Board of Directors
Director of Operations
Southern Ontario Library Service
Daryl Novak is Director of Operations of the Southern Ontario Library Service where he is responsible for SOLS’ administration, services to First Nation communities, the Lieutenant Governor’s Club Amick program which provides new books to children in remote northern First Nation communities, and consults with public libraries on CEO search and a range of human resources and contract administration issues. Most recently he has negotiated agreements for a range of electronic products used by public libraries across Ontario.
Daryl has served on a number of not-for-profit boards in the arts and social services and is currently a president of the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. He has been on the faculty of the arts administration program at Humber College, and has lectured in the University of Toronto Museum Studies Program, and presented at the Ontario Library Association and the Ontario Museums Association. He is a recipient of the Diamond Jubilee medal.
Roland Stringer is originally from Ponteix, Saskatchewan, and now lives in Montreal. In 1982, after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts at the Université de Saint-Boniface in Manitoba, he spent three years as an arts reporter for the Franco‐Manitoban weekly La Liberté. In 1986, he established the music production and publishing company Les Productions Folle Avoine, which initially represented the Franco‐Manitoban bilingual group Hart-Rouge, who toured extensively internationally and released 10 albums over a 15-year span. It’s also during this period that he signed to the label children’s performer Carmen Campagne, who became the “daycare diva” of Québec in the 1990s selling over one million records and videos. In 2000, Roland Stringer created The Secret Mountain/La Montagne secrète, which acts as both record label and publishing house bringing together authors, storytellers, musicians, illustrators, animators and songwriters with the intention of creating a wealth of book/CD combinations for children. In 12 years, the award-winning Montreal-based company has published more than 40 titles in English, French and Spanish. It recently began developing apps and enhanced eBooks that continue to combine words and pictures with songs for children.
Robin Taylor is a Partner in PwC’s Canadian Risk Assurance Services working with clients to improve governance practices, risk management, compliance and control effectiveness. He has over 24 years of professional experience. He is a UK and Canadian qualified chartered accountant, and began his career in external audit, before moving into forensic accounting and then internal audit services within risk assurance.
Robin currently focuses on Canadian financial services companies and over his career has worked with many public and private sector companies, government, and not-for-profit organizations. He has a BA from Cambridge University. He lives in Toronto and has three children at junior and kindergarten level.
Author & Lawyer
Nancy graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and law degree from the University of Windsor. She was called to the bar in 1980 in Ontario. She was senior counsel at Ontario Hydro and now practices law with the Ontario public service. She has held various executive positions with the Canadian Society for Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) including past president. She also was a Board member for Arts Etobicoke.
She has been writing for children for 20 years. Her novel Watching Jimmy, won the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People and the Ontario Library Association’s Golden Oak Award. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Leslie McCallum is counsel in the Corporate and Capital Markets Practice. She researches and consults with the firm’s lawyers, primarily on cross-border matters, and tracks new Canadian and U.S. securities law developments in the areas of capital raising, corporate governance, continuous disclosure and public company mergers and acquisitions.
Leslie has recently served on the Securities Advisory Committee to the Ontario Securities Commission.
She has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, teaching securities regulation. In 1995-1996, Leslie served as law clerk to former Chief Justice Charles Dubin and Justice Coulter Osborne at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.
Founder and Director
Read to Me!
Carol McDougall has been working in the field of children’s literature and literacy for over 40 years, starting as a children’s librarian at the Toronto Public Library and then as Librarian for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre. She is the founding Director of Read to Me!, Nova Scotia’s hospital-based early reading promotion program. Carol has been juror for the Governor General’s Literary Award and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and was former chair of Word on the Street Halifax. Carol helped to establish Nova Scotia’s Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award and was Atlantic officer for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.
Carol has worked as an editor and publicist and taught writing for the children’s market at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. She is co-author of the Baby Steps series of board books, and she also writes for adults — her novel Wake the Stone Man won the 2014 Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature. For her work in literature and literacy, Carol was awarded the 2005 Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement and the 2010 Women of Excellence Award.
Publishing Director, Penguin Canada Young Readers
Penguin Random House Canada
Lynne Missen has been editing books for twenty-five years, children’s books in particular for the past fifteen. Working as a freelancer after the birth of her daughter in 1997, she joined HarperCollins in 2002 as Children’s Book Editor, and was promoted to Executive Editor, Children’s Books in 2004. In 2011, she moved to Penguin Canada as Publishing Director, Young Readers Group. She has worked with bestselling and critically acclaimed authors from Canada and around the world, such as Kenneth Oppel, Kit Pearson, Eric Walters, Cary Fagan, Maureen Fergus, Helen Dunmore, John Marsden, and Lemony Snicket, and she has recently acquired works from Giller Prize–winning authors Joseph Boyden and Johanna Skibsrud, as well as internationally bestselling author Sandra Gulland. Authors on her list have won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Fiction and the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, among others, and many children’s choice awards. Lynne has been nominated for the CBA Libris Awards Editor of the Year Award four times in the past six years, most recently in May.
Vice President, Human Resources
Sun Life Financial Canada
Sylvia Moretti is a Human Resources executive with over 20 years of experience in multinational institutions. She is currently Vice President of Human Resources at Great-West Lifeco, where she takes a consultative approach to building innovative people strategies that drive positive business outcomes and employee engagement. She previously held the position of Vice President of Human Resources at TD Bank Group, where she worked for over two decades.
Sylvia is a certified diver, has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, is a Running Coach for the Running Room and has been a regular volunteer at the Weekend to End Breast Cancer.
Director of Marketing
Simon & Schuster Canada
Felicia Quon is the Director of Marketing at Simon & Schuster Canada, where she oversees marketing communication strategy and directs the creative efforts of the marketing department team.
She has been involved with the publishing industry for 10 years, working across many aspects of the publishing process. Prior to joining Simon and Schuster Canada in 2006, Felicia was Director of Marketing (Children’s Books and Cookbooks) at HarperCollinsCanada and worked closely with children’s authors including Kenneth Oppel, Arthur Slade, Susan Juby, Natale Ghent and Janet McNaughton. She helped coordinate the inaugural HarperCollinsCanada/National Library of Canada Lecture Series at the International Conference on Canadian Children’s Literature in 2003 and brought in Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) as the first speaker.
Felicia is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with an English Major degree and has completed the Book and Magazine Publishing Diploma at Centennial College. She is a regular guest lecturer for the Children’s Marketing session at Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program and lectured at the Simon Fraser University Summer Publishing Workshop Program in 2009.
She has been a volunteer literacy tutor at the Cecil Community Centre in Toronto for many years and consults with several not-for-profit organizations for marketing and publishing queries. She is also a regular participant in industry and marketing events such as BookNet Tech Forum, Book Summit and Podcamp.
Zain Velji is the Vice President of Strategy at Northweather — a communications technology and branding firm specializing in branding, custom development and engagement. Prior to joining Northweather, Zain spent three years at Hill+Knowlton Strategies as a Senior Campaign Strategist specializing in campaign strategy, grassroots advocacy and behavioural economics. Prior to that, Zain was a Senior Public Policy Analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society and the Principal of a sole-proprietorship communications and strategy firm called Canspring Strategies.
Zain has just completed a term as the Volunteer Vice-Chair of External Relations for the Ismaili Council for the Prairies, and will now be taking on the new role of Special Projects Lead. In 2013, he was nominated to sit on the board for Calgary Reads, and became Chair of the organization in 2014. Furthermore, he sits on the board for the YMCA Calgary and co-founded the political podcast, “The Strategists.”