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2015 BBPA Harry Jerome Awards
Mark Beckles was born in Manchester, UK. With over twenty-five years in financial services, Mark has executive leadership experiences in Banking, Insurance, Risk Management and Non-profit leadership. Currently, Mark has national responsibility for leading over 500 licensed insurance advisors who provide insurance advice and solutions to 750,000 RBC Insurance clients across Canada.
Mark served as the Regional Vice President, Retail Banking with responsibility for North Mississauga where he had P & L responsibility for a portfolio in excess of $5.4BN.
Mark Serves as the Executive Champion for Black Cultural Markets and initiated the RBC Black History Month Essay Competition.
Between 2002 – 2007, Mark served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.
Mark is actively engaged in the community and has volunteered on many boards. He currently serves on the Harbourfront Centre Board, and is an Advisory Board member of the Canadian Multicultural LEAD Organization.
In 2011, Mark received the City of Toronto Bob Marley Award for his commitment to diversity and city building. In 2012, he was recognized with the BBPA Distinguished Men of Honor Award. He was also recognized for his work in support of the Canadian Sickle Cell Network. In 2012, he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his community volunteerism.
Mark holds a MBA in International Business from the University of Bradford and has completed executive programs with Richard Ivey School of Business. Mark is currently completing the Institute of Corporate Directors designation at Rotman.
Mark is married with three children and enjoys reading, jazz and football.
Recently, Mark was on our show talking about receiving the 2015 Harry Jerome Award in the Professional Excellence Category.
During our conversation, Mark talked about:
– Life growing in Manchester, United Kingdom and Barbados and the values
– The values that his mother instilled in him
– The importance of education in his life and where did his love of business come from
– His thoughts on what makes Canada special
– Receiving the Harry Jerome Award and what does his try to carry on with in regards to Harry Jerome’s legacy
– The importance of innovation and perseverance in Black Canada and the challenges achieving these goals
The 33rd Annual BBPA Harry Jerome Awards will be held on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto. Tickets for the Harry Jerome Awards are $200. To place an order, please call 416-504-4097 or online at Shop@bbpa or visit the Centre of Excellence, located at 180 Elm Street, Toronto, between the hours of 10-4pm Monday to Friday.
For more information, please visit us online at Black Business and Professional Association, call 416-504-4097 or email.
History Of The Harry Jerome Awards:
On October 21, 1982, a meeting was held where a decision was made to form an association and a steering committee including Al Hamilton, publisher of Contrast Newspaper, Denham Jolly and Bromley Armstrong. Incorporated in July 1983, the Black Business and Professional Association (BBPA) is a non-profit charitable organization that serves to address equity and opportunity for the Black community in business, employment, education and economic development. Following the October 1982 meeting, it was decided to honour the six Black Canadian athletes who excelled at that year’s Commonwealth Games: Angela Taylor-Issanjenko, Ben Johnson, Mark McKoy, Milt Ottey, Tony Sharpe and Desai Williams.
A dinner was suggested at which Harry Jerome, Canada’s premiere track and field athlete of the 1960s would be invited to be the keynote speaker. However, before he could be invited, Harry Jerome died suddenly in December 1982. The group then decided to turn the celebration into a tribute to Harry Jerome and an awards ceremony to honour the six athletes. The name “Harry Jerome Awards” was proposed by Hamlin Grange and so the first Harry Jerome Awards was held on March 5, 1983.
The Harry Jerome Awards is now a national event that recognizes and honours excellence in African Canadian achievement. In addition to the Harry Jerome Awards, the BBPA sponsors the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund, providing financial support to African Canadian youth pursuing higher education. The idea for the Harry Jerome Scholarship Fund was provided by Hamlin Grange and realized through the efforts of Kamala-Jean Gopie, Pamela Appelt, Sheila Simpson and Beverly Mascoll. Journalist Cynthia Reyes was the BBPA’s president at the time. Under the leadership of Verlyn Francis, in 1996 the scholarship fund established an endowment fund and attracted corporate sponsorship. Today the Fund awards some thirty scholarships each year.
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