Spot­light on com­mu­nity stew­ards

National Post (Latest Edition) - - AFTER HOURS - Amoryn En­gel

Ci vic Ac­tion re­cently hosted “Metro Next: A Cel­e­bra­tion of Civic Lead­ers, Civic Ac­tion” for a night to cel­e­brate some of the bright­est lead­ers in the Greater Toronto and Hamil­ton Area (GTHA).

Now in its se­cond year, the event shined a spot­light on both ris­ing and es­tab­lished lead­ers in the com­mu­nity who share a pas­sion for city­build­ing and a com­mon de­sire to see the GTHA reach its full po­ten­tial.

Civic Ac­tion pre­sented the Life­time Achieve­ment Award for Civic Lead­er­ship to Ratna Omid­var, who was praised for her com­mit­ment to civic en­gage­ment. As ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Global Di­ver­sity Ex­change at Ry­er­son, home to Di­verse City on Board and Hire Im­mi­grants, Ratna is an im­por­tant cham­pion for in­clu­sion and di­ver­sity in the re­gion. She is also the chair of Life­line Syria, which helps spon­sors wel­come and sup­port Syr­ian refugees. Ratna has pre­vi­ously been hon­oured with the Or­der of On­tario and the Or­der of Canada.

Metro Next’s Emerg­ing Leader Award went to Sal­ima Rawji, who as di­rec­tor of de­vel­op­ment at Build Toronto, com­bines her com­mu­nity in­ter­ests with her real es­tate de­vel­op­ment ex­per­tise to col­lab­o­rate and drive for­ward well-de­signed projects that sup­port busi­ness dy­nam­ics while pro­vid­ing liv­able, an­i­mated spa­ces. Sal­ima shows her com­mit­ment to com­mu­nity through ser­vice on the boards of the Homes First Foun­da­tion and Civic Ac­tion and has also acted as chair of the In­vest­ment Com­mit­tee for RISE As­set De­vel­op­ment. Sal­ima has sup­ported ris­ing lead­ers as a for­mer co-chair of the Emerg­ing Lead­ers Net­work (ELN) and for­mer Civic Ac­tion Di­verse City Fel­low.

With award-win­ning pro­grams and un­par­al­leled ac­cess to the re­gion’s most in­flu­en­tial thinkers and do­ers, Civic Ac­tion’s lead­er­ship pro­grams help to cat­alyze civic en­gage­ment and mo­ti­vate ac­tion. Th­ese in­clude Civic-Ac­tion’s Di­verse City Fellows, a one- year “civic MBA” pro­gram for the top ris­ing lead­ers in the re­gion, and ELN, a net­work of 900-plus en­er­getic and in­no­va­tive emerg­ing lead­ers who share a de­sire to grow their net­works.

“The real city build­ing magic hap­pens when es­tab­lished and emerg­ing lead­ers col­lide and col­lab­o­rate,” said Se­vaun Pal­vet­zian, CEO of Civic Ac­tion. “Lead­er­ship is part of Civic Ac­tion’s DNA and we be­lieve in grow­ing strong civic lead­ers for to­day and to­mor­row.”

Bright lights in at­ten­dance in­cluded Omid­var; Beth Wil­son, man­ag­ing part­ner GTA & Cana­dian man­ag­ing part­ner of com­mu­nity lead­er­ship, KPMG; Karen Pitre, spe­cial ad­viser to the premier on com­mu­nity hubs; Zabeen Hirji, chief hu­man re­sources of­fi­cer, RBC, board mem­ber, Civic Ac­tion; Hon. Mitzie Hunter, as­so­ciate min­is­ter of fi­nance, re­spon­si­ble for the On­tario Re­tire­ment Pen­sion Plan; Don Tap­scott, CEO, The Tap­scott Group; Ken Ta­nen­baum, vice-chair­man, Kilmer Van Nos­trand Co.; and Lisa DeWilde, CEO, TVO. Metro Next spon­sors in­cluded event host and part­ner TELUS; me­dia part­ner Toronto Life; and event part­ners EY and IBM.


From left, Terry Cooke, pres­i­dent and CEO, Hamil­ton Com­mu­nity Foun­da­tion; Keanin Loomis, pres­i­dent and CEO, Hamil­ton Cham­ber of Com­merce; Tr­ish Loomis, di­rec­tor, of­fice of the pres­i­dent, Mo­hawk Col­lege; and Jim Com­mer­ford, pres­i­dent & CEO, YMCA of...


From left, Se­vaun Pal­vet­zian, CEO, CivicAc­tion; Hon. Mitzie Hunter, as­so­ciate min­is­ter of fi­nance, re­spon­si­ble for the On­tario Re­tire­ment Pen­sion Plan; and Rod Phillips, chair, Post­media Net­work, CivicAc­tion.


Ritesh Ko­tak, left, Re­search and In­no­va­tion Strate­gist, Toronto Po­lice Ser­vice; and Don Tap­scott, CEO, The Tap­scott Group.

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