President & CEO, Easton's Group of Hotels

Steve Gupta is the founder of Easton Group of companies. With over 15 hotels, the flagship hotel properties of Easton's Group include the industry's most renowned brands like Marriott, Hilton and Starwood in increasingly diverse locations. Since 2004, Gupta has built a new hotel every year. His 47 storey Condo project; "Dundas Square Gardens" gained him the recognition of Top High-Rise Builder in the Greater Toronto Area by RealNet Market report in 2014. This iconic residential Toronto landmark was also recognized by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) with the Gold Award for best Architectural design of A High-Rise in North America.

With Gupta's dynamic and innovative leadership, Easton's Group has become a leader in the industry, earning several industry awards. Inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Tourism Industry in Canada, Gupta is also a winner of the Hotel Association of Canada Hall of Fame Award of Excellence, Regional Hotel Company of The Year Award and the Markham Board of Trade Award of Excellence in Entrepreneurship. The core advantages of Easton's Group are innovation, prime location and premium quality. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Innovation in business.

President & CEO, Graff Retail

Kevin Graff is the President and CEO of Graff Retail. Founded in 1988, it works with retailers to increase their revenue through improved staff performance. For over 27 years, Graff Retail has worked with clients like Costco Wholesale, Rogers Wireless, Staples, Roots, Sony, Home Hardware, Bauer Corporation, Canada Post, Hudson's Bay, Loblaws Supermarkets, Shoppers Drug Mart, Carter's OshKosh and hundreds of others. He has spoken globally at conferences in Moscow, India, Singapore, Copenhagen, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. As well, Graff has served as instructor at the International Leadership Development Program (ILDP) of the Wholesale and Retail Education & Training Authority of South Africa.

Widely respected as one of North America's best retail experts, Graff's approach to store operations is with intense focus on real, bottom-line issues, which continually produces outstanding results. Graff has received the Retail Council of Canada's Award for Best Employee Development Programs on six occasions. He is the author of Winning Retail, Selling with Passion. He also authors and publishes The Graff Retail Report, a weekly Blog read by thousands worldwide and the creator of Graff Retail TV, the retail community's source of online sales and management training. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for exceptional Leadership in the sector.

HERITAGE AWARD | Christine Williams
Vice President, Scotiabank

With a career spanning over 38 years with Scotiabank, Christine Williams is a seasoned and highly accomplished executive, who combines incisive strategic leadership talents with a proven ability to build and develop high performance teams. Passionately participating in a gamut of community organizations and charities, Christine has held directorship roles in organizations such as PACE Canada, The Scarborough Hospital Foundation, The Scarborough Chamber of Commerce, The College Compensation and Appointments Council and chair of Tropicana Community Services.

With training from the Richard Ivey School of Business Leadership Program, Fellowship with the Institute of Canadian Bankers and Chartered Director designation, Williams is highly regarded by colleagues and community stakeholders as a positive, vision-orientated leader and motivator, who brings innovation, resourcefulness to any endeavor. She supports initiatives in diverse communities, including the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival, where she has represented the bank. Her volunteer passion started at Jaycees group, which led to many transformational social and community service commitments. She receives the 2015 Transformation Award for advancing Canadian Heritage.

Founder & Partner, Diamond & Diamond Lawyers

Jeremy Diamond is a Lawyer, Founder and Partner at Diamond & Diamond Personal Injury Lawyers, Ontario's fastest growing personal injury firm. In the past two years, the firm has added 11 offices across the province of Ontario, answering the call for tough advocacy for injured plaintiffs. Diamond obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from York University in 1995 with a special interest in psychology. In 2001, he received his Juris Doctoris at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School and also attended Osgoode Hall Law School. He was called to the bar in Florida in 2002 and in Ontario in 2008.

In 2014, the firm called on the province of Ontario to enact mandatory helmet laws for skateboarder, following the death of a 15-year-old Brantford teen. Together with his wife, confidant and partner Sandra Zisckind as well as other associates, Diamond has argued many cases, including a $20 million dollar case. Their plaintiffs are from all backgrounds, in the areas of vehicle accidents, workplace injuries, wrongful death as well as slip and fall. His firm has been awarded seven Readers Choice awards and two Consumer Choice awards. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Enterprise.

