With a diverse professional background, our Board of Trustees sets the vision that guides Crombie as we build and develop our portfolio of properties across Canada.
Frank Sobey has been a director of Crombie REIT and its predecessors since 1981, as well as Chair since 1998. Mr. Sobey is also a director of Empire Company Limited and the Chair of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation. Previously, he was Chair of the former Oversight Committee of Empire, and served as a trustee and Chair of the Governance and Nominating Committee of Wajax Income Fund. Mr. Sobey is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program (AMP) and, in 2013, completed the Director's Education Program, receiving the ICD.D. from the Rotman School of Business.
John Eby is a Corporate Director and Lead Trustee at Crombie REIT. Previously, he was Vice-Chairman of Scotia Capital from 2000 until his retirement in 2006, and for 10 years prior thereto had been Senior Vice President, Corporate and Energy Banking, at The Bank of Nova Scotia. He is also a director of Wajax Corporation and has received both his BA and MBA in finance from Queen’s University. As well, Mr. Eby is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Developing Scholars, a not-for-profit organization that promotes educational initiatives in Guatemala.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Donald E. Clow, FCA, has guided and shaped Crombie REIT into the company that it is today. Prior to joining Crombie, Mr. Clow held the position of President, ECL Developments Limited, the real estate development subsidiary of Empire Company Limited for two years. Previous to Empire, he was President of Southwest Properties, a real estate development company in Halifax. Mr. Clow is a member of the Board of Trustees for Granite Real Estate Investment Trust, a member of the Board of Governors of Acadia University and is on the Board of Directors of REALPac. Mr. Clow graduated from Acadia University with a BBA, earned his CA designation with KPMG and was designated a Fellow Chartered Accountant in 2002. A graduate of the YPO President's Program at Harvard Business School, Mr. Clow also completed the Director's Education Program, receiving the ICD.D. from the Rotman School of Business.
James M. Dickson is the Chair of Empire Company Limited. He is counsel to the law firm of Stewart McKelvey, with over 25 years of experience practicing primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities prior to his retirement from the partnership in 2016. Mr. Dickson serves as a director of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated, is Chair of the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University, and past Chair of the IWK Health Centre Foundation. Mr. Dickson holds a Certificate in Engineering from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary. He is a professional engineer and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010.
Debra Hess is the Chief Financial Officer of NorthStar Asset Management Group and NorthStar Realty Finance Corp in New York. During Ms. Hess’ tenure at the NorthStar companies, the organization has enjoyed a period of significant growth and transformation. Prior to joining the NorthStar companies, Debra held the position of Chief Financial Officer at H/2 Capital Partners and a portfolio company of Fortress Investment Group. As well, she has held senior positions at Goldman Sachs & Co. and the Chemical Banking Corporation.
Brian Johnson is a partner of Crown Capital Partners and of Crown Realty Partners, a director of MCAN Mortgage Corporation and Western Surety Company, and a director and Saskatchewan president of the Canadian Unity Council. Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Life Insurance Company, and board chair of the University of Regina board of governors. Mr. Johnson received his B.Comm. (Gold Medalist) from the University of Manitoba and his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
Michael Knowlton retired from Dundee Realty Corporation as President of Dundee REIT in May 2011 after 13 years of service. During his tenure at Dundee REIT, he held increasingly senior executive positions culminating in becoming President. Mr. Knowlton is a director of Tricon Capital Group Inc. and True North Apartment REIT. Mr. Knowlton received his B.Sc. (Engineering) and MBA from Queens University, and has earned his CA designation and his ICD.D designation.
Barbara Palk retired as President of TD Asset Management Inc. in 2010, following a 30-year career in institutional and investment management. She currently serves on the Boards of TD Asset Management USA Funds Inc., Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, First National Financial Corporation and past Queen’s University (Chair). Ms. Palk is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Ms. Palk also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Economics) degree from Queen’s University and has received the ICD.D designation.
Jason Shannon, LLB, is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Shannex Incorporated, a seniors living healthcare organization. He is currently a director on the boards of Atlantic Corporation, iTacit Inc., Atlantic Institute on Aging, Loran Scholarship Foundation, as well as advisory member on the Sobeys Pension Investment Committee. He is a Member of Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and Member of Canadian Bar Association. Prior to this, he practiced corporate law with Stewart McKelvey Stirling Scales, having graduated from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Commerce and an LLB.
Kent Sobey is founder and President of Farmhouse Productions Ltd., a television and digital media production company. Mr. Sobey is also a corporate director of Blue Ant Media and Hollywood Suite, and serves on the Board of Directors of The North York Harvest Food Bank. He is an active private equity investor in commercial real estate and media. Mr. Sobey received his Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University, graduated from Vancouver Film School, and has completed executive development at Rotman School of Management and Queens University.
Paul Sobey retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited in 2013 after 32 years with the company. Mr. Sobey sits on the boards of Empire Company Limited, Sobeys Inc., and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Mr. Sobey is also the Chancellor of Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University, attended the Harvard University Business School, Advanced Management Program, and is a Chartered Accountant. Mr. Sobey became a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Nova Scotia in 2005.
Elisabeth Stroback is Executive Lead, Capital Projects and Real Estate for Ryerson University, Toronto, leading the design and construction of new buildings and acquisition of future development sites. Previously through her company, Tanalex Corp., Ms. Stroback provided advice on property development and public private partnerships. Prior to 1999, Ms. Stroback was President of Hammerson Canada Inc., a commercial property development company. She is a member of Renascent Foundation Board and the Property Board and the Property Advisory Committee of the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre. Ms. Stroback received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario and Master's Degree in Economics from Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario and is Human Resources Compensation Committee Certified (HRCC) from the Director's College.