RBC, TRIEC celebrate excellence in immigrant employment

8th annual Immigrant Success award-winners announced

Two organizations and one individual are being recognized in the 8th annual Immigrant Success Awards by RBC and the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Thursday.

The awards are designed to recognize organizations and individuals who are making outstanding contributions to immigrant employment in the Toronto area.

“Historically, immigrants have made significant contributions to Canada’s success. Yet, 10 years ago, a diverse group of the region’s leaders founded TRIEC because the region was not effectively leveraging the immigrant talent it possessed to the detriment of us all,” said Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of TRIEC, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

“We are so proud of the role TRIEC and its partners have played in helping skilled immigrants succeed during the past decade. The IS Award winners really demonstrate the magic that can occur when immigrants have the opportunity to contribute to their full potential.”

Each of this year’s award winners, who were selected by a panel of senior HR professionals, business leaders and industry stakeholders, made unique contributions to employment in the region.

“Each of the winners has been a catalyst in their own unique way for integrating skilled immigrants into the GTA’s labour market,” said Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer at RBC.

“RBC is proud to support the IS Awards, which reflect our belief that a diverse and inclusive workplace plays a key role in driving employee engagement, innovation and a stronger, more competitive, business. We are confident that the winners and nominees will inspire others to better integrate skilled immigrants into workplaces throughout our region.”

This year’s winners include:

Entrepreneurship Connections

The Entrepreneurship Connections program launched in 2011 through a partnership between ACCES Employment and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). The four-week program helps skilled immigrants learn about the Canadian market and translate their entrepreneurial ideas into action. During the four weeks, participants receive coaching and education, learn to write a business plan, and are paired with an established mentor in the Canadian market.


Aneela Zaib — who immigrated to Canada in 1988 — founded emergiTEL, which provides staffing, outsourcing, consulting and training services for the telecommunications and IT sectors. Zaib used her first-hand knowledge of the employment challenges new immigrants face to create one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada. emergiTEL supports new Canadians by managing their overall career paths and connecting them with employers they may not otherwise have access to.

Emiliano Méndez

Originally from Mexico City, Emiliano Méndez established a successful career in the financial sector — but he hasn’t forgotten the challenges he faced as a new Canadian.

Méndez co-founded the Latin American MBA Alumni Network (LAMBA) to help connect newcomers with professional networks and professional development in Canada, as well as offering bridge programs to help internationally trained professionals succeed. Méndez is now president of LAMBA, which has over 500 members and is credited with giving the Latin business community in Toronto wider recognition.

For more information on TRIEC and the IS Awards, please visit TRIEC.ca or ISAwards.ca.

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