The 2023 Premier's Awards selection panel members
Marie-Lison Fougère led a very successful career of 32 years within the Ontario public service. As such, she occupied a variety of senior level positions and oversaw a variety of public policy portfolios and ministries.
In addition to her significant experience in the public policy realm of elementary and secondary education, she spent many years in the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, where she was responsible for a wide range of files such as tuition policy, capital planning, strategic mandate agreements, credit transfer, skills training programming, apprenticeship, labour market information and federal-provincial relations.
Fougère was first appointed deputy minister in 2015 and worked in this capacity until her retirement in March 2023. As deputy minister, she served in different ministries, including the Ministries of Colleges and Universities, Seniors’ Services and Accessibility, Long-Term Care, Women’s Social and Economic Opportunity and Francophone Affairs.
As deputy minister she was an appointed member of the Ontario government internal audit committee and served on the Ontario Public Service Commission.
Fougère holds a bachelor’s degree from Dalhousie University and a master’s degree from York University. She is fluent in French, English and German.
Adrienne Galway is the executive director of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT) and a distinguished senior leader in post-secondary education. Her career includes work in program development and quality assurance; public relations and communications; federal and provincial government relations; and strategic partnerships.
Prior to joining ONCAT, Galway spent over 10 years serving in several senior positions at George Brown College — most recently as the associate vice-president of government and external relations. Before joining George Brown, she served as the senior adviser to the Minister of Colleges and Universities and as the education policy adviser to the leader of the official Opposition of the Government of Ontario. She has taught political science, Canadian studies and education policy at the University of Toronto and the State University of New York at Buffalo and has extensive experience working with and serving on governance boards in the university, college and not-for-profit sectors. Galway holds a PhD in higher education from the University of Toronto.
Shawn Goddard is a dedicated and driven people leader at Scotiabank with over 25 years of success. He has significant experience in sales leadership and in developing and leading high-performing teams.
Goddard is currently the regional vice president for Scotiabank’s Ontario region, where he leads a considerable workforce of Scotiabank branches, delivering customer-focused financial advice and expertise across the province.
Prior to his current mandate as RVP, he successfully held a variety of vice president positions at Scotiabank, where he led teams to deliver new and innovative solutions in retail deposits and investments, develop best-in-class rewards programs with credit cards and significantly advance customers’ experiences with the contact centre.
Beyond the impact he makes with teammates and customers across Scotiabank, Goddard is committed to making a difference in his community and taking action to support positive social impact. He serves as a board member at Guelph General Hospital and Second Harvest.
Goddard holds an MBA from Dalhousie University and he has further enhanced his leadership acumen and credentials by successfully completing executive leadership programs at Duke University and Columbia University.
Mary Ito is a Canadian broadcast journalist who works in radio and podcasting. She's currently the host of The CRAM Podcast, which highlights the innovative work of Canadian scientists and big thinkers. She also works at CBC Radio and is the former host of CBC Radio’s weekend morning show, Fresh Air. Ito also worked in television at TVOntario, Global Television and CFTO-TV. She's currently involved in Kimiko's Pearl, an original stage production about the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, which premieres in June 2024. Ito also volunteers with the children's charity Roots of Empathy, which runs school-based programs across Canada and 10 other countries.
|As president and chief executive officer of the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario since November 2005, Debbie Low has established Ontario as a leader in high-performance sport in Canada. As a strategic thinker with a passion for sport, Low led the creation of Ontario’s first facility-based sport institute as a legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan/Para Pan American Games. Low has successfully grown the organization from five full-time staff to over 50 full-time staff across three locations, delivering best-in-class programs and services to Ontario’s next generation of athletes and Canada’s Olympic and Paralympic athletes and coaches.
Low’s leadership in the development and delivery of sport programs in Ontario includes her previous roles as executive director of Parasport Ontario and director of sport for Toronto’s 2008 Olympic bid. The desire to empower Canadians who live with a disability led Low to roles as Team Canada’s chef de mission for the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games and assistant chef de mission for the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games. She has served on numerous boards and committees in leadership positions, including the Canadian Paralympic Committee, the Association of Sport Performance Centres, Ontario Sport Network, the International Paralympic Committee’s Games Committee and as a selection committee member of the Toronto Sport Hall of Honour and the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame. Low was a proud recipient of a Premier’s Award in 2015.
|Jeff Melanson is known for his inventive approach to meeting disruptive innovation with bold strategy and practical vision. Lauded internationally for his creative entrepreneurship approach to leadership, Melanson has proven methods for finding hidden talent and opportunity within an organization, from out-of-the-box strategic and financial growth opportunities for organizations to finding the dynamic growth potential that traditional business practice overlooks.
Melanson is proud to serve as strategic partner for Unity Technologies, a partner of The Stratagem Group (a top-tier media and entertainment company) and an adviser at Lansberg Gersick Advisors (an advisory and education partner to the world's leading family enterprises). In his executive life, Melanson served as president and CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, president of The Banff Centre, dean of The Royal Conservatory of Music's Community School in Toronto and executive director of Canada's National Ballet School.
Melanson holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is also a frequent strategist, guest panellist and lecturer on disruptive innovation, design thinking, creative economies, city building and creative entrepreneurship across North America and the around the world. Melanson is also the creative columnist for innovation and business strategy for HuffPost. He was the first arts leader to be appointed one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 for 2009 and in 2010 was named Wilfrid Laurier University's MBA Alumnus of the Year. In 2010, he was appointed special adviser on arts and culture to the mayor of Toronto. He is a recipient of a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
|Ashnoor Rahim is the executive director of the KW4 OHT (Ontario health team) in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. She has 25 years of experience in a variety of health and care settings, including extensive work with seniors and marginalized populations. She is a health system leader committed to improving the overall health of Ontarians by creating coordinated and integrated health delivery models that are focused on improving the health of the population. Rahim is committed to using evidence-based data and clinical best practices to support the overall health and well-being of the Kitchener-Waterloo communities.