OSCAR VIGIL / TORONTO /
Diez Hispano-Canadienses que por su trayectoria profesional y comunitaria ejercen diverso tipo de influencia en la sociedad canaidnese, fueron homenajeados la noche de ayer durante la sexta realización del programa “10 hispanos de mayor influencia en Canadá” que ejecuta anualmente la organización Canadian Hispanic Business Association.
El evento tuvo lugar en las instalaciones del Toronto Board of Trade y contó con la participación de alrededor de trescientas personas entre ejecutivos, profesionales, periodistas y diplomáticos representantes de la mayoría de países de habla hispana, quienes disfrutaron una velada dirigida por los destacados periodistas Ann-Marie Mediwake y Dwight Drummond, de CBC News.
Como invitado especial del evento participó el Embajador de Canadá ante las Naciones Unidas, Guillermo Rishchynski, quien presentó los reconocimientos a los “10 hispanos de mayor influencia” del 2012.
Rishchynski, quien fuese a su vez uno de los diez galardonados en el 2008, dijo que “Esta actividad reconoce excelencia en la comunidad hispana en nuestro país, y esto es algo por lo que deberíamos sentir un enorme orgullo, que en la comunidad nuestros paisanos por sus propios colegas han sido destacados por lo que hacen, por su voluntarismo, no solo por su formación y cosas de profesión, sino que por el corazón que tienen, y creo que para una comunidad como la nuestra ahí comienza todo”.
Por su parte, Mauricio Ospina, Director de Canadian Hispanic Business Association y creador de “10 hispanos de mayor influencia”, dijo sentirse satisfecho con la calidad del evento, dado que “de nuevo hemos demostrado que tenemos una profundidad hispana en Canadá, a lo largo y ancho, y el hecho de que el embajador de Canadá ante las Naciones Unidas fue un ganador y está con nosotros ahora, personas que no estaban muy involucrados con nuestra comunidad y lo han dicho, este programa los ha traído y los seguirá trayendo”.
“Tal como lo dijeron los nominados, los ganadores, los jurados, este evento motiva a comunidad, muestra los roles que debemos seguir, muestra que la educación, el trabajo serio, profesional es lo que da resultado, es lo que motiva, y le muestra al canadiense mainstream quienes realmente somos”, aseguró.
Los 10 hispanos de mayor influencia en Canadá 2012 son (en orden alfabético):
• Francisco Álvarez (Colombia, ON): Artista, Director, Instituto de Cultura Contemporánea – Royal Ontario Museum
• Dr. Maurice Bitran (Chile, ON): Asistente a Viceministro, Negociador, Ontario Fellow – Universidad de Toronto
• Mario Canseco (México, BC): Experto internacional en sondeos – Vicepresidente de Angus Reid, activista cívico
• Dr. Rafael E. Castán (República Dominicana, QC): Cardiólogo de Jean-Talon Hospital, héroe de 1,400 personas
• Víctor J. García (Argentina, ON): Visionario de tecnología, ex Jefe de Tecnología para de HP Canadá
• Dr. Rosario Gómez (Ecuador, ON): Profesora e Investigadora de lingüística – Universidad de Guelph
• Dr. Alejandro Marangoni (Ecuador, ON): Investigador y empresario del sector alimenticio – Universidad de Guelph
• Jose Ortega (Ecuador, ON): Destacado artista internacional, activista cívico y empresario – Lula Lounge
• Gil Peñalosa (Colombia, ON): Experto en planeación urbana y ciudades saludables, Director de 8-80 Cities
• Bernardo Riveros (Colombia, ON): Activista, co-fundador de la escuela privada de inglés más grande – ILAC
Desde 2007, sesenta 60 hispanos de siete provincias representando 13 países de origen han sido seleccionados por galardonados anteriores y ejecutivos de CBC, Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council, Canadian Council for the Americas, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance y la Universidad de Ottawa.
Las nominaciones para los “10 Hispanos de mayor influencia en Canadá” 2013 se declararán abiertas en Junio con ceremonia de premios el miércoles 20 de noviembre en dos importantes ciudades de Canadá.
FRANCISCO ALVAREZ (Colombia, ON)
Francisco Alvarez is an award-winning artist, a high-profile and influential arts professional in Canada and abroad, and a dedicated community volunteer. Alvarez is managing director of the Institute for Contemporary Culture at The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and has represented the ROM at major local and international events such as the Venice Biennale, New York Museum of Modern Art, The Armoury Show and Art Basel.
