NCBN Leadership awards

 17 February

NCBN holds first Diversity in Leadership Celebration & Awards

by Wale AdeSanya           


For more pictures from the Diversity in Leadership Celebration and Awards in Ottawa, visit this link:
History was made recently at the Infinity Convention Centre in Ottawa, when the Nigerian and Canadian Business Network (NCBN), convened its Q1 Business Brunch – an event which held parallel with the Diversity in Leadership Celebration  and Awards Ceremony.  The apogee of the occasion which was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life spanning diplomatic circle, academia and business was the awards presentation to recipients for their sterling contributions in alleviating humanitarian suffering, innovative exploits in business and more. 
Awards recipients included Professional Excellence Award presented to Samuel Oghale Oboh, Honorary Consul for Botswana and former president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada(RAIC); Lifetime Achievement Award to Canadian Senator Anne C. Cools, Canada’s longest serving female senator in North America, and Business Person of the Year Award to Nigerian-born Isaac Olowolafe Jr., President and CEO of Dreammaker Realtor Inc.  The Humanitarian Award was presented to Hon. Rita Odachi Orji, Chairman of the Nigeria House Committee on Diaspora Affairs. 
Senator Anne C. Clare Cools is a Canadian Senator representing Toronto-Centre-York. She was appointed to the Senate in January 1984 by then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. She was the first African-Canadian person appointed to the Senate of Canada and the first black female senator in North America. Born August 12, 1943 in Barbados, at age 13, she moved to Montreal with her family. Anne was a pioneer in curbing domestic and family violence and founded one of Canada’s first women’s shelters, the Women in Transition Inc., where she served as its Executive Director. Anne helped in the establishment of several other women’s shelters in Ontario and all over Canada.  As she prepares for retirement from active politics, her life’s memoir undoubtedly will remain a veritable source of inspiration, succor, hope and encouragement to millions around the world. 
Samuel Óghale Oboh is an architect, manager, leader and the 2015 President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He was the first African-Canadian to be elected as President of the Alberta Chapter of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2007. In 2015, Alberta Venture named him as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Alberta. Arriving in Canada ten year ago, he overcame many difficult challenges and hurdles to become the president of the 110-year-old prestigious organization. As a design architect, Oboh worked on many projects while he was with FMA Architects in Southern Africa,
Isaac Olowolafe Jr. is a registered real estate broker,  business owner and philanthropist. Under Dream Maker Inc. created over the last decade, the vertical integration  operation includes Brokerage, Wealth Management, Property Management, Education, Development, Private Equity and Insurance. DreamMaker Development one of the vertical companies built the 1st major mixed-use development site (Condos/Townhouses/Retail), located across from Yorkdale Mall, called Dream Residences @Yorkdale. He has more than ten other real estate developments in key locations around the Toronto Area. 
Keynote speaker Paula Caldwell St -Onge  Director-General, Pan-Africa Bureau of Global Affairs Canada and former Canadian High Commissioner to Haiti, reassured participants of Canada’s continued commitment in strengthening bilateral  cooperation with Africa’s largest economy. She also affirmed that Canada and Nigeria diplomatic relations have come a long way,  paving the way for numerous enterprises t in the  areas of Research and Development / Innovation, Science and Technology. She informed her audience that Canada has received over ten thousand Nigerian students in one year with each  pursuing higher education program in various Canadian universities.  
In his speech, Mac O. Okwechime, who led the delegation from the Nigeria High Commission in Ottawa, gave a lucid insight into the difference between Dependence and Interdependence, asserting  the latter was much more dignified and commendable. 
 Other speakers who featured at the business brunch are   Sonia Coutou,  Trade Commissioner for Central and Western Africa at Global Affairs Canada;  Rupak Chattopadhyay, President and CEO- Forum of Federations and an Alumnus of the University of Lagos. Other dignitaries include the High Commissioner from South Africa, Her Excellency, Dlamini Mntambo and Barbados High Commissioner, Her Excellency Yvanne Walkes;  Percy Abol, member of the NCBN Advisory Cuncil. 
 About the NCBN
The Nigerian and Canadian Business Network, NCBN, a vintage organization of Nigerian- Canadian professionals with a mandate to facilitate seamless networking among Nigerian – Canadian professionals and businesses. The volunteer-based Non-for – profit Networking organization  memberships are domiciled in various cities, provinces and territories across Canada. The group had since inception metamorphosed into both rallying and reference point for most businesses and professional activities having a touch of Nigerians – Canadians.  NCBN has been variously acknowledged and recognized as a paramount organization by lead economic development agencies of the both countries, as well as Government Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals.  On March 7th, 2017, the group, working in conjunction with the Nigerian High Commission in Ottawa,  hosted to a luncheon the official delegation which visited Toronto, Canada,  on the occasion of the  International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange – North America’s largest mining event managed by the Prospectors Developer Association of Canada, PDAC. Present at the occasion also was the NCBN National Chairman, Wale AdeSanya; Dr. Ola Kassim, an elder-statesman, former NIDO Worldwide Chairman, and an accomplished pathologist in Canada. Compere of the day was Dr. Moruntayo Adetola,  a Family Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Ottawa.   Dr. Adetola is the  current President of the Canadian Association of Nigerian Physicians and Dentists (CANPAD). The event was concluded with photo sessions with award recipients,  guest speakers and dignitaries. This was followed by high level networking session.
 About the writer
Wale AdeSanya is National Chairman, Nigerian and Canadian Business Network (NCBN).
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