G. Scott PatersonChairman & Co-Founder, Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation
G. Scott Paterson is a Toronto-based technology and media venture capitalist. Mr. Paterson began his career in the investment industry starting as a stockbroker for Dominion Securities Pitfield in 1985.
After considerable success as a stock broker, Mr Paterson moved into investment banking at Richardson Greenshields in 1987 and was further recruited in early 1991 to join Midland Walwyn soon after it was formed from the merger of Midland Doherty and Walwyn Stodgell. Serving as a senior investment banker at Midland, Mr. Paterson completed his first solo mandate by successfully leading a $15 million financing for KevinO’Leary’s SoftKey Software. By 1993, Mr. Paterson was considered to be one of the leading technology investment bankers in Canada. In 1995, after having been Midland’s top investment banker, he joined Yorkton Securities to head up their newly formed Knowledge-based industries group. Mr. Paterson became Chairman and CEO of Yorkton in 1998, at the age of 34, and by the end of Mr. Paterson’s tenure at Yorkton, in 2001, Mr. Paterson had transformed Yorkton into Canada’s top technology investment bank.
Under Mr. Paterson’s leadership, Yorkton experienced a revenue growth from $60 million in 1995 to $244 million in 2001 and was ranked by Brendan Wood International as the #1 Canadian investment bank in underwriting, research and trading of technology and biotech care stocks.
Throughout his 28-year investment career, Mr. Paterson has financed more Canadian technology companies than anyone in Canadian history.
Mr Paterson has also served as Vice Chairman of the Toronto Stock Exchange, Chairman of the Venture Exchange, Governor of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada and Director of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund amongst other investment industry roles.
In 2005, Mr. Paterson invested in a start-up called JumpTV. As the company’s Chairman & CEO, Mr. Paterson led the company through multiple financings raising approx. $200 million including an IPO led by Morgan Stanley. He initiated and consummated a merger with NeuLion in 2008 and today the company is a world leader in delivering video to internet-connected devices on behalf of such clients as the NHL, NFL and NBA. Mr. Paterson currently serves as Vice Chairman of NeuLion, Inc.
In addition to serving as Vice Chairman of NeuLion, Mr. Paterson currently serves leadership roles in two other public companies. He is Chairman of Symbility Solutions, a leading SaaS provider to the insurance industry, and is a Director and Chairman of the Audit Committee of NYSE listed Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation. He is the largest shareholder amongst Lions Gate’s independent directors.
Mr. Paterson’s career has been patterned with a host of other directorships and venture capital activity. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Paterson was a Director and shareholder of Versa Systems; from 1994 to 2002, Mr. Paterson was a Director of Leitch Technology Corporation. These two positions are in addition to other directorships held at such companies as Rand A Technology Corp., Pioneering Technologies and AltaRex Corp.
Besides Mr. Paterson’s successful career, he has also lead many philanthropic endeavors. In 1997, Mr. Paterson co-founded the Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation. Merry Go Round’s Kids, Cops & Computers program donates new laptops to financially disadvantaged children in Toronto and Mr. Paterson currently serves as the Foundation’s Chairman. In addition to Mr. Paterson’s work with Merry Go Round, he has made several large donations to Ridley College and the University of Western Ontario. He supports multiple charities annually including the Trailblazers Track and Field Championships, the last of which supports children with autism.
Mr. Paterson began his schooling at Ridley College graduating with an Ontario Scholarship in 1982. He then attended the University of Western Ontario and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1985. In 1994, Mr. Paterson completed University of Western Ontario’s Executive Program and, in 2009, Mr. Paterson obtained his ICD.d designation by graduating from the Institute of Corporate Directors at the University of Toronto’s Rotman Business School.
Mr. Paterson also holds an ACTRA membership having enjoyed small speaking roles in A Dark Truth (Eva Longoria, Andy Garcia), Breakout (Brendan Fraser) and A Fighting Man (Dominic Purcell, James Caan). Mr. Paterson has served as Executive Producer on a number of films.
Past Chair Messages
Dear Supporters & Stakeholders,
In the 2014/15 school year, our Kids, Cops & Computers program added 525 kids from 31 schools in the City of Toronto marking our largest addition of students yet. With the support of our educators from the Toronto District and Catholic School Boards, as well as the volunteer officers from Toronto Police Service, we afforded these deserving yet financially disadvantaged kids with brand new laptop computers and endeavoured to add important life skills to assist them in reaching their academic and personal potential.
A highlight during the year was the inking of a formal arrangement with HP to become our Technology Partner. Hats off to HP’s Lloyd Bryant whose vision around HP’s Canadian philanthropy plan led to our meeting of minds and objectives. We are excited about where the partnership will lead.
In addition, in the coming school year, we will be expanding our programming for the kids in the senior years of our Program by offering webinars led by subject matter experts.