President & CEO, YMCA Canada

Scott Haldane is President and Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Canada, which represents 50 YMCAs and YMCAs-YWCAs in Canada that involve over 2 million people annually. He has an extensive 38-year history with the YMCA. His first contact with the YMCA was in 1969 in his hometown of Montreal, as a part-time summer swimming instructor. In the decades following, he has held a variety of senior management positions including Executive Director of the West Island branch in Montreal; National Director of Employment Initiatives with YMCA Canada; President and CEO of the YMCA of Hamilton and Burlington; as well as President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

He was appointed President and CEO of YMCA Canada on January 1, 2010. Scott served as Chair of the National Panel on First Nations Education in 2011-2012 and continues to provide leadership in the area of reconciliation and empowerment of indigenous young people. Scott holds a Master of Management degree from McGill University and a B.A. with distinction from McGill University. As part of his belief in the benefits of lifelong learning, he completed Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program in 2003. He is also a Certified Corporate Director through McMaster University's The Director's College. Haldane was one of the CEOs featured in the hit reality series, Undercover Boss. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Lifetime Achievement.

HARMONY AWARD | Rahul K. Bhardwaj
President & CEO, Toronto Community Foundation

In his role as President & CEO of the Toronto Community Foundation, Rahul Bhardwaj has been working to engage philanthropy to improve the quality of life in Toronto for many years. Formerly a corporate lawyer with a leading Canadian law firm, he was also Vice President of the Toronto 2008 Olympic Bid. As part of the Mayor's Blue Ribbon Fiscal review panel in 2008, Bhardwaj was involved in identifying efficiencies for the City of Toronto. A year later, the Province of Ontario appointed him to the Board of Metrolinx, an organization developing and implementing an overall transit strategy for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

Bhardwaj was Chair of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games, past Chair of Community Foundations of Canada and Co-Chair of TO2015 IGNITE. He is the past Chair of the Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival. His board commitments, past and present, include Upper Canada College, George Brown College, Stratford Festival and United Way, among others. Bhardwaj obtained ICD.D designation from the Rotman School of Business. He received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. Bhardwaj has twice been named one of "The 50 Most Influential" people in the city by Toronto Life magazine and was recently named to The Ultimate List of Social CEOs on Twitter. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for advancing Harmony in social change.

Senior Vice President & Head of Insurance Risk Management, RBC

Dr. William Onuwa is Senior Vice President at Royal Bank of Canada and is the Global Head of Wealth & Insurance Risk Management at the bank. He serves on the executive team responsible for setting the overall strategic direction for these two businesses. He is also an active Board Member and Director of various subsidiaries of RBC Insurance. Prior to Joining Royal Bank in 2007, Onuwa worked with General Electric (USA) as the European General Manager, Asset Management in England. He has also held various other executive leadership positions in the USA for GE. Onuwa's career, which started in England, has seen him hold a variety of senior executive leadership positions in the Caribbean, USA, and UK financial services industry.

Onuwa holds a Doctorate degree in Business Administration from the University of Surrey England, an MBA from the University of West Indies and a BSc in Political Science. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London (FCII), and a GE certified Master Black Belt and six sigma practitioner. Onuwa is passionate about community service and charitable organizations, and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Yonge Street Mission, as well as on the Board of Trustees for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto. He recently graduated from the Directors Education Program (DEP) at Rotman Business School, University of Toronto and holds the ICD.D designation. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Professional Excellence.

Citizenship & Immigration Judge and ADC to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

Appointed Citizenship Judge in June 2014, Albert Wong was a Lieutenant Commander in the Canadian Armed Forces, where he served the nation with distinction for over thirty-five years. He had various public affairs positions with the military across Canada; with the United Nations in Eritrea and Ethiopia; with multinational military headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark; and in Afghanistan, where he was a Strategic Communications Advisor regarding human capacity development. He is currently serving as the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and was awarded the Vice-Regal commendation in 2014.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Judge Wong is a 2012 recipient of the Chinese Canadian Legend Award. He has made valuable leadership contribution to a number of organizations, including as Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses (CPB). In 2009 he started AKW Global Enterprises, a Public Affairs consulting firm specializing in strategic communications, stakeholder relations, and issues of national security as well as emergency management. Albert is also a partner with CLUES, a company offering web-based personality assessment, advice and direction to students, families, professionals and businesses. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Public Service.

