OCdts. On Parade

Ihor Kozak awarded on of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant awards

The third-annual awards are meant to celebrate the stories and achievements of outstanding Canadian immigrants. Winners are chosen through an online public vote.

22008 Ihor Kozak (Oshawa, Ontario/Ukraine) is an engineer who has served the country as a decorated officer in the Canadian Forces and is an active volunteer in the Ukrainian Canadian community.

The 75 finalists were shortlisted from a panel of judges from more than 500 nominations received over a two-month period.

This year, more than 25,000 Canadians voted for their favourite finalists.

Award recipients were honoured at a ceremony Monday (May 16) in Toronto

Winners receive a commemorative certificate and lapel pin, as well as a $500 donation towards an authorized Canadian charity of their choice. They will also be featured on canadianimmigrant.ca and in the June 2011 print edition of Canadian Immigrant magazine.

Leader by example

“Not speaking a word of English was my biggest challenge,” says Ukrainian-born Ihor Kozak, in chaste English. By all means, his current English ability is an impressive achievement.

He also has a list of other successes to be proud of, starting with being the first immigrant from the former USSR to attend the prestigious Royal Military College of Canada. He also served the country as a decorated officer in the Canadian Forces, both at home and abroad, and was decorated twice for his outstanding leadership. He points to previous generations of Ukrainians as his inspiration — people who immigrated to Canada at times of war, with nothing but a will to make a new beginning and succeed in raising great families, building strong communities and making Canada one of the best countries in the world.

Upon retirement from the Forces, Kozak obtained an MBA and has become a successful entrepreneur. Toronto, Oshawa-based Kozak is constantly travelling abroad on business, but finds time to support charitable causes and to take a leadership role in the Ukrainian community. “It is extremely important. What goes around comes around,” Kozak explains. “Having benefited from some tremendous and unique opportunities in Canada, I see it as my duty to give back to Canada as a citizen and to assist those immigrants following my footsteps so that this wonderful country may continue to prosper.”

Kozak continues, “Canada offers tremendous opportunities, so work hard to materialize them. And from these two ingredients, our unique Canadian way is created.”




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