This year, our 11th Annual Celebrity Sports Mixer was labelled “Our Cops are Tops” celebrating Toronto Police Service’s long time commitment to the Program. Retired Chief William Blair was honoured by the 400 supporters in attendance as well as by the Toronto Maple Leafs who presented the Chief a personalized Leaf jersey as an acknowledgement of his service to the City and to Merry Go Round. Bill Blair has been there with us from day one and he has provided never ending support and dedication to our Kids, Cops & Computers program ever since. At the Mixer event, we proudly announced that Bill had been appointed Honourary Chairman of Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation.
Kids, Cops & Computers works because of the hard work, passion and support of all constituents. It is through our kids, families, educators, police officers, corporate partners, staff and donors that we continue to lead the way amongst Toronto’s technology-focused charities.
Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation
In the 2013/14 school year our Kids, Cops & Computers program added 500 kids from 33 schools in Toronto – our most successful year yet.
450 of the children received brand new laptops and 50 received brand new tablets. Our program grew 20% from the prior year – the 2012/13 school year – when we added 400 kids to our Program. Last year was the first time we included tablets in the Program which we did as an experiment and our conclusion was that tablets fell short on the functionality we want to offer the children.
Our Kids, Cops & Computers program provides free Internet access (where needed) to kids, continuing an encouraging trend of fewer families living without daily home access to the Internet. All of the kids participated in the critically important Lead & Learn sessions provided by Toronto Police Service officers in the schools.
Other good news is that fewer families are without home computing technology (lower laptop costs are making them more affordable) though the flip side is those that remain without access to a computer at home are more vulnerable now than ever before in respect to how their future may unfold. (When recommended by the school, we include kids in the Program who may have access to an outdated laptop at home or circumstances where a family of 5 or 6 is sharing a home computer.)
This ‘digital divide’ is the community issue that our charity is focused on. Those without adequate home computing technology in 2014 are at risk of being further distanced from the ‘have’s’ in society – it’s as simple as not being able to complete your homework.
Having been at this for 15 years now, we have the benefit of witnessing first-hand the results of our efforts and the impact of donors’ financial support. We are proud to see that so many kids from our early years have developed into dynamic, positive and productive young adults – lawyers, nurses and technology professionals – many of whom credit Merry Go Round and our Kids, Cops & Computers program with playing a vital role in their development.
Meeting these kids – graduates of our Program; evidence of the efficacy of what we are endeavouring to achieve – is what motivates me and keeps me as passionate about our cause today as I was when it all began 16 years ago.
Thanks sincerely for your support.
G Scott Paterson
Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation
In the 2012/13 school year, our Kids, Cops & Computers program donated 400 brand new laptops with Internet access (where needed) to deserving yet financially disadvantaged kids in the Toronto region. This was up from 300 in the 2011/12 school year and motivated us to set the bar even higher such that in the current year we have grown further by adding 500 new kids to the Program.
When we started our Program in 1998, the percentage of kids in the ‘at-risk’ neighbourhoods in grade 7 who did not have home computing was much higher than it is today (we estimate 85% versus 15%) so the good news is that fewer kids are vulnerable today to the challenges of being on the other side of the digital divide. Today’s issue, though, is that those without home computing power are more starkly at risk than ever vis-à-vis their peers. The simple fact is that if you are in grade 7 in 2013 and you do not have home computing access you cannot even complete your homework.
We are proud to be playing a modest role in filling in some of this much needed gap in our community. As Chief of Police Bill Blair often notes, Kids, Cops & Computers plays a role in his preventative policing thesis: getting to these kids before they make a wrong turn in life is key.
Our team works closely with the Public and Catholic School Boards as well as with Toronto Police Service in endeavoring to have the most optimal outcomes for the kids in our Program. We are constantly evaluating our Program and an important recent decision we made was to experiment in the 2013/14 year with ‘tablets’. As such, 50 of the 500 kids added to the Program this year will use ‘tablets’ instead of laptops. Tablets now outsell laptops globally and we want to determine how their functionality stacks up against laptops and other metrics that are important to the Program. We will closely monitor this pilot and advise our constituents of our conclusions in next year’s annual report.
Over the years we have been very fortunate to gain so many marvelous supporters to our Program. I invite you to review pages 16 and 17 of this report where we acknowledge those who support our cause.
I would also like to acknowledge and thank the team at accounting firm Foley Broderick who generously provided auditing services to Merry Go Round pro bono for nine years. This year, Ernst & Young agreed to step into the audit role on a pro bono basis. It is community minded people and organizations that are the backbone to our charity and result in value being added to our city.
Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation
Past Chairman’s Messages
Celebrating our 15th anniversary this August was a great milestone for Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation. The Kids, Cops & Computers program has blossomed from a cottage industry effort into a dedicated initiative that has, in the last two years alone, provided brand-new laptops, Internet connections (where needed), USB sticks, Norton Anti-Virus subscriptions and Toronto Police mentorship to more than 700 deserving kids in Toronto.
The Kids, Cops & Computers program is changing lives and Alumni President Ashley Juchawski is proof of that. Ashley, who received a state-of-the-art computer from the Program in its first year (1997), recently graduated from a US law school. She gave a speech at Inspiration 2011 telling the kids that her involvement with the Program gave her the determination and motivation to pursue her dreams and break down the obstacles that stood in her way.
