• Tickets now on sale for 2016 LiON'S LAIR Awards Gala!

2014 Lions

Mario Paron

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Mario Paron was born and raised in Hamilton Ontario, and completed his Bachelor of Commerce with Honours from McMaster University. Following graduation, he joined KPMG in 1987. With a focus in Tax, Mario serves a broad range of public and privately held corporations, as well as individuals, requiring integrated Canadian and U.S. tax advice. He has both his Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant designation and is a U.S. Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Mario has held several leadership roles with the firm over the past twenty five years, broadly in the audit and tax practices. His most recent roles were that of Chief Human Resources Officer for KPMG in Canada, which also included KPMG global responsibilities and as Deputy Tax Leader of KPMG’s Toronto Tax Practice. He is currently the Regional Managing Partner of Eastern Canada which encompasses Southwestern Ontario, Northern Ontario, Ottawa, Kingston, and the Atlantic provinces.

He resides in Ancaster, Ontario, with his wife Noreen and his three children, Sarah, Luke and Caroline.


Jeff Paikin

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Jeff Paikin is the President of New Horizon Development Group who will soon be celebrating their 20-Year Anniversary of service and development expertise in residential building.

Jeff is known for bringing his “big picture vision” to both his team and each project he undertakes. He is actively involved in urban planning, residential and commercial building, and philanthropic causes. A passionate Hamiltonian, Jeff is proud to live, work, and raise his family in this community.

A graduate of Mount Allison University, Jeff holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce. He was recently awarded the RBC Distinguished Citizen of the Year for Hamilton because of his commitment to the Hamilton community.

Over the years, Jeff has been recognized to be involved in a number of community-oriented activities such as being a Member of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Advisory Board, Chair of the Capital Campaign at Hillfield Strathallan College and of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools, and supporting local philanthropic organizations such as the Children’s Aid Society, City Kidz, Burlington Performing Arts Center, and the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre.

Jeff is a husband and father of 3 girls, and enjoys playing golf, tennis, and hockey in his spare time.


Tonia Jahshan

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Tonia Jahshan is the President and Founder of Steeped Tea, a direct selling company that specializes in home tea parties selling loose leaf tea and accessories. Her company has over 4000 consultants across North America and over 40 employees. The company was featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den in 2012 and won the approval of Jim Treliving and David Chilton as partners. Most recently, Steeped Tea was featured on Dragon’s Den again for an exciting update.

Steeped Tea ranked #27 on Profit 500 last year and #1 in the food sector. This busy mom of three children under six was also ranked #15 on Chatelaines W100 list.

Tonia has over 12 years owner/operator experience managing two sales and marketing-based businesses. Her experience in communications, training, and public relations has helped Steeped Tea become a multimillion dollar international company.

Tonia has also been a consultant for multiple direct selling companies. Her understanding and passion of multi-level marketing and home parties has allowed her to better develop training materials, compensation plans, promotions, and products for her consultants.

Check her company out at: www.steepedtea.com and follow her on Twitter: @toniajahshan


Blair McKeil

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In the early days of in-land waterway transportation, long before the advent of tugboats, heavy workhorses hauled barges. Amazingly, it was not unusual for a single horse to pull a fully laden barge weighing in excess of 100 metric tons, and did so at a good walking speed from its position on a towpath by the river. McKeil Marine respects the proud tradition of such challenging work and seeks to honor the fortitude and resolve of all those involved in the early days. Since its founding, half a century ago, McKeil Marine has had a reputation for being something of a workhorse – with no job too demanding or difficult.

Successfully operating for over 55 years, Hamilton-based McKeil Marine Limited is considered by industry analysts as an exemplary Canadian success story. The family-owned business, which operates throughout the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Arctic, has the ability to adapt quickly and adroitly to the changing times in both global and regional trends in trade and transportation.

The key architect of this metamorphosis has been company Chairman & CEO Blair McKeil, whose entrepreneurial vision is driven by unbridled enthusiasm and seemingly boundless energy. McKeil’s roots of entrepreneurship and plain hard work are traced back to his father Evans McKeil, who founded the business in 1956. Since then McKeil Marine has grown its fleet and customer base to become one of the nation’s most recognized companies in our industry. Honoring his father’s vision of a company that continuously demonstrates a commitment to people, community, and excellent customer service is Blair McKeil’s first priority. At the same time, he is no stranger to taking risks.

By the age of twenty-six, Blair McKeil was deeply involved in the company started by his father. Seven years later, he assumed full leadership of McKeil Marine Limited and began to steer it through the challenges of the modern economy. His charismatic personality has been instrumental in developing new enterprises and opportunities.

Blair has been an active contributor to a variety of industry organizations including the past president of The Marine Club and the Eastern Canada Tug Owners Association.

Through these organizations, Blair has been able to develop strong relationships, both within North America and abroad. In 1995 and in 2006 the Hamilton Chamber Commerce honored Blair with an Outstanding Business Achievement Award.

In 2011, Hamilton-based Mohawk College honoured McKeil Marine with the naming of its business school…McKeil School of Business. In June 2012, Blair was presented with an inaugural Mohawk College Fellowship and was awarded an Honorary Ontario College Advanced Diploma in Business Administration. In addition, Blair had the distinct honour of delivering the convocation address to the graduation class of the McKeil School of Business. In August 2012 the Association of Canadian Port Authorities presented Blair with the prestigious Medal of Merit award, which recognizes outstanding works or service, preferably of national impact, by an individual, institution or organization in the port, shipping and maritime transportation fields.

Giving back to the community matters to Blair and he credits his employees for ‘making a difference’ and contributing to the company’s longevity and success.

Blair was a judge at the 2013 LiON’S LAIR Competition and we are proud to have him back again this year!


Carmela Trombetta

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Carmela leads a team of specialized Commercial Account Managers as Vice-President of Greater Hamilton Commercial Financial Services for RBC Royal Bank. She has had a very successful 24 years with RBC with various roles in retail, wealth management, and commercial banking. She is a graduate of McMaster University with and undergraduate degree in Economics.

Carmela leverages her experience, knowledge of the community, and industry contacts to provide timely financial advice to her managers and clients, and provides best in class service and value. Her office is located directly in Hamilton; this allows for very quick turnaround on decisions and needs of clients which translates to an optimal customer experience.

She is actively involved in the Hamilton community where she was born and raised. She is currently serving on the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation Board and the Finance Committee as well as the Cabinet for United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton. Carmela is also a newly appointed member of board for the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

In her free time, Carmela enjoys travelling with her husband, Dr. Tony Magliocco and their two children Alexandra and Julian.

Carmela was a judge at the 2013 LiON’S LAIR Competition and we are proud to have her back again this year!