They’re fierce, talented, and driving real change. For International Women’s Day 2018 we’re featuring 8 amazing women from the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area who #PressForProgress in all they do. Today, take some time to read the stories of the women below, and join @CivicActionGTHA on Twitter in using #PressForProgress today to share what issues […]
Everyone has a story to tell...
Stories help us to connect, to inspire, to understand. On this page, we share the stories of people in our network who have taught us, entertained us, been a champion for diverse civic leadership, and who have galvanized us to think differently. Be prepared to be inspired.
Why leadership matters
For over 10 years, we’ve brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle big challenges in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Region, let them tell you why leadership really matters, and what we can do when we open doors and minds for the young, emerging and under-represented leaders in our communities.
Toronto has become a thriving global hub in part because of the leadership roles citizens are encouraged to play and the diversity of thought and action each leader brings to bear on civic matters.
Gillian Smith2009 CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow; Chief Marketing Officer, Toronto Region Board of Trade
We must have all hands on deck to pursue real collaboration, build broader and deeper confidence, and mobilize all of the resources we need to build a great city. Tomorrow’s leaders will need not just the ability, but also the desire to collaborate.
His Worship John ToryMayor, City of Toronto
Leaders engage people and build inclusive solutions. They foster innovative ideas and open doors to possibility. To be a civic leader is to be on the cutting edge of transformational change that creates a better future.
Susan McIsaacFormer President and CEO, United Way of Toronto
Civic leadership is as necessary to community development as the air we breathe. True leaders are self-examining, constantly learning, never asking others to do what they have not attempted and encouraging of those who try and fail.
Pat CapponiC.M., O.Ont, Mental Health Advocate, Author, & Co-Lead, From Surviving to Advising, CAMH, Voices from the Street
Tomorrow’s leaders will need to be creative thinkers, lifelong learners, and entrepreneurial spirits. They’ll need to be willing to listen to all views, but be fearless about deciding to act. And it’s our job today to help grow these leaders.
Tim HockeyChair, CivicAction Leadership Foundation; CivicAction Board of Directors; President, TD Ameritrade
Spotlight on our Members
The Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) brings together diverse, energetic and motivated city-builders from across our region, each with a unique story to tell about where they came from, what they’re passionate about, and where they want to go next. Check back often – new profiles are added regularly.
Dr. Joseph Wong has contributed greatly to civic life across our region and has had great impact as a social activist in the Chinese Community. In all his work, Joseph has proven how successful community building is when we tap into the diversity and multiculturalism across our region. As Chair of the Board he used his […]
During the day, Emily Mills juggles a variety of communications tasks from sponsorship negotiations to event planning, while working behind the scenes in the most diverse and competitive market in the country. She is also the founder of How She Hustles – a network of 5,000 diverse women that continues to grow by word of […]
Duaa Mohamed a former CivicAction staff member is a strong social and youth advocate who aspires to help empower youth by creating opportunities and breaking barriers. She currently works with the Youth Livelihood’s Team at the MasterCard Foundation as a Program Analyst. Throughout her career, she has worked to empower disadvantaged youth with several local non-for-profit […]
Brandon Hay is the founder of the Black Daddies Club, where since 2007 he has reached and engaged over 6,500 Black fathers and children. He founded the support group because he realised that there was a real lack of parenting resources for him and other fathers in his community. Today, the group works to support Black […]
Arjun Lombardi-Singh is a dynamic public relations and communications specialist with experience in both the non-profit and private sectors. Right now, Arjun is at RBC working as a Manager, Corporate Communications, Personal and Commercial Banking. As someone who both works and lives in the heart of Toronto, he is always on the lookout for the […]
This month, we pass the ELN member spotlight to Carley Smith Debenedictis—a jack-of-all-trades communicator. After six years with the MS Society of Canada, Carly found the endzone with Canadian Football League, helping it celebrate the 100th Grey Cup, before delivering for Canada Post as spokesperson and media liaison. Now, she’s at the City of Mississauga […]
There’s something big going on in Mississauga – so let’s shine the ELN spotlight on a member who calls this city home! Alex Lach is a long standing ELN member and currently Director of Outreach at Many Feathers Co-Op. A passionate city builder, Alex has led outreach and relationship building projects for a number of business […]
In honour of this past weekend’s International Youth Day, this month we are shining a spotlight on a phenomenal woman doing inspiring work to ensure youth thrive in our communities. Introducing Stefany Hanson – a current CivicAction Diversity Fellow and Manager of the Youth Challenge Fund and Youth Initiatives at United Way Toronto and York Region. […]
