chief encouragement officer + accidental gardener



the ideas café is the natural outgrowth of paul edward ralph's professional journey.   the good.  the bad.  and everything in between.


chapter one.  as a minister at a large and thriving metropolitan church in toronto, canada, he discovered his love for people.  (and in 1988 he married his high school sweetheart with whom he has three teenage children).   he also discovered that it required acute political awareness and signficant resources to lead and direct such an ambitious organization.


chapter two.  he caught a big break when he was invited to launch premiere speakers bureau with its founding president.  it opened an entire world of opportunity and learning.


chapter three.  he would spend the next decade plus serving as executive director for two influential, but very different charities (e.v. hill / ravi zacharias) honing his personal passion and professional acumen for all things nonprofit.


chapter four.  the ideas café.  quite simply, the café is meant to be different.  there is a lot of noise in the marketplace.  we're here to reduce the noise, and keep people 'well and truly' at the centre.   p.e.r. is a culture-shaping leader who guides with intention, innovation and insight. his facility for strategic development and implementation has produced excellent results in a wide range of assignments. he loves to build and lead teams which create and sustain brand worth, and communicate its impact to stakeholders.  he enjoys creative communication, with an instinct for launching programmes and products into the marketplace.  and as a development professional committed to maximizing capacity, he has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for great causes.


one day, while exploring in his back garden, he happened upon a single stem barely standing in a sea of brown dirt... faced with certain death, he nurtured that solitary bloom back to vivacious health.  now he fancies himself guardian of the broken & bruised plant life among us.  his wife asks, "will it ever end?"






the collaborators marian aaron

administrative optimizer + mother extraordinare

the bedrock of her success is a detail oriented approach to operations.  large or small - you'll get her full attention.  from sun microsystems canada all the way through to an innovative start up charity, marian is committed to excellence.


she brings a wealth of experience to a wide range of administrative challenges in general, and of charitable operations in particular, including board relations, donor management, and ‘process’ auditing.   her pedantic nature and affable style facilitate the acquisition & management of all sensitive information in accordance with all regulatory concerns and deadlines.  just don’t mess with her children….




imagineer + self confessed foodie

aaron holbrough is the founder of the creative space, a marketing company that specializes in connecting inspiring media to ideas that change the world. simply put:  he sees the world differently than most people.  and it's incredibly helpful.


but that's not the only reason he's one of our most trusted collaborators.  he is also the parish pastor.  he shares a belief that each of us is telling god’s story of redemption through our lives.  the parish gathers on sundays to be reminded of it.   he shares a belief that the christian message is in fact good news,  in contrast to popular notions.  he holds that god's love for us should produce love in us.   interesting eh?  take him out for lunch to learn more.  just remember to bring your big cheque book because for a guy this skinny you won't believe how much he can eat!



lawrence john


mercenary creative director + t-shirt aficionado

communications specialist + keeper of the jokesphere

as president of chronic mind, john belbeck has vast experience in television & film, high profile projects and campaigns for broadcasters and national advertisers including l’oreal paris, procter & gamble, microsoft, cbc & ctv television, corus entertainment, air canada, nestle and pfizer to name a few.


john was selected to write and direct the first live commercial aired in canada in over 50 years, a 2-minute spot for nicoderm, which garnered media coverage ranging from national dailies to ad age.  what makes john really impressive is his eye for incredible t-shirts.  we're not kidding.  fashion challenged? call him.


as a senior communications specialist, lawrence swicegood has few peers and brings extensive experience in media and marketing.  take a gander at his (partial) resumé:  member of the white house advance team (president bush sr.1988-1992); vice president for two public relations agencies specializing in faith-based organizations including: bgea, prison fellowship, pk, and campus crusade; senior account director with clients pepsi canada, marriott, frito-lay; spokesman and pr professional for fortune 500 tenet healthcare organization; communications director for 26,000 member fellowship church dallas.


enough said. and his most prolific contribution to humankind might be his endless stream of email jokes.  where does he get this stuff?

(his Xcellency) dennis

global issues/leadership guru + most interesting man in the world

dennis ignatius is a 36 year veteran of the malaysian foreign service and has served in london, beijing and washington. he was also ambassador to chile and argentina (with concurrent accreditation to colombia, ecuador, peru, paraguay and uruguay) and high commissioner to canada.


dennis brings an insiders view of global events and possesses a unique perspective of global challenges.  he is especially interested in the challenges of democracy and human rights in the developing world, the response to international terrorism, and relations between the islamic world and the west. he is a foreign policy consultant and works with parliamentarians, ambassadors, businessmen and professionals to promote peaceful solutions for communities in conflict.


he is also a columnist and his column, diplomatically speaking, is regularly carried by newspapers across the asia-pacific region.


this track record alone makes him an invaluable asset, however, we think his beard qualifies him to be the most interesting man in the world.


all rights reserved ©2012 the ideas café