Board of Trustees
With a diverse professional background, our Board of Trustees sets the vision that guides Crombie as we build and develop our portfolio of properties across Canada.
J. Michael KnowltonChair
Michael Knowlton retired from Dundee Realty Corporation as President of Dundee REIT in May 2011 after 13 years of service. From December 1998 until May 2011 he held increasingly senior executive positions culminating in becoming President of Dundee REIT. Michael is a director of Tricon Capital Group Inc. and a trustee of Dream Industrial REIT and Dream Global REIT. Michael received his B.Sc. (Engineering) and MBA from Queen’s University, earned his CA designation in 1977 and his ICD.D designation in 2011.
Paul Beesley served as a corporate director since 2018. He was Chief Financial Officer of Hudson's Bay Company from 2014 until his retirement in 2017. Prior to joining HBC, he held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Empire Company Limited from 2000 until 2014. Paul sits on the Board of Orlando Corporation and holds various designations including ICD.D, CPA, MBA from Saint Mary’s University and a B.Sc. from Dalhousie University in addition to having completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.
President and Chief Executive Officer since 2009, Donald 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.
Jane Craighead has over twenty years of international experience with public company Boards of Directors, a strong understanding of corporate governance and board effectiveness, and a deep expertise in executive compensation. Jane is a board member of Jarislowsky Fraser Limited, and Intertape Polymer Group. Her prior roles include Senior Vice President Global Human Resources at Scotiabank, Global Practice Leader Rewards at Rio Tinto PLC, and Eastern Canada Business Leader for Human Capital Advisory Services at Mercer Human Resource Consulting. Previously, Jane held full-time faculty appointments at Queen’s University, Concordia University, and McGill University. Jane began her career with Ernst & Young and was a manager in audit before pursuing an academic career. Jane holds a PhD in Management from McGill University, a Bachelor of Commerce from Mount Allison University, and is a Canadian Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Chartered Accountant (CA).
Jim M. Dickson
Jim 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.
John C. Eby
John Eby is a corporate director. He was Vice-Chairman of Scotia Capital from 2000 until his retirement in 2006 and for 10 years prior thereto had been Senior Vice President, Corporate and Energy Banking, The Bank of Nova Scotia. He is also a director of Wajax Corporation. John received his BA and MBA in finance from Queen's University. John is the founder and CEO of Developing Scholars, a not-for-profit organization that promotes educational initiatives in Guatemala.
Barbara Palk retired as President of TD Asset Management Inc. in 2010, following a 30-year career in institutional and investment management. She currently serves on the Boards of TD Asset Management USA Funds Inc., Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and First National Financial Corporation. Barbara is a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors, a Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute and is a CFA® charterholder. Barbara also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours, Economics) degree from Queen’s University and has received the ICD.D designation.
Jason P. Shannon
Jason P. Shannon has been working with Shannex Incorporated since 1999. In 2001, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer and took over development and operating responsibilities for the organization. In 2006, he was appointed President and COO of Shannex which today serves over 4,000 seniors. Prior to joining Shannex, he practiced law with Stewart McKelvey. Jason also serves currently as a director of the Loran Scholars Foundation and is chair of their Investment Committee. He is a past director of Health Association of Nova Scotia, Chair of the Nova Scotia Continuing Care Council, Atlantic Institute of Market Studies and the Atlantic Institute of Aging. Jason holds both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie.
Jana is currently Vice President of Field Merchandising for Sobeys Inc., a position she has held since 2017. She has held consecutively senior roles at Sobeys in merchandising, marketing, human resources and, most recently, as Vice President of Operations in Western Canada. We look forward to her valuable contributions to the board.
Paul D. Sobey
Paul 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.
Karen has over 20 years of experience in real estate, public financial accounting, reporting and corporate operations. Currently President and CEO of MCAN Mortgage Company, Karen was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of publicly listed corporations DH Corporation (2014-2017) and First Capital Realty Inc. (2004-2014). She held previous positions as Senior Vice President and CFO at Brookfield Properties Corporation, Canadian Operations and Gentra Inc. Karen is currently a Trustee of Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, where she also serves as an audit committee member, and a member of the Board of Directors for MCAP Commercial LP. She holds a BBA from Old Dominion University and an ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors and is a licensed, retired, public accountant (CPA) from Washington State, USA. Karen holds a NACD CERT in Cybersecurity Oversight.