Manuel DaCosta

Manuel founded Viana Roofing and Sheet Metal in 1984 and currently employs over 100 staff mostly from Portuguese background, which is a construction and restoration company undertaking industrial, commercial and residential work. He has also founded JDC Property management group in 2001, which is a development and property management company, in construction and management of commercial and residential buildings, including condominium and residential properties. In 2011 he founded SIT Properties to develop and manage commercial and residential properties, with emphasis, also in the entertainment industry. Manuel is the original founder and builder of the Portuguese-Canadian Walk of Fame, which was created to recognize Portuguese-Canadians who have made substantial contributions to the enhancement of Portuguese culture within Canada. The Portuguese -Canadian Walk of Fame just celebrated its 7th year.

Irene S. Faria

Irene graduated with an Honors Bachelor of Business Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario and recipient of the Don Beam Award for general academic proficiency and outstanding contribution to its Business Administration Program. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1982 and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Irene has been the Chief Financial Officer of the Mississauga South Liberal Riding Association since 2017 and was the Chief Financial Officer for the Lawrence Liberal Association and for its Candidate/MPP. Past board and executive member of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals and for Brands for Canada. Irene is currently at MNP LLP.

John P. Ferreira

B.A., LL.B., M.B.A.

John is a real estate lawyer in Toronto whose practice involves real estate acquisitions, dispositions and financings. He has been a director of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals, the Portuguese Canadian Lawyers Association, and a number of other community organizations. Most recently, John served as a director on the board of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario, until its merger with the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario. John is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and Oxford University.

Vitor Fonseca

Most of Vitor’s career has evolved in the finance and real estate areas. He is currently Vice President and Treasurer of Romspen Investment Corporation, a non-bank commercial real estate lender with a $3 billion portfolio. Currently Chairman of the audit committee of Canntab Therapeutics, Inc (medical cannabis) and Nuran Wireless Inc. (telecommunications), both publicly traded. Former COO of Retirement Life Communities, Inc., a private developer, and manager of retirement homes. Former chairman of the audit committee of Enwave Energy Corporation, a privately held Toronto based district energy company and, Mission Ready Solutions Inc, a publicly-traded supplier of specialized equipment and services to the US military. Vitor holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Business, a CPA-CGA designation and is a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Ulysses Pratas

Ulysses has founded Presteve Foods in 1979, and is the leading, vertically integrated harvester, processor and distributor of wild-caught, freshwater fish and other specialty seafood in North America. Since May 2015, Ulysses partnered with Purewater Foods of the Founders Group of Food Companies in order to provide resources to further expand the company. Ulysses remains active in the company as its executive director and as the driving force in building new sources of supply. Ulysses has also contributed many hours of support and collaboration in the Portuguese community, in support of new immigrants and executive member of the Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals.

Jack A. Prazeres

Jack started in the Masonry industry in 1983 and from 2008 to 2014 he was President and/or director of Masonry Contractors Association of Toronto. From 2011 to the present he was Chair and/or director of Masonry Worx. In 2011 he founded Senso Group Building Supplies, a supplier of masonry, landscaping and drywall materials servicing the GTA. Jack was the Publisher of the Portuguese Post Newspaper and is currently publisher of Senso Magazine. From 2006 to 2007, he was a Director of Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). Jack was also a Member of the Peel Police Services Board from 2017 to 2019. He was on the board of MPAC from 2015 to 2017. Jack is Chair of Community Living Mississauga’s Tribute Dinner and President of Luso Canadian Charitable Society. Jack is a recipient of both the Queens Golden and Diamond Jubilee Award and the Ontario Medal for Good Citizenship. Jack was also awarded the Order of Portugal- Commendador in 2010.

Elizabeth Mendes

Elizabeth is a public policy professional who currently serves as Public Policy Associate at Airbnb Canada. From 2013 to 2016, Elizabeth was the Senior Policy Advisor for Ministry of Finance in Province of Ontario, and from 2016 to 2018, she was the Director of Policy & Budget for the Ministry of Finance in the Province of Ontario. Elizabeth provided strategic advice to the Minister and Chief of Staff as well as liaised with the Premier’s Office, Deputy Minister’s Office, and ministry staff to coordinate the work of the ministry and deliver on the Minister’s mandate. She also played a key role in the development of the Government of Ontario’s Budget and Fall Economic Statement. Elizabeth is an active member of the Portuguese Canadian community. Elizabeth was also a member of the Board of the Portuguese Canadian Walk of Fame Board of Directors, which honours those of a Portuguese background who have made an impact and significant contribution to the advancement of Portuguese Canadian Culture in Canada.

A. Charles Sousa

Charles is the former Minister of Finance, Ontario. He was elected to the Ontario Legislature in 2007 and served three terms, spanning more than a decade as Member of Provincial Parliament. Charles delivered six budgets and oversaw nine agencies including LCBO, OLG and OSC, three of the largest entities in the country. He was also President of Treasury Board, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Minister responsible for the Pan/Para Pan Am Games and Minister of Labour. Prior to entering politics, Charles enjoyed a 20-year commercial banking career with RBC Royal Bank and RBC Dominion Securities. He also owned and operated Lift Finance Inc., an asset based lending firm. Charles earned an MBA from Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario, BBA (Honours) from Wilfrid Laurier University and graduated top of class as a Fellow of the Institute of Canadian Bankers. Among his many awards, Charles received the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals and was inducted as a Commander to the Order of Portugal.