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Follow the Leader at MetroNext: CivicAction Celebrates the Next Generation of Civic Leaders and Presents the Hon. David Crombie with a Lifetime Achievement Award

TORONTO, January 22, 2015 – Last night at MetroNext: A Celebration of Civic Leaders, CivicAction gathered over 200 established and rising leaders from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to celebrate the civic leadership in our region. Taking home the first ever CivicAction Lifetime Achievement Award for Civic Leadership was former Mayor of Toronto and long serving board member the Hon. David Crombie. This inaugural award recognizes a history of civic engagement and commitment to make the GTHA a better place to live and work.

“The vitality of our cities is linked to the contributions we all make in our communities. I am honoured to receive this award from CivicAction, an organization that has made, and continues to make, a positive impact in this city and region,” said Hon. David Crombie.

“David has an unrelenting commitment to city-building and is a true civic leader. As a founding member and long-time supporter of CivicAction, David has helped to shape this region,” said Rod Phillips, Chair, CivicAction.

As part of the night’s program, CivicAction also presented its inaugural Emerging Leader Award to Andrew Graham who has been part of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) since 2008. Andrew is the co-founder of Toronto Homecoming, an ELN-incubated initiative that attracts and retains top talent in Canada by connecting Canadians working abroad with professional opportunities in the Toronto Region. Andrew is the co-founder of Borrowell, an online consumer lending startup that provides affordable loans to Canadians with good credit.

“CivicAction lives and breathes leadership and knows the importance of growing strong civic leaders for today and tomorrow. MetroNext is about shining the spotlight on some extraordinary, engaged young leaders who are the new boots on the ground impacting change in their communities,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction.

To build the leadership pipeline, CivicAction offers a suite of programs including CivicAction’s ELN – now over 900 members strong – and DiverseCity Fellows – the “Civic MBA”- which each year provides 100 hours of intensive leadership training to 25-28 rising stars. As North America’s leading urban fellow program for rising city-builders, CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows has graduated over 130 individuals who continue to take action on regional issues.

“I was delighted to attend MetroNext, where tomorrow’s future leaders were recognized, as well as leaders of the past, including former Mayor of Toronto David Crombie. As Mayor of Toronto, I look forward to working with our future leaders to foster an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit resulting in further economic growth for our city,” said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto.

To date, CivicAction’s ELN and DiverseCity Fellows has helped rising leaders develop many high-impact city-building projects by supporting them through the incubation, development, and growth stages. These projects include the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada, which is dedicated to advancing Aboriginal leadership across Canada, and the Pan Am Path, a multi-use path to connect Toronto’s ravines for the 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.

The work of CivicAction would not be possible without the generous support of our partners. MetroNext is brought to you through support from TELUS, our lead corporate sponsor and event host; IBM and Toronto Life.

“Our city’s most important asset is its people, and we are proud to champion initiatives like MetroNext that bring together those individuals that are helping to create stronger, more sustainable communities. It is through our partnership with CivicAction and our philosophy to give back in the communities where we live and work that TELUS will help empower the next generation of leaders in our city,” Joe Natale, President and CEO, TELUS.


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Our thanks to CNW Group for sponsoring this announcement.

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Sarah Harris

Director, Communications
T (416) 309-4480 x 508
M (647) 267-4997

About CivicAction:  For over a decade, CivicAction has played the role of neutral sandbox – bringing together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of our region’s toughest challenges. CivicAction sets a non-partisan agenda, builds strategic partnerships, and launches campaigns, programs and organizations that transform our region.

About ELN: CivicAction’s ELN is where you can find 900+ energetic and inspiring emerging leaders who motivate each other to take action. The network offers 30+ events each year to build the skills of these young leaders.

About DiverseCity Fellows: CivicAction’s DiverseCity Fellows program is North America’s leading urban fellow program for rising city-builders. The one-year leadership program acts as a “Civic MBA” and enables Fellows to become better leaders and create change in their communities by giving them hands-on opportunities to work and learn from high-performers across the economic, government, and civil sectors. CivicAction has graduated over 130 rising civic stars from the DiverseCity Fellows program, each receiving 100 hours of intensive leadership training and programming.

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