumped back into the political fray as Director of Government Affairs for Canada Post, Canada’s largest employer and primary postal operator. “It’s a fascinating job, because we must meet the shifting digital and physical delivery needs of Canadians while also becoming financially self-sufficient.”
Chad remains passionate about his support for Roger’s House, the pediatric palliative care centre he helped build in Ottawa in honour of his late friend and mentor, NHL coach Roger Neilson. “I start every day with the knowledge that my worst day, and that of my wife and children, is much better than some people’s best.”
“My years at Bishop’s rank among the greatest of my life so far, and my Bishop’s network is integral to my personal and professional success,” he concludes.