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A recap of the 2012 3M Health Leadership Award Gala

By Andrea Bodkin

On Thursday December 6th, Health Nexus and 3M Canada hosted an awards gala to honour the finalists and recipient of the second annual 3M Health Leadership Award.  The gala was held at the Ontario Heritage Centre, a real historical and architectural gem in the heart of downtown Toronto.  More than 100 people joined finalists Jackie Bajus, Christopher Morgan, Baldev Mutta and Vicki Van Wagner to recognize this year’s winner, Noor Din. The event also featured speaker and author Brenda Zimmerman, who spoke about dynamic leadership in complex and changing times.
It was a fantastic evening. Not only was the space beautiful, the hors d’oeuvres incredible and the crowd fantastic, the evening itself was inspirational. So often, we do our work in communities, hoping that we are making a difference, but often we’re not sure if we are. Not only does the 3M Health Leadership Award recognize the incredible efforts of a handful of leaders across Canada, but the gala gives us an opportunity to be inspired and remember that each one of us – yes, every one of us- can make a difference.

What sets this award apart is that it recognizes leadership. Not just community contribution or program delivery or even community change, but those around us that lead and inspire us to be leaders as well.

Those who have thrown down the gauntlet and refused to accept the status quo in their communities of lack of service, discrimination, social isolation and poverty.
Those who transform their communities and those around them.
Those who make a difference.

For those of you who struggle to make a difference, or wonder if you are making one, for those of you who wonder what’s possible, I’d encourage you to read about our finalists and award recipient  and watch the recording of the gala, featuring each of them and our guest speaker Brenda Zimmerman, and be inspired.

What is leadership?

We asked some remarkable people about their thoughts on leadership. We invite you to listen to what they had to say and to reflect on your own ideas about leadership and change.


A day of sharing

As most of you know, the 3M Health Leadership Award was born from collaboration between 3M Canada and Health Nexus. Such a partnership is not a first for 3M Canada. For 26 yrs, 3M Canada and the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education have been recognizing exceptional professors across the country with the 3M National Teaching Fellowships. In addition to this prestigious award, 3M also collaborates with the London Children’s Museum, Let’s Talk Science, Learning for a Sustainable Future, and the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Recently, representatives from all of the above named organizations were brought together by 3M Canada and Impakt to discuss our passions, our work and to explore opportunities for support and collaboration.

Well what a day it was! Our facilitator, David Sheridan put us to work, and the results were very energized and ambitious. It was one of those afternoons were a group of likeminded individuals get set on a task and go above and beyond.

All of the participating organizations are doing such tremendous work in the fields of education and health. It was an honour to be among their company. Besides the shared learning, it was great to see 3M Canada taking the role as convener and connector. They see the opportunity in having their diverse partners sharing amongst each other and creating a support network.

If you don’t know about some of the named organizations, we encourage you to check out their websites.

We’d like to thank 3M Canada and Impakt for their guidance and continued support as we all strive to improve the health of our communities.


A note from  Health Nexus Executive Director, Barb Willet

It is with great enthusiasm that we embark on our second year with the 3M Health Leadership Award. Last year’s experience was so positive and inspiring that we are looking forward to the tremendous wealth of nominations that we will receive this year. Nominations received in our inaugural year covered such diverse work as micro financing, the right to food, inclusion programming, literacy and came from the four corners of Canada.

We feel very fortunate to be able to offer this award to such deserving individuals across the country. It is the work of these leaders that keeps us inspired in the work that we do every day.

 This year we want to further the conversation on leadership. Many individuals who should be recognized and celebrated as leaders often do not see themselves as leaders. These sometimes intangible leader qualities are hard to pin down for a brief Webster’s definition. And so we’ve started a list on our website.  We encourage you to join us in exploring leadership throughout the year.

On behalf of Health Nexus and 3M Canada I would like to thank you all of you for your support and work.



3M Leadership Award Symposium
An unforgettable afternoon to celebrate leadership in health

(Pianist Michael Jones, Pat Small, 3M Canada, Joyce Rock, former Executive Director, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Vancouver BC, Barb Willet, Health Nexus)

Health Nexus and 3M Canada were very pleased to present Ms. Joyce Rock with the 3M Health Leadership Award on December 5th, at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse in Toronto, Ontario.

In addition to the award’s ceremony, the afternoon included a keynote presentation my Juno-nominated pianist Michael Jones. Through his music and facilitation the group explored the concept of “aliveness” – discovering the gifts within each of us that make us feel alive. This new perspective on leadership was welcomed among guests and the small group dialogues permitted for some thought-provoking conversations about linking our gifts with our work within our communities.

On behalf of Health Nexus and 3M Canada we’d like to thank all of our guests for attending and participating in making the day so memorable.

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