Design Exchange (DX) is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Committees are established within the Board to advise, maintain and oversee the different sectors of DX. Committees include Nominating, Gala, Facility, Executive, Finance/Audit, Nominating, Permanent Collection, Government Relations, Gala, and Friends of Design, and Development.
Chair of DX Board
After starting a natural products company in the mid-1990’s, Dave Marcus founded AyA Kitchens and Baths in early 2000. AyA, a Mississauga based, state-of-the-art manufacturer of mid to high-end residential cabinetry, quickly established itself as an innovator in its sector. ‘Aya’ is Japanese for design and great design is central to AyA’s success. AyA’s Green Design program was one of the first in its industry, and is highlighted by AyA’s offerings of urea-formaldehyde-free and fsc certified cabinetry. AyA designs and manufactures cabinetry for single family, multi-family and retail customers throughout North America.
Date Elected – March 20, 2008
Vice-Chair of DX Board
David Wex is a founder and partner in Urban Capital, a Toronto-based residential condominium developer with over 4,000 units developed or under development in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg. Urban Capital has been a pioneer in developing residential buildings in former industrial or non-residential districts, typically setting a trend that results in a flourishing new neighbourhood. In addition, the company’s developments have been highly innovative in terms of architecture and interior design, as well as environmental sustainability. Prior to establishing Urban Capital with partner Mark Reeve, Wex was a lawyer at Stikeman Elliott, a large Canadian law firm.
Date Elected – June 19, 2012
Over 30 years of practice, Peter Clewes has developed a body of work shaped by the clarity and functionality of modern architecture, and by a commitment to urbanism and city-building. Clewes began his career as a design architect in the Toronto studio of Arthur Erickson Architects, working Napp Laboratories in Cambridge, UK. He established his first practice in 1986, and was a founding partner in the creation of architectsAlliance in 1999. Clewes’ practice covers a broad range of academic, residential and urban design projects, including the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex at Brock University, the Bloor Street Transformation, and the Pond Road Residence at York University – the first ‘green’ student housing designed for the extremes of central Canada. Believing in the strength of ideas developed through collaboration, Clewes actively pursues relationships with compatible firms. The results of such collaborations have included the Donnelly Centre at the University of Toronto (with Behnisch Architekten) and the Kaiser Computer Science and Engineering Building at the University of British Columbia (with Omicron AEC). Clewes is also a strong proponent of multi-unit residential and mixed-use development as a direct solution to the urgent need for North American cities to grow sustainably. He served for five years on the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel, and speaks extensively to professional, academic and civic groups across Canada and the US on topics related to design, density and urban renewal.
Date Elected – October 2, 2013
As President, Wein leads the senior management teams for all land, housing and high-rise residential development initiatives at Great Gulf. Wein’s strategic vision and impressive background with more than sixteen years of senior leadership in the design and development industries, includes projects throughout Canada and the United States. He has served on numerous Boards and has recently been elected to the Prostate Cancer Canada Board. He has spoken at industry conferences, colleges and universities, has been recognized for his efforts and received numerous awards including Calgary Inc’s “Top 40 Under 40”. His passion, motivation, inspiration, and mentorship connect with real life experiences, He is an innovator in utilizing new technologies, sustainable eco-friendly building solutions and engineering ingenuity in the development industry all within a competitive marketplace.
Date Elected – July 30, 2014
J. URBAN JOSEPH
Urban Joseph’s distinguished career in the Toronto Dominion Bank began in 1952 in Quebec and culminated in his appointment as Vice-Chairman in 1992. He holds an Associate in Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, an Honours degree in Business and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. Although retired from TD Bank in 1996, Joseph is extremely active as a Corporate Director. Joseph was made an Officer of the Order of the Canada in 2001 for his extensive contributions to the aboriginal people and youth of Canada.
Date Elected – June 18, 1996
LINDA R. LEWIS
Board Emeritus, Founding President, Ex-Officio
Linda Lewis is the Founding President of Design Exchange and has served on the Board of Directors since 1985. She has a solid reputation for her advocacy of design and is currently working on a Canadian National Design Policy. Lewis is former Chair of the School of Fashion at Ryerson University and has an extensive career in design practice and education.
Date Elected – Feb 6, 1997
MORTON H. RAPP
Morton Rapp has a Bachelor of Engineering from McGill University, a Masters of Commerce from University of Toronto and has completed an Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard University. Rapp serves on a number of Boards in the community including YMHA, Jewish Community Planning Council, Weizmann Institute of Science and serves as a Committee Member at Mount Sinai Hospital. His many interests include contemporary and modern art, science, literature and contemporary consumer and industrial design.