MEDIA AWARD | Paritosh Mehta
Director, Independent Productions, OMNI Television

Paritosh Mehta joined OMNI Television, a division of Rogers Media and one of Canada's largest integrated media organizations in December 1998. As Director of Independent Production Development, Mehta is responsible for creating and sourcing original content for television and digital platforms, ensuring compliance with OMNI's licensing commitments, coaching and mentoring independent producers, managing the overall budget and the contract management function for independent productions. During his time at OMNI, Mehta has commissioned award-winning documentaries, scripted programming and reality productions.

He is also in charge of developing and managing OMNI's language programming. Prior to OMNI, Paritosh worked at Vision TV, Canada's faith network. Mehta is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto, where he earned a degree in Radio and Television Arts, with a specialization in communications. Mehta also holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Bombay University, India and is a member of the Documentary Organization of Canada, the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Ethnic Media Association. He receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Excellence in Media.

Executive Director, Rexdale Community Health Centre

Safia Ahmed is the Executive Director of Rexdale Community Health Centre, an organization that provides a range of medical, dental, physical and mental health services, community programs and advocacy for individuals and families. Prior to this work, she was the Director of Primary Health Care at Parkdale Community Health Centre, District Officer with Ombudsman Ontario and Manager of Finance at Nellie's Shelter for Women and Children. Ahmed also worked with The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a Programme Officer.

Today, Ahmed continues to work within the Toronto Community Health Centres, leading inter-disciplinary teams that offer clinical services, health promotion, capacity building and community development initiatives. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors at the Rexdale Community Hub and sits on the City of Toronto Social & Health Supports Subcommittee. Ahmed earned a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University and an MBA from George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. She has a Diploma in Human Resource Management from Humber College and is currently working on a Masters in Public Health at the University of Alberta. She receives the 2015 Transformation Award for advancing Community Development.

Inspector, York Regional Police

Inspector Ricky Veerappan of York Regional Police has volunteered hundreds of hours to York Regional Police's Adopt a Mission Jamaican Project, Missionaries Of The Poor orphanage in Kingston, Jamaica and supported countless community organizations and events. He has led fundraisers, food, toy and clothing drives to provide the necessities of life to children in the orphanage. Veerappan received YMCA Peace medallions in 2013. He received the highest honour of the year for building peace in the community and inspiring the lives of others.

A native of South Africa, Veerapan has worked in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Bureau of York Regional Police, which is committed to building bridges and developing partnerships with diverse communities within and beyond York Region. A member of the York Regional Police Hate Crimes Unit, Veerapan is passionate, caring and dedicated to making our diverse communities safer and united. One of his goals is also to make the world a better place for all to live in. Veerapan receives the 2015 Transformation Award for Community Service.

President & CEO, Knapp Media

Over the last 20 years, Millie Knapp has gained and offered tremendous experience in media as a publisher, feature writer, photographer and managing editor, delivering business and publishing expertise to Indigenous communities and businesses across Canada and beyond. She has cultivated an international business and community network, served as a Panel and Advisory Board Member for arts and entertainment programs as well as community groups. In high demand as a public speaker, Knapp has lectured about media, publishing, the Native women's experience and as an entrepreneur.

Knapp Media manages advertising sales for Smithsonian's American Indian magazine in Washington, D.C. As executive director of the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts, Knapp produced events like the Red Revue, Writers Room, and Indigenous NOW! to audiences of thousands. The Royal Ontario Museum is one of the most prestigious venues where she has programmed. Millie is currently developing a new brand for ANDPVA called Arts Indigena. Millie Knapp receives the 2015 Transformation Award for advocating positive change through Entertainment and the Arts.

wiki fb