“Setting the framework for complex transitions”

501 Roselawn Avenue Toronto, ON M5N 1K2        T: 416.488.7991 | C: 416.457.7025 

  • Change leader with a dual background in business and law, 25+ years of experience providing legal advice, tactical support, and operational, administrative and legal frameworks to sustain a long-term strategic vision for public sector, private sector and non-profit organizations.
  • Led restructuring of Canada’s largest Jewish charity into 12 incorporated and firewalled non-profit organizations, thereby credit-proofing financial and real estate assets from potential litigation risks.
  • Chaired the ad hoc committee for one of Toronto’s major amalgamation success stories – the operational integration of six large electric utilities into a single municipal electric commission.
  • Built the administrative infrastructure for a growing IT company with offices in Canada and the US.
  • Co-authored the definitive textbook on alternative dispute resolution for oil and gas practitioners,  published through the American Bar Association.
  • As a member of the Canadian Foreign Service and advisor to the Canadian delegation to the UN General Assembly, played an instrumental role in shifting Canada from a policy of “quiet diplomacy” to active leadership during a historical event that set the stage for a Middle East peace treaty.
  • Project lead for two major “new build” projects in the not-for-profit sector – the launch of URJ Camp George, and the financing, construction and launch of Plaut Manor non-profit housing.
  • Facilitated, mediated organizational disputes including commercial, non profit conflicts, employee disputes including fact finding and recommending solutions.

PRESIDENT                                                                                                                                                      2011 – 2012

Holy Blossom Temple

  • Stepped out of the paid workforce to focus on executive responsibilities on the volunteer board of one of Toronto’s largest synagogues during a sensitive period of transition.
  • In the capacities of Vice President and then President, collaborated with the Board of Directors on future-focused change initiatives that included:
    • defining a new vision to support the long-term sustainability of the synagogue by attracting a new generation of families;
    • planning a multi-million dollar capital expansion;
    • facilitating staffing changes needed to carry the new vision forward.

GENERAL COUNSEL                                                                                                                                    2004 – 2011

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS                                                                                                              2005 – 2008

UJA Federation of Greater Toronto

  • Recruited by Canada’s largest Jewish charity to implement a risk management plan to credit-proof hundreds of millions of dollars in financial and real estate assets.
  • Spearheaded restructuring into a federation of 12 incorporated and firewalled organizations, each with their own by-laws, governance structures, mandates, and program delivery models.
  • Built in-house legal capacity, which improved the timeliness and efficiency in dealing with legal matters while reducing annual legal costs by tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Took over responsibility for public affairs for three years, and organized lobbying and education efforts designed to elevate public awareness and influence national and international policy on matters affecting the Jewish community at home and abroad.

PRINCIPAL                                                                                                                                                     1990 – 2004

Mark S. Anshan, Barrister and Solicitor

  • Built a private practice serving SMEs, corporations and agencies in the fields of energy and environmental law, commercial law, real estate law, alternative dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration, and government relations.
  • Developed specialized expertise in the area of the energy services, and served on the Board of Directors and advisory councils of various power and utility associations.
  • Authored policy papers on energy deregulation, performance contracting and procurement, and delivered presentations to organizations such as the World Bank and APEC.
  • As Chair of the Metro Toronto Inter-Utility Committee, led one of Toronto’s major amalgamation success stories, which saw the operational integration of six large electric utilities into a single commission with zero interruption of service.
  • Served as inaugural Chair for the new Toronto Hydro Electric Commission, and coordinated the overall strategic direction, energy policies and rate structures for the newly merged service.
  • Designed Alternative Dispute Resolution models for energy-related matters, and co-authored the definitive textbook on alternative dispute resolution for oil and gas practitioners, which was published through the American Bar Association.
  • Represented clients before government decision-making bodies, including the Ontario Energy Board, the Environmental Assessment Board, and the Ontario Municipal Board.
  • Structured and negotiated contractual agreements for public-private sector partnerships.
  • Assisted North American Media Engines (NAME Inc.), a web integration high tech firm, with the planning, support and management of an aggressive growth strategy driven by mergers and acquisitions.
    • Offered legal counsel for the acquisition of four boutique firms in Canada and the US, as well as the reverse takeover of EComPark (subsequently sold to itemus Inc.)
    • Served as Vice President of Corporate Services, and built an integrated administrative infrastructure (HR, IT, Facilities, Communications, Legal Services) for the multi-location company.

Executive, Board and Public Sector Appointments During Private Practice

General Counsel & Vice President, Corporate Services, NAME Inc., 2000 – 2001

Chair, Toronto Hydro-Electric Commission, 1998 – 1999

Chair, Metro Toronto Inter-Utility Committee, 1997

President & General Counsel, Canadian Association of Energy Services Companies, 1999

V. President & General Counsel, Canadian Association of Energy Services Companies, 1996 – 1999

Vice Chair & Director, Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, 1995 – 1998

Chair, Hydro Electric Commission of the City of York, 1985 – 1997

Policy Boards Advisory Council, American Public Power Association, 1990-1997

Director – District Four, Municipal Electric Association, 1992-1997

SPECIAL COUNSEL, Department of Works                                                                                                1990

CHIEF OF STAFF, Office of the Chairman                                                                                                     1989

CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST                                                                                                                                     1988

Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto

  • After creating the winning campaign strategy for the election of Alan Tonks by Metro Council to the position of Metro Chair, retained to set up the Chair’s office and serve as a key liaison with the Chief Administrative Officer, members of council, and Metro Toronto senior management.
  • Collaborated on joint federal/provincial/municipal/private sector projects such as the Toronto 1996 Olympic Bid and Toronto World’s Fair Bid.
  • Ensured that the right advisors and experts were brought to table to strategize on critical issues confronting the region, including landfill planning, land use planning, and transit planning.
  • Subsequently provided legal advice on the preparation of a Comprehensive Waste Management By-law, and the negotiation of interim landfill agreements.

Previous experience includes 4 years as Managing Partner for Anshan, Desmond, Arnold Barristers & Solicitors; and 3 years as Foreign Service Officer with the Canadian Department of External Affairs, with appointments as Assistant to the Under Secretary at headquarters; Third Secretary and Vice Consul at the Canadian Embassy in Sweden; Program Officer in the Commonwealth Institutions Division; Advisor to the Canadian Delegation to the UN; and Officer in the UN Political and Institutional Affairs Division.


Canadian Bar Association

Government Relations Committee | International Law Committee – Ontario Chapter, 1985-1989

Law Society of Upper Canada

Bar Admissions Course Instructor,

Real Estate Course Instructor, 1985-1988


Co-Founder and Project Lead, URJ Camp George

Led the planning and launch of the first summer camp in Canada for children from Reform Synagogues

Director/Treasurer / Planning Committee Member, Micah Homes Non-Profit Housing Corporation

Collaborated on planning and constructing a non-profit housing project for disadvantaged single-parent families


Master of Business Administration, University of Toronto, 2002

Master of Laws, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Osgoode Hall, York University, 1998

Bachelor of Laws, Osgoode Hall, York University, 1982

Master of Arts, International Relations, York University 1976

Bachelor of Arts, Specialized Honours – Political Science and History, York University, 1975