Toronto-based CommunityLend announced today the creation of its Board of Advisers. The Board is comprised of industry leaders who will advise and guide the company on strategic decisions and business progress.

“We are very excited about the talent and expertise represented in our Board of Advisors as well as their commitment to extend themselves in support of CommunityLend’s market vision and business operations,” said Michael Garrity, Co-Founder and CEO of CommunityLend. “Each of the members of this advisory board has achieved significant success in their respective industries. Their combined guidance, contacts and passion for CommunityLend will serve our company well as it prepares to bring social lending to Canada.”

Members of the Board

Asheesh Advani is the President and CEO of Virgin Money USA and pioneered the business of managing person-to-person loans between relatives and friends as the CEO and Founder of CircleLending. Launched in 2001, the company grew rapidly and established the new product category before attracting the interest of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group which acquired a majority stake in the firm in 2007. Asheesh was named one of the Boston’s Top 40 Entrepreneurs under 40 in 2005.

Phil Hopper is the founder and CEO of Australia’s first P2P lending site iGrin. He has a wealth of experience in the establishment, management and delivery of on-line financial websites. With over 15 years of banking and technology experience, he has worked at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Macquarie Bank.

Richard Kostoff is a Canadian financial services professional with 35 years of experience in the investment industry. He is currently the principal of Templar Investments, a consulting and advisory firm, located in Toronto and most recently was a Deputy Chair of TD Securities. At TD Securities, Richard was responsible for senior capital markets coverage related to a wide variety of government, infrastructure and corporate financing assignments. Over the course of his career, Richard’s senior management responsibilities included: fixed income sales and trading, derivative marketing and equity and debt capital markets origination. In addition to TD Securities, Richard’s relevant experience includes RBC Dominion Securities (Director), Gordon Capital (Partner), Pemberton Securities (Senior Vice President), and Midland Doherty (Vice President).

Stuart MacDonald is the CEO and Founder of TripHarbour, the web’s first combined cruise community and cruise planning and buying site. Previous to this, Stuart was Founder of which he grew into a highly successful online travel company and the preeminent local Expedia unit in the world. Following that successful initiative, Stuart went on to serve as SVP Packages and Chief Marketing Officer of, based in Seattle, WA. In that role, Stuart was responsible for marketing strategy and execution for the brand, one of the leading internet brands in the world. Stuart is also a co-founder of MESH, Canada’s What’s Next? Web Conference. He is also an Advisor to, a Vancouver-based philanthropic giving portal.

Gregory Milavsky is the Senior Managing Director of Canterbury Park Capital, a Canadian private equity fund targeting control-oriented buyout and expansion investment opportunities in small to mid market companies. Mr. Milavsky was previously Managing Director and Group Head of Private Equity Investments for Scotiabank, a position he has held since July 2000. Previously, he was head of Rothschild Quantico Capital, a merchant banking venture based in Toronto. Prior to Rothschild he worked for James D. Wolfensohn Incorporated in New York and for the Canadian Imperial Bank Group in London and Tokyo.

Anthony Novac is an accomplished technology and real estate developer, angel investor and entrepreneur. Currently Anthony is the CEO and co-founder of Toronto based technology start-up, Spreed Inc. and is the President of an entertainment focused real estate development company. Preceding this, Anthony was the co-founder and CEO of three other companies, all of which undertook significant growth and were subsequently sold. As an Angel Investor, Anthony is actively engaged in advising to start-ups that he invests in.

About CommunityLend
CommunityLend is a unique social lending service launching in Canada in mid-2008. CommunityLend will join the social-banking revolution currently underway around the World. Gartner has forecasted that by 2010, social-banking platforms will have captured 10% of the available worldwide market for retail lending and financial planning. All press inquiries can be made via email to Colin Henderson (CTO) at