Committee Members

Sam Cicollini, C.M., O.Ont., C.O.S.S.M. lt.

Joanne De Laurentiis is the President & CEO of The Investment Institute of Canada.  Joanne has served in a leadership capacity for several organizations:  as the President & CEO of Credit Union Central of Canada the national organization for Canada’s credit union system outside Quebec; President of Mondex Canada and the first President of the Interac Association.

Before joining Interac, she served as Vice President, Public Affairs for the Canadian Bankers Association (1985-1994) and as chief of staff to the Minister of Labour, and Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations in the Ontario Government (1978-1985). She has served on a number of Boards including:  Chair of Ethical Funds, and Credential Financial; Board member of Concentra Financial, Cumis Insurance, Agrifinance, Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation; Toronto Board of Trade, and several others. Currently Ms. De Laurentiis serves on the Board of the Southdown Institute, a not-for-profit treatment centre.

Pal Di Iulio is the President and CEO of Villa Charities, the largest Italian Canadian organization in Canada, serving thousands of seniors and developmentally challenged adults, and offering cultural and recreational activities through its affiliates: Villa Colombo Toronto, Columbus Centre, Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery, VITA Community Living Services/Mens Sana Families for Mental Health, Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto, Casa Abruzzo, and Villa Colombo Vaughan. For over 40 years, Pal has been involved in activities within Italian Canadian communities throughout Canada as a witness and participant. He has also found time to sit as a volunteer member of the Canadian Multiculturalism Council, the Judicial Appointments Advisory Committee, and the Community Council of Rogers OMNI TV. He is Chair of the Italian Canadian Advisory Committee, Community Historical Recognition Project, on the internment research issue. Pal has also been involved in various roles in fundraising activities for earthquake disaster relief for Friuli (1976), Central Italy (1980), Molise (2002), and Abruzzo (2009).

The Honourable Consiglio Di Nino’s career in the financial services industry spans some 40 years. He was Co-Founder, President, and CEO of Cabot Trust Company between 1979 and 1991.  In 1990, he was summoned to the Senate and has served on several Senate committees as a member, Vice-chair and Chair, including:  Chair, Rules, Procedures and the Rights of Parliament, Chair, Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The Honourable Di Nino was Government Whip in the Senate from January 2010 to May 2011.  He is a member of various parliamentary associations including  the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) of which he is Head of the Canadian Delegation. The Honourable Di Nino’s community involvement includes positions as Past Chair of Villa Charities Inc. and the Harbourfront Corporation, and positions as Past President of the Canadian Italian Business and Professional Association, the Villa Colombo Home for the Aged, the Columbus Centre of Toronto, and Scouts Canada (Greater Toronto Region) and Chair of the Abruzzo Earthquake Relief Fund.

The Honourable Albina Guarnieri was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Mississauga East in 1988 and was re-elected six times. Ms. Guarnieri has served in Cabinet as Minister of Veterans Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Minister of State (Civil Preparedness). As Minister of Veterans Affairs, she declared 2005, Canada’s Year of the Veteran. Canada was the only country to have offered this tribute to its veterans this year. Just as importantly, Ms.Guarnieri brought in the most extensive transformation of veterans benefits in half a century with the New Veterans Charter. This landmark legislation included new programs to help veterans return to civilian life and support disabled veterans with care and careers geared toward building independence and potential. Ms.Guarnieri is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Assumption University She retired from politics in 2011.

Cav. Laureano Leone C.M. is a retired successful pharmacist with a long history of community and public service. His outstanding commitment to community service has been widely recognized, including the Gold Medal Award from the City of Toronto, his designation of “Cavaliere” from the President of the Republic of Italy and the Order of Canada. On September 1987 he was elected to the Ontario Legislature were he served with distinction for three years. He also served as the Canadian Honourary Consul in Italy, to the benefit of both countries. He is now enjoying a well deserved retirement but still very active in support of the many community organizations he is associated with in Canada and Italy.

Elem Rinomato is the President of Torino Drywall, a leading contractor in the GTA.  She is also the owner of Country Homes which has created beautiful homes for thousands of families. Ms. Rinomato is Vice-President of the Rinomato Group of Companies which develops land and builds industrial and commercial plazas. She graduated from the University of Waterloo, School of Urban and Regional Planning and received a scholarship from Oxford University in England where she studied the British Planning System. She has her Masters of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business. She is a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization – Toronto Chapter and the recipient of the 2006 Business Excellence Awards. Ms. Rinomato has been named Top Woman Business Leader in “Money ‘N Profits” magazine in 2008 and Top Woman in Business in “Business Opportunity” Magazine in 2009.

Ms. Beverley Topping was President and CEO of the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) from 2003 to 2010. Under her leadership, the ICD mobilized its membership base and launched the ICD Directors Education Program, in partnership with Rotman School of Management and other leading universities across Canada. In her position, Beverly has made every effort to advance the profession of director and to raise the profile of women on boards. Beverly is a business entrepreneur and experienced corporate director. She is the founder of Today’s Parent Magazine, and developed a multi-media company, which she sold to Rogers Media in 2000. As a corporate director, Beverly has served on several boards including: Cara Foods, CT Financial Services, the Toronto International Film Festival Group, the Women’s College Hospital Foundation and the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation. Today, Beverly serves as a Governor for the Institute of Child Study. As well, Beverly sits on the Special Initiatives Committee of the Capital Campaign, Women’s College Hospital Foundation. She served on the founding Board of The Kids Help Phone, as well as The Centre for Study of Children at Risk, McMaster University, now called the Offord Centre.

Toni Varone is currently president of Varone Group Inc., a group of companies involved in the hospitality, home building and property management industries. He is a past chairman of Villa Charities Inc. and Columbus Centre, as well as a past director of the Northwestern General Hospital, Parc Downsview Park, and the Ontario Housing Corporation. Mr. Varone is currently a director of the Villa Charities Foundation.



Honourary Legal Counsel:  Nick Torchetti, Aird & Berlis LLP

Executive Manager: Barbara Boraks is the Executive Director of the Christian Jewish Dialogue of Toronto – an organization which promotes dialogue and understanding amongst faith groups. She also acts as Project Manager for numerous events and projects which span both local and international issues. Both of her parents, originally from Poland, served in the Italian Campaign in the British Forces.

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