Cisco Canada Blog

Giving Back with Impact: How Cisco and Our Partners Work Together To Make A Difference In Western Canada

August 13, 2014

By Dean La Riviere, Director of Partner Operations, Western Canada

Good intentions abound, however it is those that take action who really impact change and showcase what is possible.

In Western Canada, we’ve seen an abundance of initiatives where Cisco and members of our amazing partner community have worked together to make a difference in the lives of others. Here are a few recent projects we’ve been a part of:

– Volunteer Disaster Relief assistance for those affected by last year’s flooding in Southern Alberta

– Working with TELUS in June to raise funds in support of Juvenile Diabetes Research via the ‘Walk to Cure Diabetes’ events across Canada

– Supporting Bell via ‘Clara’s Big Ride’ which heightened awareness of mental health issues impacting all Canadians as Clara Hughes rode across the country

– A screening of the award winning documentary ‘Girl Rising’ to 36 grade nine students from two schools in Calgary to inspire action to get girls into classrooms worldwide. This included local drives to secure money, books and clothing for women’s charities

A screening of Girls Rising we coordinated in Calgary.

A screening of Girls Rising we coordinated in Calgary.

I am proud to say that there are many more examples such as these. One in particular that I would like to highlight is how our partner, Graycon Group, has supported the Connected North initiative.

‘Connected North’ was established by Cisco to enhance Health and Education services through virtual access to experts and essential services for those located in some of the most  remote communities in Canada. These communities have struggled with issues revolving around student participation, high drop-out rates and limited access to quality mental health services and counselling. Utilizing Cisco TelePresence solutions, via a diverse network of partners, educators and mental health practitioners are able to access and provide real-time support to those who need it without geographical restrictions.

Calgary, Alberta’s Graycon Group were among the first to support the Connected North program.  .

Doug Gray, Graycon’s President believes that it is in the DNA of all ‘Grayconians’, to give back to the community. When Doug first became aware of what Cisco and our partners were doing with the Connected North project, he jumped in with both feet. Most notably, supporting the Deh Gah school in Fort Providence, North West Territories. Doug has gone one step further by engaging with other Cisco partners (who in some cases are Graycon competitors), and customers to get them involved in the program.

Doug realizes that amplifying Connected North is how this initiative can exponentially evolve and positively impact children, and build productive citizen-supported communities.

Thank you Doug and the rest of the Graycon Group team for your continued enthusiasm and support for Connected North.

To become a part of something transformative to society, please reach out and get aboard!

Dean La RiviereDean La Riviere is the director of partner operations for Cisco in western Canada. With more than 25 years of industry experience, Dean has a background of leadership roles in sales and channel management, service provider and system integrators. As director of western Canada partner operations, he is focused on working with Cisco’s sales, engineering and services teams and partners to enable customer growth in the region.

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