Board of governors

To access the Board and committee meeting schedule, as well as Board meeting minutes, click here.

Chair, NSCAD Board of Governors

Governor-at-Large, NSCAD Board of Governors

 Ex-Officio member of all Board standing committees

Maggie Marwah is an independent communications consultant and writer based in Halifax. A NSCAD governor since 2018, she brings almost four decades of experience from a diverse career in both public and private sectors. Her background includes leadership positions in the Nova Scotia health system and with a national news agency. Her work has encompassed public engagement, government relations and labour relations. Earlier in her career, Maggie was a full-time reporter and editor for 15 years with The Canadian Press, before shifting to the field of communications with the provincial government and in the health sector. She has also been a newspaper columnist and a part-time faculty member at two of Halifax’s universities, teaching in the journalism program at King’s and the public relations program at Mount St. Vincent. Her current consultancy work specializes in communications management and planning.

Maggie has a journalism degree from Ryerson University and an MBA from Saint Mary’s, with research focused on industrial relations. She has studied languages at a number of other schools, notably French at Université Ste-Anne and Laval Université.

In addition to her volunteer role with NSCAD, Maggie also supports the work of a hospital ethics education committee as a citizen representative. She previously served as a board member of the North End Community Health Centre and the Metropolitan Immigration Settlement Association, and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity locally and abroad.

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Financial and Physical Resources Committee


Anthony Novac is a serial entrepreneur focused on gaming and technology opportunities. He is the co-founder of Trident Gaming PLC which was sold to Party Gaming PLC in 2006, and founder and former of CEO Spreed Inc. which developed an end-to-end mobile publishing platform and launched over 500 newspaper apps. He is currently the President of Sonco Gaming Inc. which has developed and managed casino projects across Canada and in London, UK.  Founded in 1995, Sonco Gaming is a company engaged in the ownership, operation and development of gaming properties. It has and continues to be active in joint ventures with major multi-national gaming/entertainment companies, Aboriginal groups and First Nations, and other interested parties.


Anthony is an art collector with interests in Canadian mid-century artists and emerging global contemporary art. He recently completed three terms (8 years in total) on the Board of the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. While raised and educated in Halifax, he currently resides in Toronto with his wife and three children.

Alumni Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Advancement Committee

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Audit and Risk Oversight Committee


Cheryl has been COO/CFO at Viewpoint Realty Services, Inc. since 2017 when she joined the company full-time. She had been working part-time as VP of Finance from its inception in 2010. is the leading real estate website in Nova Scotia, and the brokerage has over 65 real estate agents across the province.


Cheryl is a seasoned business executive with 25 years of experience in finance, accounting and operational management, with a focus on small-to-medium-sized companies and start-ups. She began her career in 1990 as a controller for an international food trading company. She has been responsible for financial analysis and budgets for a leading cellular phone company in Nova Scotia. Then in 1999, she became the controller of a high-tech company focused on-call management; managing the finances through to an acquisition of the company by a large US Multinational. In 2003, she moved to Virginia to manage the finance function for the Voice Services division of America Online, Inc. While there she assumed additional financial responsibility for other business units while broadening her scope to include more business operational roles.


In 2007, Cheryl started a dental practice management company, Fine Touch Dental Atlantic, with a business partner, where she was CFO until selling the company to a multinational practice management organization in 2015.


In 2015, she was Vice President Finance of Keas, a health and wellness IT company based in San Francisco, as well as Director of Finance for Densitas, a tech company developing software for analyzing breast density from mammograms.


Throughout her career, Cheryl has demonstrated the ability to develop process, reporting and operational improvements that contribute significantly to company growth.

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Advancement Committee


Born and raised in Ottawa, Dean is a graduate of UNB Fredericton and now calls Halifax and Chester home.


Dean spent many years as a senior executive with Empire Theatres and then Cineplex Entertainment, he co-owned the leading restaurant group in the region The Bertossi Group and now most recently invested in and has become the Owner and CEO/ Managing Partner of Oceanstone Seaside Resort in Indian Harbour, NS.


