Recipients of 2019 Together We Can Canadian Champion Awards
Together We Can is the name of our organization, but it’s also a way of life. Our society is filled with men and women who contribute to the greater good every single day of their lives. Men and women who, despite their massive personal success, never forget where they came from and the fact that there are people who are less fortunate.
As an organization, we strive to make the local community, British Columbia, and the country as a whole a better place for everyone. By helping one man at a time, we are able to fulfil our mission and better society.
This year, we’ve decided to honour select individuals for the exceptional contribution they make towards the Together We Can philosophy and way of life.
One can learn business, life, and investing skills, but you can’t teach a moral compass. These men and women represent everything that is great about Canada.
These men and women are our 2019 Together We Can Canadian Champion Award honourees. This is a list of community leaders who exemplified the “Together We Can” mantra in their lives and worked hard to create a more prosperous, loving and friendlier society for all of us.
Mr. Beedie is recognized for the outstandingly generous contributions towards scholarship he has made over the years. As a forward-thinking, astute businessman, Ryan has led Beedie to immense success in the worlds of condo building and industrial operation, but he is perhaps just as well known for being at the forefront of colossal local philanthropic activities. Aimed at helping those who might otherwise fall through the cracks or not reach their full potential, Mr. Beedie made a staggering fifty million dollar donation towards his landmark Beedie Luminaries Scholarship Program. With the full picture in mind, his commitment wasn’t just through money, he has coupled financial with social support, thereby ensuring successful applicants are given the full opportunity that they perhaps weren’t born into. Initiatives like this are the essence of Together We Can, and the impact of his contributions with be carrying on for generations.
Glowbal Restaurant Group
Mrs. Bosa-Yacoub is not only the proprietor of the Glowbal Restaurant Group, but she is also a champion of many causes and a pillar in the local community. With an ever-expanding business empire, she has shown a willingness to support an ever-increasing number of initiatives, all which have had great effect. Shannon is a powerful advocate of equality and opportunity for all, and has mentored many individuals early in their careers. As an entrepreneur herself, Shannon continues to support young entrepreneurs in the Vancouver area and has played a vital role in the success of many ventures. As a voice for the less fortunate, it seems that any issue Mrs. Bosa-Yacoub is passionate about, she winds up being able to make a difference. As a leader of today as well as tomorrow, Shannon ensures that the Together We Can philosophy of care and compassion is one that’ll thrive long-term.
President & CEO
Army & Navy
Having started the Face the World Foundation, which is a Vancouver based charity dedicated to helping the less fortunate members of our community in 1991, Jacqui Cohen has gone on to raise enormous sums of money for battered women, abused children and the homeless. As a seasoned businesswoman who has been at the helm of the Army & Navy organization, Jacqui has consistently stayed engaged in her community and taken care of those who work for her. She is a mentor, leader and advocate for many. Having been around for over 100 years, contributing towards the greater good of the areas they serve has allowed Army & Navy to stay competitive and expand while other businesses have come and gone. Jacqui is noted for having raised over $18,000,000 for some of the most marginalized among us. We recognize her ability to have concern for others, all the while moving the world in a compassionate direction.
Chief Philanthropy Officer
As an Oxford-trained lawyer, Jae Kim has chosen a career path that has allowed her to have a massive impact on the lives of many people worldwide. As a woman who has philanthropy near to her heart, she has put great effort into initiatives that make our great world a better place. Leading the philanthropy operations of the Guistra Foundation, she plays a pivotal role in deciding where resources are allocated and what causes are pursued. Particularly effective at finding a happy medium between government, big business and non-government organizations, her work has included social welfare, humanitarian, refugee, and other issues. With people like Ms. Kim in the world leading the charge and making a difference, there is little doubt that as a society there is nothing we can’t accomplish. We recognize Jae’s commitment to standing up for those who are voiceless and often without help.
Co-Founder & CEO
Canada Wide Media
The head of one of Canada’s largest and most successful print and digital media companies, Mr. Legge is an incredibly busy man who has always had the courage to speak up, write, and publish stories that really matter and impact everyday Canadians. Our free society is nothing without our free press, and Peter has been carrying that torch for all of us for many years. He is a powerful and sought-after public speaker, a community leader and an author of 21 published books. Peter has consistently been a voice for the voiceless, and a source of accountability during any sort of public controversy. Together We Can is formally celebrating the contribution of Peter Legge over the many years he and his company have been a fixture in Canadian society and look forward to his many works to come.
London Drugs Limited
A local man with deep roots in the community, Mr. Louie, who leads the London Drugs charity committee, has time and time exemplified what it means to contribute to causes that make an impact at the grass-roots level. Brandt, who was initially a chartered accountant, has gone on to sit on many boards, received Honorary Doctorates, and in 2009 was made a Member of the Order of British Columbia. Mr. Louie, at every turn, has generously given his time and energy to causes that are near to his heart. He is a champion of healthcare and has made many noteworthy donations, including his $6.5 Million gift towards the St. Paul’s Foundation in 2018 which helped build a new Cardiac Wing at St. Paul’s Hospital. He is a pioneer and leader in the philanthropy community and exemplifies what it means to do your part for the greater good.
