Distinguished Business Leaders to Join MaRS Board, Including Canada's 'Outstanding CEO of the Year'

    TORONTO, Jan. 8 /CNW/ - MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce
the appointment of three distinguished business leaders to its Board of
Directors: Geoffrey Matus, William White and Gordon Nixon.
    Geoffrey Matus is President of Mandukwe Inc. and also Chairman of Cidel
Bank & Trust Inc., Tricon Capital Group Inc., NexGen Financial Services
Limited Partnership and Biltrite Industries. He is a member of the Governing
Council of the University of Toronto; a Board member of the Canadian Opera
Company; an honorary director of Baycrest where he was a Past Chair of the
Board; and also is a past Board Member of Mount Sinai Hospital. He is a
graduate of law at New York's Columbia University and a graduate of the
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
    William White, President of DuPont Canada, has held a variety of global
business unit leadership roles since he joined DuPont Company 33 years ago,
including DuPont Titanium Technologies, DuPont Chemical Solutions Enterprise
and DuPont Safety Resources. Prior to his 2006 appointment as President of
DuPont Canada, Mr. White worked across the corporation's leading programs
focused on growth through marketing and sales transformation, emerging market
focus and step change business strategies. He is a graduate of Purdue
University and currently chairs Purdue's Mechanical Engineering advisory
    Gordon Nixon, recently named Canada's Outstanding CEO of 2007 by the
Financial Post, is President and CEO of RBC. He has been active in a wide
range of community and public policy organizations and has earned a reputation
for speaking out on innovation and competitive issues affecting Canada.
Mr. Nixon is Chairman of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. He has
served as a past Chairman of the United Way of Greater Toronto's Campaign and
as past Co-Chairman of the Toronto Region Research Alliance. He is also on the
Board of Directors of The Hospital for Sick Children, The International
Monetary Conference and Catalyst Canada, and on the Advisory Board of
DaimlerChrysler Canada Inc.
    RBC was a founder of MaRS and has continued to support the organization's
growth since its inception. Mr. Nixon will join the Board in 2008 and has
agreed to succeed the founding Chair, Dr. John Evans, as Board Chair in 2009.
    Stepping down from the Board are Dr. Howard Alper, O.C., former
Vice-President, Research, University of Ottawa and recently named Chair,
Government of Canada's new Science, Technology and Innovation Council; Mr.
Felix Chee, former President and CEO, University of Toronto Asset Management;
and Dr. Ron Venter, recently retired Professor of Mechanical Engineering and
Assistant Vice President of the University of Toronto.
    Commenting on the changes to the Board, Dr. Evans said: "We owe a great
debt to Dr. Alper, Mr. Chee and Dr. Venter for their years of outstanding
service and commitment as Directors of MaRS. These members made enormous
contributions to shaping the MaRS vision and to the challenging task of
completing Phase I of the MaRS Centre. The new Directors are exceptionally
qualified to ensure that MaRS continues to rise in importance on the global
stage as a powerful driver of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship."
    For Mr. Nixon, MaRS' role in fostering innovation is particularly
important. "In order to sustain a high standard of living, Canada will need to
improve its ability to develop new ideas and successfully commercialize them,"
said Mr. Nixon. "MaRS is one of the keys to improving Canada's performance in
this regard, and I look forward to contributing to its growth."

    MaRS is a non-profit innovation centre connecting science, technology and
social entrepreneurs with business skills, networks and capital to stimulate
innovation and accelerate the creation and growth of successful Canadian
    Since opening its doors two years ago, MaRS has provided hands-on
advisory services to more than 250 science and technology entrepreneurs, while
thousands of students and young innovators have participated in
entrepreneurship educational programs.

For further information:

For further information: Linda Quattrin, Director, Communications, MaRS
Discovery District, (416) 673-8104, lquattrin@marsdd.com

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