Dr. Michael Verbora is a family physician who works in the Toronto community. He earned an MBA from the Odette School of Business in 2009 and an M.D. from Schulich School of Medicine at Western University in 2013, before entering Family Practice residency at the University of Toronto.
When graduating at the peak of the opioid crisis, he sought out other therapies to help patients with pain. He came across medical cannabis and with self education became passionate about using this as a safer alternative to opioids. His studies in cannabis led to him becoming a global expert in cannabinoid therapy. He has treated thousands of patients and has perhaps the largest pediatric population on medical cannabis here in Toronto. He helps children with epilepsy, autism and cancer using medical cannabis safely.
He is now the Chief Medical Officer of Aleafia Health, a cannabis company in Vaughan, that is focused on creating medical cannabis medicines for patients in Canada and around the world. Dr. Verbora testifies when required as a medical expert in the field of cannabinoid medicine and has helped other governments around the world develop cannabis policy. He is an advocate for medical cannabis access for patients and patient centered medical care.
Join fellow Whiffers at 5 pm Tuesday, March 30th to gain further insight into Canada’s medical experience with cannabinoid therapies and if it might be helpful for anything that ails you!
To RSVP for this event, enter your first and last names as recorded in our Whiff database.
Sarwar Kashmeri is an international relations specialist, author, and commentator, noted for his expertise on U.S. global strategy and national security. He speaks frequently before business, foreign policy and military audiences. He is the host of Polaris-Live, featuring 30 minute live conversations on the business and geopolitical impact of China’s rapid rise to superpower status.
“China’s Grand Strategy: Weaving a New Silk Road to Global Primacy,” (Praeger), his third book, was published in July 2019. It is a centennial book of the Foreign Policy Association where Sarwar is a Fellow. The book was released at a Washington D.C. launch on 7 November 2019 featuring Kashmeri and former U.S. Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel.
He is also an Applied Research Fellow of the Peace and War Center of Norwich University, Vermont, USA. He served a four year term as a non-residential Senior Fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security of the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. He serves on the American Advisory Board of UK’s Ditchley Foundation.
Kashmeri has hosted “China Focus” a podcast series for the Carnegie Corporation of New York and has recently discussed China’s Belt and Road Initiative on television with Deutsche Welle, the German news network, and in a series of interviews with Xinhua, China’s global news agency.
He is the author of the U.S. Army War College’s monograph, “NATO and the EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy; Intersecting Trajectories” and is a frequent guest speaker at the United States Military Academy/West Point. Kashmeri has appeared in well-known publications including New York Times International, The Guardian, U.S. News and World Report, Xinhua, and Global Times. His TV appearances include CNN, Sky News, Euronews, CSPAN, and Fox. Formerly the CEO of a New York based international technology company, Kashmeri has also served as a communications advisor for several Fortune 100 companies.
He earned a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and a M.S. in Engineering, both from Saint Louis University.
Be inspired to act hearing the city’s Economic and Culture Recovery Advisory Group report, including their Anti-Racism and Inclusion recommendations, and learn about an innovative mentor ship program for Black youth.
Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson is Chair of Toronto’s Economic Development Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. Now in his fifth term as Councillor, Michael has earned a reputation as one of Toronto’s hardest working and most effective political leaders.
In 2006, as Chair of the Scarborough Community Council, he led the campaign to create the first ever TTC transit strategy for Scarborough, a strategy designed to significantly expand and enhance public transit services for all Scarborough residents. Throughout his years on Council, Michael’s unrelenting drive for public safety in the face of increased gun violence ultimately led to the development of a city-wide Community Safety Plan, a GTA-wide police task force on guns and gangs, an increase in the numbers of police officers in the street, and a new young offender program designed to divert young people into jobs instead of jail.
Under the banner of “getting things done,” Michael is known to his constituents as a community builder committed to bring people together in a spirit of collaboration. He has led and assisted in the formation of local community associations, youth leadership initiatives and Business Improvement Areas, and holds regular public meetings to engage residents throughout his ward.
