Wave of new leaders heralds new era of city building for Toronto region


CivicAction's Emerging Leaders Network announces new Co-Chairs to guide 450+ rising leaders in advancing the Toronto region

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - At last night's CivicAction Family Reunion, John Tory, Chair of CivicAction, introduced a trio of passionate and powerful rising leaders to guide the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) through its next phase of city building.

The new Co-Chairs of ELN join a multi-sectoral network of thousands of volunteer leaders involved with CivicAction finding new responses to the priority issues coming out of the Greater Toronto Summit 2011 including transportation, regional economic development, jobs and income and immigration.

Following its own day-long Summit in December 2011, the 450-member Emerging Leaders Network is lining up new ideas and actions to advance this work, with the leadership of the three new Co-Chairs:

  • Rob Drynan, President of MacLaren kiindrid (a division of MacLaren McCann). Rob has run his own marketing consulting and fulfillment business and most recently was the Executive Director of Camp Oochigeas.
  • Andrew Graham, Senior Director of Corporate Development with George Weston Limited. Andrew previously worked with Nortel and the Tata Group in Mumbai, India, and as a senior political aide in Ottawa. He is a founder and volunteer co-chair of Toronto Homecoming, an initiative incubated through ELN to attract expatriate talent back to the region.
  • Salima Rawji, Land Development Manager for SmartCentres. A former DiverseCity Fellow, Salima's experience includes structuring venture capital deals for Care Enterprise Partners and producing some of Toronto's most successful cultural arts festivals, such as the Hot and Spicy Food Festival and Masala! Mehndi! Masti!

"Last night we brought together hundreds of regional leaders to pay tribute to some of our founding board members and staff who have made such an impact and are now moving on, including Julia Deans, CivicAction's first CEO," said Mitzie Hunter, new CEO of CivicAction. "Now it's full speed ahead for our diverse and growing regional network to tackle our collective challenges and opportunities and make this region thrive and prosper for everyone."

CivicAction also announced a number of civic leaders who are kick-starting or deepening their involvement with the organization:

  • Blair Feltmate is the newest Co-Chair of CivicAction's Greening Greater Toronto initiative, which aims to foster a region that flourishes through environmental action and innovation. He is Associate Professor, and Director of Sustainability Practice, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo and Chair of the Climate Change Adaptation Project. He joins Co-Chairs Cameron Fowler, Executive Vice-President, Personal and Commercial Banking Canada, BMO and Linda Mantia, Head, Enterprise Services and Chief Procurement Officer, RBC, and succeeds outgoing Co-Chair, Eva Ligeti, Executive Director, Clean Air Partnership.
  • Twenty-eight 2012 DiverseCity Fellows were introduced to the CivicAction extended "civic family" as the fourth cohort of city builders involved in the action-oriented leadership development program, and who join a 100-strong network of Fellows. The Fellows program is part of Maytree's and CivicAction's DiverseCity award-winning initiative, which aims to diversify leadership in the Greater Toronto region.

About the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance:

CivicAction, formerly known as the Toronto City Summit Alliance, is a multi-sectoral coalition of thousands of civic leaders committed to acting collectively to tackle tough issues and big opportunities facing the Toronto region. CivicAction's Greater Toronto Summits bring leaders from all walks of life together to assess the region's strengths and challenges and to identify priority areas and opportunities for attention. In the periods between Summits, CivicAction takes a role in incubating innovative initiatives designed to galvanize action in these priority areas.

Using a model of collaborative leadership, CivicAction's current initiatives are aimed at: making the Toronto region flourish through environmental action and innovation (Greening Greater Toronto); creating a leadership landscape that better reflects the region's diversity (DiverseCity: the Greater Toronto Leadership Project in partnership with Maytree); and connecting and supporting rising city-builders (the Emerging Leaders Network).

For more information, visit www.civicaction.ca.

Image with caption: "ELN logo. (CNW Group/CivicAction)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120126_C7030_PHOTO_EN_9274.jpg

Video with caption: "Video: Meet Rob Drynan, ELN Co-Chair". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr1QSOO05mM

Video with caption: "Video: Meet Andrew Graham, ELN Co-Chair". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXPTzjz465w

Video with caption: "Video: Meet Salima Rawji, ELN CO-Chair ". Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjq-41RH8hU

SOURCE CivicAction

For further information:

Media Contact:

Rebecca Geller
Communications and Events Officer, CivicAction
Work: (416) 309-4480 x509
Mobile: (416) 992-4966


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