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Campaign Cabinet

To support the fundraising priorities of the building transformation, Windsor Law has put together a campaign cabinet: a group of volunteer students, alumni and legal professionals who are committed to working hard over the life of the transformation to accomplish our campaign goal.  With the following volunteer leaders in place, Windsor Law is confident we will meet, and hopefully exceed, a campaign goal while allowing the steering committee to concentrate on other aspects of the project. 

David Amato focuses on corporate finance and is co-chair of Norton Rose Fulbright’s asset based lending team. As counsel to various foreign and domestic financial institutions, insurance companies, private equity funds and other credit providers, David has significant experience in sophisticated debt financing transactions and has led numerous multijurisdictional, international and domestic debt financing mandates (including cash-flow, asset based, acquisition, leveraged buyout, debtor-in possession, mine and project financings). As a leading member of the asset based lending team (an area for which Norton Rose Fulbright is recognized as a leading firm domestically and internationally), David is a trusted advisor to a number of Canadian and U.S. Banks who provide asset based financing. David has been recognized as a leader in the area of banking and finance in various publications including: the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada; Chambers Canada and Chambers Global; the International Financial Law Review 1000; the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory; and the Best Lawyers in Canada.

John I. Bitove

John I. Bitove’s current business endeavors include: Executive Chairman of Mobilicity, Founder and Chairman of SiriusXM Canada, and CEO and principal shareholder of KEYreit. He is the sole shareholder of Obelysk, which has major investments in many notable businesses in Canada. A passionate Canadian, John was the volunteer President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto’s Bid for the 2008 Olympic Games (awarded to Beijing, China). He was the head of the organizing committees that brought the World Indoor Athletics (Track & Field) Championships and World Championships of Basketball to Canada in 1993 and 1994 respectively. In 1993, he founded the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club. He led the NBA franchise-bid process, launched the team and created the Air Canada Centre, Toronto’s major sports and entertainment venue. A strong believer of giving back to the community, John founded S’Cool Life Fund, to support public elementary schools across Canada in the areas of DREAMS – Drama, Recreation, Extra- Curricular, Arts, Music, and Sports.

Alexandra Brown holds a M.A. from the University of Toronto, a LL.B. from the University of Windsor and a B.A. (Hon.) from Queen's University. She is a senior litigator specializing in tax litigation with broad experience in both public service and private practice. Before joining Blakes, she was a partner at another national firm after serving as senior counsel at the Department of Justice (Canada), where she practiced for over 20 years. Alexandra is chair of the Tax Court of Canada's Bench and Bar Committee and a member of the Canada Revenue Agency Appeals Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the Canadian Petroleum Tax Society and the American Bar Association. Alexandra is an active member of numerous organizations in the broader community including serving as a member of the board of directors of the Toronto Summer Music Festival. She is past-president and chair of the board of Delisle Youth Services and a past member of the board and executive committee of the Toronto Foundation for Student Success and the Genesis Research Foundation.

Warren Creates is an immigration lawyer in the Ottawa area and Head of the Immigration Law Group at Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall, representing individuals, families and corporations in all aspects of immigration. He is one of a very limited number of senior practitioners certified by the Law Society of Ontario in the three combined fields of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugee Law. He is a former Government of Canada immigration lawyer and is frequently sought by all media in regard to his expertise. He is rated by his peers as one of the top immigration lawyers in Canada and has numerous publications to his credit, including contributing author to one of the most significant casebooks of its kind: Immigration and Refugee Law: Cases, Materials and Commentary (Carasco et al, 2007). Warren has travelled to the world’s most remote and dangerous locations (e.g. Iraq and Afghanistan during the recent wars) to successfully represent some of the most challenging cases a lawyer could ever be consulted on.  Warren is a Founder of the Ottawa Dragon Boat Festival, the largest of its kind in the world, by which he has championed raising $4.5 million for local charities.  He is also the Founder of a charitable organization that is providing humanitarian aid to one of the World’s most marginalized indigenous people:  the Afar People of the Horn of Africa.  He is the recipient of 2 of the Ottawa-area’s most prestigious awards for philanthropy and community service:  the Gordon Henderson Award and the St. Joe’s Award.

