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Lieutenant General Michel Maisonneuve

Michel Maisonneuve (Lieutenant-General, retired), completed 35 years of active service in the Canadian Armed Forces in May 2007. An Armour officer from 12e Régiment blindé du Canada, he distinguished himself in progressive leadership positions in Canada and abroad and served on staff and as an operational commander in missions ranging from humanitarian relief to conflict operations, including Cyprus and the Former Yugoslavia (UN) and Kosovo (OSCE).

His senior appointments included Assistant Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada and Chief of Staff of NATO’s Supreme Allied Command Transformation. He is a Commander of the Canadian Order of Military Merit and recipient of the Meritorious Service Cross. Foreign awards include Officer of the French Legion of Honour, Officer of the U.S. Legion of Merit and the NATO Meritorious Service Medal. After he retired from the Army, he was appointed by the Minister of National Defence as the first Academic Director (Principal) of Royal Military College Saint-Jean on its re-opening in December 2007. He was instrumental in the return of RMC Saint-Jean to university status which was announced just before his retirement from this position after more than ten years in June 2018.

Louise Des Roches

Louise Des Roches is the Chief of Protocol and Public Relations Operations, Office of the Chief of the Defence Staff. Louise has worked in this position for over 15 years, where she has established strategic partnerships for CAF members all across Canada. Louise graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mass Communication and Media Studies. Her career has helped her become especially skilled in Communications Planning, Strategic Communications, Crisis Communications, Crisis Management, Spokesperson, Public Relations, Corporate Communications, Government, Public Affairs, Media Relations, Internal Communications, Reputation Management, Press Releases, International Relations, Speech Writing and Military Operations.

Jay Mandarino

As President & CEO of CJ Graphics and The CJ Group of Companies, Jay Mandarino oversees the daily operations of 35 companies including his 5 Not-For-Profit initiatives, with total sales reaching over 40 million dollars. Jay’s founding company, CJ Graphics Inc., is the most award-winning printing solutions company in the world, receiving over 6500 awards to date and the first company in the world ever to win 22 Benny awards in 1 year – the highest honour from the most prestigious print competition in the world. Jay was previously named Canada’s Printing Leader of the Year at the Canadian Printing Awards, celebrating world-class printing and industry achievement. In 2019 he also received the distinguished John Young lifetime achievement award and was the 1st person under 60 to ever receive this honourable award. His accolades include Canada’s Printer of the Year (Graphic Monthly magazine), making the list of 100 Most Profitable Companies (Profit magazine), Entrepreneur of the Year (Etobicoke Chamber of Commerce), and he has appeared on the front cover of Print Action magazine several times followed by feature articles. Jay gives back to the community through his philanthropy. He was voted Community Leader of the Year by his peers and his work has been acknowledged in many editorial articles, letters of praise and with numerous awards including three medals – the Diamond Jubilee Medal from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship from the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, recognizing individuals who, through exceptional long-term efforts, have made outstanding contributions to their communities, and the Order of International Ambassadors Medal. Jay currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario and has served on many other Not-For-Profit and industry related Boards. His true passion beside being a great speaker and entrepreneur is helping and empowering others! 

Captain Stephanie Smith M.D.

Captain Stephanie Smith is currently a second year Family Medicine resident at the University of Calgary enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces Military Medical Training Plan. Prior to starting medical school, she was a critical care nursing officer, enrolling in 2001 in Hamilton, Ontario.

After graduating from the University of New Brunswick in 2004, she was originally posted to Gagetown as the Immunization nurse. Following her Basic Nursing Officer Course and Basic Health Services Field Course she was posted to NDMC as the Training Officer, where she was deployed on two missions to Afghanistan in 2007 and 2009. During the second deployment she initiated a formal nurses’ mentorship program for the Afghan National Army and was awarded the U.S. Military Medal of Achievement for her exemplary work. Capt Smith has also participated in two air evacuation missions transporting soldiers injured in Afghanistan back from Germany to Canada and volunteered with the Soldier On Program during the Army Run since 2010.

Capt Smith has been recognized for her commitment and dedication to both the CAF and her current medical profession. In 2014, she received the Major General Barr Award of Excellence, which is awarded based on performance over an extended period of time, and a demonstrated high degree of excellence and professionalism. In 2015, she received honorable mention for the Toronto Star Nightingale Award. In 2016, she received the Alumni Award of Distinction–University of New Brunswick. In 2018, she received the Rising Star Student Leadership Award from the Alberta College of Family Physicians. In 2019, she received the Top 20 Women in Defence Award and the Dr. Shelagh Lindsay Medical Award from the Cumming School of Medicine. In 2020, she received the Dr. Michelle Hucul Family Medicine Award.

Calvin Barry

Calvin Barry is a Criminal Lawyer with over sixteen years as a Senior Crown Attorney, has appeared as a Criminal Prosecutor at all levels of Trial Court, and has Prosecuted many high-profile cases including more than sixty jury trials. Calvin has practiced in the area of Criminal Law and Regulatory Offences since October of 2004, accruing over thirty years experience in the profession. Calvin has been a member of the Royal Canadian Military Institute for over 25 years.


Daniel Cooper

Daniel is an Upper Canada College graduate currently pursuing his Medical Doctorate (MD) at the University of Ottawa. Daniel graduated in the top 3% of his program from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Health Sciences. Daniel previously graduated from Upper Canada College in the top 5% of his class, and was awarded the Stephen Leacock Prize in Language and Literature for placing first in his English class, as well as the Lang Scholar award for his leadership initiative on both the varsity soccer and track & field teams. This past summer Daniel worked at Apple Blossom Village, a facility for adults requiring complex and specialized care, as well as conducted psychiatric research through Toronto Western Hospital where he has three publications, including a first-author. For fun, Daniel plays a variety of intramural sports.

Ryan Cooper

Ryan is in his third year at Queen’s University majoring in Classical and Archaeological Studies. He is a volunteer at Queen’s kaleidoscope, helping support at-risk youth in the Kingston community. Ryan has received academic honours, qualifying for the Dean’s Honour List in his second year of study. Ryan was the Captain and quarterback of the Northview Heights Secondary School Football Team, as well as the Captain of the Northview Heights Baseball Team. He served for four years as the president and captain of the Northview Heights Debate Team and Club.

Lindsay Cooper

Lindsay is in her first year of university obtaining a duel degree of arts and architecture from both the University of Windsor and Detroit Mercy. Lindsay was a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and retired this past spring. She is a registered lifeguard and has worked as a swim instructor for both children and adults. Lindsay also played varsity soccer and volleyball in high school, and continues to stay active in intramurals.

Veterans and First Responders Foundation of Canada is a federally incorporated not for profit corporation devoted to increasing a sense of belonging and community to our veterans by providing tickets to sporting events, concerts, plays and other performances.


Simply scan and upload your ticket to have it donated to a deserving Canadian Veteran. Don’t have any tickets? 100% of all cash donations are allocated to purchasing and distributing more tickets for our Veterans.