Our Board

Dr. Robert Francis

Dr. Robert Francis, President and Director

Dr. Francis came from modest beginnings in Nova Scotia. He graduated from St. Francis Xavier University with a Bachelor of Science degree at the young age of 19. During his undergraduate degree he met Sharon. He graduated from medical school at McGill University, completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Toronto, and then spent three years as a military doctor in the Maritimes. In 1973, Dr. Francis and Sharon Francis moved back to Toronto.

In 1987, Dr. Francis established the Medcan Clinic, a healthcare facility devoted to preventive medicine. During a one–day assessment, Dr. Francis wanted to give patients a complete picture of their current health, including a thorough review of same–day test results with a physician, in an unrushed and efficient setting. This was a brand–new concept, and in the early days, there were many who challenged his idea, but Dr. Francis continued with determination and dedication. Today at Medcan, the Annual Health Assessment remains the foundation of Medcan’s commitment to preventive medicine. It both assesses a person’s current health status, and helps identify future risks, so action can begin to proactively manage any issues.

And, Dr. Francis continues to see patients every day. He is devoted to providing personalized care to his patients with an emphasis on timely diagnosis and treatments (when needed) and staying healthy.

Deane Nesbitt Jr.

Deane Nesbitt Jr, Vice President and Director

Deane Nesbitt Jr. started his career as a lawyer, practising commercial law for 16 years. He then became involved with the investment business, co-founded an investment management firm and wrote an award-winning illustrated history, Dry Goods & Pickles, The Story of Nesbitt, Thomson [now BMO Nesbitt Burns].

Having played the piano by ear from an early age, Deane is now a composer, recording artist and film score writer (www.NesbittMusic.com). His compositions are the soundtracks for two recent short films, Change for Chimps, featuring Jane Goodall, and Legacy of War, featuring veterans of World War II and original film footage from the war. His music has been aired on over 300 radio stations across the US. It has been performed in Toronto at Massey Hall, Nathan Phillips Square, St. James Cathedral and the Canadian National Exhibition. While still practising law, he entertained in Europe, where he met and played for Hollywood legend, Greta Garbo.

Deane has served as a Director on 15 boards and presently is a member of The Brady Urological Institute Advisory Board of Johns Hopkins Medicine. He holds degrees in arts and law from McGill University and a certificate from the Owner-President Management Program, Harvard Business School. A family man, Deane’s other interests have included hiking, kayaking, landscape painting, photography and flying.

Tony Comper

Tony Comper, Secretary and Director

Tony Comper was appointed CEO of BMO Financial Group in February 1999, and also served as Chairman from July 1999 to May 2004, when the bank moved to a non-executive Chairman model.

Member of the International Advisory Committee, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute of St. Michael’s Hospital; Honorary Chair, Board of Governors of the Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care; The Advisory Board for The Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart National Governance Award and Member of the Investment Committee, Catalyst.

Served as Independent Lead Director of Spectra Energy Corporation, Houston; Served as Chair of the board of Directors, PPP Canada;

He received the Human Relations Award from the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews & the Award of Merit from B’nai Brith Canada. He holds honorary degrees from the University of Toronto (LL.D.), Mount Saint Vincent University (D.Hum.L), the University of New Brunswick (D.Litt.); and Haifa University with his late wife Elizabeth.

Tony and his late wife Elizabeth also received the Scopus Award from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They also founded FAST, a new initiative to combat antisemitism in Canada. In November 2009, Concordia University conferred the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) on Tony and his wife Elizabeth. In January 2011, he received the Order of Canada together with his wife Elizabeth.

Paige Francis

Paige Francis, Director

Bio coming soon.

Tony Comper

Arlene Willis, Director

Arlene co–founded Grapes for Humanity (GFH) Canada in 2001, an organization which raises funds to benefit humanitarian causes around the world, with the assistance of the international wine community. Today she is Chairman Emeritus of GFH Canada and Chairman and Founder of GFH Global Foundation in the US.

She also currently sits on the Board of Directors for Equipment Sales and Service Ltd. (ESS), a family-owned company that has been keeping Canada’s heavy equipment up and running for over 70 years.

Arlene was Chairman of The Toronto Foundation for Student Success, a division of the Toronto School Board. She has sat on the Board for The Canadian Stage Company, The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) and The Bishop Strachan School

Arlene has worked for various organizations and corporations in the United States. In 1968, she travelled throughout the US working on the 1968 Presidential Campaign for Richard Nixon, with advance men, Bob Erlichman and Bob Haldeman; and organized and helped produce the half-time shows for the New Orleans Saints football team, under the direction of Tommy Walker Productions.

Arlene was born and educated in the United States. She moved to Toronto in 1977 after marrying Canadian Businessman, Michael Willis and they have two daughters and three grandchildren. Arlene and Michael are very involved with the international wine community and are passionate about their love of wine and many philanthropic causes.