Retired since July 2008, Donald Lawson worked in the investment industry for 58 years, initially as a partner in Moss, Lawson & Co., then its President and CEO, and subsequently as Chairman. Following the takeover of Moss Lawson by HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. Mr. Lawson was Honourary Chairman and an investment advisor to private clients. In business, Mr. Lawson has served on the Board of Governors of the Toronto Stock Exchange, including a term as Chairman of the Board. He also served on the Board of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada.
Mr. Lawson has been involved with the not-for-profit sector for most of his business career. After serving in various capacities within the YMCA of Metropolitan Toronto, he became its Chairman at a time when it was approaching bankruptcy. During his watch, decisions were made leading to the regeneration of the Association which now has become a successful $200+ million enterprise. In 1984, Mr. Lawson became Chair of the Board of The Counselling Foundation of Canada, a role in which he served for 31 years. In November 2015, he stepped down as the Foundation’s Chair, but continues as a Director and holds the title of Chair Emeritus. Other volunteer activities have included United Way Budget Committees, Director and Treasurer of Huntley Youth Services (now Youthlink), Investment Committee of the United Church of Canada, Member of the Board of Regents and Treasurer of Victoria University (an affiliated University within the University of Toronto), Chairman of the Executive Committee and subsequently the Board of Trustees of Lawrence Park Community Church, and a Director of the Georgian Bay Land Trust.
Recognition has come in the form of Officer, the Fellowship of Honour, YMCA Canada; Honourary Doctor of Laws, Dalhousie University; and Honourary Doctor of Sacred Letters, Victoria University; Honourary Doctor of Laws, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal.