Speakers

Craig Alexander

Craig Alexander - TD Craig Alexander is the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist for TD Bank Group. In that role, he manages a large team of economists that support all of the divisions and clients of TD - the second largest bank in Canada and the eighth largest bank in the United States. Craig has 15 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financial forecaster. He is also a regular commentator on public policy. Prior to joining private sector, Craig spent four years as an economist at Statistics Canada. Each year, Craig travels across the United States and Canada speaking at more than a hundred events about economic and financial developments. He personally writes research on a wide array of subjects. He is frequently called upon by the media to provide perspective on pressing issues. In addition to his role at TD, Craig is a strong advocate for the cause of literacy and is a champion of the charitable sector. He also serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit groups. Craig is a Trustee of two pension plans and is on the editorial board for the quarterly journal Canadian Public Policy. Craig is the former two-term President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics. He holds a graduate degree in economics from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Bashir Jiwani

Dr. Bashir Jiwani Bashir is Ethicist and Director, Fraser Health Ethics Services and Diversity Services where his role involves clinical ethics consultation, ethics-based organizational policy analysis, ethics infrastructure development and support, and ongoing ethics education and programming.

Bashir has worked as an Ethicist with Providence Health Care in BC and the Provincial Health Ethics Network in Alberta. He has served as member of the Executive for the Canadian Bioethics Society and worked with a number of committees and special task forces including the Canadian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation Ethics Consultation Committee, the Canadian Joint Oncology Drug Review Ethics Group and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia's Ethical Standards and Conduct Review Committee.

Bashir's academic background is in philosophy and public health. He has a Doctorate from the University of Alberta's Public Health Sciences department and a Master's degree in Applied Ethics, specializing in Bioethics, from UBC. His research interests include ethics and public health policy, health care resource allocation, the work of ethics resources in both clinical and organizational ethics, ethical decision-making, ethics in Islam, bioethics in a multicultural context, and issues in ethics and identity.

In terms of work with the Shia Ismaili Muslim community, Bashir is in his second term as a member of ITREB Canada where he is involved with building ethics decision-making capacity and developing a quality assurance agenda. He supports a wide variety ethics initiatives in the community at home in Canada and internationally.

Keith Pelley

Keith Pelley Keith Pelley was appointed President, Rogers Media in September 2010 and is responsible for leading the overall operations of the company's diverse portfolio, including Television, Radio, Publishing, Digital Media, The Shopping Channel, the Toronto Blue Jays, and the Rogers Centre. Under Pelley's leadership, Rogers Media operates as a fully integrated media company, delivering world-class content and leveraging synergies and opportunities across all divisions.

A passionate sports advocate, Pelley has more than 25 years of experience in the sports and broadcasting industries.

Prior to joining Rogers Media, Pelley was Executive Vice-President of Strategic Planning at CTVglobemedia and President of Canada's Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium, where he led Rogers' and CTV's unprecedented coverage of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Under Pelley's vision and guidance, the Consortium delivered the Top 5 most-watched events in Canadian television history, with 99 per cent of the Canadian population experiencing the 2010 Winter Games through one of the Consortium's media platforms.

Pelley was President and CEO of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club (2003 to 2007), where under his guidance, the club rose in popularity with average home game attendance more than tripling in just four years. In his first full year with the club, Pelley helped guide the Argos to the 2004 Grey Cup title.

Pelley began his career in 1986 at TSN, where he worked for 16 years in various roles of increasing responsibility. He began as an Editorial Assistant in the newsroom and worked his way up to Senior News Producer and Event Producer for CFL, curling, tennis and baseball. He left TSN in 1994 to produce NFL football for FOX, but returned to TSN as Senior Vice-President of Programming & Production in 1997. He was appointed President in 2001, where he remained until 2003 before joining the Argonauts.

Pelley devotes much of his time to numerous charitable organizations and serves on the Board of Own the Podium, Jays Care Foundation, and the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.

Pelley is a member of the Special Olympics Ontario Hall of Fame and received the Ryerson Alumni Achievement Award in 2011.

