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2015 Lions

Cheri Chevalier

SS1_4819Cheri Chevalier is the CMO of Microsoft Canada and leader of its Central Marketing Organization. She is responsible for marketing across Microsoft’s commercial and consumer audiences, including the management of integrated marketing communications, digital and social marketing, data/analytics, events, and marketing operations. Cheri has held a number of progressively senior roles within the organization, beginning with the launch of Windows 95, and including launching Hotmail and MSN.CA in Canada, building the SMB marketing division, and leading the Dynamics ERP/CRM business.

Cheri has been recognized within and beyond Microsoft for her strategic marketing and leadership skills, including landing a spot on Marketing Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 list, and receiving Microsoft’s Chairman Award, the highest award given to employees globally.

Cheri holds an Honours BA from the University of Waterloo, with a double major in Business and English, as well as an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University, which included studying abroad in China and Denmark.

She has served as vice chair of Halton Food for Thought, a charity that helps kids develop to their full potential by providing inclusive access to nutritious foods throughout the school day, and has been a member of the Canadian Marketing Association Brand Council for the past two years.


Tonia Jahshan

toniaTonia Jahshan is the Founder and President of direct-selling company, Steeped Tea Inc.

In 2006, on a getaway with her husband Hatem, Tonia tasted loose-leaf tea for the very first time and was amazed! She brought some home to share with her friends and family and before she knew it, was holding 15 tea parties a month.

Tonia set out to make premium loose-leaf tea the daily norm and to create an alternative, fun income opportunity for others! She has grown a direct-selling company that empowers others to start a business of their own and become a passionate entrepreneur all while sharing a cup of tea.

In 2012, everything aligned for Steeped Tea when they partnered with investors David Chilton and Jim Treliving of CBC’s Dragon’s Den. With their help, Steeped Tea continues to grow in Canada and the U.S.A.

With Steeped Tea’s success, the company has had the great honour of being on PROFIT 500’s list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies two years in a row. Steeped Tea ranked number 17 on this list in 2014. Tonia has also been awarded by Chatelaine’s W100 list three years in a row. Last year, she was named one of three Canadian women on Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneurial Winning Women. And most recently, she was listed as 1 of 5 women to watch on Forbes.com.

Tonia’s passion is to make your next cup of tea with family and friends a memorable one. After all, it’s always been about who you share it with.


Michael Macaluso

MichaelMacalusoHeadshot2015PNGMichael is a graduate from Western University in London, Ontario where he studied business and economics. A lifelong Hamiltonian, he became familiar with CARSTAR at a young age and has had a passion for the Hamilton-based business from day one.

In 2008, after several years in leadership roles in the event and hospitality industry, Michael was brought onto the team at CARSTAR and quickly made an impact as a strategic player in the collision industry. He started on the insurance relations team, where he was responsible for managing CARSTAR’s relationships with insurance partners, and quickly worked his way up to Director of Operations in 2010. In 2011, he joined the executive team at CARSTAR as Assistant Vice-President of Operations, at which point he took over leadership of the Vendor/Procurement team. From 2012 to 2013, he served as CARSTAR’s Chief Operating Officer.

Today, Michael is the President of CARSTAR. He is the leader of the executive management team and is directly responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of the organization. Working with a world class executive and management team, the “humble, but hungry” CARSTAR network has grown to 225+ collision and glass centres in all ten Canadian provinces with 2,500 employees under Michael’s leadership and is well positioned for continued success.

Michael is married to Daniela and has two sons, Matteo and Marcello. He speaks English, French and Italian. He is very active in the collision industry and participates in Canadian collision and aftermarket associations, including AIA Canada and its Collision Council. Michael is also very committed to the Hamilton community. He sits on the board of directors for the St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, Festitalia, and the Young Men’s Leader Impact Group; is a committee member of the Charity of Hope; is a member of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce; and participates on various fundraising committees.


George McCarter

George_Headshot_PNGGeorge McCarter was born in Mooresville, North Carolina. While attending North Carolina State University, George began his career at Allstate Insurance. George later moved north to complete his Bachelor’s degree at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  In 1986, George moved further north to Hamilton and joined Dalton Insurance. As President of Dalton Insurance, George led a successful group buyout of the shareholders.

In 2006, George became President and partner at Pearson Dunn Insurance & Financial Services Inc.  Two years later, he purchased the remaining shares and Pearson Dunn Insurance began a new chapter in its 100-year history.

George and his wife Bernie have two dynamic children, Brittney and Jordan. The McCarter family enjoys traveling, golf and a great meal together.

George is very active in the Hamilton community and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation and previous Chair of the Hamilton Club. In past years, George has lead successful fundraising campaigns for The United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton and the McMaster Children’s Hospital. George is supportive of several local charities and encourages all his staff to volunteer in community events, whenever they can.


Mario Paron

MarioMario 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 has served 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 included that of Chief Human Resources Officer for KPMG in Canada, which also included KPMG global responsibilities. Mario was the Deputy Tax Leader of KPMG’s Toronto Tax Practice and was most recently the Regional Managing Partner, for KPMG’s offices in Southwestern, Northern and Eastern Ontario and Eastern Canada. Mario is currently the Canadian Managing Partner, for KPMG Enterprise. KPMG Enterprise is dedicated to serving private companies and not-for-profit entities.

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