Bruce Elman

Bruce Elman served as Dean of Law from 2000-2011 at the University of Windsor, where he is currently a Professor of Law, teaching in the areas of Constitutional Law, the Legal Profession, and Legal Ethics. In addition to his academic responsibilities, Elman is currently involved in various initiatives: Integrity Commissioner for the City of Windsor; Acting Integrity Commissioner for the Town of Amherstburg; Chair of the Board of Governors of the Law Commission of Ontario; member of the Council of Ontario Universities (COU); and member of the Audit Committee of COU. Elman has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Legal Assistance of Windsor, Community Legal Aid, and the University of Windsor Mediation Services - Windsor Law's three clinics. He was a founding member of the Chief Justice of Ontario's Advisory Committee on Professionalism.

Bruce Elman has held the role of Professor at many notable universities, and most recently was a Visiting Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto and Scholar in Residence at the Centre for the Legal Profession (2011-12). Elman has published numerous works on criminal law, evidence, constitutional law, freedom of expression, law and religion, multiculturalism and ethics and professional responsibility.

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Nils Engelstad is the Vice President, General Counsel of Alamos Gold Inc., a NYSE and TSX listed mining company with operations and projects in Canada, the US, Mexico and Turkey. Prior to joining Alamos, Nils served as Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary to McEwen Mining Inc. He also acted as the General Counsel to that entity's founder and the group known as the McEwen Capital Group of Companies. Prior to joining McEwen Mining, Nils completed his articles and practiced with the leading Canadian law firm, Stikeman Elliott LLP. In 2016, he was named a Lexpert Rising Star - Leading Lawyers Under 40 recipient. He was a finalist in the 2017 Canadian General Counsel Awards in the "Tomorrow's Leader" category. Nils holds a BA from the University of Toronto, an LLB from the University of Windsor, an LLM from the University of Toronto (Global Professional LLM) and an MA in International Relations from Queen Mary University of London. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Nils is proud to be a director of the boards of the registered charities War Child Canada and The Rumie Initiative.

Graham Gow possesses extensive experience with public company Merger and Acquisition (M&A) transactions, corporate finance matters, proxy contests and corporate governance. His recent M&A transactions include: the  cquisition of Innvest REIT by Bluesky; the merger of Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT with Northwest International Healthcare Properties REIT; competing take-over bids by KingSett Capital and H&R REIT for Primaris Retail REIT; competing bids by London Stock Exchange and Maple Group for the Toronto Stock Exchange; competing bids by Royal Gold and Franco-Nevada for International Royalty Corporation; and the sale of Genuity Capital to Canaccord Financial. Graham is a sessional instructor and provides lectures on securities law for students at the University of Windsor and the University of Western Ontario. He is also a contributing editor for the Corporate Financings, a Federated Press publication, as well as the Director of Woodbridge Group, WB Family Foundation, and Bridgepoint Hospital Foundation.

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Peter Hrastovec currently practices in Shibley Righton LLP’s Windsor office. A graduate of Assumption College School, Peter attended the University of Windsor, completing an Honours B.A. (1979) and an LL.B (1982). Throughout most of his career, Peter has focused his practice on employment & labour law and commercial litigation. His experience includes a wide-range of matters including arbitration and litigation files on behalf of local school boards, municipalities and professional associations. Peter has been the recipient of many notable awards, including: a Law Society Medal 2009 (Law Society of Upper Canada); the Professional of the Year 2014 (Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce); and a Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 (Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce). A first generation Canadian, Peter is fluent in both English and Croatian.

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Jay Kellerman is a partner and Co-Head of the Mining Group and a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions and Capital Markets Groups at Stikeman Elliott LLP. He served as the Managing Partner of the firm’s Toronto office for six years (2012-2018). With more than 25 years of experience, his clients include public companies, investment banks, investors and boards of directors. Jay is recognized as one of the top mining lawyers in the world by Who’s Who Legal and is considered a "most highly regarded individual" and "excellent" in financing and M&A by International Who’s Who of Mining Lawyers and “one of the best in the business” by International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers as it relates to mining. Jay frequently speaks at seminars on corporate and securities law topics and was previously co- editor of Carswell Reporting Services’ Canadian Cases on the Law of Securities. He is a member of Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). Jay spent one year seconded to the General Counsel’s Office of the Ontario Securities Commission.