Michael 'Pinball' Clemons

Michael 'Pinball' Clemons Michael "Pinball" Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership, personal character and integrity. The Economics graduate is the pro-football world record holder in all purpose yards which earned him induction into the CFL Hall of Fame. He is also the first and only black head coach to win the Grey Cup in its 98 years, but is probably better known for his off the field exploits. Pinball is the founder of his own foundation whose most noteworthy project to date is building 131 schools in third world countries over five years. The author, philanthropist and entrepreneur is currently the vice-chair of the Toronto Argonauts. Also a member of the distinguished Order of Ontario, Mike's proudest accomplishment is to be the husband of Diane, and the father of Rachel, Raven and Rylie.

Shant Poladian

Shant Poladian Shant Poladian joined Canaccord in 2003 as an Equity Research Analyst covering Real Estate/REITs. Shant has been consistently ranked as one of the top Canadian Real Estate/REIT analysts, by Starmine, the world's leading provider of objective ratings of securities analysts. From 2001-2003, Shant was an integral member of a top-ranked equity research team covering Real Estate/REITs at a leading Canadian bank-owned investment dealer. Prior, he worked at Deloitte and Touche LLP in the Assurance and Advisory Practice in Toronto. Shant has a BComm degree (Specialist in Management and Economics) from the University of Toronto and two professional accounting designations (CPA, Delware, USA; and CA, Ontario, Canada).

Riaz Ahmed

Riaz Ahmed Riaz was appointed Group Head, Corporate Development, Enterprise Strategy and Treasury in May 2010 and became a member of the Senior Executive Team of the TD Bank Group in August 2009. Riaz currently reports to Ed Clark, President and CEO. In this role he is responsible for overseeing TD Economics, TDBG's Treasury and Balance Sheet Management Group, for supporting TDBG's enterprise strategy and for identifying and developing mergers and acquisitions.

Riaz joined TDBG in 1996 as an investment banker for TD Securities' infrastructure and independent power team where he advised on originating and structuring domestic and cross-border project finance and leasing transactions. In 1999 Riaz was appointed Chief Financial Officer for TD Securities and subsequently Vice Chair and Chief Administrative Officer, overseeing Finance, Operations, Risk and Technology groups for TDBG's Wholesale Banking business. In November 2004, Riaz was appointed Senior Vice President, Corporate Development for TDBG.

Prior to joining TDBG, Riaz was Vice President and Director, Corporate Finance with Citibank Canada's international asset finance and structured financing group. He joined Citibank from Financial Trustco, a financial services conglomerate and merchant bank, where he was responsible for capital markets, M&A and tax structuring.

Riaz holds a Bachelor of Commerce (with Distinction) degree from the University of Calgary. He started his career at Coopers & Lybrand and obtained his Chartered Accountant designation in 1985. Riaz devotes himself to a number of voluntary organizations and is currently Chairman of the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Canada.

Samir Manji

Samir Manji Samir obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Masters Degree (Accounting) from the University of Waterloo in 1992 and is a chartered accountant by profession. Up until early 1993, Samir practiced public accounting at KPMG LLP where most of his work revolved around real estate clients. He left KPMG LLP to join his Family's real estate business where he spearheaded a new division that focused on seniors housing.

In 1997, Samir established Amica Mature Lifestyles Inc., which has evolved to become a leading brand manager in the Canadian seniors housing industry with a focus on the luxury independent living segment. The Vancouver based public company trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "ACC".

Samir devotes himself to a number of voluntary organizations and is currently the Honorary Secretary for the Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Canada, one of several national institutional boards of the Ismaili community. A member of Young Presidents' Organization (YPO) since September 2000, Samir served as the YPO Regional Chair of Canada and on YPO's International Regional Chairs' Council from 2009 to 2011. As well, Samir serves as a director of Texada Software Inc. (TXS.V).

Samir was a 2006 recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40™ Award and was also named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® award winner in the business-to-consumer products and services category in British Columbia in 2010.

