Birch Hill’s John MacIntyre named winner of CVCA’s 2016 Community Leadership Award
The Canadian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) announced John MacIntyre, Partner, Birch Hill Equity Partners, as the recipient of its 2016 Ted Anderson Community Leadership Award winner during its Annual Conference in Toronto on May 24th.
Named for CVCA past President and previous recipient Ted Anderson, the purpose of this prestigious award is to honour individual CVCA members who demonstrate active commitment to community engagement, and provide substantial value to a not-for-profit organization or cause through personal time and fund raising efforts.
MacIntyre is an ambassador of equality and has demonstrated a longtime commitment to serving disadvantaged indigenous communities. However, it is his legacy support of Our Children’s Medicine – a program that helps indigenous youth find employment – that sets MacIntyre apart as a leading example of good social citizenship.
Our Children’s Medicine (OCM) is an employment and mentorship initiative that focuses on increasing employment within the indigenous community. OCM is led by Prince’s Charities Canada, in partnership with Birch Hill Equity Partners. The initiative’s objective has been clear since day one: work with top Canadian business leaders and existing indigenous community organizations to provide sustainable employment to talented and qualified job seekers within the community. This is not a charity exercise, rather a tangible way for Canadian businesses to help break the cycle of chronic unemployment that challenge the Indigenous community.
MacIntyre says both having been involved in under-served, first-nations communities for a number of years and having had the opportunity to spend time on a reserve in North America a few years back opened his eyes to the immense social problems existing among indigenous Canadians, particularly amongst indigenous youth. The fact that the Indigenous community is Canada’s most rapidly growing population, yet suffer an unemployment rate that is more than double the national rate is cause for concern that resonates strongly with him.
“As a Canadian, it’s just not acceptable to look away,” he says. “We believe that Birch Hill as a Canadian business has an obligation to give back and it’s important for all of us that Canada succeeds. But part of being great is not ignoring parts of the country that are struggling.”
MacIntyre adds, “Our involvement with Prince’s Charities Canada really saw a way that business could get involved. There’s lot of social issues that business really can’t do anything about. However, we can employ people. We can take job-ready people and put them into jobs, and we can help people who aren’t job-ready become job-ready.”
Stephen Dent, Partner at Birch Hill and longtime colleague of MacIntyre, defines John as both a quiet leader and the heartbeat behind this initiative at the firm. He says MacIntyre always finds a way to bring important social issues into the fabric of the firm and is always committed to driving solutions to address said issues. In addition, Dent says, he’s been quite successful in instilling passion towards the cause amongst the firm in mass.
According to Amanda Sherrington, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prince’s Charities Canada, MacIntyre’s involvement in the cause goes deeper than just leading his colleagues to help indigenous youth become employed. Rather, he demonstrates a deep cultural awareness and is keen to educate and engage the indigenous community from the onset.
“Birch Hill are incredible partners, they’re inspirational and what’s really terrific about them is that they’ve engaged the entire company, not just one or two senior executives,” says Sherrington.
While Our Children’s Medicine is only about two years old, MacIntyre says Birch Hill is working very hard to bring the cause to a level where the firm can have an immense positive impact, helping upwards of 100,000 indigenous job seekers reach sustainable employment. To date, the firm has engaged over 50 companies in this initiative, and have involved all of their portfolio companies.
As is tradition, the Community Leadership Award recipient will be able to direct the charity funds from the CVCA’s Annual Golf Tournament in August to the charity of their choice. This year, proceeds raised at the golf event will support Our Children’s Medicine.
Please join the CVCA in congratulating John for this important recognition of his work.
*John MacIntyre is a partner at Birch Hill Equity Partners and a key driver behind Our Children’s Medicine, a charitable cause that helps young aboriginal youth find employment. MacIntyre is also actively involved in numerous other social causes; he’s the director of St. Michaels Hospital Foundation, director of Community Foundations of Canada, and sits in the Investment Committee for Toronto Foundation (TF). He’s also the former director and past chair of both the Toronto Foundation as well as the Wellspring Cancer Support Foundation. MacIntyre has been with Birch Hill and its predecessor, TD Capital, for 22 years.