This year we’re celebrating our 8th Annual Immigrant Success Awards, which recognize extraordinary leadership in immigrant inclusion. As we do so, it’s interesting to look back at our past IS Awards winners to see where they are now in their engagement with immigrant inclusion. Read on for 2007 winner Alan Rego’s story. Stay tuned for 2014 winners to be announced May 8th!

In 2007, Alan Rego received an Immigrant Success (IS) Award from the Toronto Region Immigration Employment Council (TRIEC) for his role in establishing Communications, Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAMP), a networking group for immigrants attempting to find a toehold in the competitive Canadian job market.

Originally from Bombay and now a communications executive at Procter & Gamble Canada, Rego is no stranger to the struggles of immigrants trying to break into the Canadian work force. After immigrating to Canada in 2001 at the height of his communications career, Rego endured a couple of years of underemployment before he was selected for one of the first Career Bridge internships in 2004. Upon completion of the internship – equipped with the tools he needed to bridge the gap between his international experience and a North American job – Rego was able to launch a new phase of his career.

During those challenging early years on the Canadian job market, Rego discovered the importance of networking for immigrants who found themselves in the same predicament as him – highly trained and eager to work, but unable to find jobs to match their skills and experience. Unwilling to wait for someone else to help him achieve success, Rego decided to take action. He challenged a group of a dozen fellow interns from various organizations in Toronto to join him in launching CAMP, which they did in May 2005.

Within a few years, CAMP’s membership ballooned to a few hundred individuals. Building on the individual strengths and connections of its members, the group helps new Canadians advance their careers through networking events, educational forums and professional development. CAMP is still thriving today, and its many success stories are a testament to the important work this organization does in fostering the talent among skilled immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area.

Founding President of CAMP who later served on the TRIEC Board for three years, Rego continues to be an active member of the organization and is still passionate about promoting diversity in the workplace.

“I believe that diversity – not only of race, gender and sexual orientation, but diversity of thought and career experiences – unlocks innovation and helps build businesses,” said Alan Rego. “If skilled immigrants are empowered through employment, the Canadian economy will benefit in myriad ways. “ 

In addition to leading a diversity and inclusion team for 900 employees across 45 countries within one segment of the Global Business Services unit at Procter & Gamble, Rego leads consumer engagement and innovation for the Male Grooming business in North America. He regularly shares his insights and experience through speaking engagements at colleges, universities and employment centres throughout Toronto.