Shanali (Shawn) Bhagat

Shanali Bagat
  • More than three decades of experience as an entrepreneur and small business owners
  • Executive Board for World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Board of Directors for The Texas Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association
  • Board of Directors for National Association of Shell Marketers
  • Chairman for Contemporary Arab & Muslim Culture Studies Institute (University of North Texas)
  • Elected Chairman of the National Alliance of Trade Associations Inc., 2010, 2011
  • President of the North Texas Business Alliance, 2010 - 2013
  • Advisory Board of U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors for North Texas Commission
  • Advisory Board of Dallas Fort Worth International Community Alliance
  • Advisory Board of The Charlie Wilson Chair at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Associate Director for The Southern Methodist University (SMU) COX School of Business
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, 2010
  • Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award Finalist, 2009
  • Dallas Business Journal Minority Business Leader Award, 2009
  • Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year, 2004

Nashir Boghani

Nashir Boghani Nashir qualified as a Chartered Accountant in the UK, specialising in Taxation and Finance. He then went on to become Finance Director of the Hastingwood Group, an International Real Estate Development Company.

He has been involved in the Hospitality Business for over 25 Years starting his hospitality career developing Hotels and Nursing Homes. He developed London's first Holiday Inn Express in Victoria and has been operating this hotel since 1997. Nashir is also involved in other property developments in London and other parts of UK including a Holiday Inn Express in the Midlands

Nashir's jamati service dates back to the 1970s starting out as a Member of the Ismaili Youth Organisation UK, before moving on to become a Member of the Editorial Board in UK. He was appointed Honorary Secretary of the UK's first Economic Planning Board following which he founded and co-ordinated the first Global Youth Fundraising Campaign for the Aga Khan University Sports Centre in Karachi. Nashir has also served as a Board Director of Focus Humanitarian Assistance Europe from 1998 to 2000.

More recently, Nashir was Jamati Mukhi over the Golden Jubilee at Europe's largest Jamatkhana, North West London, between 2005 and 2009. He currently heads Jamati Development projects in the UK and Europe and is Chair of the UKs iHotels Alliance.

Zahir Bhanji

Zahir Bhanji Zahir is a Pharmacist by profession who has been in the business for over 30 years. Zahir was one of the founding Board members of Avicenna Canada - an alliance of Pharmacy business owners in Ontario, established in 1995. Avicenna Canada grew from 20 stores to over 80 stores over a 7 year span. In 2002, the alliance changed to a 35 store banner group concept - Axis Pharmacy - with a unique shareholder franchisor / franchisee concept. In 2009, Axis Pharmacy sold its banner rights to a much larger group - Remedy's Pharmacy, with each shareholder benefiting from the proceeds of the sale. Zahir currently represents the group of 26 past Axis Pharmacy stores, within the Remedy's group of over 250 stores.

In his volunteer capacity, Zahir is currently a member on the Economic Planning Board (EPB) assisting in the area of Strategic Alliances. He has been an alumni member on the Conciliation and Arbitration Board (CAB) for the past 5 years. As part of the training for CAB, he has taken courses in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Commercial and Family mediation. In addition, he is currently working towards a Certificate in Conflict Management and Mediation through the University of Waterloo. He also was a very active member on the Ontario Settlement Committee from 1993 - 2005.

Karim Devji

Karim Devji Karim has more then 15 years experience in the Vancouver and Kenyan real-estate industry as well as in real-estate acquisitions for individual clients and syndicates.

Karim has extensive knowledge, experience and the intuitive ability to build effective partnerships. Karim has a vision for his clients and shares his vision in a manner that is exciting and reassuring.

Karim guides clients and families along a continuum- from the purchase of their first home through to complex commercial acquisitions and investments. He places great value in seeing his clients grow and become astute investors. He positions families so they can leave a legacy for future generations and it is this fact that drives him.

Karim has been the past CEO of Vancouver Seniors Living Center and is Founder and CEO of L'Atelier Exploration Studios Incorporated, which is a well, thought out workshop centre for educators and early childhood development.

Rahim Talib

Rahim Talib Rahim Talib is a corporate M&A Lawyer by profession. He became a senior Associate at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, before leaving the profession in 2003 to focus full time on more entrepreneurial pursuits. Rahim has over 14 years experience in corporate acquisition, operations and communications in both private and public sector companies. Currently, Rahim is the President and CEO of Meadowfresh Dairy Corporation, where he is responsible for the stewardship of manufacturing and distribution operations and has successfully grown the company by 12x in 8 years of operation.