A committed community ambassador, Dean has been involved in many organizations including The QEII Foundation Board of Trustees, former Chairman of the Atlantic Film Festival Association, former Board Member of the Motion Pictures Theatres Association of Canada and has volunteered for countless other fundraising initiatives and events.


Dean believes that NSCAD and all universities are important to our community and play an important role in creating a rich and diverse region.

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Advancement Committee


A woman of action and creative spirit, Fabienne Colas is a charismatic leader with an unwavering persistence who makes things happen. She used both her passion and her frustrations to become an unstoppable force in her niche.  Her mission is to foster diversity off-and-on-screen, inspire people to take action that leads to change as well as giving a voice to creators who otherwise, would not have been heard.


Recipient of the 2019 Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women award, named 2018 Canada’s Top 40 under 40, Winner of Prix 2019 Prix Relève, Femme d’Exception (Mercuriades) from The Federation of Quebec’s Chambers of Commerce, named La Presse’s Newspaper 2018 Person of the Year (Arts and Culture), award-winning actress, filmmaker, speaker, business owner and consultant, Fabienne Colas works tirelessly and passionately to support and promote diversity off and on screen around the globe.


She is the ‘Queen of Festivals’ who created and manages nine successful festivals between Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, New York City, Port-au-Prince, Salvador (Bahia – Brazil)–including the Montreal International Black Film Festival, which has become not only Canada’s largest black film festival but also a key player in cultural diversity in Quebec and Canada; as well as the very popular Toronto Black Film Festival–Canada’s largest celebration of Black History Month through films and so much more.


Besides attracting close to 1 million festival-goers over the years, and showcasing over 2,000 artists, those events have also welcomed and paid tribute to top celebrities from around the globe such as Spike Lee, Harry Belafonte, Stedman Graham, Danny Glover, Martin Luther King III, Dany Laferrière, Wyclef Jean, Alfre Woodard, Souleymane Cissé, Arcade Fire, Bobby Brown, Isaiah Washington, Louis Gossett Jr. and more.


Named Personality of the Week by La Presse in 2018, her primary mission is to continue to create platforms that show a diversity of voices, faces and points of view.  As chairman and founder of the Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), she helps support, awards grants and promotes independent films and artists who, otherwise, would not have been seen or heard.


In 2015, Fabienne was awarded a Medal from Quebec’s National Assembly recognizing her leadership and contribution in the fight against racism and discrimination in Quebec. In 2017, she received the prestigious Harry Jerome Arts and Culture Award from the Black Business Professional Association in Toronto. In 2018, Femmes en cinéma, télévision et média numériques (FCTMN) paid tribute to Fabienne for her exceptional contribution in the Quebec Film Industry (2018). Nominated and chosen by the U.S. State Department as the 2017-woman leader to represent Canada in the 3-week exchange leadership program: The International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).  She is also a finalist for the Charles Biddle Award as well as the Prix Femmes d’affaires du Québec in 2018.


In 2019, she received the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award from the Black Theatre Workshop; joining Oscar Peterson, Oliver Jones, Dany Laferrière, Gregory Charles, Doudou Boicel, Charlie Biddle and Tony Lee Williams who have previously received this award.


Colas is the CEO of the media and business consulting company Zaza Production, and also sat as a board member on the Society for the celebrations of Montréal’s 375th anniversary. She has been part of many juries among which the Canada Council for the Arts, Prix Gémeaux, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec.

Student Member, NSCAD Board of Governors


Financial and Physical Resources Committee


President, SUNSCAD

Faculty Member, NSCAD Board of Governors


Advancement Committee


Governance and Human Resources Committee


Jennifer Green is an assistant professor in the Textiles/Fashion Department at NSCAD University.


Green received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD and thereafter completed her Master of Arts at the Royal College of Art in London, UK.


Upon graduation, Green worked as a denim designer for Lee Jeans Europe, in Belgium. She has designed fabrics for artisanal and industrial production across the fields of fashion, accessories, vehicle design and interiors, collaborating with, amongst others, Fiat Automobiles S.p.A. (Italy), John Boyd Textiles (UK), Vanners Silk Weavers (UK) and Nishiyama Silk (Japan).


