Rego, Maharaj recognized for outstanding achievement

Desi Talk
September 28, 2007

Gloria Suhasini

Alan Rego, Proctor & Gamble’s external relations manager, and Sischa Maharaj of Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), received the ‘Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) Immigrant Success (IS) Award’ at a ceremony at Royal Bank Plaza in downtown Toronto on Sept. 19. The ‘IS Awards’ are funded by the Government of Canada’s Foreign Credential Recognition Program.

Maharaj received ‘Canadian HR Reporter Individual Achievement Award’ for increasing the number of interns hired by the bank after placements through the Career Bridge program. She also coordinated career fairs for new Canadians and cross cultural training for senior staff, developed a new portal for newcomers on the CIBC career website, and is a volunteer in The Mentoring Partnership program where she provides one-on-one coaching to skilled immigrants.

Rego, who has multinational firms in many countries including India, received the ‘Toronto Star People’s Choice’ Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigrant Success’. After the Singapore native arrived in Canada in April 2002, he spent two years working in positions unrelated to his extensive skills in communications and marketing in Fortune 500 companies and elsewhere. In 2005, Rego and 11 others started the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAMP) – a networking group for skilled immigrants that currently has 150 members.

About 100 people attended the event held at Royal Bank Plaza in downtown Toronto. Steam Whistle Brewery (small employer), Xerox Research Centre of Canada (mid-size employer), and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (large employer) were presented with the award for ‘bringing skilled immigrants into the workforce.’ George Brown College (GBC) received ‘Influencer Award’ for bringing ‘systemic change on the issue of integrating skilled immigrants into the labor market.’

Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer of Royal Bank of Canada, lead sponsor of the awards and Ratna Omidvar, Chair of Founding Board, TRIEC and Executive Direc tor, The Maytree Foundation addressed the gathering.Omidvar, who presented some of the awards, praised Steam Whistle Brewery for appointing Stefan Atton, of Sri Lankan origin, as director of marketing despite his lack of Canadian experience.

“I think we are hearing of a growing number of stories of international professionals succeeding in Canada. I would like to see success come sooner, though,” Rego told Desi Talk. “Everyone who comes to Canada is talented and usually comes with previous success and skills. While we may have the hard skills, we can all benefit from picking up the soft skills that are related to how work gets done in the Canadian workplace,” he recommended.

Reference: Desi Talk