When Mitzie Hunter was an undergrad at U of T Scarborough, she had her sights set on a law career. But due to the recession of the early 1990s, Hunter couldn’t find a summer job that would help her underwrite the costs. Instead, she secured a small business startup loan from the Ontario government and launched her own firm – an event management and talent agency that later morphed into a business that did marketing for commercial property owners.
Starting a business in her early twenties was an “incredible experience,” says Hunter, CEO of Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance. It was also something she juggled while completing her degree on a part-time and then full-time basis. Her parents, who emigrated from Jamaica and eventually settled in Pickering, wouldn’t have it any other way. “I always worked and studied,” she says. “It was drilled into my head that education was critical.”
Yet her entrepreneurial instincts proved to be a launching pad for a career that allowed Hunter (BA 1999 UTSC, MBA 2009) to put her marketing and communication savvy to use in the corporate, not-for-profit, government and advocacy worlds. As CEO of CivicAction, Hunter helps bring diverse stakeholder groups together to solve stubborn urban policy issues and promote economic and social development in the GTA.
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