WINNERS 2018

ALEX BEIM – URUGUAY
BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR CATEGORY

Born in Uruguay, artist Alex Beim has lived and worked in Vancouver for more than 20 years. Always an entrepreneur, he started his first business at the age of 18 as a graphic designer in Montevideo. When he made the move to Canada years later, he didn’t know a word of English, but with some tenacity and resourcefulness, he found work almost immediately in advertising. Starting out as a designer, Beim eventually became an Associate Creative for a major Canadian advertising company. With no formal higher education, he is essentially a self-made man.

At 35, Beim took a giant leap and started his own business, Tangible Interaction, following his true passion in life. Since 2006, he has translated his love for coming up with whimsical ideas and figuring out how to make them a reality into the creation of dozens of interactive artworks. Thanks to Tangible, he has travelled the world, creating magical moments for millions of people.

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CHAFIKA EDDINE – BRAZIL
WALDO BRIÑO CATEGORY

Chafika’s volunteering efforts include six years as a Director of the Board for the Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce and two years as the Executive Director for Western Canada. She is one of the founders of the Global Change for Children Foundation and has been previously involved with several fundraising initiatives focused on children’s education and health in Latin America and elsewhere. She has a legal background in addition to certifications as project management professional and corporate social responsibility practitioner and has a Master’s degree in Community Development from the University of Victoria. She has managed international projects in a dozen countries in Latin America to promote best practices and continuous improvement in areas such as sustainability and governance. Her multicultural experience has honed her commitment to excellence in building relationships and shaped her profile as a connector and an accomplished sustainability ambassador. She was born in Brazil and lived in several other countries including Peru, Bolivia and Panama.

Chafika has helped to raise about $300,000 for the Global Change for Children Foundation. She is making a great contribution to the business community by encouraging Western Canada in engaging with the Peruvian Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Her great contribution though is connecting people and creating opportunities for them to build new networks, in addition to engaging more and more people to volunteer with her. Chafika is a respected voice and advocate of Human Rights and Business ethics and was a guest speaker and presenter at Uvic, UBC, Ryerson University, Ministry of Energy and Mines of British Columbia, PRIA/UNESCO and several international conferences in Canada, USA and Peru.

CATEGORY PRESENTED BY  

INSPIREHEALTH – CANADA
NON-LATINO MAKING AN IMPACT CATEGORY

InspireHealth is a not-for-profit health care organization, providing supportive cancer care for individuals living with cancer and their families.  All of our services are completely free and include consultations with exercise therapists, dieticians, medical doctors, clinical counsellors and more!

All of the programs that we offer at InspireHealth are offered free to all participants. This is made possible in part by our many volunteers, who are involved in many components of our programs and classes. Some of the tasks filled by our volunteers are:   

    • Preparing a healthy lunch and snacks for attendees of the LIFE Program;
    • Setup and take down for programs and classes;
    • Fundraising activities;
    • Database assistance and maintenance;
    • Office tasks such as phone calls.

Total volunteer hours approximate 5000/year.

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LOURDES RUIZ – MEXICO
ARTS & CULTURE CATEGORY

Lourdes Ruiz was born in Colima, Mexico. She was part of the Ballet Folklorico de la Universidad de Colima over many years. Folklore has been like her second life, always on par with her studies, family and personal life. When she moved to Vancouver, she brought with her the love of dance and that’s when she decided to create the Caudillos del Sur Mexican Dance Ensemble in March 2013.

Lourdes and her Mexican Dance Ensemble, have participated in countless events in the Vancouver and Lower Mainland area. Lourdes has opened the doors to many people in the Mexican, Latin and Canadian community, to be part of the group and the experience of the Mexican  Dance Folklore.

As I said before, moving to another country is not easy. When I moved here I felt alone and I was missing my country. When I found Lourdes and the Ensemble, it felt like I was at home. I’m so happy to have the opportunity to represent Mexico and at the same time, do what I like the most: Dancing. And I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks the same. The happiness, the colours, the joy, have reached so many people. It’s amazing to see how people like and appreciate our culture.

CATEGORY PRESENTED BY  

I4C INNOVATION – PILAR PORTELA
INNOVATION & SUSTAINABILITY CATEGORY

i4C Innovation was conceived around October of 2016, an idea birthed on the possibility of developing economic diversification in rural areas while collaborating with existing traditional industry. There were 3 main factors to ensure it opened: secure the 46,000 sq ft state-of-the-art building that had been sitting empty for over 5 years across the Trail airport, arrange a collaborative funding model between a private organization and local not-for-profit organization and procure strong, healthy business relationships with Latin America to support continued growth. This unique and innovative approach ensured a sustainable business model that could be transferred to other rural or under-developed communities around the world that would not depend solely on grants. Today the i4C Innovation Hub sits proud as one of the fastest growing companies in the area and its model is being replicated in neighbouring communities.

i4C Innovation has been a leader in rural economic development. A $250K matching fund was what allowed the local economic development office to obtain the $1M fund. These collaborations allowed not just the growth of i4C but the region as a whole. An extremely successful campaign called “Metal Tech Alley” has placed Trail, BC in the map, not just in British Columbia, or Canada, but throughout Latin America. Owner and employees alike have delivered multiple presentations to local schools, colleges and not-for-profits, on the jobs of the future, how to collaborate with Latin American companies, and strategies on the growth of diversity and inclusion at levels.

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MICHAEL REYES – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ONLINE INFLUENCER CATEGORY

Michael is an amateur musician, a self-taught instrumentalist composer and singer. He is a hopeless romantic who believes in all forms of love and respect in the world.

Initially, he aspired to be a professional baseball player. However, he later had a severe accident that would no longer allow him to pursue that dream. This is what eventually led him to find his place in music. He is now a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. Through his voice and his music, he has been able to share his passion for music and Latin culture with Canada. He has used music as an excuse to bring people together musically and for noble causes like for fundraisers and charities.

Michael Reyes strongly believes in the importance of giving back to the community and specifically working to help the less fortunate. He founded” La Fundacion ILS ONT AUSSI LE DROIT” in 2015, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the homeless with food, and clothes during harsh winters. In Montreal, at the end of every month, a group of 48 volunteers gather to spread across 16 metro stations to hand out food to the homeless. In December 2015, the same was done in Hastings, Vancouver. Below is a link to a video about the foundation.

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