Date Elected – February 14, 1990
Chair of Government Relations Committee
Tim Gilbert is the founding partner of Gilbert’s LLP, where he has acted as lead strategic counsel on several of Canada’s largest multinational technology disputes. Gilbert’s practice focuses on advising clients in emerging, regulated and knowledge-based industries, with an emphasis on “bet-the-company” high-stakes litigation. Gilbert has developed a depth of expertise in the pharmaceutical field, where he has successfully broken legal barriers to product approval and designed policy solutions in Canada and the United States to balance the needs for new product innovation and increased access to life-saving pharmaceuticals. As the founder of Gilbert’s Global, Gilbert also provides strategic consulting and legal services to companies, civil society organizations, governments and inter- national agencies that are grappling with issues related to global health, trade, technology, sustainability and intellectual property. He is a director of Incentives for Global Health, a Yale-based not-for-profit organization advocating for adoption of the Health Impact Fund, a novel system designed to reward new drug innovation based on measured health impact. In his spare time, Gilbert teaches trial advocacy to law students and young lawyers at the Faculty of Law at University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School, and the Advocates’ Society.
Date Elected – June 7, 2006
Chair of EDIT Committee
In addition to being a founding partner and CEO of Hill & Gertner, which is a merchant bank specializing in the retail and consumer products sector, Gertner is the CEO of Hill & Gertner Retail Partners, an affiliate of Hill & Gertner. Since its founding, he has been involved in over $1 billion worth of transactions in the retail sector, most notably, Eaton’s, Dylex and Hip Interactive. From 1981 to 1996, Gertner was President and owner of Mister Leonard Inc., one of Canada’s largest women’s apparel manufacturers. He has a Bachelor of Architec- ture from the University of Toronto and practiced archi- tecture in the early 1980’s. Gertner is a member of World Presidents’ Organization and a founder of the Gertner Charitable Foundation.
Date Elected – October 25, 2007
Chair of DXI Committee
Born and raised in Munich, Avenue Road president Stephan Weishaupt was exposed to good design at an early age through his parents and grandparents, whose homes were filled with modern and contemporary furniture and art. After graduating from the University of Applied Sciences in Munich, Weishaupt worked in various marketing positions for the BMW Group in Germany, the U.S. and Canada. In 2005, he established his own business and communications consultancy, working with clients in the design and fashion indus- tries in Canada. In 2007, Weishaupt launched Toronto’s Avenue Road with the goal of bridging artistry and design, showcasing unique pieces in an elegant yet accessible setting. In 2012, Weishaupt launched Avenue Road U.S.A. with the opening of its first showroom in New York City.
Date Elected – June 19, 2012
Principal, Lexington Park Real Estate Capital Inc.
George Georghiades is the managing principal of Lexington Park Real Estate Capital Inc., a private real estate investment and asset management firm. The firm owns and manages a geographically concentrated portfolio of retail, office, and multi-residential assets. Beyond creating value for its stakeholders, the firm strives to reinvigorate and re-purpose existing sub-optimal assets and create sustainable new assets that serve the long-term interests of the communities in which it operates. Prior to co-founding Lexington Park, Georghiades held progressively senior roles at McKinsey & Company, serving both its Private Equity and Institutional Investor Practice. He provided guidance on a wide range of issues related to alternative asset class investing, specifically Real Estate and Private Equity. Georghiades is a Loran Scholar from the class of 1995. He has earned a BA in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, an MSc. in Real Estate Economics and Finance at the London School of Economics, and an MPA at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Georghiades was also the first alumnus to serve on the board of the Canadian Merit Scholar- ship Foundation from 2002 to 2006 and continues to be a strong supporter and significant fundraiser for the Foundation.
Date Elected – May 6, 2013
VP, Sales and Marketing, Dream Unlimited Corp.
Krystal Koo is currently the Director of Sales and Marketing for Dream Unlimited Corp., formally known as Dundee Realty Corp. One of Canada’s largest residential and commercial real estate organizations. She has been responsible for the revitalization, design, and marketing of the Pan Am/Parapan Athletes’ Village - Canary District site which is an awarding winning master plan community that will transform the downtown east. She has also worked on other notable projects such as The King Edward Hotel Private Residences and the historic Distillery District. Koo has also been active in the philanthropic community, she is currently the honorary chair for the YMCA Strong Start, Great Future Campaign their $250 million capital campaign dedicated to build 10 new YMCA centres over 10 years and chairs the Ronald McDonald House Annual Gala. She is also actively involved in the arts, design, and fashion community and participates on various charities and committees. Koo holds a BBA from University of Toronto.
