Author: Blake C. Goldring
November 10, 2017
At AGF, we encourage all our employees to give back to the community, engaging in the many ways to make a difference. This core value has been at the centrepiece of our 60th anniversary celebrations over the past several months.
I’ve been privileged to play a role at a number of organizations in the Toronto community – from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Film Centre to my current chairmanship of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. Another great passion of mine is supporting the Canadian military and the men and women who serve our country so selflessly.
On November 11, we pause and remember the great sacrifice our servicemen and women have made for our country. While Remembrance Day marks the end of the hostilities of the First World War, it also presents an opportunity to recall the sacrifice of those in the Canadian military.
I have served in our military for the past 12 years. As the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, I have had the great honour of getting to know some of these extraordinary individuals on a personal level. Their commitment to Canada serves as constant inspiration to me and is one of the reasons I am deeply committed to Canada Company, a non-profit organization that supports members of the armed forces and their families.
Canadian businesses have a great deal to learn from the organizational culture that defines our military. While there is a clear and formal hierarchy within the ranks, the leaders of our troops also understand that they serve those who report to them. A high degree of mutual trust and respect is imperative to the success of any military mission.
Of course, support for our military personnel also derives from their families.
Supporting military families is something I am passionate about and one way I believe we can give back to a community that put their lives on the line for our country. One of the ways we do this at Canada Company is through our Canada Company Scholarship Fund, which provides the children of fallen soldiers with the funds to support their post-secondary educational pursuits.
The fund was created as a living memorial to families who have lost a loved one in conflict. These individuals are all too easily forgotten and our society owes them a great debt.
Another focus of Canada Company’s work is helping veterans to find private or public sector employment at the end of their time in service. In many cases, the experience they have gained in the military – from leadership to problem-solving on the ground – is valuable in a number of sectors. Canada Company’s MET Pathfinder is a digital tool which is helping thousands of veterans find jobs with 300+ pro-Canadian forces companies.
As Remembrance Day approaches, I challenge Canadians and Canadian businesses to reflect on how we as a country can do more to better support our military personnel. And how we can better position our organizations to include the many things they have to offer.