Research team

The ActiveCITY Collective is being facilitated by Mount Royal University’s Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship and is a collaboration of diverse scholars, students and community leaders. ActiveCITY researchers specialize in related fields, including sport, sport business, sport media, health & wellness, public policy and economic and social impact, from a range of universities.


Dr. David J. Finch

David J. Finch’s professional background reflects a commitment to the convergence of theory and practice. David holds a PhD in management and is an active educator, scholar and practitioner. David currently holds several academic appointments including Associate Professor at Mount Royal University’s Bissett School of Business in Calgary, Alberta, a Visiting Professor at Ohio University and Visiting Fellow at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading in the UK.

Dr. Finch’s research interests focus on exploring the empirical link between stakeholders and organizational performance. Based on his research and breadth of experience, Dr. Finch is the founder and Director of the Business School Research Network (BSRN) - a network of senior researchers from 16 North American business schools focused at examining the empirical performance of business schools. In the past five years, Dr. Finch has authored over 50 scholarly papers and published in journals such as the Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Marketing Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Industry and Higher Education, Journal of Marketing Education, the Corporate Reputation Review and the International Journal of Management Education. In addition, David has published articles in the Globe & Mail, Marketing Magazine, Victoria Times Colonist, Huffington Post, Ottawa Citizen, Edmonton Journal, the National Post.

Prior to joining academia, over two decades, Dr. Finch held progressively senior roles in areas of corporate strategy in Canada, the US and the UK with Bell Canada Enterprises, Rogers Communications and Harris Corporation. In addition, Dr. Finch was a founding partner at T1 Agency, Canada’s largest sports and sponsorship marketing agency supporting brands such as Esso, Nike, Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, BC Ferries, The Calgary Stampede and Yellow Pages.

Dr. David Legg


Dr. David Legg is actively involved as an educator, researcher, and volunteer in sport management and adapted physical activity. In addition to his role as a Professor and two-time Acting Chairperson at Calgary’s Mount Royal University, David was a visiting professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, in 2004 and at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, in 2008-09. For the past five years David has also been a visiting scholar for the Erasmus Mundus Masters in Adapted Physical Activity at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium.

David is past President for the Canadian Paralympic Committee, past Board Member for the 2015 Toronto Pan/Parapan American Games, Member of the International Paralympic Committee’s Sport Science Committee and a Leadership team member of Canadian Sport for Life.

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Dr. Gashaw Abeza

Gashaw Abeza is an Assistant Professor at Towson University. Previously, he  taught graduate and undergraduate students at Southern Methodist University, University of Ottawa, and guest lectured at four different universities (University of New Brunswick, McMaster University, Algonquin College, and Addis Ababa University). He was a visiting research fellow at the University of New South Wales (Australia) and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia), 2014 -2015. Prior to returning to academia, Gashaw had a successful 7-year career as an international sport manager and marketer, highlighted by his work in more than 15 countries and his role as an organizer for global sporting events.

Since his return to academia, Gashaw has received six scholarships and grants during his doctoral study: Joseph-Armand Bombardier (Canada’s Prestigious Doctoral award - 2014), the North American Society for Sport Management Doctoral Research Grant (2015), Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (Canada - 2015), the Ontario Graduate Scholarships in 2013-14 and 2014-15, and the University of Ottawa Excellence Scholarship (2014-2017). Gashaw has two conference paper awards and four most viewed research works/articles. His research interest is in marketing communication, with specific areas of expertise in social media related to sponsorship, ambush marketing, branding, relationship marketing, and research methods in sport. His work is published in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes in the area. He also serves as a member of editorial board (IJSC) and reviewer to different academic journals.


Dr. Julie Booke

Julie Booke completed a Bachelors of Recreation Studies at the University of Manitoba. After completing her undergraduate degree she worked for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School and the University of Missouri’s Experiential Education program before returning to the University of Manitoba to complete a Master of Arts degree focusing on the impact of wilderness education on youth at risk. Julie’s PhD is from the University of Calgary in the Department of Graduate Division of Educational Research. Her dissertation focused on the impact of an educational development program on university instructors teaching assumptions, philosophies and practices.

Julie has had the opportunity to teach at a variety of institutions including the University of Missouri, the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Red River College and the University of Calgary.

Julie is currently researching the impact the mandatory Respect in Sport parent program has on parental behaviours at minor hockey games. Her other research project focuses on what students say about their classroom experience in an anonymous forum.

Dr. William (Bill) M. Foster

Bill is a Professor of Management at the Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta. His primary research interests include sports fans, rhetorical history, social memory studies, service learning, and business ethics. He has been published in journals and books such as Journal of Management, Journal of Management Inquiry, Business History and Journal of Business Ethics. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Academy of Management Learning and Education and serves on the Editorial Review Boards of Organization Studies, Academy of Management Review and Business History.

He has taught courses in organizational behavior, strategy, sustainability, marketing and management. His teaching style is Socratic and is focused on engaging students through various techniques such as experiential learning, service learning, case studies and classroom discussion.

