Phaze III/Associates

Mission Statement

Phaze 3 Associates strives to realize the optimal development of human capital, personal growth and community activism. Collaboration, mutual responsibility and commitment to the common good are the practical and philosophical foundations of our work.

Rick Ekstein

Rick is the President and CEO of Phaze 3 Associates. Rick’s expertise in international trade, advocacy, and public policy are born from more than 40 years of first-hand experience in the Canadian lumber industry. Rick led the expansion of the Weston Forest Group of companies across 40 countries, and continues to promote the interests of Canadian producers in the softwood lumber dispute.

Rick is active in the Conservative Party of Canada and co-founded the Together We Stand Military Families Foundation. Rick sits on the Boards of Elevate Financial, Weston Wood Solutions, Brookside Capital Partners, Element 5 Co., The Logic, Awz Ventures Inc., and the C.D. Howe Institute, where he also sits on its International Economic Policy and National Policy Councils.

He is also on the Boards of the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee, The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, the Regimental Council of The Queen’s York Rangers and the Association for Lumber Remanufacturers of Ontario, which he also founded. Rick’s proudest accomplishment is Weston Forest Products having repeatedly won Waterstone Canada’s award for Most Admired Corporate Cultures.

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Eleanor Millar, Director of Government Relations and Philanthropy at Phaze 3 Associates.

Eleanor Millar

Eleanor is a Vice President at Phaze 3 Associates, bringing over two decades of deep involvement in politics. Her journey spans from volunteering in election campaigns to serving as a political staffer for Cabinet Ministers on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. She sharpened her research and communication skills while accompanying Ministers on travels throughout Central and South America, proudly representing Canada.

Following her tenure on Parliament Hill, Eleanor joined CJPAC (the Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee) as Director of Campus Programming. There, she led their flagship program, The Fellowship, focusing on training university students across the political spectrum to actively engage in politics. Her creativity and organizational prowess shone through in planning major conferences in Ottawa featuring numerous speakers over multiple days. Witnessing many of her students ascend to senior government roles or elected positions has been deeply gratifying.

In 2019, seeking new challenges, Eleanor joined Phaze 3 Management Inc., where she collaborates closely with the CEO on projects encompassing philanthropy, Jewish community engagement, and political initiatives.

Beyond her professional roles, Eleanor is deeply involved with the charitable foundation Together We Stand, founded by Phaze 3’s CEO, where she volunteers as Director of Government Relations and Special Projects. Her contributions were pivotal in establishing Military Family Appreciation Day, and she currently serves as Vice-Chair of their Military Family Advisory Committee.

Eleanor has firsthand experience as part of a military family for over two decades, managing domestic operations during her husband’s overseas combat deployments and missions across Canada. Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, she now resides in Ontario, cherishing time with her eight-year-old son and beloved cat, Remington, during her downtime.

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Stephanie Shapiro

Stephanie is the Executive Vice President at Phaze 3 Associates. She spent 10 years working with the federal government as a Senior Human Resources Advisor for Transport Canada, specializing in recruitment and retention, before joining Phaze 3.

Stephanie guides the Phaze 3 team through the firm’s dynamic work tempo with a human-centred philosophy. As a staunch advocate for mothers dealing with mental health issues, Stephanie’s empathic stance towards team members and clients, flows from her experience, education and intuitive understanding of the interplay between people’s personal and professional lives.

Stephanie is an avid reader and is doing her part to contribute to the growing body of writing exploring motherhood and mental wellbeing. A mother of two young girls, Stephanie blogs about her experiences at: www.mamaneedsavodka.com

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Brian Rowley

Brian is the CFO of Phaze 3 Associates. He has spent his career as the CFO of single-family offices, directly involved in overseeing financial reporting, corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, refinancing, and income tax planning.

In addition to the extensive hours Brian spends at Phaze 3, he spends his evenings and weekends guiding people through difficult life circumstances and has become a cornerstone within his community.

For leisure, Brian can usually be found on weekends and warm summer evenings aboard his boat, moored at Toronto’s Harbourfront.

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Rick Seymour

Rick is the CEO of the Together We Stand Military Families Foundation, the primary philanthropic focal point at Phaze 3 Associates. After spending close to 10 years as a Lead Accounts Manager at a top advertising and design agency, Rick felt it was time to apply his problem-solving skills for the good of Canada’s brave military families. A former professional golfer, Rick evaluates strategic planning in terms of its long-range impact, and effectively pivots when unforeseen changes arise. A creative thinker, he loves a challenge and mapping out projects on his whiteboard. When not attached to his mobile or laptop, Rick enjoys spending time outdoors playing sports, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.