In 2009, Rahim was awarded the 2009 Business in Vancouver Top 40 under 40 Award and in 2007 was a scholarship recipient (KPMG/Richard Ivy School of Business) and one of only 40 Canadian-wide entrepreneurs selected for the Quantum Shift Business Entrepreneurs Program. Rahim is currently a Board Member of the BC Food Processors Association, the BC Dairy Council and also holds seats on 5 private company boards in the seniors living and lifestyles, real estate development and construction industries. In addition, he is actively involved as a volunteer at both the national and local levels in senior capacities.

In Rahim's volunteer capacity, he is currently the National Alliance Lead for the Economic Planning Board. He attended the Ismaili Economic Forum in Dubai in 2008 which was a 3-day conference attended by 500 Ismaili delegates around the world to build national strategies around Alliance development.

Yasin Amlani

Yasin Amlani Yasin is a corporate lawyer practicing for the last 12 years in British Columbia. His diverse business background includes consultant to a Fortune 500 financial services company as well as regional franchise coordinator for a national franchise.

He received both his Bachelor of Science as well as Law degrees from the University of British Columbia, and a Masters of Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Yasin is an active member of the Ismaili community, and currently serves on the boards of various alliances as well as the Conciliation and Arbitration Board for British Columbia.

Pyarali Jamal

Pyarali Jamal Pyarali is responsible for the alliances in the U.K. and U.K. jurisdiction Jamats. He has formed several alliances over the past few years which has involved evaluating the value proposition for the alliance, facilitating the consultation meetings with the target groups within the Jamat, establishing the governance and financial structures of the alliances, working with the new boards to develop their strategic plans, and supporting the alliances' with their on-going operational activities. Pyarali also works closely with the previously established alliances to assist them in meeting their strategic objectives.

He has approximately twenty years of experience in corporate and social finance, strategy and international expansion, operations, and economic development. He has advised, provided financing to, and / or worked with multinationals, governments, small and medium size businesses, non governmental organizations, and social enterprises in various industries and countries through his work with Ernst & Young (both in Canada and the U.K.), the TD Bank Financial Group, the Aga Khan Development Network, the Dubai Development and Investment Authority, and with others. He has lived in Canada, the United States, and the United Arab Emirates, and has traveled to over 20 other countries for business.

Pyarali was at one time the Member for Youth & Sports onthe Ismaili Council for B.C., the Chair of Leadership Vancouver, and a Director of Volunteer Vancouver. He is presently a trustee of two social finance / impact investing organizations in the U.K. - the Big Issue Invest and the Social Enterprise Loan Fund. His academic credentials include a Commerce and Business Administration Degree from UBC, an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University.

Although Pyarali left Vancouver in 2004 and is now a U.K. permanent resident, he will always remain a proud Canadian....and an avid Canucks fan.

Nooruddin Panjwani

Nooruddin Panjwani EDUCATION
  • BS - Computer Information Systems; Purdue University; Indiana, USA; 1981
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • Real Estate Development & Investment
  • International Trade
  • Retail Chain Development
  • Human Resource Management, Marathon Oil Company
  • Corporate Training and Development, Marathon Oil Company
  • Multi-unit Retail Operations, Marathon Oil Company
  • Start up and conceptualization of various Joint Venture Groups with total membership of over 50 individuals
COMMUNITY AND ADVISORY ROLES
  • President, National Alliance of Trade Associations (Current)
  • VP, The Foundation for a Better Life (non-profit) (Current)
  • VP, National Alliance of Trade Association (2010-2011)
  • Founding Director-Atlanta Retailers Association (1994-1999)
  • Member, National Conciliation and Arbitration Board for USA (2005-2009)
  • Chairman, Board of Advisors for Atlanta Retailers Association (2005-2010)
  • Hon. Sec. AK EPB USA (1999-2002)
  • Hon.Sec, AK Council for SE (1996-1999)
  • Chairman, AK EPB for SE USA (1993-1996)
  • Campaign Coordinator, MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon (1987-1989)

Nizar Ali

Nizar Ali Nizar Ali, originally from Karachi Pakistan, is an entrepreneur from Orlando Florida. He is the President of Global Trading of Central Florida Inc, exporter and the distributor of consumer products.

