Board of Directors

Jonathan Paul


One of the leaders of Ascendant Wealth Partners, Jonathan is a financial expert with nearly two decades of experience. Priding himself on a thorough, organized, and highly responsive approach, he is a trusted advisor on the finances of affluent families and foundations. 

As an auditor for an international professional services firm, Jonathan developed an expert understanding of tax as well as his signature “no stone unturned” approach to client service, one he built upon as he gained further experience in investments and wealth management. Most recently, Jonathan served as a Vice-President of a leading Canadian wealth management boutique. Jonathan is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CA) and a Chartered Investment Manager (CIM). He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree (with distinction) from Ivey Business School at Western University. 

Jonathan enjoys seeing the value he provides to people, a passion that extends beyond his work: Jonathan has been a member of Toronto Hebrew Memorial Parks investment committee for the past 10 years; as well, he has been involved with Pancreatic Cancer Canada since 2019, and currently chairs the non-profit’s board. 

In his down time, Jonathan and his wife, Romy, get plenty of entertainment from their young daughters, Ava and Addison. Jonathan also likes to stay active, be it getting out on the golf course or playing men’s league hockey with the same group of guys he started out skating alongside as a child.

Michael Gilbert

Vice Chair
Michael is a Partner at Ernst & Young LLP, Canada with responsibility for leading the management and technology consulting businesses in Central Canada. He has over 25 years of experience managing, designing, implementing, and supporting complex process and technology solutions, providing senior executive oversight on some the largest transformation projects in North America.

Christopher Andrews

As President & CEO of BBDO in Canada, Chris is responsible for setting the strategic vision and growth of the business in the Canadian market, serving clients including Ford, RBC, PepsiCo, Sobeys and more.

He has experience that spans Canada, the US and Europe. Before joining BBDO he spent five years running The&Partnership’s operations in Toronto and Vancouver, which doubled in size during his tenure. Prior to that, he was based at Leo Burnett’s global headquarters in Chicago, where he served as Executive Vice-President, Global Account Head for Coca-Cola Brands, covering disciplines including brand advertising, digital, shopper marketing and activation in markets including the US, Western Europe, LATAM and Asia-Pacific. Before that, he spent a decade with TAXI in roles of increasing responsibility, from being part of the launch team of TAXI 2 to running the Amsterdam office, where he led operations and held pan-European client responsibility for businesses including Unilever and Heineken.

Chris has significant experience navigating complex client businesses with multiple senior stakeholders and thrives on helping his clients work within their organizations to drive desired results. He has a deep love of the balance of art and commerce and is a passionate believer in the power of creativity to drive business and better the world.

His spare time is spent with his wife, nurturing their 11-year-old daughter’s love of art, music and travel. And he may well be the only person running a Canadian agency to have had a record deal.

Elfreda Lau

Elfreda joined Google in 2008 after graduating from her MBA at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. She started at Google Canada as the Head of Sales Strategy & Operations for the Canadian market and has held several Strategy, Operations, Go-to-Market and Product Commercialization leadership roles at Google since then. She is now the Director of Global Strategic Programs and Operations for ChromeOS. Prior to Google and her MBA, Elfreda spent several years in the management consulting and financial services industries in Toronto, Canada after completing her Bachelor of Applied Science Industrial Engineering degree at the University of Toronto in 2000. In her spare time, she enjoys golf, yoga and chasing after her 9 year old son.

Lauren Israel

Lauren Israel is Executive Director, Business Management at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in New York City. Her current responsibilities include coordinating employee giving, sponsorships and donations for the US Capital Markets team. Prior to her role with CIBC, Lauren held several positions at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she served as Director in several Technology departments over her 12 year tenure, including Global Markets and Risk Technologies, Legal and Compliance Technology and Finance Technology in New York and London. She obtained her Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science at the University at Buffalo, with concentrations in finance and international business. Lauren has also been a dedicated volunteer on the United Way of New York City Campaign Council since 2017.

Linda Shick

In 1995, Linda decided to change careers from the commercial bank world to personal wealth management in order to make a material difference in people’s personal lives. Over the many years of her journey, she has been managing clients’ wealth, developing lasting relationships with them, their families, their colleagues and their friends. What became apparent to Linda from the beginning was people of all ages face many expected and unexpected transitions, and require her assistance and support to ensure they navigate these transitions with financial success while feeling comfortable and in control. She has witnessed almost all, and personally experienced some, of life’s exciting and tragic events. Linda developed specific strategies and expertise in not only guiding clients through these journeys but also helping them to navigate successfully the complexities of their financial life so they can be assured their plan is on track and their goals will be met. She found the difference she sought when changing careers: the rewarding opportunity of working with all generations of different families, as well as senior executives, business owners and US citizens.

In addition to being a Portfolio Manager with the Chartered Investment Manager designation, Linda is also certified to offer cross-border investment solutions. Her wealth process focuses on clients’ individual goals, creating a plan in a holistic manner, and using an active portfolio management process to identify opportunities while managing the risks associated with them.

At Raymond James, Linda co-founded the Family Wealth Counsel Advisory Group. She and her partners provide comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services while acting as custodians and stewards of their clients’ generational family wealth.

Linda is an active swimmer, cyclist, recreational runner and paddle boarder. She loves to travel and immerse herself in local communities in different areas of the world. She enjoys the solitude and activity of country life and spends as much time as possible at her cottage on Kawagama Lake in the Algonquin Highlands. One of Linda’s life philosophies is to pay it forward; therefore, she endeavors as much as possible to give back to the people and animals in her communities. She is involved in and contributes to many community projects and serves as a Board Member on two charitable boards in Toronto.

