Beach Metro News will welcome new board members at AGM

It’s only two days until the Beach Metro News Annual General Meeting on June 27, and we are all excited about the new additions to our Board of Directors.

Rob Granatstein, nominated for the Vice-President vacancy, is a long-time journalist in Toronto and is senior producer and director at, a national news website that’s part of the Postmedia network.

Since taking over in 2012, Rob has led a complete overhaul of all aspects of the site, from editorial to design to its content management system, with a focus on how stories are produced. He has pushed the site to focus on engaging with readers, and has launched a successful social media strategy.

Before joining, Rob was editorial page editor of the Toronto Sun, managing the paper’s columnists and national commentary, as well as writing columns and editorials. He covered city hall and was a general assignment reporter during his 17-year career at the Sun. He is also a former executive member of the Ontario Press Council.

But Rob would really rather be at the rink. He coaches the East York Bulldogs minor novice select team, is an assistant coach in the house league and will be on the ice for hockey school this year. He also finds time to play twice a week. He’s also a coach at East York Baseball.

Rob is married to Natasha Granatstein, founding chair of the Danforth East Community Association, founder of DECA Diaries and leader of many community initiatives. They have lived in the community for almost a decade. They have two boys, Maxwell and Clayton.

Doug Black, nominated for the Secretary position, is a retired architect and former Bell Canada employee, where he worked in the real estate department. His 26-year career at Bell started in Ottawa, followed by several years in London and finally Toronto.

He is currently working part-time at The Home Depot, and is a volunteer at Beach Metro News as a carrier and route captain. He is a regular at Tuesday morning bundling sessions on publication days.

Doug grew up on the West Island of Montreal and graduated from the Carleton University School of Architecture.  He has lived in the Beach for the last 21 years, but also relishes relaxing (and renovating) at his cottage in the Haliburton Highlands.

Doug was Treasurer for the St. John Catholic School parent advisory council. He coached in the Beaches Community Soccer League for three years, and one year in the East Toronto Baseball Association (rookieball).

His son lives and works in London, while his daughter attends high school in Scarborough. The family beagle ensures that Doug gets to personally see every lawn, shrub, hydro pole and hydrant in the east Beach, usually twice a day.

Other members of the Board will be moving positions as well. Current President Brian Mercer will become Past President, Secretary Julie DiGregorio will take over the President position, and Past President Paul Babich will become a Special Advisor along with David Windrim. Kelvin Francis will continue as our Treasurer.

We say goodbye this year to two members of the Board.

Christina Blizzard has decided to move on after 14 years of service on our Board. We will miss her experience as a journalist as well as her kind, funny and charming personality, and we wish her all the best.

Mike Howarth, who joined the board in 2009, has been a real asset to the newspaper. His experience and knowledge in creative writing brought us a new perspective over the past years. We are grateful for the many wonderful columns that Mike wrote for us, and wish him well with his future projects.

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