Directors' Bios

Edward Sonshine, O.Ont., Q.C.

Chairman of the Board

Mr. Sonshine is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust, Canada's largest REIT.  Primarily focused on retail real estate, RioCan owns and manages a portfolio having an aggregate area of over 80 million square feet consisting of 351 retail properties and including 51 shopping centres in the United States.  Mr. Sonshine is also a Director of Cineplex Inc and former Director of the Royal Bank of Canada.
In addition to serving as a Director of Mount Sinai Hospital, Mr. Sonshine is Chair of the Israel Bonds Organization of Canada and a former Chair of the Annual Campaign of the United Jewish Appeal of Toronto.
In 2011, Mr. Sonshine was invested into the Order of Ontario and in 2013, he was named Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year.

Clare R. Copeland


Mr. Copeland is the Vice-Chair for Falls Management Company, a commercial development and casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario. Mr. Copeland was Chairman of Toronto Hydro Corporation from 1999 to April 2013, and, from the beginning of 2000 until April 2002, Mr. Copeland was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of OSF Inc., a manufacturer of retail store interiors. From 1993 to May 1999, he was Chief Executive Officer of People’s Jewellers Corporation, a jewellery retailer. 

Robert J. Day


Robert J. Day, founded Pawnee Leasing Corporation in 1982 and continues to serve on the board of directors of both Pawnee Leasing Corporation and Chesswood Group Limited. Mr. Day received his B.S. degree in Finance from the University of Tennessee in 1965. Following graduation he spent four years with the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon discharge from the Marines, he spent two years in banking and finance before returning to school and obtaining a degree in Optometry from Southern California College of Optometry in 1976.

Jeff Fields

Jeff Fields is the President of JDF Capital Partners. Prior to forming JDF Capital Partners in 2020, Jeff was a Managing Director at RBC Capital Markets, where he spent 22 years as a senior executive in their Equity and Fixed Income & Currencies divisions. Over the course of Jeff's career at RBC, Jeff was responsible for building and restructuring several of the firms' largest trading, distribution and corporate derivative hedging businesses in both the U.S. and Canada, and was a member of the firms' Global Market Operating Committee. Jeff graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business in 1998 with an Honors degrees in Business Administration and is a CFA charter holder.

Ryan Marr

Mr. Marr is President and CEO of the Company. Ryan joined Chesswood Group in 2020 as President & CEO in addition to becoming a director on its Board.  His experience includes being Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Waypoint Investment Partners as well as spending 10 years employed by Gluskin Sheff + Associates - a Canadian wealth manager focused on high net worth clients across Canada.  Ryan sits on the advisory board for a technology focused venture fund in Canada. Ryan holds a degree in Economics & Financial Management from Wilfrid Laurier University and has earned the Chartered Investment Manager designation. In addition, Ryan is a licensed derivatives and options professional with experience deploying risk management strategies for institutional mandates.

Samuel L. Leeper


Mr. Leeper, former Chief Executive Officer of Pawnee, joined Pawnee in 1997 and was made President in 1999. Prior to joining Pawnee, Sam completed 27 years in banking focusing on credit and bank administration. He served as President of several of Colorado banks and prior to joining Pawnee was Senior Vice President of Bank One, Colorado. His degrees in Engineering and MBA are from the University of Illinois and Indiana University respectively.

Frederick Steiner


Mr. Steiner is founder and former Chief Executive Officer of Imperial Coffee and Services Inc., a company he started in 1974.  Imperial is the largest independent coffee and vending company in Canada.  Mr. Steiner, Chesswood's third largest shareholder, has extensive business experience in the United States.  Mr. Steiner, a co-founder of Chesswood Group, has been a board member and Chair of the Audit Committee of Chesswood and its predecessor organizations, since its inception, over 15 years ago.