He is the Vice President of the National Alliance of Trade Association's Executive Management Committee.

He has served as the Chairman of Aga Khan Economic Planning Board for Florida. He has also served as the Chairman of National Alliance of Trade Association (NATA), a trade association of over 5000 business members and as the Founder President of Greater Orlando Merchants Association (GOMA). He has been on the Board of Advisory of Greater Orlando Chamber of Commerce.

Riaz Meghji

Riaz Meghji Growing up in North Delta, BC, Riaz graduated from Simon Fraser University with a degree in Finance. An interesting educational path considering he is one of the most disciplined talents on television today. As he began his financial career, he couldn't help but feel like something was missing. Engaging an audience has always been his great passion, so he made a risky decision that changed the trajectory of his life, taking a chance on a career in entertainment. And for the last ten years, he has flourished.

In 2002, Riaz initially worked in radio at Z953FM before making the shift into television working for MTV Canada. For years, he has focused on the art of the interview, connecting with various celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey, Mel Gibson, and Shania Twain. For an added challenge, he joined CTV News as a weathercaster on their evening news, displaying an impressive amount of versatility. In 2005, Riaz moved to Toronto to anchor the entertainment show "Inside Jam!" on SUN TV. He followed this up by hosting the Toronto International Film Festival Red Carpet shows for Bell Media from 2005 to 2009 and later, even took a shot at field directing with Tricon Films and Television. By 2008, this die-hard Vancouverite found himself back in his hometown, waking up the West Coast daily, co-hosting Breakfast Television on Citytv Vancouver.

Riaz is a thriving philanthropist, always wanting to give back to the community who watches him everyday. He is a supporter of many organizations, including the Aga Khan Foundation Canada and his latest initiative, 1Karma. In his off hours, Riaz is currently working on his first book, is an avid traveler, and enjoys a healthy balance of Crossfit, Ball Hockey and Yoga every week. And he does it all with a smile on his face.

Farah Nasser

Farah Nasser Farah Nasser anchors CP24's LIVE AT 5 and LIVE AT 5:30, bringing Toronto a look at their city and the day's events. Nasser has reported in the GTA since she was 18 years old and more than a decade later she feels lucky to work as a journalist calling it "a front row seat to history" both in our local Toronto communities and events taking place around the world. In February 2010, Nasser joined the CP24 team - Toronto's Breaking News.

Nasser's parents immigrated to Toronto in the early 1970s from Tanzania, Africa and embraced Canada and their new home town, Toronto. At a young age when most kids were watching cartoons Nasser's father made her watch international news with him instead. Her father would use the coverage to educate his daughter about how governments function, why stories were historically significant and how the media is an important facet of democracy.

By the time Nasser entered high school, she had set her sight set on a career in journalism and at age 18, she accepted a co-op placement with RogersTV (Peel) where she had the opportunity to report and anchor. She continued to pursue her desired career path by attending Ryerson University in Radio and Television Arts and attended University of Westminster, in London, England to complete course work in European Media Studies. While in school she interned for CNN in New Delhi, India where she cemented her interest and the importance of international news reporting.

Nasser's first job after University graduation was as a reporter and anchor on Toronto radio at News Talk 1010 (CFRB). She then returned to her TV roots, accepting a position as a reporter for /A\ Barrie reporting from the Toronto bureau for the station. In August 2006, she joined CityTV/CP24 (Toronto) as a general assignment reporter, and soon was anchoring on weekends. Nasser's career highlights include reporting on the Air France crash, Hurricane Katrina, the Toronto 18 terror trials and various municipal, provincial and national elections. Several of her reports have been picked up by CNN and CBS radio.

Off-air Nasser spends considerable time volunteering in her community. Nasser sits on the York Regional Police's Crime Prevention council and often acts as emcee for the force's events. She helps raise awareness and funds for the University Health Network's Arthritis and Autoimmune Research Centre Foundation (AARC). She dedicates time to the Aga Khan Foundation, a charity that provides sustainable solutions for the underprivileged in Asia and Africa.

Nasser lives in the GTA with her husband. On a day off what she enjoys most is just exploring her city, trying new restaurants and spending time with family and friends.