Jonathan and Maria Birks
As loyal supporters of numerous student bursaries and University programs through the Birks Family Foundation, they are cherished members of the Concordia family.
They are especially passionate about the Centre for the Arts in Human Development, an innovative and unique project that applies creative arts therapies toward promoting growth and advancement for people with intellectual, developmental and mental health disabilities.
Maria del Carmen Denegri Birks, a native of Peru, is a director at Birkden Management Inc. Maria earned her BA in 1967 from the Universidad Catolica de Lima. She was the co-founder and former partner of Casa Inca, a retail outlet of Peruvian clothing, accessories and furnishings. She is also co-founder and director of the annual Montreal Toy Tea, a charitable organization that raises funds for children in shelters.
Maria is a former director of the Birks Family Foundation, I Musici di Montreal and the Montreal Opera, and is a past co-chair of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Ball, the Montreal Breast Cancer Annual luncheon and the Young Presidents' Organization's Regional Conference.
Jonathan Birks, a Montreal native, is president and director of Birkden Management Inc. He obtained a BA from McGill University in 1967, a Diploma (Honours) in International Law FROM the City of London College in London, England, in 1969, and an LL.L. (Law) from the Université Laval in 1970. Jonathan is also president and a trustee of the Birks Family Foundation and is a director for several public and private companies.
Jonathan is highly active in the community, serving as a director and chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the Montreal General Hospital Foundation, member of the Advisory Board of the YMCA of Greater Montreal, chair of Foundation Giving for the YMCA Kanawana Development Project and honorary consul of the Republic of Paraguay in Montreal. He is also the former president and CEO of Henry Birks & Sons Ltd.
He has earned several awards and distinctions, such as the Canadian Award from the John G. Diefenbaker Memorial Foundation in 1984, the Personnalité du mois de la Revue Commerce in 1989 and the President's Award from the Canadian Jewellers' Association in 2002.
Maria and Jonathan have been married since 1970. They have five children: Alexandra, Patrick, Francesca, Cristina and Ryan, and are the proud grandparents of Finn Jamieson Harland.