Rita Hoff had a long and distinguished career in the investment industry, where she cracked the glass ceiling by becoming the first female CEO of a member firm – First Canada Securities, which she co-founded. She has been a mentor for women and a promoter of equality and recognition for women in the industry long before equity was a common priority. Over the course of her career, she served on many corporate boards and associations, often starting out as a token woman. Her 30 years of board experience was shaped by serving with a variety of organizations, most notably The Investment Dealers Association of Canada, CAA, Central Ontario, and she continues to serve with Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company. On these boards, she has served as Chair for a Public Relations Committee and the Investment Committee, and a member of Governance and Risk Committees. Spending the winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, she has been involved with her condominium board as Treasurer, and more recently, joined the board of her community organization to ensure preservation of green spaces and challenge illegal development.
Rita’s early connection to Operation Eyesight in India was through her father, who designed and built the first modern hospital in Sompeta, India for Dr. Ben Gullison, the inspiration behind Operation Eyesight. Her parents developed a life-long friendship with the Gullisons, which continued after they immigrated to Canada. In 2019, a chance meeting with Ray Mowling, who also sits on the Operation Eyesight Board of Directors, led her to join the board.
“I was inspired to renew my connection to support Operation Eyesight’s important work to prevent blindness and restore sight.”
Keeping engaged and active is a continuing way of life in retirement for Rita. Outdoor activities such as golf, hiking, swimming and gardening bring balance to her life that is too often spent in front of a screen. Travel is also a passion, especially exploring culture, cuisine and art around the globe. Rita lives a meaningful life through her involvement in various organizations using her skills and experience to engage with people and make a difference where she can.