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Michael Shapiro, Managing Partner of Four Cornerstones Capital Inc.

Michael Shapiro

Michael is the Chief Investment Officer of Phaze 3 Associates. He is responsible for seeking out investment opportunities while ensuring current investments yield successful results. Prior to joining 4CS, Michael was a Managing Partner of Weston Premium Woods Inc., which he and his partners exited in a sale to Richelieu Hardware Canada.

Michael’s business acumen and impeccable ability to forecast the growth potential of commercial ventures and the people behind them, enabled him to strategically expand the sale of Weston Premium Wood products and services into new U.S. and Canadian markets shortly after graduating from Western University in 2004.

Michael became the youngest individual ever appointed to the National Hardwood Lumber Association’s Board of Directors. During his decade-long tenure, he also became Vice-President of the Hardwood Distributor’s Association. When not in the office, Michael’s “happy place” is anywhere he gets to play with his two daughters.

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Jaicar Colin-Thome

Jaicar is the Director of Special Projects and Stakeholder Relations at Phaze 3 Associates. With a decade of experience as an Executive Assistant and in Office Management, Jai has honed her skills in various roles, including at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and ParticipACTION. Her passion for art and design shines through in her ability to lead and assist in office space buildouts and innovations, enhancing productivity, health, safety, and the well-being of colleagues.

Jai has a demonstrated history of working in the not-for-profit sector, government relations, community outreach, and local partnerships. Her knack for connecting and helping people is attributed to her caring and empathetic nature, making her an invaluable asset to the team at Phaze 3.

In her role as Director of Stakeholder Relations and Special Projects, Jai oversees and executes a variety of unique and high-impact projects from conception to completion. She collaborates with cross-functional teams to define project objectives, develop plans, allocate resources, and ensure timely delivery within scope and budget.

Beyond her professional life, Jai is a mother of three who enjoys spending time outdoors. She holds a Design and Visual Communications diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology.

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Robert Curran

Robert is the Managing Partner of Socium Capital. He leads the firm’s investing activities, including deal sourcing and execution.

Previously, Rob worked in investment banking at a local independent dealer and a large Canadian bank. He has experience across an array of capital market transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and capital raising for private and public companies. Rob has also worked in real estate finance.

Robert obtained his MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and his bachelor’s degree in Management from the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary’s University. 

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Rene Rampaul

Rene is the Controller of Phaze 3 Associates. Bringing over 15 years of Accounting experience, including 8 years of Property Management experience, Rene specializes in analyzing financial information, preparing accurate and timely financial reports/statements and ensuring appropriate accounting control procedures in order to maintain the integrity of all financial information provided.

When not in the Office, Rene enjoys spending time with his family and friends, or attending whichever sporting event is happening in Toronto (except for Maple Leaf games).

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ANNA TRAN

Anna is the Executive Assistant at Phaze 3 Associates. She is the organizational wizard behind the scenes. She keeps our executive team on track and ensures the office runs smoothly. From overseeing office operations to managing contacts and social media, Anna ensures every detail is handled with precision. 

Anna is our go-to expert for all things events and hospitality, with over 15 years of experience making celebrations unforgettable. As a certified wedding, event coordinator and graduate of Seneca@York, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to every event at her other project, The Gem Hunters’ Lodge on Queen. Her organizational skills and dedication make her a valued part of our team.

Anna is a true foodie, working her way toward being a true gourmand! She is married to an amazing chef who often sends her to work with delicious meals and snacks. She has a ‘not-so-secret’ love affair with food and drink and often spends her free time watching food shows and catching up on the newest food trends. 

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the Phaze3 Journey

Skillfully merging the abstract and concrete aspects of our initiatives is its own adventure.

Investing

Drawing on more than 40 years of professional experience and the diverse backgrounds of our associates, we are positioned to invest in a variety of opportunities.

Ideas & Deeds

Our associates generate a synergy that yields outcomes greater than their individual parts. Each brings a depth of experience and unique insights that drive our collective force.

Associates

Collaboration, mutual responsibility and a commitment to the common good are the practical and philosophical foundations of our expertise and work.