Board Position: Chair since June 2018
Board member since: March 2015
Board Expertise: Government relations; communications; Not-for-Profit governance
What I do outside of my volunteer work at JAZZ.FM91:
David McGown has spent much of his career working in Toronto’s financial sector. Currently Senior Vice
President at the Insurance Bureau of Canada, he’s responsible for supporting Canada’s Property & Casualty Insurance industry as it wrestles with the evolving challenges of climate change, technology and catastrophic risk.
David worked at CIBC as Vice President, Public Affairs, Vice President of Corporate Development and Vice
President of Administration, INTRIA Items. He worked as economist and speechwriter at Queen’s Park, and for the Department of Finance in Ottawa, as an economist, as Special Assistant to the Minister of Finance and EA to the Deputy Minister of Finance. David was President of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He was a board member of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance, was a member of the Cape Dorset Kenojuak Cultural Centre Capital Campaign and sits on the Advisory Board of the Canada Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. He brings his deep experience in communications, in fund raising and in governance issues to the board of JAZZ.FM91. He received the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013 in recognition of his volunteer activities. David holds a BA from the University of Western Ontario and an MA from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. David is married to Rima Berns-McGown, has four children and plays guitar badly.
Why I Support JAZZ.FM91:
Growing up in small town Ontario, my exposure to jazz was very limited. My initial roots were gospel music. But it wasn’t until my last year of college when I lived with two horn players that I was first introduced to the broader world of jazz. Trips from London ON to George’s in Toronto were part of that experience as was a growing music collection of big band and fusion as suited the late 1970s. Moving a few years later from the US back to Toronto, I became an avid listener and contributor to CJRT and that opened other doors. And that music collection expanded to Oscar, Bill Evans, Diana Krall, Sophie Milman and Kat Edmonson. JAZZ.FM91 has provided an entrée to those and many, many more artists and performers.
We continue to build more resilient communities across the GTA The community outreach that JAZZ.FM91 undertakes puts music into neighbourhoods and schools that would otherwise not have that benefit. The instrument donation program puts music into the hands of individuals who would not always have the ability to acquire and play. JAZZFM is not simply a jazz music station, it is a significant cultural and community based institution. The station has been a significant part of my life for decades and it is a privilege to serve on its board today.
How I plan to support JAZZ.FM91 through my Board contribution:
I have woven my public sector, private sector and not for profit experience into an ability to listen to stakeholders, to take their needs and try to make a difference in outcomes. On the board of JAZZ.FM9 I help to raise funds, to provide broad oversight from the vantage point of the board and specific insight from my business and personal experience. JAZZ.FM91 is the investment in our community that I have chosen to make today.