IMAGINARY FLOWERS: Thank you to the entire group of organizers, hosts, speakers and participants. I had a wonderful experience – the result of much targeted brainpower, thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Imagine the bouquet of thank-you flowers I am sending you virtually (use your old-school imagination please) as you are in different offices across this fine “Toronto Region” (thank you Mitzie Hunter, CivicAction for the language here).
Thank you to:
Martha Yordache and Tiffany Blilley: Thanks to you and your BMO colleagues for the engaging panel discussion and the luncheon. I appreciated the straight talk from Karen Berlin about why BMO and Toronto are great choices for combining challenging work with a satisfying life. Guillaume’s and Adam Richardson’s enthusiasm was contagious and Tim Empringham’s ability to blend his entrepreneurial side into a big bank was impressive as well.
Morten Friis: For the brief cocktail party talk about how Canadians might have be a little quick to pat themselves on the back for the stability of our financial sector. I enjoyed your straight-talk perspective.
My fellow TH’12 Participants: Do you think it possible to forget all of you? Watch this space for another open letter describing what I learned from all of you!
DISCOVERING TH’12: I was casually searching Toronto events to encourage a close friend who wanted some networking inspiration. I stumbled upon Toronto Homecoming (good SEO work, guys) and was excited by the promise—for me. From the beginning of my interactions with TH’12, I felt in good hands. Wayne Pommen and Kristen Edmonds facilitated the logistics of the Financial and Professional Services stream, and warmly responded to my questions and my suggestion to have a separate LinkedIn group for the 2012 cohort. Thank you both! Having the LinkedIn group enabled a few of us (namely Helene Wong, Michael Watson, Eduards Smirnovs (any movement on Latvian House? ) , Aaron Vale and Oren Kedem) to get a head start.
ARTISTS AND INNOVATORS: Thank you to Sameer Vasta, Chris Crowell, and Mathew Bertin for facilitating a lively conversation at the Emerging Leaders Network reception on Friday night. Thanks to the Artists for being curious and trusting enough to crash the Innovators party with me. You know who you are. As I said when we threw open those big boardroom doors, I understand that innovators need to communicate their ideas… and who better to collaborate with than Artists who often communicate complex ideas to their audiences? Thanks to all for this intersection of perspectives.
“O CANADA” WITH TEARS: Or, how to pull at the expat’s heartstrings: After a lovely time on Centre Island with the TH’12 crew, ably facilitated by Kevin West and Chris Edey, I walked along the waterfront. Thank you for arranging for that musician to play “O Canada” on a Chinese violin. All that pride in the integrated Toronto Region community became clear to me listening to that version of “O Canada”. I was not wiping away tears, it was just the setting sun in my eyes! J. I was an easy target and a good tipper, satisfied? At the farewell Sunday brunch, councilor Michael Thompson implored us to “fall in love with the city… or rekindle your affection” –I was already there.
Thank you for the opportunity to get excited about the possibilities – with new friends, new contacts and new professional possibilities. As you heard from me at the farewell, I am happy to volunteer in the future with this vibrant initiative.