Meet the members of the 25One board

Meet the members of the 25One board

Larry Brown | Vice President


With degrees in political science and law, Larry Brown has been Secretary-Treasurer of one of Canada's largest unions, for over 25 years.

Born in southern Saskatchewan, Brown began his interest in social issues while at the University of Saskatchewan, where he served as President of the Saskatchewan Federation of Students.  He later became Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Labour, drafting precedent-setting Canadian legislation protecting workers against imminent danger - the right to refuse dangerous work.  He also contributed his expertise and talents to the first Occupational Health Act in Canada.

Following this, he accepted the position of Chief Staff Officer with the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and in 1976 led the provincial organizing team for the national day of protest against wage controls.  He was labour's representative on both the provincial task force examining Workers' Compensation and the government's Commission reviewing rent controls.

He later became the Chief Executive Officer of the province's largest union, Saskatchewan Government Employees Association (later Union) and served SGEU for seven eventful years.

In 1986, he was elected to his current position, where he serves as Chief Financial Officer and one of the spokespersons for the National Union.  In addition, Larry is the President of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, chairs the Public Sector Working Group of the 10 million strong Public Services International and chairs the National Union's Pensions Committee where he is leading the push to expand the control by unions of their members' pension funds and the use of those funds to better the condition of workers through ethical screening, shareholder activism and social investment.

He has written and spoken extensively about public finances, debt and deficit issues, the changes in federal provincial financing, public sector restructuring and the resulting changes in the economic and political structures of Canada that have occurred in the last decade. 

Holly Solomon | Secretary

Holly is a lawyer who brings considerable expertise in non-profit organization structure and charity law. Originally from Winnipeg, Holly practiced law in both Manitoba and Ontario. She now shares her time with her family in Toronto and Ottawa and has recently opened a practice in both cities, dedicated to representing charities and non profits. Believing in the initative of bringing together diverse progressive organizations in the same physical environment she is both a board member and a tenant member, having recently opened an office at 25One. She will be providing services to non profits throughout Ontario, and to charities and federally incorporated nonprofits throughout Canada.

Prior to opening her practice this year, Holly has been appointed to serve as an adjudicator for various tribunals, most recently the Immigration and Refugee Board, worked as a senior policy analyst with the Charities Directorate, served on various Commissions of Inquiry, and practiced law in Toronto for many years with a progressive group of lawyers. She has been a director on many charitable Boards - including Options Bytown, a supportive housing organization in Ottawa, and more recently was an active volunteer with the Stop Community Food Centre. 

Bruce Campbell | Director

Bruce Campbell is the Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Beyond his administrative responsibilities, he is the author of numerous articles and reports on national and international public policy issues, and is a frequent media commentator and conference presenter. He has appeared as a witness before Commons and Senate committees, and before the U.S. Congress.

For many years Bruce coordinated the Centre’s flagship Alternative Federal Budget. He is co-author or editor of five books including: Straight Through the Heart: How the Liberals Abandoned the Just Society (with Maude Barlow); Living with Uncle: Canada-US Relations in an Age of Empire (with Ed Finn); and, Medicare: Facts, Myths, Problems & Promise (with Greg Marchildon). 

Bruce was as a senior economist with the Canadian Labour Congress; a trade policy analyst and legislative assistant with the federal NDP caucus; and a researcher with the North South Institute. He holds an MA from the Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.

Sharon Fernandez | Director

Sharon Fernandez is an activist, artist and institutional change strategist with over twenty-five years' practical experience in helping to transform cultural organizations in the public and voluntary sector. Her area of expertise includes cultural policy, arts programs and organizational development, capacity building, human rights and cultural diversity.  As a result of her proactive leadership she has garnered a reputation nationally and internationally for the substantive and sustained impacts of her work in the integration of cultural diversity in the Arts sector. She has received several awards and recognitions including the Canadian Heritage Deputy Minister’s Award, the Secretary of State Multiculturalism, Minister’s Certificate of Recognition and the South Asian Visual Arts Collective (SAVAC) 10th Anniversary Award.

From 1996 to 2003 Sharon was the Equity Coordinator at the Canada Council for the Arts. In 2003 she was special consultant to the Minister of Multiculturalism, Jean Augustine for whom she developed a national inventory of experienced visible minority and Aboriginal individuals across various sectors as an inclusion tool to use within government to facilitate equitable representation for Order in Council appointments to Canadian Federal Institutions.

Most recently she was Research Liaison for two national organizations: The Alliance of Sector Councils, a coalition of councils from 30 sectors of the economy which address present and future labour market issues and the Canadian Council on Learning. As well she is principal of Creative Policy Consulting and has worked with amongst others, the Commissioner for the NFB, the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the President of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and was awarded the Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Lectureship at the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus.

Garry Neal | Director

Garry Neil is a cultural policy consultant who works in Canada and internationally from his base in Toronto. Mr. Neil has experience in all aspects of arts and culture, and has worked for clients in all of the cultural industries. His areas of expertise include status of the artist, broadcasting regulation, film and television production, book publishing, and copyright. He has written extensively on the corrosive effects of economic globalization on world cultures. He is presently Executive Director of the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network. Mr. Neil is also Executive Director of the Council of Canadians, the country’s largest social justice organization.

Lisa Greaves | Director

Lisa Greaves is the current owner and operator of Octopus Books in Ottawa, which includes the stores at Bank and Third and on the second floor of 25OneCommunity. Purchasing the store in 1996 with other members, Lisa was called "Octopus Books owner-of-amazingness" by writer and former Octopus Books staffer Jessica Westhead. The store celebrated its 40-year anniversary in 2009 under Lisa's ownership, which had 25One member describing Lisa and Octopus Books as being "a vital part of various movements in the region." An initial meeting with Diane Touchette led to Octopus Books becoming integrated with 25OneCommunity permanently, which translated from Lisa's idea that the independent bookstore was a reflection of the community. Overall, Lisa loves to organize events, stock books that she believes are of value to the community, and help raise funds for important causes, all the while helping to run the bookstore and connect people through the power of great reading.