Richard Weldon

Richard Weldon is a Managing Partner at Romspen and is responsible for special projects, including the restructuring of development strategies and asset enhancement. Richard has over 30 years of experience in real estate planning, construction and leasing. He has built, owned and managed over 1,000 commercial and residential projects across North America. Prior to joining Romspen in 2011, Richard was Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty focusing on the successful restructuring, marketing and sale of major residential and commercial projects for many of Canada’s largest financial institutions.

Richard was trained as a Chartered Accountant and received his Commerce degree from Concordia University in Montreal.

Russell Browne

Russell Browne is a Managing Director Sales and Structuring, Metals Trading FICC, providing metals risk management solutions and structures to clients in the Mining, Energy, Chemical and Institutional Investor sectors. Russell recently joined BMO in November 2018, having previously worked at Scotiabank (ScotiaMocatta) for 10 years, as a Director in Precious Metals Sales and Trading. Prior to working in metals, Russell worked 7 years in Currency Sales and Structuring. Russell began his career in Montreal, working as an open-outcry Pit Trader at the Montreal Exchange, trading futures on 5 and 10 year Canadian Bonds and 3 month Bankers Acceptances. Russell has a B.A. in Economics from Concordia University (Canada).

Board Advisory Committee

Hilen Wong

Hilen leads the TELUS Stores and Koodo Shops teams. In this role, he supports over 2,700 team members across Canada delivering technology solutions backed by an exceptional customer experience. Hilen and his team also proudly support TELUS’ commitment to Give Where We Live by actively volunteering and fundraising in the local community.  The TELUS team is proud to support PCC with an annual fundraising drive in memory of a beloved colleague who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer.  Hilen was a member of the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Board of Directors from 2019 through 2023, before shifting to its Advisory Committee in 2024.

In over 15 years at TELUS, Hilen has held various leadership roles at TELUS including positions in Business Intelligence, Product Development, Pricing and National Retail. Trained as an electrical engineer, Hilen worked as a management consultant supporting clients primarily in the communications sector prior to joining TELUS.

Hilen and his wife Karen have two wonderful children. In his spare time, Hilen enjoys spending time with his family.

Jason Roberts

Jason is a commercial litigation lawyer with McEwan Partners in Vancouver, where his practice focuses on securities law matters. He holds a law degree from the University of Manitoba and has completed all of the requirements for his Master of Laws in securities law from Osgoode Hall Law School (York University), from which he will formally graduate in June, 2024. In 2012 and 2013, Jason lived in Ottawa while working as a Law Clerk for the Honourable Justice Louis LeBel of the Supreme Court of Canada. Jason joined the Pancreatic Cancer Canada Board of Directors in 2019 (a position he held through 2023 before shifting to the Advisory Committee in 2024) shortly after he lost his mother to pancreatic cancer. In his spare time, Jason enjoys spending time with his young family and is also an avid amateur golfer.

Marc St-Onge

Marc St-Onge is currently consulting with Element Fleet Management in their finance area.  Prior to joining Element in 2023, he was employed by CIBC for nearly 25 years and held various progressively senior positions within CIBC Capital Markets, including most recently as Managing Director and Global Head of DCM where he was responsible for the origination and syndication of investment grade, high yield and government fixed income products globally.

Prior to this, Mr. St-Onge was Managing Director and Head of Corporate Banking Canada, where he was responsible for the bank’s Canadian corporate loan portfolio and oversaw the bank’s lending activities with corporate, government and financial sponsor clients across all major industries.

Mr. St-Onge holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance) from l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales and was awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1998. Mr. St-Onge chairs the Shaw Festival Boxing Evening, a fundraising event for The Shaw Festival Theatre in Niagara-on-the-lake.

Ricky Ray Butler 

Ricky Ray Butler is a 15 year digital veteran who has been at the forefront of reimagining the advertising landscape in a world of ever growing digital content. He found Plaid Social Labs in 2009 which was later acquired by BEN. Today BEN is leading the way in connecting brands to the right audiences in non-ad supported media across social, streaming and traditional platforms, and with the recent acquisition of TubeBuddy, has expanded that mission to help the 6M+ creators on the platform.

Butler serves as an advisor and investor for entrepreneurs and charities who share his relentless quest for disruption and deep learning, including applications of natural language generation in gaming with AI Dungeon and powering automated machine learning using unstructured data with Zeff (acquired by DataRobot). As one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40, and a member of Forbes Agency Council, Butler is serving as the catalyst for the next generation of data driven entertainment and advertising. Like any true digital nerd, Ricky spends his free time creating art no one should see and reading about the myriad of ways data has and can improve the 21st century.


Chief Medical Advisor

Dr. Anish Kirpalani

Dr. Kirpalani is a radiologist, medical educator, and healthcare business advisor with over 15 years of broad practice experience in both academic and private/community settings in Canada and the USA. He has been a staff radiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto since 2009, and he is Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto. In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice, Anish has authored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and has given over 50 invited lectures in radiology, focused mostly in MRI. Anish has a background in both engineering and medicine. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two young children.

316-4211 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2P 2A9
Toll Free: 1-888-726-2269 
Charitable Registration Number 84870 1967 RR0001