He acts as an advisor to the organizers of three of Toronto’s largest cultural events: Nuit Blanche, Luminato and the Toronto International Film Festival. He chairs Dance Collection Danse (Canada’s dance archives and a dance and theatre publisher) and co-Chairs the board of Pride Toronto, one of the world’s largest Pride celebrations with more than 1.2 million attendees.
Alvarez was among the group of people Hillary Clinton invited to join her to receive the London World LGBT Award. He was recently a member of the judging panel for the Mayor’s Arts Awards for the Toronto Arts Foundation.
As an artist, Alvarez has produced more than 25 exhibitions including Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008, Shanghai Kaleidoscope, Bollywood Cinema Showcards, David Hockney’s Fresh Flower, and El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa. Current exhibits include Larry Towell, Donovan Wylie: Afghanistan, Elegy: Debora Samuel and Jorinde Voigt: Beethoven 1-32 (in partnership with Luminato).
Born in Colombia, Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Business degrees from York University
DR. MAURICE BITRAN (Chile, ON)
Originally from Chile, Dr. Maurice Bitran is among the most highly placed Hispanics in public administration in Canada. An Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario Government, Maurice has headed the Secretariat of the Premier’s Jobs and Prosperity Council, the Strategic Policy Division at the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, and was Ontario’s chief negotiator for the free trade negotiations between Canada and the European Union. He is the 2012 Ontario Fellow in Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Bitran has been responsible for Ontario’s flagship programs for economic development and research and development. The programs account for several billion dollars and include the “Next Generation of Jobs Fund”, the “Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy”, the “Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund”, the “Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund”, “Growing Forward”, and the “Partnership for Research, Education and Analytical Services” with the University of Guelph. Dr. Bitran has taught and published widely on the health effects of non-ionizing radiation as well as on galactic radio-astronomy. He is a former faculty member of the Department of Astronomy of the University of Chile and of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto (status appointment).
He holds a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Florida and M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Chile.
Fluent in English, French and Spanish, he has been widely interviewed by mainstream Canadian media and is an advisor to the Toronto Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
MARIO CANSECO (Mexico, BC)
Mario Canseco is an international expert in polls and survey questionnaires and a busy community volunteer who sits on the boards of several charitable organizations. Canseco is Vice President at Angus Reid Public Opinion, an international leader in the use of the Internet to carry out public opinion polls. His surveys have garnered thousands of mentions and interviews in domestic and foreign media outlets including Time, Globe and Mail, CBC, the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen, the Latin American Advisor, The Tyee, Vancouver Magazine and La Razon.
He has followed more than 100 legislative and presidential elections around the world, granting hundreds of interviews to discuss poll results and provide commentary about international politics. Canseco has worked in the election teams for all the democratic processes that have been covered by Angus Reid using its unique online methodology, including the 2008 and 2011 Canadian federal elections.
In addition to his busy professional activities, Canseco volunteers on the board of the Monarca Canada Foundation, a Canadian foundation that provides assistance to needy families in the Cabo (Mexico) area. The Foundation’s first project has already raised $100,000. He is also a board member of the Focus Foundation of British Columbia, which helps children who can’t find success within the structure of a mainstream school system.
Born in Mexico City, Canseco holds a BA in Communications from Mexico City’s Universidad Iberoamericana and a Masters in Journalism from the University of British Columbia.
DR. RAFAEL E. CASTAN (Dominican Republic, QC)
Dr. Rafael Edilio Castan is widely credited as a real hero having saved the lives of more than 1,400 people – and counting. This 77 years old cardiologist, who practices at the Jean-Talon Hospital in Montreal, has been recycling old pacemakers for 30 years and making them available for free to patients in poorer countries. The initiative is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,400 people. His recycled pacemakers, scholarships and medical equipment now reach the Dominican Republic, Cuba, México, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Vietnam.
Born and trained as a doctor in the Dominican Republic, he studied cardiology in France and joined Montreal’s Hospital Jean Talon as a cardiologist in 1973 and was named Chief of Intensive Care the following year. His work led to the expansion and modernization of the Coronary and Intensive Care Units and the training of their nurses. He also created the clinical cardiology research unit, labs, supervision units, outpatient and pacemaker clinics, and developed a cooperation program with the Hospital St Luc in Montreal. He is active in scientific research and has served several associations, as representative of the Dominican Cardiology Foundation in Canada, among others.