Ron McNeil & Ivan Harmatny
Co-Founders, CEO & Director of Corporate Development
LMS Reinforcing Steel Group
LMS Reinforcing Steel Group, headed by co-founders Ron and Ivan, is a leader in the building project field and boasts extensive operations throughout North America. Their company, through their leadership, has received a number of awards and accolades; not only in their business practices but for philanthropy and giving back as well. These men are examples of why Together We Can is a way of life. They’ve done everything right to ensure their business has grown, all the while ensuring that they play their part making our communities a better place for each and every individual. It’s no surprise they’ve both seen immense personal and commercial success. We recognize Mr. McNeil and Mr. Harmatny for the phenomenal trickle-down impact that empowering their staff, friends and world has.
Founder & Managing Director
New Avenue Capital
Mr. Padda, who considers education to be “the ultimate equalizer” has shown through his actions, time, commitment and contributions that he is more than willing to do his part to ensure the Canada of tomorrow is even better than the Canada of today. Manny is a businessman, visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist who makes a difference in the lives of many. With a passion for science, healthcare and children, Mr. Padda has shown time and time again that he is willing to go the extra mile to ensure his success, and the capital he has accumulated as a result, positively impacts the greater good. Manny creates opportunities for others, both in the community and around the world, and it’s obvious he takes pride and enjoys doing so. The whole philosophy of Together We Can is empowered and made possible when influential, industry leaders like Manny Padda do their part for society. We recognize the fact he’s never lost sight of what’s important and continues to do the next right thing.
Whenever Mr. Rennie is able to squeeze some time between his busy schedule of real estate marketing, art collecting, sitting on boards and public speaking, he has consistently displayed what a true champion of the needy and vulnerable he really is. Bob, a Vancouver resident himself, is a vocal board member of the Streetohome Foundation, an organization that has built over one thousand non-market homes and ensures homeless individuals have access to safe affordable housing and services. Mr. Rennie’s advocacy has had a huge impact on our city, with an untold number of people being beneficiaries of his action. Many of the individuals we serve at Together We Can have undoubtedly been touched by the generosity shown, and time given, by Bob. We recognize his tireless efforts to stay aware of the plight faced by many in our prosperous city and continuously give back to those in need.
The Skidmore Family
Allan and Garry Skidmore, who are the second and third generation of a family that have been titans in the business community for many decades, are extremely well known for their track record of charitable giving. Allan and Garry backed a new building at Children’s Hospital - a place where a young Skidmore had to spend significant time dealing with kidney issues. The pledge helped build a new Dialysis Unit which now carries the Skidmore name. In addition to Children's, after health complications impacted the family in 2013, they became a major force behind the support of a new Emergency Room at the Langley Memorial Hospital. This, as well as many, many other generous donations to a variety of causes, has lead Together We Can to acknowledge the Skidmore's outstanding contributions towards a better tomorrow for everyone in British Columbia. When people like Allan and Garry go above and beyond to ensure that important projects in the communities in which they live are completed, everyone benefits.
President & CEO
Vancity Credit Union
As head of the largest credit union in the country, Tamara Vrooman has led Vancity to international recognition for its values-based banking model. Vancity, an organization with deep roots in the community, has been providing free financial literacy classes for clients at Together We Can for a number of years; through these initiatives, many of our clients have been able to get back on their feet, save for retirement, and learn to manage their own finances. Vancity is carbon-neutral and was named Canada’s Best Corporate Citizen by Corporate Knights in both 2016 and 2017. Tamara is a champion for women, families and children, and lends her voice to causes like equality, empowerment and inclusion. We applaud her continued work and vision for Canada.
Secretary Treasurer & Principal Officer
Teamsters Union 155
As a fierce advocate for the men and women of his union, as well as working men and women in Canada, Lorrie is noted for standing up for those who often don’t have their message heard. Lorrie has been an advocate for recovery and treatment for decades and has facilitated many individuals getting the help they so desperately needed. He has campaigned for mental health and addiction treatment and at every turn has contributed to the greater good. Never willing to look the other way or give up on someone at their lowest moment, Lorrie has become a staunch supporter of those who might otherwise fall through the cracks. In addition to the significant work he’s partaken in towards advancing personal health for individuals, he is also a union leader and advocate of bargaining rights, collective good and fairness for all. We recognize the selfless service Lorrie has provided to every British Columbian who has ever faced adversity.
“As an organization with over 25 years in the industry, we are all too aware of the vital role private citizens and companies play in advancing healthcare outcomes. Often no one hears about the successes, but these honourees have all gone above and beyond to ensure that infrastructure gets built, causes are funded and no one gets left behind. Together We Can owes a debt of gratitude for the generosity and forward-thinking consistently displayed by everyone on this list, and as such has decided to recognize them.”
Written for Together We Can by Tristan Elliott, an Economics Major who currently works as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator. He is passionate about issues affecting the local community, personal finance, the economy, and Canada as a whole.