Since returning to NSCAD in 2016, Green’s primary area of research has been in bast fibre spinning and weaving.  Specifically, Green is researching sustainable plant fibres in Eastern Canada and is helping to develop a sustainable fibre industry in Nova Scotia.

Treasurer, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-In-Council)


Financial and Physical Resources Committee (Chair)




-35 plus years of public accounting experience with a focus on serving the interests of a broad range of clients primarily throughout Nova Scotia


-25 plus years in a partner role


-One of the founding members and architects of the AC Group of Independent Accounting Firms


-Broad sector experience including, real estate, forestry, manufacturing, non-profit, retail, medical, dental, engineering, law practices, other professional service firms, integrated business to business services, information technology, alternative energy developers, insurance and financial planning, farming, transportation and automotive


-Served in numerous leadership roles


-Active in community activities

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-In-Council)


Governance and Human Resources Committee (Chair)


Audit and Risk Oversight Committee


Joanne Hames is the Senior Manager, Communications for Crombie REIT.  She has been working with Crombie for over five years and prior to that, worked for Lawtons Drugs and Sobeys in-store pharmacies in various roles, including manager engagement and people management and category manager.


Joanne is currently enrolled in the executive MBA program at Ivey Business School, completed the Program for Leadership Development at Harvard Business School and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Saint Mary’s University.


She is a former director of C Magazine and currently sits on the Foundation’s National Advisory Committee. Joanne lives in Halifax, NS with her husband and daughter.

Secretary, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Financial and Physical Resources Committee


John Keating is the Atlantic RVP for BMO’s Real Estate Finance team. The team manages a portfolio of diverse clients involved in the construction of or ongoing management of real estate properties across the region. His role further supports BMO’s national leadership team in the development of policy, forecasting and portfolio management for BMO’s Canadian real estate finance business. John has 10 years of experience in real estate banking at various levels of responsibility. He has also been the treasurer for the Canadian Homebuilders Association of Nova Scotia for the last eight years and has served on various economic committees for the association over that time. John holds a Bachelor of Arts (2005) and Master of Business Administration Degrees from Saint Mary’s University (2010).

Student Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Advancement Committee

VP Academic,  SUNSCAD

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Advancement Committee (Chair)


Dr. Marco Chiarot is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon with degrees in both medicine and dentistry. He received his dental degree from Dalhousie University in 1993 and then went on to study hospital dentistry at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina and then on to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to complete an internship in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Returning to Halifax and Dalhousie University in 1995, he completed a six-year residency in the specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre (2001).  During his specialty training, he also completed a Masters of Science degree in oral and maxillofacial sciences and his medical degree (2001). After completing his specialty training, Dr. Chiarot left Canada to study head and neck cancer surgery and cleft lip and palate surgery at the San Paolo Hospital in Milan, Italy.


Returning to his hometown of Halifax in 2002, Dr. Chiarot entered into oral and maxillofacial surgery private practice.  Since this time, he has been active in all aspects of patient care as it relates to his specialty. His clinical interests include all aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery, with a special interest in surgical rehabilitation of the jaws with dental implants and bone grafting techniques. Dr. Chiarot is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.


Dr. Chiarot is involved in organized dentistry serving on committees for the Nova Scotia Dental Association and is a member of the Prescription Monitoring Board of Nova Scotia. Apart from dentistry, in his free time, Dr. Chiarot enjoys recreational sporting activities and belongs to both the Italian Wines Societie and the Commanderie de Bordeaux. He lives in Halifax with his wife and two daughters.

Faculty Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Advancement Committee

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee

Sam Fisher is a multi disciplinary writer, film maker and technology developer with a diverse history in the world of professional film production and writing.

A graduate of the London International Film school, Sam has worked for over twenty-five years in the professional film industry in many capacities including writing producing and directing his own work. In 2004 his short film Scary Stuff won several international awards, including Best Short Film at the Chicago International Children’s film festival and Best Editing at the Atlantic International Film Festival.

In 2010, working with industry partners Sam began development on what is now known as the Andra Motion Focus System. The Andra system provides near perfect focus to within a few millimeters at speeds that far exceed the capabilities of human focus pullers. It has been nominated for various technology awards and is currently in the final stages of development into an industry-ready product.

