Michael Rea grew up in Oakville, but has lived most of the last fifty years in Toronto. He earned an honors degree from the Ivy Business School in 1965 and a Chartered Accountants degree in 1968 while working at Price Waterhouse.
His primary career was at Key Publishers, a consumer magazine publisher, from 1973 to 2001, where he was a board member and shareholder. While there, he served as a Board Member, and eventually Chair of the Canadian Magazine Publishers Association.
In 1997 he joined the Board of the Nature Conservancy of Canada and became Treasurer. Expansion at NCC led to the need for more management and in 2001 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer. Michael retired from NCC in 2009 but continued in a volunteer capacity for several years, having been involved with the publishing of the fifty year history and the audit committee.
He is currently on the Board of the Friends of MacGregor Point, which operates the second largest birding festival in Ontario. This area is a noted bird migration flyway and he has donated to, and helped raise funds for, projects in the Bruce Peninsula.
Michael supports NG’s involved in environmental causes and has received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for work with Canadian Geographic Magazine.