Ten Faces of CivicAction

CivicAction's 10th AnniversaryFor the past decade, CivicAction has engaged civic leaders to solve problems, seize opportunities, and make great things happen for our city region. CivicAction’s impact to date is thanks to the thousands of volunteer leaders from across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area who drive collective action.

The Ten Faces of CivicAction are representative of the organization’s past, present, and future. The individuals depicted below include diverse rising and established leaders who embody the spirit and initiative needed to move our region forward.

In the words of Nan DasGupta, a CivicAction Steering Committee member and Partner & Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group: “Now there’s unabashed desire to take on game changing issues. Now it’s having confidence that we can actually help drive the momentum in a fast way that no one else can do.

Here’s to the next decade of driving action!
 

Orlando Bowen

Orlando Bowen

Executive Director, One Voice One Team Youth Leadership Organization


As a former CFL player, Orlando has seen the significant impact that sport and community involvement has had on many lives. Orlando has been active in the GTA for many years and is an active spokesperson for the Boys to Men mentoring program, Leave Out Violence (LOVE), and the Toronto Safe Schools Anti-Bullying Campaign. Orlando’s introduction to CivicAction came fairly recently as a 2012 DiverseCity Fellow, which he has found to be an incredibly rich experience. Read more.
Pat Capponi

Pat Capponi

Facilitator, Voices from the Street


Having lived experience of poverty herself, Pat Capponi now works tirelessly and urgently to restore dignity and opportunity for those trapped in poverty and homelessness, and  living with mental illness.  Demonstrating the importance of including voices of people with lived experience as she leads the fight for the causes she involves herself with, Pat has also been an active member of CivicAction. She sits on CivicAction’s Steering Committee, and was an active member of CivicAction’s working group on Income Security, leading up to the 2011 Greater Toronto Summit. Read more.
Nan DasGupta

Nan DasGupta

Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group


Nan has been involved and connected to CivicAction since its inception. She still recalls the founding summit in 2002 when the individuals that she was teamed up with considered potential solutions to the region most important economic issues. In 2011, Nan joined CivicAction’s Steering Committee and supported the organization in many ways. Read more.
Patrick Dillon

Patrick Dillon

Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer, Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario


Patrick Dillon began his career in the construction industry as an apprentice electrician in 1961 and became a journeyman in 1966. Patrick is a member of CivicAction’s Regional Transportation Champions Council, where he advocates for a more regionally integrated transportation system that predicts the system’s needs in the years to come, not simply waiting until the need is there. Read more.
Tony Gagliano

Tony Gagliano

Executive Chairman and CEO, St. Joseph Communications


With CivicAction founder David Pecaut, Tony co-founded Luminato, Toronto’s Festival of Arts & Creativity, in 2007. In 2008 the two received the Canadians of the Year award from the Canadian Club of Toronto because of their work to establish this cultural festival.  Both men were of the belief that the arts were one of the most powerful means available to engage the many immigrant cultures converging in Toronto in a common project of city building. Read more.
Andrew Graham

Andrew Graham

Senior Director, Insurance,
President’s Choice Financial, part of the Weston Group of companies

(Formerly)
 

Andrew first got involved with CivicAction when he returned from his studies abroad and was looking for opportunities to take part in the city outside of his work life. After attending several meetings, he met a number of others who were interested in being able to return to the labour market after coming home from abroad and had challenges. Read more.
Ratna Omidvar

Ratna Omidvar

President, Maytree


Ratna serves on CivicAction’s Board of Directors and and is the Co-chair, with John Tory, of DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project.  She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). Ratna’s involvement with CivicAction goes back to before the organization was created formally and when its founder, David Pecaut, “was still agitating on the notion of civic leaders stepping up to the plate and making the city prosperous and inclusive.” Read more.
Mike Pedersen

Mike Pedersen

Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance, and Corporate Shared Services, TD Bank Group


As Group Head, Wealth Management, Insurance, and Corporate Shared Services, Mike is responsible for TD’s wealth and insurance businesses, as well as the bank’s corporate shared services. On the greatest contribution of CivicAction, Mike believes that it acts to convene GTA leaders from every walk of life “to address issues of regional importance that are not being sufficiently addressed.” Read more.
Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Gabrielle Scrimshaw

Co-Founder and  President, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada
Associate, RBC Graduate Leadership Program


Gabrielle Scrimshaw is the Co-Founder and President of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada and an Associate in RBC’s Graduate Leadership Program, one of Canada’s most competitive post-graduate finance programs. “I would credit CivicAction for providing a lot of the resources and blue space to make [the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada] successful. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have CivicAction or DiverseCity Fellows.” Read more.
Gillian Smith

Gillian Smith

Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for Canadian Citizenship


Gillian Smith is the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship (ICC). Prior to joining the ICC, Gillian spent more than fifteen years working in corporate communications and corporate affairs, most recently with RBC. As part of the inaugural cohort of DiverseCity Fellows, Gillian said that the experience strengthened Fellows’ knowledge about what city building is and how each of our actions could be contribute to the betterment of the region. Read more.