Date Elected – October 2, 2013
As Creative Partner, Burdi brings to the studio a freshness and vision that assures his clients the benefit of innovation. Able to cross-reference influences and circumvent trends, Burdi’s design work is eclectic, always morphing, and invariably successful at moving design forward. A designer who has remained frontline in client liaison, he counts amongst his assets the ability to understand his clients goals, and then creatively translate their vision into three dimensions of immaculately appointed spaces.
Burdifilek is a leading commercial interior design firm based in Toronto. The award-winning company is the creative strength behind many retail flagships, hospitality designs, and real estate developments around the world. The Burdifilek design philosophy embraces sophistication and creative intelligence. Inspired by travel and exploration, art and artisans, the firm’s identity is demonstrated through the ability to realize expressive, sophisticated, meticulously curated interiors. Creators of a distinct international style, the Burdifilek design team works together to transcend trends; fluidly blending distinctive design vision with a trademark elegance and polish.The 20-year-old company is led by Managing Partner Paul Filek and Creative Partner Burdi, both fully accredited interior designers with experience in all genres of commercial design work. The firm is equipped to design and manage all aspects of the interior design process including concept, development, documentation, and coordination. Responsible for the creation, development and evolution of the design identity for many iconic brands, the team works with clients to explore the depth of each brand to orchestrate a powerful customer experience.
Date Elected – October 29, 2014
Chair of DXDA Committee
After earning a degree in Interior Design from the University of Manitoba (BID ’89) Girard worked for firms in Montreal, Toronto and the US. He would have finished his BArch (Université de Montréal, 1992) had he not been so busy with his newfound career and notoriety – Restaurant Toqué, Café El Dorado, Salon Dru and other spaces he created 20 years ago have gone on to become iconic Montreal interiors. Girard grew up Winnipeg and from a young age yearned to see what was beyond the horizon. A memorable childhood trip to Finland, where he spent a summer touring the likes of the Iitala and Artek factories with the design literate hog-farming family he was billeted with, was a first lesson in design democracy. It also instilled the notion that design could be central to national identity (and a boon for business). The worlds of design, travel and marketing converged when Air Canada asked Girard to help find partners to finance the business centers he was designing for their Maple Leaf Lounges in the 1990s. Steelcase, Herman Miller and other notables invested in these de-facto “branded spaces”, design showrooms for the ‘consumer in transit’, which became a launch pad for Girard’s leap to publishing. With the ‘consumer in transit’ in mind, he pitched on publishing enRoute magazine, with the essence of good design as one of its core principals. It’s still widely considered the best inflight magazine in the world.
Date Elected – October 29, 2014
Creative Director and Co-owner, Contempo Media Inc.
Date Elected – February 26, 2015
Partner, Hariri Pontarini Architects
Hariri, founding Partner of Hariri Pontarini, holds deep respect for the transformative potential of architecture. He specializes in creating works of enduring value, for clients seeking to lever change through design. His portfolio of nationally and internationally recognized buildings has won over 50 awards, including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, and with his Partner David Pontarini, the 2013 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Architectural Firm Award. One of Hariri’s earliest HPA projects, the Canadian headquarters of McKinsey & Company, is the youngest building to receive City of Toronto heritage landmark designation. More recent public and private projects include the Schulich School of Business at York University, the Ivey School of Business at Western University, and the Kitchener Integrated Health Sciences campus, with the University of Waterloo’s School of Pharmacy and the McMaster University Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine. Hariri’s work embodies abiding commitment to architecture’s essentials and he brings to every creative project a profound interest in light, form, site, material, and craft.
Date Elected – April 28, 2015
President & CEO, Global Edge Investments
Cohen is President and CEO of Global Edge Investments (GEI), a vertically integrated hospitality and management based investment company he founded in 1998. GEI’s investments and managed portfolio range from hotels and restaurants to online hospitality companies. GEI’s business (directly and through affiliates) includes the ownership of a handful of hotels (including Thompson Toronto and formerly Le Germain Toronto) as well as management of approximately 90 hotels across North America. GEI was an angel investor in Guest Driven based in Montreal as well as Wahanda.com which recently sold for in excess of 100M GBP’s.
Cohen currently serves on the Foundation Board of Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and was formerly on the board of trustees for the Ontario Science Centre. In partnership with his wife, he created the Tora Foundation whose focus is strengthening Jewish identity, Canadian based initiatives and values and education. Tora is or has been involved in organizations and programs such as Birthright Israel, Tennis Canada, the Bell Lightbox, the Ontario Science Centre, AIDA (Association of Israeli Decorative Artists), to name a few.
Cohen is the 2012 recipient of the Ontario Hostelry Institute Gold Award for Hotelier of the Year.
Date Elected – September 10, 2015
Director of Design, Great Gulf
Date Elected – September 10, 2015
COUNCILLOR MARY FRAGEDAKIS
COUNCILLOR MARY-MARGARET MCMAHON
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