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 and its predecessors since 1981 and Chairman since 1998. Mr. Sobey is a director of Empire Company Limited; was Chairman of the former Oversight Committee of Empire and served as a trustee and Chairman of the governance and nominating committee of Wajax Income Fund (now Wajax Corporation) until October 5, 2010. He is a former Chair of the Dalhousie Medical Research Foundation and has recently retired from the board of the Canada US Fulbright Program. Mr. Sobey is a graduate of the Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program and, in 2013, received the ICD.D designation.
John Eby is a corporate director. 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, The Bank of Nova Scotia. He is also a director of Wajax Corporation. Mr. Eby received his BA and MBA in finance from Queen's University. Mr. Eby is the founder and CEO 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.
Jim M. Dickson is the Chair of Empire Company Limited. He is counsel to the law firm of Stewart McKelvey, with over 30 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,Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc. He is the past 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 a corporate director. She was the Chief Financial Officer of Northstar Asset Management Group and Northstar Realty Finance Corp. until January 2017 when Northstar merged with Colony Capital. Prior to joining the Northstar companies, Ms. Hess held the position of Chief Financial Officer at H/2 Capital Partners and a portfolio company of Fortress Investment Group. Prior to 2003, Ms. Hess held senior positions at Goldman Sachs & Co. and the Chemical Banking Corporation. Ms. Hess is a member of the board of directors for AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange listed real estate investment trust. Ms. Hess holds an MBA in Finance from New York University and a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University of Connecticut.
Brian Johnson is a partner of Crown Realty Partners. From September 1993 until July 2007 he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Crown Life Insurance Company. Mr. Johnson is a director of MCAN Mortgage Corporation and Western Surety Company. He was a member of the University of Regina board of governors from 1995 to 2002 and served as board chair from 1999 to 2001. He was also a director and Saskatchewan president of the Canadian Unity Council. Mr. Johnson received his B. Comm. (Gold Medalist) from the University of Manitoba and his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a CFA® charterholder.
Michael Knowlton retired from Dundee Realty Corporation as President of Dundee REIT in May 2011 after 13 years of service. From December 1998 until May 2011 he held increasingly senior executive positions culminating in becoming President of Dundee REIT. Mr. Knowlton is a director of Tricon Capital Group Inc. and a trustee of Dream Industrial REIT and Dream Global REIT. Mr. Knowlton received his B.Sc. (Engineering) and MBA from Queen’s University, earned his CA designation in 1977 and his ICD.D designation in 2011.
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, and First National Financial Corporation. Ms. Palk is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and is a CFA® charterholder. Ms. Palk also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Economics) degree from Queen’s University and has received the ICD.D designation.
Jason Shannon has been the President and Chief Operating Officer of Shannex Inc. since 2006. Mr. Shannon holds a Bachelors of Commerce and a LL.B. from Dalhousie University. He was called to the Nova Scotia bar in 1998. Mr. Shannon serves as a member of the board of the Atlantic Institute of Aging and as a director of the Loran Scholars Foundation.
Kent Sobey is founder and President of Farmhouse Productions Ltd., a television and digital media production company based in Toronto, Canada. He is a corporate director of Blue Ant Media and Hollywood Suite. He is a trustee of the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies. Previously, he served on the board of directors of The North York Harvest Food Bank and on the advisory board for Empire Theatres Limited. Mr. Sobey received his Bachelor of Arts from Dalhousie University, graduated from The Vancouver Film School and has completed executive development programs at Rotman School of Management and Queen’s University.
Paul Sobey retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited in 2013 after 32 years with the company. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University, attended Harvard University Business School, Advanced Management Program and is a Chartered Accountant. Mr. Sobey became a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Nova Scotia in 2006. Mr. Sobey sits on the boards of Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc. Mr. Sobey previously served as the Audit Committee Chair and a member of the board of directors for the Bank of Nova Scotia. Mr. Sobey is Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Elisabeth Stroback provides advice to public institutions on property development and real estate. Previously, she led university and hospital planning, design and construction teams for new and renovated buildings. Prior to 1999, Ms. Stroback was President of Hammerson Canada Inc., a commercial property development company. She has volunteered on property committees or provided assistance to many non-profit organizations, most recently Trillium Health Partners and Turning Point Youth Services. 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.