This month, the ELN spotlight lands on Matt McNama – 2016 Events and Programming Lead on the ELN Executive Committee. Matt is a marketing and communications professional with a passion for problem-solving and tackling big issues. Matt is an avid cyclist, marathon runner, and yoga enthusiast who volunteers his time and energy to organizations like Pride Toronto, as […]
In the lead up to July 1st, we’re profiling five Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area city builders, past and present, who have not only made significant positive impact in our communities, but have challenged us to be better civic-minded, inclusive, and collaborative individuals. Join us today as we take a quick look at Idil Burale, […]
In the lead up to July 1st, we’re profiling five Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area city builders, past and present, who have not only made significant positive impact in our communities, but have challenged us to be better civic-minded, inclusive, and collaborative individuals. Join us today as we take a quick look at Sylvia Maracle, […]
In the lead up to July 1st, we’re profiling five Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area city builders, past and present, who have not only made significant positive impact in our communities, but have challenged us to be better civic-minded, inclusive, and collaborative individuals. Today we take a brief look at David Pecaut, the original founder […]
In the lead up to July 1st, we’re profiling five Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area city builders, past and present, who have not only made significant positive impact in our communities, but have challenged us to be better civic-minded, inclusive, and collaborative individuals. Today we take a brief look at Olivia Nuamah, current Pride Toronto […]
In the lead up to July 1st, we’re profiling five Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area city builders, past and present, who have not only made significant positive impact in our communities, but have challenged us to be better civic-minded, inclusive, and collaborative individuals. Today we take a brief look at John Christie Holland, Hamilton, Ont., […]
This month, the ELN spotlight lands on Jay Pariseau–2015/16 DiverseCity Fellow and a Senior Diversity Recruitment Consultant at CIBC. Jay’s dedication to the Indigenous community has been a key part of his leadership journey–something that also influences his day job at CIBC where he led the design and launch of a national Indigenous mentorship program […]
Richard Wiltshire and Elisha Muskat, are the 2015-2017 Co-Chairs of our Emerging Leaders Network. Previously, at Ashoka Canada – an international association of leading social entrepreneurs who develop solutions to pressing social problems – Elisha has shared her expertise on stages, inside classrooms and in the pages of top publications. She is an established leader […]
This month we are shining a spotlight on new ELN executive committee members Nima Ranawana and Abhishek Sarathy! Nima and Abhishek come to the ELN executive committee as communications leads and will be helping us find better and more effective ways to get our word out to the ELN. With a passionate (Scorpio) personality and […]
From someone who works to organize an event within their community, someone who sits on a board of an organization they’re passionate about, to those who bring lost cats to the animal shelter, volunteering comes in many different forms. Canada alone has over 12.7 million volunteers devoting their time to causes that directly impact the […]
This month we are shining a spotlight on ELN member Harvey Lam – a management consultant at Accenture Strategy, and a former corporate lawyer. When he’s not navigating the corporate world, he uses his skills in the community. Most recently, he’s been responsible for Fundraising & Partnerships at The Rumie Initiative, an initiative that won the recent Google […]
This month we are shining a spotlight on Hibaq Gelle– community connector, youth advocate and civic rockstar! Hibaq is currently leading Community Benefits work in Rexdale, is a member of the Premiers Council on Youth Opportunities, the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy Expert Panel and the recipient of CivicAction’s 2017 Emerging Leader Award for Civic Leadership. Full name…Hibaq […]
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017, CivicAction will be highlighting some of the incredible, dynamic, and diverse women who are shaping communities all across our city-region. Over the next 24 hours, we’re taking to Twitter to showcase 24 incredible women city-builders who are shaping the GTHA region with their passion. Follow #24inGTHA on Twitter and get to know these inspiring women. […]
This month, we also introduce you to Zakaria Hassan Abdulle– Member of the Premiers’ Council for Youth Opportunities, community connector and an advocate for youth across our region. Learn more about his leadership accomplishments, what he believes an inclusive GTHA looks like, and how reading helps him continue to grow as a leader! Full name… […]
This month, we also introduce you to Idil Burale, Senior Associate at MaRS Solutions Lab. Learn more about her leadership accomplishments, what she feels are pressing issues in our region, and what she believes an inclusive GTHA looks like! I was born in … Somalia And I currently live in … Toronto, a vibrant […]