In addition to a strong focus on resolving local issues and serving his constituents, Michael’s commitment to developing Toronto’s city-wide economy is longstanding. In his first term in office, he spearheaded the creation of the Wexford Heights Business Improvement Area and established a Job Fair that annually brought thousands of job seekers together with dozens of employers.
He maintains a widespread network of business relationships that has helped the City to enhance business retention, promote growth and increase private sector employment. His active engagement with business has helped speed the launch of new business ventures, resolved business/residential conflicts and gained business participation in a wide range of community-building initiatives. In recent years, the international connections he has developed and nurtured have played a significant role in attracting billions of dollars in new investment to the City, contributing to a more robust economy and substantial job creation.
Recently, Michael was a key member of a Toronto project team that successfully lobbied executives of Collision, one of the world’s leading high technology conferences, to choose Toronto as the conference’s home for 2019 – 2021, bringing 25,000 technology executives and investors to the City and injecting tens of millions of dollars into Toronto’s economy.
Michael is a firm believer in the critical value of culture as a builder of strong communities. When he first took office, he co-founded the Taste of Lawrence Avenue East Festival, which brings together tens of thousands of people each year to experience local performing arts and cuisine. In 2013, he led the City’s efforts to create a new arts and culture plan that provided a bold, new roadmap for cultural vitality, strengthened arts spending and launched a new era of collaboration among arts and culture groups across the City. Michael was also the first Chair of Toronto’s Music Advisory Committee, and played a key role in efforts to attract international film and television productions and studio investments to Toronto.
Michael received his public school education in Scarborough, and his BA from Concordia University in Montreal. Prior to entering politics, he earned his business credentials as an entrepreneur in the business and financial services sector. In 2017, he successfully completed the ICD Directors Education Program offered by the Rotman School of Management and Institute of Corporate Directors.
He is the recipient of the African Achievement Award for Excellence in Politics, the York University International Award, the Jain Society of Toronto Community Award, the Bob Marley Award and the Bob Marley Lifetime Achievement Award.
He continues to work with a number of charitable organizations including participation in the LIUNA Local 506 scholarship fund.
Blake C. Goldring, C.M., M.S.M., CD, LL.D., CFA, Executive Chairman, AGF Management Limited
Blake C. Goldring joined AGF in 1987 and held a series of senior positions before being appointed President in 1997, CEO in 2000, and Chairman in 2006. Under his leadership, AGF has grown to be a premier independent asset management company with operations in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. Prior to joining AGF, he worked in corporate banking for a major Canadian bank.
Mr. Goldring sits on a number of private company and not-for-profit boards including the CD Howe Institute and the Canadian Film Centre and is the founder of Canada Company: Many Ways to Serve, a charitable, non-partisan organization created to connect business and community leaders with Canada’s military.
Blake has received numerous honours in recognition of his personal and professional achievements. Most recently, in December 2018, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada.
He holds an Honours BA in Economics from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Business Administration from INSEAD in France. He is also a member of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts, a CFA charterholder and a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers.
I refer to my recent letter regarding the cancellation of the March 31 and April 28 meetings and the June Bash as a result of the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 crisis.
I mentioned that the Whiff would be providing a credit to Full and Associate members to be applied to next year’s membership fees to compensate for the loss of the cancelled events.
Continue reading Toronto Whiff of Grape Credit for the Unused Portion of your 2019-2020 fees→
N.B., All in-person events have been deferred due to the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to jump to the RSVP below the speaker’s bio.
For our third Whiff@Home meeting, we welcome back John Anderson Fraser to speak on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 to answer the timely question “What to do about China!“.
John last spoke to us 10 years ago this month, when his topic was “Through a glass darkly: Why academics (and journalists) should never try to predict anything“. [You can see that meeting notice in this Internet Archive Wayback Machine captured page.]
John Fraser has been a reporter, columnist, editor, ombudsman and benefactor. Fraser has lived as diverse a journalistic career as anyone in Canada. His extraordinary legacy spans six decades of the modern news media era in Canada.
Continue reading John Anderson Fraser, What to do about China, November 24, 2020→