The Board of the AGCO (the Board) is created and assigned functions and responsibilities by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019. Appointments to the Board are the prerogative of the Premier and are administered through the Public Appointments Secretariat.
The Board is currently composed of a Chair and six Members, all of whom are part-time appointees. The Chair provides leadership and guidance to the members of the Board. The Board is responsible for the overall stewardship and governance of the AGCO, which includes:
- Setting goals and developing policy and strategic direction for the AGCO to fulfill its mandate
- Overseeing the management of the AGCO’s financial affairs
- Approving the AGCO’s annual report and business plan, in accordance with the Agencies and Appointments Directive, 2020
- Overseeing the AGCO’s audit plan and reports
- Establishing fees and a schedule of monetary penalties, subject to Minister approval, in accordance with section 13 and 14 of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.
- Overseeing and appointing members of the Horse Racing Appeal Panel, in accordance with section 7 of the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015
As a whole, the Board brings a broad range of experience, skills and qualifications related to business, finance, corporate governance, regulation, adjudication and law, which allow it to effectively oversee the Agency.
Dave Forestell — Toronto, ON (Chair)
Dave Forestell was appointed as Chair of the AGCO Board of Directors in July 2023. He has served on the AGCO Board since 2018, and also served and the Chair of iGaming Ontario from its inception to July 2023. Dave is currently the Vice President, External Relations (Canada) for TC Energy and he has held senior positions in the government and private sector. Previously, he held roles of Vice President, International Corporate and Commercial Banking, and Vice President, Office of the President and CEO at Scotiabank. He worked overseas in Chile and Venezuela and speaks fluent Spanish. While in Chile, Dave led corporate affairs and corporate social responsibility for several mining projects and served as Chair of a Joint Venture Board of Directors. Dave is currently serving on the Board of Governors for the Ontario College of Art and Design University and obtained his B.A. and LLB from Western University.
Paul Stoyan — Toronto, ON (Vice Chair)
Paul Stoyan was appointed to the AGCO Board of Directors in July 2021. Paul is the Chair of Gardiner Roberts LLP and a partner in the firm’s business law group, practicing corporate law with a special emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate governance. Paul is currently a director of ECN Capital Corporation and Enghouse Systems Limited, both publicly-traded companies listed on the TSX and is also the Chair of the Board of Axis Auto Finance Inc., a TSXV listed company. Paul has also served as a past director of several other companies, including Open Text Corporation and Element Financial Corporation.
Paul holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Toronto where he was the Gold Medalist. Paul has earned the professional designation (ICD.D) from the Institute of Corporate Directors and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Heidi Reinhart — Toronto, ON
Heidi Reinhart was appointed to the AGCO Board of Directors in October 2020. Heidi is a partner at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP and practices in securities and corporate law. She is also Co-Chair of the firm’s Toronto Students Committee and has been named a “Leading Lawyer to Watch – Corporate Finance & Securities” in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.
Heidi has also served as a board member of the non-profit volunteer centre Volunteer Toronto since 2015. Heidi has previously volunteered at the Kitchener Waterloo Humane Society, the Hospital for Sick Children and as a caseworker and group advisor at Community Legal Aid in Windsor.
Heidi completed her undergrad degree (HBSc) at the University of Toronto and her dual law degree at the University of Windsor (LLB) and the University of Detroit Mercy (JD) law schools, where she was a recipient of the Board of Governors’ Medal in Law (Windsor).
Neil Desai — Toronto, ON
Neil Desai is a corporate director and executive with extensive experience in the public and private sector. Most recently, he served on the leadership team of Magnet Forensics, a Canadian technology company that develops digital investigation software used by more than 4,000 police, national security and other public and private organizations in over 100 countries. There, he helped lead the growth of the company, from a start-up to its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2021 and $1.8-billion sale in 2023. Neil is a senior fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation and entrepreneur-in-residence with the Rogers Cyber Catalyst. Neil serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Policy Forum, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, Innovation Asset Collective, ClearRisk Inc. and is a past director of YMCA Canada. Neil previously served in the Government of Canada in senior roles at Global Affairs Canada and the Prime Minister’s Office.
Doug McLarty — Ottawa, ON
Doug McLarty was appointed to the AGCO Board of Directors in February 2020. Doug is a Fellow Chartered Professional Accountant (FCPA, FCA) and Certified Financial Planner. Doug holds an ICD.D designation (Institute of Corporate Directors, Director) which represents a lifelong commitment to excellence in the boardroom. He is a Partner at MNP LLP, Canada’s 5th largest public accounting and advisory services firm. Doug is currently the regional leader of the succession planning practice, counselling business families on succession planning and generational transfers. From 2012 to 2018, Doug was a Board Member at Hydro Ottawa, Chair of the Audit Committee and a member of the Strategic Initiatives Oversight Committee. From 2015 to 2017, he served as the Secretary-Treasurer at the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards. Doug was also a Board Member and Chair of the Independent Accountants Financial Group Inc. from 2009 to 2014. Doug is currently the Chair of the Capital 2020 Task Force which strives to be the voice of community and business leaders, supporting the revitalization of the Nation’s Capital.
Cara Vaccarino — Toronto, ON
Cara Vaccarino was appointed to the AGCO Board of Directors in February 2020. Cara is currently the Chief Operating Officer of EHN Canada, the country’s largest provider of specialized residential mental health and addiction services. She has completed graduate degrees in Clinical Social Work and Health Care Administration and worked as a Staff Research Associate at the University of California. Cara worked for over 12 years for Universal Health Services as Director of Business Development and later as Chief Operating Officer of a facility specializing in eating disorders, addiction and trauma. She has held leadership positions at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and Trillium Health Partners, as the Director of Mental Health. Cara currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Start Foundation, a national charity focused on addressing the need for affordable mental health and addiction programs for Canadian youth.