Voices.com welcomes Londoners to its new global headquarters

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Employees at Voices.com moved into the company’s new global headquarters back in October, but the public was welcomed to a special open house on Jan. 19.

Voices.com, the world’s largest voice-over marketplace, recently opened the doors on its new global headquarters, offering Londoners a quick peak into the company’s ongoing prosperity.

The company has experienced accelerated expansion with PROFIT Guide and Canadian Business reporting a five-year growth rate of 798 percent. Voices.com is also listed as the fastest-growing company in London.

Serving clients in over 130 countries in the world, the company connects creative professionals and brands with a global network of more than 200,000 voice actors.

As a result of such growth, the Voices.com team exceeded the company’s space at 150 Dufferin Ave. – an office they’ve been in since 2009.

The entire team of over 100 employees moved to 100 Dundas St. on Oct. 24, 2016, but an official public unveiling took place on Jan. 19.

“This renovation and move has been a massive undertaking, and has a positive impact on the city of London. Such a project has been a dream of ours for years,” said Voices.com CEO David Ciccarelli. “To see it come together, and so quickly, with the help of Farhi Holdings, IN Design Associates Inc., Enright Construction Limited, Facility Resources, Herman Miller, and our various other partners, means that we can maintain the momentum of growth within our company, the city, and the industry.”

Taking over the entire seventh floor of the new building, the space is over twice the size of the corporate footprint Voices.com left behind.

At 45,000 sq. ft. the new location will allow the entire tech company to reside on one open floor.

A floor plate of this size is unique in the downtown core, but was deemed “critical” to the company’s plans of keeping all employees together to maintain a team feeling, even while growing in size.

“To have such a dynamic, Canadian-based — yet internationally successful — company in this local architectural landmark bodes well for everyone involved,” said Shmuel Farhi of Farhi Holdings Corporation. “Keeping over 100 workers in the area also benefits the downtown landscape and its core businesses.”

In a span of just five months, the new space was demolished and renovated with furnishings, technology, and design concepts influenced by west coast tech start-up spaces.

New Herman Miller furniture, state-of-the-art visitor technology, audio equipment, custom artwork, industry term-themed meeting spaces, an audio museum, and a kitchen-cafe that can accommodate nearly 300 hundred people, are all new additions.

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London Police Service sharing Warm Hands Warm Hearts

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London Police Service is participating in the Warm Hands Warm Hearts Project to provided knitted hats, scarves, mittens or socks to people in need.

Sir Robert Peel, the founder of policing, once said, “The police are the public, and the public are the police.”

Keeping in line with this statement, the London Police Service (LPS) is participating in the Warm Hands Warm Hearts Project. This project is an opportunity for citizens to work with the LPS to assist less fortunate members of the community.

With the cold winter months setting in, many Londoners are left without proper winter clothing and accessories.

Many individuals enjoy knitting hats, scarves, mittens, or socks as a pastime and have a strong desire to help others.

The police regularly deal with various members within the city, many of whom could potentially use knit goods. As these interactions are already taking place, the LPS would like to play a role in distributing these items.

A member of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, in St. John’s, NL, implemented the Warm Hands Warm Hearts Project in the early 1990’s.

The program was created after speaking with community members who expressed a desire to assist those in need. The officer realized the police could assist in the distribution of knit items, due to their regular interactions with people of all walks of life within their community.

After some planning, the Warm Hands Warm Hearts program was created. Members of the community were encouraged to donate knit hats, scarves, mittens and socks for distribution by uniformed police officers, as they went about their duties.

The officer who founded the original program has a son who was recently hired as a cadet with the London Police Service.

This young man first became involved with the program at the age of eight, assisting his mother with the distribution of items in St. John’s, NL.

Now in his early 20’s, he has seen first-hand how people can benefit from these donations and felt with the help of the LPS, this program could continue in the Forest City.

If you would like to assist the LPS by donating knit goods, drop items off to police headquarters reception staff at 601 Dundas St. until March 1.

Lerners LLP launches women’s empowerment symposium

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Tiziana Casciaro will speak at the launch of a new speakers series from Lerners LLP designed to empower professional women.

Lerners LLP is set to launch a new speakers series centered around educating, inspiring and empowering professional women to achieve their goals.

Beginning in February, the Lerners Women’s Symposium will serve to showcase women who have made significant achievements in their lines of work — from entrepreneurs to leading political figures.

The inaugural event, to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, will feature Tiziana Casciaro, associate professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.

She will share strategies for making networking not only more bearable, but perhaps even enjoyable for the networking-averse.

“Lerners LLP is very proud to launch this signature speaker series as part of our efforts to build leadership among women across London through inspiring stories that cultivate leadership and success,” said Lerners LLP partner Yola S. Ventresca. “Having Tiziana Casciaro as our first speaker is a great way to begin the series, given her research and strategies to help recast networking in a more positive light, including how you can make the focus about learning, identify common interests, or assign a higher purpose to the practice.”

As associate professor of organizational behaviour and HR management, Casciaro has co-written a study that looks at the sometimes negative psychological impact professional networking can have on an individual.

“Tiziana has served as an advisor to corporations and firms in the United States and Canada,” Ventresca said. “Her research has been featured in the Economist, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Huffington Post, USA Today, the Times of London, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and TIME magazine. We’re hoping that her spirit of leadership will inspire our business community to reach higher and further.”