Dr. Castan has received awards from the President of the Dominican Republic (2005), the “Dr. Ignacio Chavez” Cardiology Institute in Mexico (2010), the Canadian Ministry of Immigration (2011) and Montreal’s research centre Centrech (2005). In 2004, Readers’ Digest ran an article titled “Hero among us” recognizing his work.
VICTOR J. GARCIA (Argentina, ON)
Victor J. Garcia is one of the most important executives in Canada’s technology sector. As chief technology officer at software giant Hewlett-Packard Canada [*2004 to September 21, 2012*], he provided vision and leadership in cross-industry emerging technologies. Considered a business and technology visionary, he is a frequently quoted by Canada’s technology media and is a speaker at leading industry and business events around the world, where he presents on topics such as intellectual property protection, anti-counterfeiting, privacy, RFID/sensing technologies, aerospace, quantum computing, mobility, business intelligence, environmental technologies and sustainable development.
He recently co-authored a 37-page white paper to promote responsible adoption of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology in health care in conjunction with Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner. Garcia also served on the working group for RFID and Privacy for EPC Global, an industry-driven standards body for the Electronic Product Code™ (EPC).
He sits on the board for several academic and non-profit organizations and has guest lectured at universities in Europe, North and South America.
In 1997, he was a finalist for the “Top 40 under 40 Award”. The same year, he was selected as one of Hewlett-Packard America’s Most Valuable Players. He joined HP in 1999. Over the past 28 years, he has held senior management roles at Magna International, Cachet Carrington, Wintec Energy Corporation and Olivetti. Garcia has been a member of several trade missions to Latin America led by the Prime Minister of Canada.
DR. ROSARIO GOMEZ (Ecuador, ON)
Born in Ecuador, Dr. Rosario Gómez is an internationally recognized linguistics scholar and researcher. An Associate Professor in the School of Languages and Literatures at the University of Guelph, she is also head of Hispanic Studies and past coordinator of the Master’s program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and has served as member of the University Senate.
She is the Coordinator of the Ecuadorean Sociolinguistic Corpus, (Proyecto para Estudios Sociolingüísticos del Español de España y América) at the University of Alcalá de Henares, Spain. Dr. Gomez obtained her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto specializing in Spanish/ English Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, English/Spanish Phonology, Translation Studies, and English as a Second Language.
She is also fluent in French and Italian. As president of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (Canadian Chapter) and board member of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Dr. Gómez has widely promoted Hispanic studies in Canada. Her numerous awards confirm the importance of her contributions to the advancement of research in Spanish linguistics, teaching, and Latin American studies.
Dr. Gomez has presented at 29 national and international conferences in the Americas and Europe, published articles in academic journals, and has co-edited four books including El yeísmo en España y
América, Dr. Gómez’ multifaceted research advances our understanding of important sociolinguistic issues.
Drawing from her extensive experience as an English as a second language teacher, she is working on a book on English pronunciation for Spanish speakers.
DR. ALEJANDRO MARANGONI (Ecuador, ON)
Dr. Alejandro Marangoni is one of the world’s foremost food scientists, cited by leading research bodies including the Web of Science and Thomson Scientific. His research allows manufacturers to engineer the properties of foods, particularly edible fats in products such as chocolate, butter and margarine. The founder of two high tech companies and holder of 21 patents, his work is influenced by the experience of coming from a poor country, where entrepreneurship is a necessity.
Dr. Marangoni has published more than 200 research articles and nine books and is a Tier I Canada Research Chair in food, health and aging. Awards include an Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award (1999), the first Young Scientist Award from the American Oil Chemists’ Society (2000), Tier II
Canada Research Chair (2001, 2006), two Distinguished Ontario Researcher Awards (2002), Award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (2002), an E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2002) given to the top six Canadian scientists from all disciplines, A T.L. Mounts Award from AOCS (2004), and Innovator of the Year award from the Guelph Partners (2008).
He is a past chair of the Selection Committee of Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, member of the E.W.R. Steacie Memorial Fellowship selection committee, Editor-in-Chief of Food Research International (Elsevier), and associate editor of the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (Springer). His work has been profiled by Discovery Channel, CTV and other media outlets. In
addition to Spanish, English and German, he has working knowledge of French and Italian.
