Our Founder

Richard Rupp

Richard Rupp has been involved in the construction industry as a builder and developer for over thirty years. Decades ago, he recognized the lack of incentive for students to enter Skilled Trades training, and predicted the eventual shortfall in the qualified construction labour force, which is impacting our economy now. Mr. Rupp has consistently promoted the Skilled Trades in construction as a sensible and successful career path.


With an over-supply of students studying professional degrees, and an under-supply of those entering the Skilled Trades, it is clear to see how someone with an ability to work with their hands, and a desire to build something special, should choose Skilled Trades training.


Mr. Rupp made this a reality by establishing a registered charity to assist a variety of students who want a career in construction, and to promote the Skilled Trades as an ideal choice of professions, by offering scholarships to students to offset their entry costs.

Honorary Advisory Board

Frank Stronach

Frank Stronach is one of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs. Born in Austria to working-class parents, Stronach apprenticed as a tool and die maker before coming to Canada in 1954. He soon founded what became known as Magna International – which grew into one of the world’s largest automotive parts manufacturers. Through Magna, Stronach has created over 170,000 jobs, shared more than $1 billion with workers, and contributed billions of dollars to the economy. The economic charter of rights he established at Magna, with shared profits with all of the company’s stakeholders, was the key to Magna’s success and created a blueprint for enhanced productivity and profitability.


Stronach has long been a leading figure in the horse race industry, has served in the Austrian parliament and is a well-known philanthropist and community leader in his home town of Aurora, Ontario.

Advisory Board

Nelly Khayat-Rupp

Nelly Khayat-Rupp is the most recent Chair of the Ontario College of Trades, Hairstylists Board (OCOT).  She has been continuously licenced for over 30 years.  Her passion for improving the Skilled Trades encompasses everything she does professionally.  Nelly has her Red Seal licence and is also a Red Seal examiner.


Nelly’s experience in dealing with government, as well as her commitment to licencing, standards, training and education is invaluable

The Honourable Tony Clement, PC

The Honourable Tony Clement is a former Minister in the Stephen Harper Government federally, and the Mike Harris and Ernie Eves’ Governments in the Province of Ontario.


Federally, Mr. Clement served as Minister of Health, Minister of Industry, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario.  He played a lead role in getting Canada’s economy back on track after the most significant global economic recession since the 1930s. 


Mr. Clement's dedication to public service spans three decades. During his eight and a half years as an Ontario MPP, he held prominent Cabinet positions in the Ontario government, including Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister of the Environment, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Minister of Transportation.

The Honourable Bryon Wilfert, PC

The Honourable Bryon Wilfert brings 26 years of elected political office both as a municipal councillor and as a former Member of Parliament.  Federally, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment and was previously Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance.  As well, he was past President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).  Mr. Wilfert offers expertise and critical relationships that he has developed over many years.


He holds a Master of Arts in Political Economy (U of T), Institute of Corporate Directors designation (ICD.D) (U of T – Rotman School), and was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun – Gold/Silver Star from His Imperial Majesty and the Prime Minister of Japan.

Costas Menegakis

Costas Menegakis is a businessman and entrepreneur, and is the President and CEO of a national marketing and logistics company.  


Mr. Menegakis was elected to Canada’s Parliament in 2011 and served as the Member of Parliament for Richmond Hill and as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.  He was a member of the House of Commons Standing Committees for Citizenship and Immigration, Procedure and House Affairs, Official Languages, and Government Affairs and Estimates.  Costas was instrumental in the passage of the Justice for Animals in Service Act (Quanto’s Law).  


Costas firmly believes in building strong communities serving in various volunteer capacities for several non-profit organizations over the past 30 years.  He is an ardent supporter of programs that offer services to families, particularly to our youth and elderly.