Despite the variety of Sam’s film and technology experience, Sam’s first and true passion is as a writer. In 2015 Sam was awarded the Junior Library Guild, won the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, and was nominated for the Manitoba Children’s Choice Book Award for his book, Scare Scape. He has also written for the stage and in 2007 his stage play was performed to critical acclaim at the Alderney Landing Theater.

He is an Associate Professor in Film at NSCAD University and continues to write and work in film technology innovation.

Interim President, NSCAD University

Ex-Officio member of all Board standing committees

Sarah M. McKinnon, PhD, became NSCAD University’s Interim President on July 15, 2020. Dr. McKinnon is one of Canada’s most experienced and respected academic leaders in the world of fine and applied arts. She comes to NSCAD from The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where she served as Director of Academics. She has held senior academic and administrative roles at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (SMFA), the University of Winnipeg and the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U), where she spent over a decade and served as acting president.

She has extensive experience in program development and a proven record of working closely with governments to gain institutional accreditations and approvals for new degree programs both in Canada and in the United States. She is also recognized for the quality of her academic rigour and since 2016, has been a member of the Audit Committee for Quality Assurance for the Council of Ontario Universities.

Dr. McKinnon is committed to digital art and digital learning and previously sat on the Digital Media Project Advisory Committee, Information and Communications Technology Council, in Ottawa. She is also the current secretary-treasurer of the Board of the Room 217 Foundation, a charity that uses music to change the culture of healthcare.

NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor-At-Large)


Governance and Human Resources Committee


Ms. Burke is a senior manager and management consulting professional with over 30 years of experience. She has extensive experience in strategic and operational planning, business transformation, management of organizational change, program evaluation and review, and facilitating workshops with diverse stakeholder participants. She holds a Master of Business Administration in Sustainable Management (Green MBA) from Anaheim University, in addition to her Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Ottawa, complemented by her professional certification in Change Management from PROSCI. Ms. Burke has held Board of Directors’ positions in the past with two private sector companies. Functionally bilingual in English and French, Ms. Burke is a proud citizen of the Metis Nation of Ontario through her maternal lineage, her paternal ancestry is Scots-Irish from Cape Breton Island.  Throughout her career, she has managed and worked on more than 100 projects for public and/or private sector clients across Canada (Coast to Coast to Coast). Over the last five years, she has been the Managing Director of Operations at NVision Insight Group Inc., an Ottawa and Iqaluit-based Indigenous consulting company.


Ms. Burke specializes in: strategic and operational planning; organizational reviews; business process re-engineering; business transformation; business planning; management of change; facilitation; research and analysis; market research and analysis; and relationship building amongst diverse stakeholders.

Secretary, NSCAD Board of Governors

Alumni Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

President, NSCAD Alumni Association

Sunil Sarwal (BDes 2002)

Branding consultant, owner, the Small Monsters

Pronouns: he, him and they, them

Sunil Sarwal is an award-winning branding consultant in the food and drink industry, working with innovative companies around the world to build creative brands that people love. Clients range from billion-dollar multinationals such as London-based Compass Group Inc., to small, innovative companies like PEI’s Upstreet. Recent brands created include Libra Craft Beer (recipient of the Bronze Medal for Design at the World Beer Awards) and local favourite Viveau.

A graduate of NSCAD, Sunil ran Montreal’s rambunctious design agency the Small Monsters for over 10 years before recently returning to his hometown of Halifax.

Life Governors

– Arthur Ian Austen
– Rob Cameron
– John E. L. Carruthers
– Elizabeth Currie
– Dr. Michael Donovan
– Dr. Tom Forrestall
– Dr. Margaret Fountain
– Charles Fowler
– Dr. Robert Geraghty
– Paul Goodman
– Charlotte Wilson-Hammond
– Linda Hutchison, BDes 1979
– Kim Knoll
– G. Grant Machum

– Gillian McCain
– Deborah McLean
– David Murphy

– Dr. David Silcox 
– Gregory Silver
– Jeff Somerville
– Gordon Whittaker

– Frank Van Wie Penick