JOSE ORTEGA (Ecuador, ON)
Ecuadorian-born Jose Ortega is an international award-winning artist, recognized community supporter and successful entrepreneur. As an artist, Ortega has worked on commissions for clients such as MTV, Apple computers, Bloomingdale’s, Sony Music and Amnesty International. He has been the subject of numerous articles in the US, Spain, Japan, Taiwan, Ecuador and Canada, and has received awards from the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Print, Communication Arts and Graphics.
Jose has also worked on many public art commissions including mosaic murals in the New York City subway and the NY Buckingham Hotel. Recently, he completed a series of murals for Toronto’s Dundas West neighbourhood and is working on a mosaic mural in Ecuador. He has designed postage stamps for both the U.S. and Ecuador’s Postal Services.
As an entrepreneur, he is the co-founder of Lula Lounge – a performance venue, restaurant and bar in downtown Toronto. Providing employment and showcasing local and international, emerging and established performers, Lula Lounge grew out of Open City, a not for profit organization that Jose also co-founded, and that seeks to visualize how a more open Toronto could advance culture, business, and productive collaborations.
As a volunteer, he oversees the outreach and educational programs of the Lula Music and Arts Centre. Community awards include the Roy Thomson Hall award of recognition at the 2010 Toronto Arts Foundation Awards. He was selected to paint the piano representing Ecuador for the “Play Me, I’m Yours” street piano project implemented by the organizers of the Pan-American Games in Toronto (2015).
GIL PENALOSA (Colombia, ON)
Gil Penalosa is an internationally renowned expert on urban planning and healthy cities. As Executive Director of 8-80 Cities, a Toronto-based NGO that works to transform cities, he advises mayors and decision-makers in Canada and overseas, is regularly interviewed by Canadian media, and conducts studies on creating vibrant and healthy cities.
As Bogota’s Commissioner of Parks and Sports, he led the creation of more than 200 parks. His team launched the program “Car-free Sundays” which saw more than 1 million people walking, running, skating and biking along 75 kilometres of Bogotá’s city roads.
Gil also works as Senior Consultant for the Danish firm Gehl Architects; is a Director at City Parks Alliance, USA; and Senior Advisor to America Walks, StreetFilms in NYC, ParticipACTION Canada and Casas GEO in Mexico.
Prior to 8-80, Penalosa was Colombia’s Trade Commissioner in Canada (2000-2003). In 2003, he advised the City of Mississauga on the creation of its plan to become a “City for the 21st Century.”
Penalosa holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management where he was named one of the “100 Inspirational Alumni”. He has also won the Ontario Trail Builder Award (2006), Mississauga’s Award for Excellence (2005) and Colombia’s Ministry of Education Award for Innovation.
Penalosa is a past chair of Oakville’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, supporter of the Canadian-Colombian Professionals Association, a member of Ontario and Canada’s Parks and Recreation Associations, and is the sole Canadian to sit the Board of Directors at American Trails and City Parks Alliance.
BERNARDO RIVEROS (Colombia, ON)
When Colombian-born Bernardo Riveros first came to Canada in 1996 to study English he identified a need for high-quality ESL education. It’s no surprise then that when he returned to Canada to live, he co-founded ILAC, one of the world’s best private language schools and recipient of multiple national and international awards. He also has dedicated his time and resources to help others.
ILAC is the first and only school in the world to win the prestigious LTM Lifetime Superstar Award from England’s Language Travel Magazine. Other awards include Toronto’s Top Choice Award and Best Language School by Toronto’s Eye Weekly Magazine. ILAC has three campuses in Toronto and two in Vancouver, employs more than 150 full-time staff and provides income to 1,200 host families.
Nearly 90% of his staff is new Canadians. The school welcomes 7,000 students from more than 70 countries each year. His volunteer activities include supporting Toronto’s CCNA Community Centre and presiding over the Colombian Canadian Professional Association (2004 to 2008), a non-profit that offers settlement assistance.
This year, ILAC donated $200,000 in scholarships to Daughters for Life Foundation, a Canadian registered charity devoted to promoting the advancement of girls and women in the Middle East. Riveros himself has also been awarded for his strong support of the Hispanic community. He was named Latin American Businessman of the Year (2003), featured in several national and international media outlets and received the New Pioneer Award, Entrepreneurship (2008 – Skills for Change).