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Civic Impact

Andrew Graham wins CivicAction's first Emerging Leader Award

Both up-and-comers and veterans were recognized by new awards at CivicAction’s MetroNext celebration last week.

The more familiar name was former Toronto mayor David Crombie, who won the first ever CivicAction Lifetime Achievement Award for Civic Leadership for his “history of civic engagement and commitment to make the GTHA a better place to live and work.”

Taking home the inaugural Emerging Leader Award was Andrew Graham, who has been part of CivicAction’s Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) since 2008. Graham co-founded Toronto Homecoming with Eva Wong Scanlan to attract and retain top talent by connecting Canadians working abroad with professional opportunities in the Toronto Region. He’s also the co-founder of Borrowell, again with Wong Scanlan, an online consumer lending startup that provides affordable loans to Canadians with good credit.

“I was really surprised and flattered,” says Graham. “I’ve been very proud of my association with CivicAction and I think I’ve gotten a lot out of it in a bunch of ways. I’ve been able to build skills and build relationships outside of work. I met Eva through CivicAction. We learned that we worked together well and decided to start a for-profit business together.”

Toronto Homecoming was founded about five years ago as project emerging from ELN. “We’ve helped hundreds of Canadians who are abroad who want to return to Toronto to come back and build those connections by building an organization that’s sustainable.” In a transition that’s taken place over the last few months, Toronto Homecoming has found a home at the Toronto Board of Trade.

Graham moved to Toronto in 2008 after living abroad. “My girlfriend of the time, now wife, was not in the same city the first few years I was here. So I always joked that I was looking for ways to stay busy and stay out of trouble outside of work hours. CivicAction was a great way to do that.”

Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Andrew Graham
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