June 17, 2008
Talent Acquisition and Persons Living with Disabilities was sponsored by BMO and held on June 17, 2008 and held at First Canadian Place on the 64th floor.
Opening remarks were made by JOIN Board. The MC for the event was Sharon Myatt, Employer Development Consultant for JOIN. Sharon introduced Mr. Marcel Ekelschot, Vice President of Sales and Client Services in Direct Banking of BMO Bank of Montreal. Keynote speaker, Wayne Kemick, Senior Vice-President and Wealth Advisor at BMO Nesbitt-Burs As Senior Vice-President and Wealth Advisor with BMO Nesbitt-Burns,
Wayne has been working with clients to achieve their goals since 1981. An accident in 1978 left Wayne a quadriplegic, after he slipped on ice and broke his neck in two places. After nine months of rehabilitation, the former professional football player enrolled in an MBA program at Queen's University. Upon graduation, Wayne re-entered the workforce with new skills and a fresh determination to break down barriers to accessibility while embarking on a new career in the Financial Industry.
During the early part of his career as a Wealth Advisor, Wayne believed that because his career was carried out mostly by corresponding with people over the phone, it provided him with greater independence that was not available to many others in the workforce with accessibility issues. However, Wayne can recall that he too often had to overcome inaccessibility issues in the 1980s and 1990s.
There were often times when he called upon his old football colleagues to physically carry him into buildings. It was during this time, when inaccessibility was the norm, that Wayne was interviewed by the President of BMO. The building could not accommodate Wayne, so the interview was conducted in Wayne's van that was parked at street level. Since that day, Wayne has worked with BMO Financial Group and has helped his clients develop strategies to effectively navigate through the various life stages, often focusing on broader issues rather than just on their financial goals.
It has been with this determination, courage, along with the help of his service dog Agar, that he has continued to lead the way in breaking down barriers to accessibility. Dauna Jones-Simmonds, Chair of the BLN offered special thanks to our sponsors and reviewed Why and How to Become a JOIN Business Leadership Network Member.