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Director | SVX

Adam SpenceFor over 10 years, Adam has focused his work on driving social, economic and environmental justice through finance, education, social innovation and public policy change as an advocate, researcher and social entrepreneur. At MaRS, Adam helped found the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing and the School for Social Entrepreneurs – Ontario. He was also the executive director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks for five years. In this position, he significantly grew the organization’s revenues and program impact, led a number of groundbreaking research studies including Canada’s first review of the cost of poverty. He successfully pressed the provincial government to implement a poverty reduction strategy in collaboration with many partners, and expanded the ability of food banks to acquire and distribute fresh, healthy food through an innovative initiative called Community Harvest Ontario.

Adam has also worked as a community animator for the skilled trades in Hamilton and acted as the executive director for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, where he successfully advanced a number of reforms during Ontario’s Postsecondary Review including low-income grants for students. As a speaker, Adam has engaged various audiences across the country on issues related to education, poverty and social finance. Adam has also written extensively on these topics and been featured in numerous media outlets, including CNN International, TVO, CTV, CBC television and radio, BNN, GlobalTV, the Toronto Star, Financial Post, National Post, and the Globe and Mail.

In 2002, Adam was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Gold Medal, given to Canadians who have made a significant contribution to their community or to the nation. In 2010, Adam was awarded the McMaster Alumni Arch Award, which recognizes the institution’s recent graduates for their unique and interesting contributions to society, local community and to McMaster University. In 2012, Adam was named one of McMaster University’s 125 People of Impact, an honour given to McMaster staff and alumni who have made the greatest impact over the past 125 years. Adam was born in Glasgow, Scotland, grew up on the Canadian prairies, and came of age in Hamilton, Ont. He graduated from McMaster University with a degree in geography. Adam has also completed the Canadian Securities Course.

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