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.
Newmarket Public Library
Todd Kyle is an award-winning librarian known for his work on early literacy awareness, school-public library cooperation, and children’s literature and library services in both English and French. A frequent contributor to library conferences and training, Todd has taught with the Education Institute and at Seneca College, writes regular reviews for Canadian Materials, has served on the jury for the Silver Birch and Norma Fleck awards, and is currently on the jury for the TD French Canadian Children’s Literature Award. A former President of the Canadian Association of Children’s Librarians, he was chosen as the OLA’s 2006 Children’s Librarian of the Year, and is currently CEO of Newmarket Public Library.
Leigh Chalmers is a partner in the Audit and Assurance practice working in PricewaterhouseCoopers Toronto office. She has a broad range of experience providing audit and advisory services to the financial service industry. Leigh specializes in the insurance and banking industries. Leigh also has experience serving on a number of large public company audits.
Leigh is currently involved in the development and implementation of PwC’s strategy for the new International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) related to the Canadian financial services industry. In this role Leigh works with the PwC Global IFRS committee to ensure Canadian clients are able to leverage from the global IFRS experience. In her IFRS role, Leigh is advising and educating clients on the new IFRS standards and helping companies develop an implementation project plan and strategy.
Leigh serves as the Chair to the Advisory Board for PwC’s Charitable Foundation. In this role Leigh oversees the management team responsible for the Foundation, recommends the strategic plan, monitors and evaluates the Foundations conduct, directions and results in accordance with the corporate objectives.
Woozles Children’s Bookstore
Lisa Doucet is the Co-Manager of Woozles Chilren’s Bookstore in Halifax. In addition to reviewing for the CCBC’s Canadian Children’s Book News, Lisa also reviews for two other publications. Lisa is the co-chair of the Word on the Street Halifax board of directors and chair of the Nova Scotia Children’s Literature Roundtable. In addition to her role as recording secretary for the Atlantic Independent Booksellers’ Association, Lisa also represents the Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association on the Atlantic Book Awards Society. She has also served as the IBBY Canada Councillor-East. Lisa is currently entering the last year of a five year term on the CLA YA Book of the Year Award jury and is the incoming chair on this committee. She has served on various award juries including the Halifax Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Illustration and the IBBY Honour List selection committee. She is also involved with the Helen Creighton Folklore Society and has served as a volunteer teacher at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History for over ten years and has volunteered at Halifax Dance.
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.
Dr. Farzana Kurwa, BDS
Dentist & Parent
Farzana Kurwa was born in Kenya, but moved with her family to Canada as an infant. She trained in Dentistry at the University of Bristol, United Kingdom, and practiced in the UK, East Africa and United States over a professional career of 13 years. When Farzana and her husband Habib, along with their two young boys, decided to return to Canada seven years ago to be closer to her parents, she moved from her successful career in Dentistry to focusing her time and energy on her family.
Interwoven with her professional career, Farzana has always maintained a strong ethic of voluntary service focused around early childhood education and youth mentoring. She has had training and experience as a mentor for first time parents from marginalized communities. She is currently involved in a mentoring program for young girls from disadvantaged families, who are completing high school and moving towards higher education.
Over the past year she has actively worked with the teachers at her children’s school to develop a classroom library in which books are easily identified at the appropriate level for their reading ability. She has shared with her children a love of Canadian authors such as Robert Munsch, Kenneth Oppel, Willard Price, as well as adult authors such as MG Vassanji and Margaret Atwood.
Shar Levine is an internationally award-winning and best-selling author of science books for children, having published over 70 books in Canada and the United States. In addition to writing for children, she designs science toys/kits. Shar is past president of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia (CWILL BC) and a member of the board of directors of Books for Me! A Vancouver charity providing gently used books to children in need. Shar will be awarded the Alumni Honour Award at a ceremony to be held in September at the University of Alberta. Over the past 30 years, Shar has chaired various fundraisers for charities and schools.
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.
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.
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.
La Montagne secrète / The Secret Mountain
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.