Accession consists of textual and graphic material documenting the career of Peter Held. Included is correspondence, letters of congratulations, event dinner menus, event programs, articles and writings by Held, annual reports, newsletters, reports, newspaper clippings and photographs. The material was originally organized into a series of binders. Original order of the material has been maintained.
Peter E. Held was born in Cape Town, South Africa in Dec. 1937 to Herbert and Hilde Held, Jewish immigrants from Germany. Following Hilde’s death, Herbert moved in with his own mother and stepfather who had also immigrated to South Africa. Speaking only German, Peter grew up trilingual, acquiring German fluency at home and speaking English and Afrikaans at school.
In 1960, after completing his education at the University of Witwatersrand, and five years of clerkship, in Johannesburg, S.A., Held passed the S.A. Public Accountants and Auditors Board Examination. As a newly minted Chartered Accountant, he worked for six months in London, England before arriving in Canada in 1961 as a tourist, intending to stay six months, work his way across North America then head for Australia.
With $24 in his pocket, Held arrived in Quebec and made his way to Toronto where he found work with Dunwoody & Company (now BDO Canada). He quickly proved himself, becoming a partner at the age of 26 years, one of the youngest ever at the firm. He became Toronto Region Managing Partner from 1981 to 1996, and Chief Executive Officer of BDO Dunwoody, where he was responsible for the overall management and leadership of the firm from 1997 to 2001. An employee at BDO Dunwoody for forty years, Held is recognized for his exemplary leadership as he guided it through a period of unprecedented growth and prosperity.
Held was Chairman of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants from 1991-2. He was First Vice-Chairman, Second Vice-President, a member of the Board of Governors, and a participant on various committees for the Canadian Institute. He was also President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1986-87, First and Second Vice-Presidents, and served on various committees for the Ontario Institute. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario awarded Held a Fellowship (F.C.A.) in 1976, Life Membership in 1987, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario Award of Outstanding Merit in 1993, usually awarded to only one individual per year. Held travelled in Canada and abroad on behalf of the Canadian Institute and profession, speaking at various conferences.
Held was also Canada's representative of the International Federation of Accountants from 1995-7 and President of the Toronto Chartered Accountants Association in 1974. He was a Board or Committee member at several other organizations, some are: Ontario Chamber of Commerce, North York General Hospital, University of Waterloo, Canadian Jewish Congress, Ontario Club, Y.M.C.A., Donalda Club, the Royal Canadian Military Institute, and United Way.
Following training in mediation and conflict resolution, Held worked as a mediator and arbitrator at ADR Chambers, conducting mediations dealing with a variety of commercial disputes. He also mediated on professional negligence issues.
Held is married to Gyneth (nee Gordon) from South Africa, a Speech-Language Pathologist in private practice. They have two adult children, Heather (married to Gill) and Michael (married to Krista), and several grandchildren.
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