Distinguished business leaders to join MaRS board, including Canada’s “Outstanding CEO of the Year”

Toronto, January 8, 2008 – 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 committee.

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 enterprises.

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.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District