Dr. Nadège Levallet

Dr. Nadège Levallet is an Assistant Professor at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph. Previously, Dr. Levallet was at Ohio University. She earned her Ph.D. in MIS at the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University in Canada.  Her research focuses on the impacts that digital technologies have on organizational performance. Some of her research examines the role that digital technologies play in enabling effective strategic improvisation in organizations. She also studies the effects of technology on knowledge management and organizational learning. Dr. Levallet’s work has been published in internationally renowned outlets, including journals such as MIS Quarterly Executive and international conference proceedings. Dr. Levallet was awarded Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council research fellowship and a Smith School of Business D.D. Monieson fellowship for her Ph.D. research.  Prior to joining academia, Dr. Levallet spent more than a decade in progressive management positions in various private and public organizations, working as Manager, Centre for Research and Development, at Collège Boréal (Sudbury, Ontario); Internship and Coop Program Coordinator at Laurentian University’s Faculty of Management (Sudbury, Ontario); Account Manager at Bowe Bell and Howell (Toronto, Ontario); and Sales Service Manager at Canadian Bank Note Company (Ottawa, Ontario).

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Dr. John Nadeau

Dr. Nadeau is an accomplished scholar with 39 papers published in refereed journals, 59 presentations at conferences, and another 15 educational or non-refereed contributions. His work is generally rooted in consumer behaviour by exploring the influence of images on consumer decision making and has examined related questions in the applied marketing areas of sport and tourism. His work has received several national and international awards and appears in A and A+ ranked journals according to the ABDC Journal Quality List 2013 (i.e. International Marketing Review, Journal of Strategic Marketing, Journal of Sport Management, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, and Annals of Tourism Research).

Dr. Nadeau was a recent Director of the School of Business at Nipissing University, Director of the undergraduate program in sport management at Ohio University and was President of the national Administrative Sciences Association of Canada. Previous to his academic career, he gained professional experience in the high technology, media and forestry industries which informs both his teaching and his research.


Dr. Norm O’Reilly

Norm O’Reilly is recognized as one of the leading scholars in the business of sports. He is the Assistant Dean of Executive Programs & Professor at the College of Business and Economics at the University of Guelph. Previously, he was the the Richard P. and Joan S. Fox Professor of Business and is Chair of the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University’s College of Business. 

Dr. O’Reilly has expertise in a range of business topics, including analytics, marketing, sponsorship, social media, sport finance, social marketing, tourism management, and management education. He has authored or co-authored eight books, 14 case studies in the Harvard/Stanford series, and more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. His books include the 2016 release Sports Business Management: Decision Making Around the Globe with George Foster and Tony Davila, and the 2015 book Global Sport Marketing: Sponsorship, Ambush Marketing and the Olympic Games, with Richard Pound, Rick Burton, Benoit Seguin and Michelle Brunette. At conferences, he has won 11 Best Paper awards and has more than 150 conference presentations to his credit. Dr. O’Reilly is the lead researcher on the Canadian Sponsorship Landscape Study, a highlight of the annual Canadian Sponsorship Forum since 2007, currently in its twelfth edition. In 2015, Dr. O’Reilly was awarded the Career Achievement Award by the American Marketing Association’s Sport Marketing Special Interest Group.

Dr. O’Reilly works closely with industry. He was recognized in 2013 as one of the “Five to Watch” in sport business in Canada by the Globe and Mail and is a lifetime Research Fellow of the North American Society for Sport Management. In 2011, he was the recipient of the University of Ottawa’s Media Excellence Award (for media coverage of his research). For more than a decade, he has been minority owner and partner consultant Toronto-based agency, T1, where he has worked for clients including Nike, UFC, Nissan, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, and many more. He also acts as a specialist on legal cases and has sat on the boards of many sport organizations. Dr. O’Reilly was ‘Assistant Chef de Mission’ for the Canadian Paralympic Team headed to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Recently, his work was highlighted publicly in the media as part of the Canadian Hockey League legal case around player compensation.

Prior to coming to Ohio University, Dr. O’Reilly taught at the University of Ottawa, the David Falk Center for Sport Management at Syracuse University, the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, the School of Sports Administration at Laurentian University, and the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. He has previously held positions as school director, vice-dean and director of a research centre. In recent years, Dr. O’Reilly has taught courses in Athabasca University’s MBA in Ice Hockey, the graduate program at the Russian International Olympic University in Sochi, and with Ohio University in Mumbai, India.

Dr. O’Reilly holds a PhD in Management from the Sprott School of Business at Carleton University, a MBA from the Telfer School of Management at the University of Ottawa, a MA in Sports Administration from the University of Ottawa, and a B.Sc. (Kinesiology) from the University of Waterloo. He currently holds visiting/adjunct appointments in Canada, the United States and Australia, and also holds the CGA/CPA Accounting Designation.

Prior to joining academia, Dr. O’Reilly had involvement as an administrator, including senior policy officer at Sport Canada, team manager and office manager at Triathlon Canada, and event manager for the 2008 Toronto Olympic Bid. In addition to his leadership role for Team Canada at the 2016 Paralympic Games, he has been a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2010 Mission Staff for the Canadian Olympic Committee at the Olympic Games, and attended the 2012 Olympic Games in a research capacity.

For more information on the activecity project, please contact: 

Dr. David Finch
Research Director, ActiveCITY Project