Board of Trustees
J. Michael KnowltonChair
Donald E. Clow
President and Chief Executive Officer since 2009, Donald E. Clow, FCA, has guided and shaped Crombie REIT into the company that it is today. Prior to joining Crombie, Donald held the position of President, ECL Developments Limited, the real estate development subsidiary of Empire Company Limited for two years. Previous to Empire, he was President of Southwest Properties Ltd., a residential and commercial real estate development company in Halifax. Donald is a member of the Board of Governors of Acadia University and is on the Board of Directors of the QEII Foundation. Mr. Clow graduated from Acadia University with a BBA, earned his CA designation with KPMG and was designated a Fellow Chartered Accountant in 2002. In addition to leadership programs at the Harvard Business School and the Ivey School of Business, he is a graduate of the DEP at the Rotman School of Business and a member of WPO, CEO and the Business Council of Canada. Donald has been inducted into Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame.
James M. Dickson
James M. Dickson is the Chair of Empire Company Limited. He is counsel to the law firm of Stewart McKelvey, with over 30 years of experience practicing primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities prior to his retirement from the partnership in 2016. Jim serves as a director of Clearwater Seafoods Incorporated, Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc. He is the past Chair of the Board of Regents of Mount Allison University and past Chair of the IWK Health Centre Foundation. Jim holds a Certificate in Engineering from Mount Allison University, a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the Technical University of Nova Scotia and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Calgary. He is a professional engineer and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010.
Heidi Jamieson-Mills, CPA, CA, is the Senior Vice President Finance, Reporting and Treasury for Sobeys Inc, based in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. Heidi leads a team of finance professionals at Sobeys from coast to coast who deliver high-quality financial analysis and reporting. In addition, she has oversight for the organization’s treasury, and taxation functions. Enterprise data governance and data strategy round out Heidi’s accountabilities. Heidi is an active leader in supporting Empire and Sobeys’ strategic business planning and initiatives and is a strong advocate in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization.
After graduating from Dalhousie University’s Commerce Program, Heidi completed her Chartered Accountants professional designation in 2001, having received the Harry G. Holden Memorial Award for placing first in her class across Atlantic Canada. Heidi began her professional career with Grant Thornton LLP as an Audit Senior and Taxation Manager and completed the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants’ In-depth Taxation Program. Heidi has been with Sobeys for over 15 years in several locations across Canada and has advanced in progressively senior roles holding various positions.
In 2010, Heidi’s career accomplishments led to her being named one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 leaders under 35. In 2020, Heidi was honoured to be named one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network.
Heidi is a committed community leader and has been actively involved with various organizations that enhance healthcare and health outcomes, and support victims of domestic abuse. Heidi was appointed to the Independent Advisory Board for Senate Appointments representing Nova Scotia. She is currently the Treasurer for the Aberdeen Health Foundation Society, which is dedicated to enhancing the delivery of healthcare in Pictou County. In past years, she has served as a board member with the Tearmann Society for Abused Women, Highland Community Residential Society Foundation, and the Race on the River Dragonboat Society in Pictou County, Nova Scotia.
Jason P. Shannon
Paul D. Sobey
Paul D. Sobey retired as President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited in 2013 after 32 years with the company. He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University, attended Harvard University Business School, Advanced Management Program and is a Chartered Accountant. Paul became a Fellow Chartered Accountant of Nova Scotia in 2006. In addition to sitting on Crombie's board as an independent trustee, Paul sits on the boards of Empire Company Limited and Sobeys Inc. Paul previously served as the Audit Committee Chair and a member of the board of directors for the Bank of Nova Scotia. Paul is Chancellor of Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Michael Vels is the Chief Development Officer of Empire Limited and Sobeys Inc., where he is responsible for leading Empire's real estate, technology, strategic sourcing, enterprise project management and mergers, and acquisitions activities. Michael was previously Chief Financial Officer of Empire from 2017-2021. Prior to Sobeys, Michael was Chief Financial Officer of Hydro One, where he led that organization's Initial Public Offering in 2015. From 2004-2014, Michael served as Chief Financial Officer for Maple Leaf Foods, leading the company's finance, mergers and acquisitions, information technology and communications functions. In 2014, he was named Chief Transition Officer, leading the restructuring of senior management and back-office functions. Michael serves as Treasurer of Canada's National Ballet School. He was educated and earned his Chartered Accountant designation in South Africa and prior to joining Maple Leaf Foods, worked in public accounting and mergers and acquisitions in South Africa and the United Kingdom. He has also earned his ICD.D designation.
Michael Waters has been working with Minto Apartment REIT (“Minto”) since 2007. In 2013, he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.). Michael has over 25 years’ experience in real estate finance, investment and development, and financial advisory services. Prior to joining Minto, he served in a variety of roles at Intrawest Corporation, a large resort developer and operator with a presence across North America. Earlier in his career, Michael worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and KPMG LLP. Michael completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of British Columbia and has an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia (FCPA, FCA) and is a CFA® charter holder.