The speeches are free of charge but please note that the Empire Club of Canada retains copyright. Neither the speeches themselves nor any part of their content may be used for any purpose other than personal interest or research without the explicit permission of the Empire Club of Canada.
Panelists: Joe Vaccaro, Ana Bailão, Riz Dhanji, Jason Mercer, Moderated by Chris Spoke
This signature evening panel discussion will provide attendees with the insider perspective on what the GTA’s housing of tomorrow will look like, and how affordable it will be. Panelists will discuss many of the most important topics in today’s housing industry including the evolving needs of millennial and senior populations; the impact of innovation in community planning and homebuilding; and the ideal relationship between the government and home builders.Biographies:Joe Vaccaro:Joe Vaccaro is the Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Home Builders' Association. In the summer of 2013, Joe Vaccaro was named Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. Prior to that, Mr. Vaccaro acted as OHBA’s Chief Operating Officer, after serving as the VP of Policy and Government Relations at the Building Industry and Land Development Association,BILD. AS CEO, Mr. Vaccaro oversees operations of the Ontario wide organization which is comprised of 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations representing professionals within the new home and renovation industry. OHBA is focused on improving new housing affordability and choice for Ontario’s new home purchasers and renovation consumers by positively impacting provincial legislation, regulation and policy that affect the industry.Prior to his industry association career path, Mr. Vaccaro served as a senior advisor and assistant to the Ministers of Economic Development and Trade, Chair of Management Board and the Minister of Government Services.A graduate of York University where he received his Honours Degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy, Mr. Vaccaro identifies his summers working in the family residential framing and new construction business as shaping his understanding and appreciation for the social, economic and environmental impact the building and land development industry has on local, provincial and federal public policy development and decisions.Ana BailaoFirst elected in 2010, Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão is the Toronto City Councillor for Ward 18, Davenport and Toronto's Housing Advocate. When asked to Chair the Affordable Housing Committee in her first term, it was at a time when external housing funding was shrinking. Ana has since created new opportunities by reducing obstacles and providing new City incentives for the private and non-profit sectors to build affordable housing. A dynamic and energetic voice for women, low income families, and new Canadians, Deputy Mayor Bailão has used her years of experience to deliver results and create communities where people can live, work, and play.RIZ DHANJIRiz Dhanji is a Sales and Marketing specialist responsible for over $3 billion in sales and 11,000 condominium units sold. Notable projects include Canada's Tallest Condominium at 80 storeys Aura at College Park, DNA Condos in King West, and YC Condos at Yonge and College. Selling some of Toronto's most prominent projects for Builders across the GTA under RAD Marketing. Responsible for the sales and marketing for Canderel Residential's projects across Canada, including Tour des Canadiens 1,2,and 3 the most successful condominium developments in Montreal's history.Jason MercerJason Mercer is the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Director of Market Analysis and Service Channels. He leads TREB’s market analysis program that provides products and services that help REALTORS and their clients fully understand trends in the GTA housing market and underlying economic drivers. Jason also manages the delivery of information and data products to the TREB Membership and Member support functions including the Stratus Help Desk and MLS Services.Jason has private and public sector experience in the real estate industry, having previously held positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. He possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree from Simon Fraser University and a Master of Science in Planning degree from the University of Toronto.Chris SpokeChris Spoke is the Founder and Executive Director of Housing Matters, where he leads an outstanding team of staff and volunteers to advocate for greater housing availability and affordability in Toronto. Prior to Housing Matters, Chris worked as a Software Project Manager for industry leading digital agencies. Chris holds an B.Soc.Sc. in Economics and Public Policy from the University of Ottawa.