Rick Quinn received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1981. He completed a Doctorate in Veterinary Science degree in Ophthalmology at the University of Guelph and obtained Board Certification by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists in 1996. He established the Veterinary Eye Specialists, a referral practice outside of London, Ontario in 2002, and is currently an adjunct Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Western University. Dr. Quinn has lectured across Canada and internationally, and provides ophthalmic support to the Gorilla Doctors in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is the Founding Director of Docs4GreatApes, a conservation education-focused registered Canadian charitable corporation. He is on the Board of Directors for the Jane Goodall Institute (Canada) where he is the Chair of the Africa Programs Committee. Rick is married to Diane, a family physician; they have four adult children.
Candace Brunette-Debassige is an Ininew Iskwe (Cree woman) originally from Fort Albany First Nation (Treaty 9 territory). She is an educational leader and emerging scholar with over 15 years of experience in Aboriginal education. As the Director of Western’s Indigenous Services, Candace oversees initiatives dedicated to engaging Indigenous students and communities. She is enrolled in a PhD program in Western’s Faculty of Education where she is researching the experiences of Indigenous women administrators leading equity work in universities across Canada.
Syed Shoaib Hasan Rizvi is an emerging social entrepreneur. Having been raised in the traditional patriarchal values of Pakistan, and having watched women from lower socioeconomic classes be discriminated against in the workforce, he eventually developed an interest in women’s empowerment which was strengthened when he moved to Canada as a teenager and experienced that country’s comparative gender equality. Inspired, he founded the ‘I am an Entrepreneur’ campaign in Pakistan, on his first-return visit in 2012, which provides microloans to socially-deprived but skilled women who have the motivation, drive, and potential to develop, set-up, and manage businesses of their own. He is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Media, Information, and Technoculture at Western University to gain insight into how media can be a catalyst for change in underprivileged communities.