With over 30 years of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer, Margaret provides reliable and incisive advice clients can use with confidence. She is actively involved in mergers and acquisitions and works closely with boards on an ongoing basis to help them adopt best governance practices and manage critical issues. As a former member of the Securities Advisory Committee of the Ontario Securities Commi

With over 30 years of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer, Margaret Nelligan is actively involved in mergers and acquisitions and helps corporate boards adopt best governance practices and manage critical issues at Aird and Berlis LLP. Margaret is a member and former practice group leader of the firm’s Capital Markets Group. She is also a member of the Mergers & Acquisitions/Private Equity and Energy Groups, and is Co-Leader of the Cannabis Group. Margaret has significant expertise in corporate governance, investments for financial institutions and pension plans, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, public financings, acquisition financings, private placements, proxy solicitations, corporate reorganizations and general corporate work. Margaret’s experience includes acting as counsel to one of Canada's largest gas distribution utilities, one of Canada's largest pension plans, various real estate sector participants and large governmental and quasi-governmental not-for-profit entities. She is a member of the board of trustees of Allied Properties REIT and previously served as a director of a large Ontario electricity distributor. Additionally, Margaret is a director of Lakefield College School, and was a director of Alpine Ontario Alpin, the provincial governing body for the sport of alpine ski racing in Ontario.

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Nora Osbaldeston is the Financial Services National Specialty Group leader at Miller Thomson. She has over 25 years’ experience acting for domestic and foreign financial institutions and corporate borrowers on a variety of domestic and international financings. Nora is also one of two Miller Thomson representatives at Multilaw, an international network of over 80 law firms in 60 countries. Since 2010, Nora has been a lecturer at the University of Windsor Law School for the Advanced Business Law course (Banking and Secured Transactions). Since 2013, Nora has been named to Best Lawyers in Canada for Banking and Finance. She is the co-author of the “Financial Institutions” chapter of Doing Business in Canada, 2016 edition. Nora is a past recipient of a Lexpert Zenith Award, celebrating leading Women in Canada and was the recipient of the inaugural Federated Press Women in Law Leadership Award in 2013. In 2009, Nora was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as one of Canada’s top 100 most powerful women and has been a mentor in the WXNWisdom Top 100 mentoring program. She has been listed in “Women in the Lead” published by the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Peter Proszanski, with over 30 years of practical experience, is head of the Real Estate/Corporate Commercial departments of the firm. Mr. Proszanski has a diverse institutional and entrepreneurial client base. His extensive knowledge and understanding of numerous areas of the law reflect his ability to identify and resolve difficult issues creatively and effectively. Mr. Proszanski’s past experience in real property matters includes representing lenders on all aspects of financing transactions, from perfecting security, advising clients regarding provisions of commitment letters, representing borrowers and lenders on major construction loans, to providing advice to risk departments of Schedule II Chartered Banks on their loan documentation and title insurance policy options. Mr. Proszanski has represented clients on countless purchases and sales of commercial properties, as well as participating in development-related transactions. Mr. Proszanski also represents a title insurance company that has provided advice to several clients who have been victims of title fraud, including highly sophisticated frauds that have the effect of changing control of property ownership without tampering with the title.

Mr. Proszanski graduated from the University of Windsor where he concurrently earned his LL.B. and MBA. Mr. Proszanski was called to the Ontario Bar in 1987. Mr. Proszanski earned his undergraduate degree in economics at the University of Western Ontario.

Sean Reginio received his J.D. from the University of Windsor and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from McGill University. At law school, Sean competed in four moots, including the Hicks Morley Moot and the Warren K. Winkler Class Actions Moot, where the University of Windsor team placed first overall. Sean also served as President of the University of Windsor’s Students’ Law Society and worked at Legal Assistance of Windsor representing low-income clients at various tribunal proceedings. Sean was an active member of Windsor Law’s Labour and Employment Law Society and the Black Law Students’ Association. In recognition of his extracurricular involvement, Sean was the recipient of the Mary Anne Sanderson Award for Advocacy and Class of 1982 Leadership Award.