The symposium takes place at Museum London, from 5-8 p.m.

To RSVP contact Andrea Catlin at 519-672-4131 ext. 5340 or acatlin@lerners.ca.

Londoners invited to apply for 2017 SPARKS, TreeME community funding

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Applications for the 2017 SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund and TreeME Matching Fund are now being accepted.

It all begins with a group of neighbours and an exciting idea.

Londoners can develop ideas for their neighbourhoods and then apply for funding to initiate, manage and implement their projects.

Applications for the 2017 SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund and TreeME Matching Fund are now being accepted until Tuesday, Feb. 28.

“I encourage every neighbourhood to take a look at these two programs and see how the City can support your community building efforts,” said Mayor Matt Brown. “London is a city of unique neighbourhoods and programs like this help us work together to build strong, vibrant and thriving communities and a better city for all.”

In its seventh year, the SPARKS! Neighbourhood Matching Fund is a community grant that provides funding to improve and enhance neighbourhoods. Upon approval, the city will match volunteer time contributions, donated services and materials up to $5,000 per project.

In the last six years, 70 projects in 20 neighbourhoods have been funded.

Initiatives have included community celebrations and gatherings, neighbourhood banners and signs, art and cultural festivals, beautification and naturalization projects.

With countless project possibilities, neighbourhoods are encouraged to be creative and have fun inventing projects to “spark” local neighbourhood pride.

The TreeME Matching Fund, now in its third year, provides funding to increase tree coverage across the city by funding tree-planting initiatives on private property.

In the last two years, more than 3,000 trees were planted across 10 different neighbourhoods, including a second tree-planting blitz in six new neighbourhoods.

Visit www.london.ca/sparks or www.london.ca/treeme for full application details and guidelines.

Brown announces London’s 2017 New Year’s Honour List

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Mayor Matt Brown has unveilled the Londoners named to the annual New Year’s Honouree List.

Mayor Matt Brown has announced the annual list of London’s New Year’s Honouree List.

“Today we celebrate some remarkable London leaders,” the mayor said. “On behalf of all of Council, congratulations to each of you and thank you — your significant contributions are all examples of us working together to build a better city for all.”

Each year, many active members of the London community are nominated in specific categories as a means of recognizing the diversity of philanthropic work taking place in The Forest City.

The following is the roster of 2017 honourees.

  • Susan Grindrod (Housing)

Grindrod retired this year after 34 years at Western University. During her tenure as associate vice-president of Housing & Ancillary Services, she initiated and oversaw construction of seven new student residences and one apartment building adding 3,300 additional spaces to Western’s housing complement. She also help develop the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope, using her expertise to design spaces in the centre for youth and families.

  • Dale Yoshida (Arts)

Yoshida is an artist and teacher who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to London. She trained at The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School before being accepted into The Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. Yoshida, a teacher at Western since 1987, she supports and choreographs the London South Collegiate bi-annual performance productions and is a board member of FLUX London Dance Festival as well as the North London Dance Centre.

  • Therese Quigley (Sports)

Quigley, Western’s director of Athletics and Recreation since 2009, is a former teacher and volleyball coach at Saunders Secondary School. She went on to become one of Canada’s leading athletic administrators, spending 18 years at McMaster University in Hamilton where she was the first female director of Athletics and Recreation in the province.

  • Andrew Rosser (Humanitarianism)

In his role as president of Pride London Festival, Rosser has shown real leadership in fostering inclusion for members of the LGBT community in the Forest City and beyond. In 2016 the festival played host to the Fierte Canada Pride and InterPride Region 7 Conference and AGM bringing together Pride organizers from across the country and welcoming Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne as the keynote speaker.

  • Brenda Ryan (Persons with a Disability)

Ryan is dedicated to assisting people, especially those with disabilities and her efforts have made London a more accessible community for all. Ryan is also concerned with the health of those with disabilities and, through a free six-week program she created, Londoners are now able to learn first-hand about healthy cooking and nutrition.

  • Mojdeh Cox (Diversity and Race Relations)

Cox is a community activist and leader who works to dismantle systemic oppression and racism. Cox volunteers her time to support London’s Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Oppression Advisory Committee and also helped develop the Community Forum on Racism. She has also led grassroots community efforts impacting racialized communities on issues that include Carding and the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • Danielle Mooder (Safety and Crime Prevention)

Mooder plays an active role on many committees focused on safe travel and friendly, supportive communities particularly at St. Sebastian Catholic School, but also in the Glen Cairn neighbourhood as well as the wider community. She has been instrumental in the Safe Routes to School program and heads up a nutrition and support program for area families in need.

  • Joseph Cummins (Environment)

Cummins — a retired faculty member from the Department of Plant Sciences at Western — died on Jan. 8, 2016 at age 82. Prior to his retirement in1996, Cummins had 23 years of service at Western. His research was in the area of cellular RNA and DNA in the cell cycle, in the 1970s and 80s his focus turned to the environment and the effects of pollution on genes.

  • Sandra Miller (Heritage)

Miller has brought mid-century modern architecture to public attention in London, both to LACH and to the broader public, most notably in regard to the Hill Street Hospital buildings. As a member of ACO London Region Branch she has developed and maintained social media efforts focussed on architectural matters including recent demolitions and important potential losses.