Over the past 15 years, we’ve heard many stories similar to Ashley’s. Students, parents, teachers and police officers have all given testament to the positive impact that the Program is having on student lives. In a Program survey administered in 2011-2012, 93% of educators participating in the Program attested that our Kids, Cops & Computers program is improving student self-esteem and 80% said it’s improving student grades.
Over the years we have welcomed remarkable supporters who have contributed to the success of our Program. We are indebted to Chief William Blair for his commitment to the Program since its beginnings. Chief William Blair continues to believe that Kids, Cops & Computers is indicitive of a program that is consistent with the Toronto Police Service’s preventative policing policy. We are also indebted to Foundations such as the CIBC Children’s Foundation and Imperial Oil Foundation who have made outstanding financial contributions. The Toronto Police Service, the school boards, principals, teachers and our donors, board and volunteers, all make the the Kids, Cops & Computers program what it is today.
We are looking forward to an even brighter future and many more years of putting smiles on the faces of deserving kids
G. Scott Paterson
Vivian N., a Grade 10 student, describes the impact the Kids, Cops & Computers program has had on her:
“Merry Go Round has not only given us a wonderful present but a chance to be successful. Let’s face it; we’re a generation that relies technology. For many people it may seem as something that’s not a big of deal, but to a kid like me, it means a lot.”
Vivan’s experience brings back a memory of myself at age of nine: after school I would leave our rented apartment and walk over to a friend’s house in an affluent area to play road hockey. I would arrive with my one hockey stick while my friends from this neighbourhood had two sticks, hockey gloves and goalie pads.
At the time, the difference in hockey gear was the lens through which I made sense of my family’s challenged financial situation. Today, the gap between financially disadvantaged kids and their peers can be contextualized not through hockey gear, but through technology: kids are divided between those who have ready access to a computer and the Internet and those who don’t.
Through Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation’s Kids, Cops & Computers program, we hope to “level the playing field” for financially disadvantaged kids. The computer and Internet technology, paired with Toronto Police officer mentorship, is empowering our kids to pursue their goals and triumph over their obstacles.
With the support of the Toronto Police Service, the Toronto District School Board, the Toronto Catholic District School Board, volunteers, Board members and individual and corporate donors, V ivan’s success is made possible. On behalf of Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation, thank you for making success within reach for financially disadvantaged kids.
G. Scott Paterson
As medieval philosopher, Maimonides, once said “The greatest charity lies in helping people become self-sufficient.”
With our society becoming increasingly more dependent on technology, kids who cannot afford a computer and Internet connection are put at a disadvantage.
That is why, today, more than ever, we need to create programs that help connect kids, programs that give them the technology they need to compete with their peers before they lose interest in trying, programs that help them understand that they can still create a bright future for themselves regardless of their financial situation.
Through Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation’s Kids, Cops & Computers program, kids receive a brand-new computer and colour printer, cyber safety and computer training and most importantly, a Toronto Police officer volunteer ‘eBuddy’ mentor. Put together, the components of the Program materially assist kids in their educational pursuits and essentially in their confidence and ability to compete and succeed in a world that is pervaded by technology.
Merry Go Round benefits remarkably from partners and Program supporters. We are particularly indebted to Rogers, who supplies free Internet to those kids who do not have an existing connection, and to Chief William Blair for his commitment to the Program. Without the support of our Toronto Police Service volunteer eBuddies , the School Boards, principals, teachers and our Board and volunteers, the Kids, Cops & Computers program would not be what it is today.
Together we are helping kids help themselves to take action and make their futures brighter. We are helping them become self-sufficient and ultimately, as Maimonides said, this is the greatest gift.
G. Scott Paterson
When I reflect on the past twelve years I am very proud of Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation and our contribution to the community. We make a real difference in the lives of our Kids, Cops & Computers program students and their families.
As a young person today, if you don’t have a computer at home with access to the Internet how can you complete your home work? Surf the greatest encyclopedia (the Internet) in the world? Chat with your friends, family and peers?
Most of us take for granted access to technology and the Internet. Our world is digital and we expect connectivity. Sadly, for many kids in financially disadvantaged families, this digital connectivity is only a dream.
This is where Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation continues to make a difference by ensuring these kids get connected. As of today we have installed over 900 computers into the hands of deserving kids. Our goal is to do more, much more.
Late in 2009 we recruited a new Executive Director with a mandate to execute our 3 year strategic plan. We believe we have the staff and volunteer talent pool to make an even bigger difference. Our Board has endorsed a plan to grow to 500 computers per year within the next 3 years and to invest in our website such that it is fully integrated with our program and it is the centerpiece of how technology interacts with our kids.
We are very fortunate to have the support of premiere corporate partners, committed Board members and amazing volunteers who generously give of their time, talent and resources – 2,685 hours of volunteer time last year alone. On behalf of the kids who benefit, thank you to everyone who has made our success to date possible.
We welcome you to join us in some capacity.
Consider sponsoring a child to receive a computer, being a neighborhood or school volunteer!
Learn more about our Kids, Cops & Computers program at www.kidscopscomputer.org .
Help “connect” the kids!
G. Scott Paterson