Kevin L. Ross

Kevin Ross is a graduate of Windsor Law, Class of 1982 and is now a Partner and the Past Practice Leader, Class Actions Group at Lerners LLP in London, Ontario. He is a Certified Specialist in Civil Litigation by the Law Society of Upper Canada, a Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers (2015), was selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers of Canada since 2006, named Lawyer of the Year, Health Care Law - London/Windsor, Best Lawyers in Canada (2015), to name a few. Kevin is also a past Adjunct Professor and lecturer in civil procedure and civil trial advocacy at the Faculty of Law, The University of Western Ontario, a Lecturer on employment law, civil procedure and advocacy, Bar Admission Course, London, a Lecturer in occupational health and safety legislation, Fanshawe College and an author and lecturer on various legal topics including civil procedure, insurance law, law of damages, health law, tort law and occupational health and safety law.

Don Rodzik is the Corporate Manager & Director at The Narmco Group of Companies headquartered in Windsor. NARMCO is a local, family owned auto parts manufacturer that has been in business since 1945. His degrees include Bachelors of Law from the University of Windsor Law School, JD from the University of Detroit Law School, Bachelor of Sciences with double major in operation & strategic management and finance from Boston College, and is a Member of the Ontario Bar.

James A.  Scarfone

A results-driven trial lawyer who has been practicing since 1975, Jim Scarfone works with clients who have experienced personal tragedies due to catastrophic accidents, medical malpractice, dangerous products and negligent advice. Jim is a trained mediator and prides himself in minimizing client costs, reducing risk and getting results more quickly for his clients by looking for resolution outside of the courtroom. Jim coaches the new lawyers at the firm, setting a strong example for doing right and giving back. The end result of his positive role modelling is a firm that consistently delivers high calibre, caring, client-centred service.

Rick Shaban is a Partner in Borden Ladner Gervais’ Construction Group based in Toronto. He is one of Canada's leading infrastructure, surety and construction lawyers, and is recognized by highly esteemed agencies such as Chambers Global, The Lexpert/American Lawyers Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada and both the International and Canadian editions of Who's Who Legal: Construction. He was recently recognized as one of the top lawyers globally by Acritas. Rick has over thirty years' experience in this industry, bringing practical legal and industry- specific expertise to each client engagement. He is uniquely positioned as both a barrister and a transactional lawyer. He has been actively involved in a large number of infrastructure projects – successfully leading transaction teams and closing a number of P3 deals as well as crafting complex project agreements. Rick also has extensive experience in dispute resolution having resolved countless project disputes including appearances at every level of court including the Supreme Court of Canada.

Kayla Smith was a legal intern at the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) this past year completing her Social Justice Fellowship. Kayla is also a graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration and now furthers her studies at Windsor Law as a second-year student. She is very involved in the student life at Windsor Law, namely Students’ Law Society, Black Law Students’ Association, is a student faculty council representative and is an admissions committee file reader.

SHARON STROSBERG

Sharon Strosberg is a partner at Strosberg Sasso Sutts LLP and was admitted to the Ontario bar in 2001 and to the New York bar in 2002. She has recovered over $100 million for her class action clients; her class action practice focuses on explosions, train crashes, food-borne illnesses, privacy breaches, disease outbreaks and construction glass deficiencies in condominium buildings. Sharon is currently co-counsel to the residents of the blighted neighbourhood on the west end of Windsor in a lawsuit against the owners of the Ambassador Bridge.

Thomas J. Timmins is a senior corporate lawyer in Gowling WLG's Toronto office. In his corporate-commercial practice, Tom leads mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations, project financing transactions, partnership formations and joint venture formations across a range of industries. In energy and infrastructure, he has acted for investors and financiers in project finance transactions, capital financings, project co-development arrangements, EPC contracting, PPA contract negotiations and strategic alliance formation. He also acts regularly for governments and government agencies on PPP procurements, electrification strategy development and renewable energy project planning and procurement. Tom is leader of Gowling WLG's China Initiative and Chief Representative for the firm in
Beijing. He serves as leader of the firm’s Global Renewable Energy Practice Group. He also serves as chair of the Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) and on a number of public, private and social sector boards. He is a regular speaker and law school lecturer, appears regularly in national and international news media, and has been quoted in such leading news sources as The Economist, Globe and Mail, The Financial Post, World Journal, BNN and Canadian Business.