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Shiraz Ahmed in his home office in Mississauga on Nov. 29.Galit Rodan/The Globe and Mail

The organizer: Shiraz Ahmed

The pitch: Supporting charities in Canada and abroad

When Shiraz Ahmed was growing up in Winnipeg his parents made sure he understood the importance of helping others.

“It’s just kind of been ingrained in me at a very young age,” Mr. Ahmed recalled from his home in Mississauga, where he works as a financial adviser at Raymond James. “We are fortunate to live in the West and whatever limited means you believe you may have, there’s always so many more who do need help.”

Mr. Ahmed, 39, has been involved in several causes over the years, both in Canada and abroad. He’s supported the International Development and Relief Fund, Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Nazem Kadri Foundation. He has also participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer and donated money for relief efforts and clean water projects in Pakistan. For the past seven years he has been funding a scholarship through the Muslim Awards for Excellence program.

His involvement with the scholarship program has been particularly meaningful, Mr. Ahmed said, because his grandmother was a firm believer in education. “That’s something that really hits near and dear for me; helping those in my community who have historically not had access to as much funds,” he said.

Mr. Ahmed’s philanthropic work contributed to him recently winning the Investment Industry Association of Canada’s Top Under 40 Award. In keeping with his upbringing, he celebrated the achievement by making a donation to charity. “Whenever something good happens, one of the first things that we do as a family is make a donation to something that matters,” he said. “It’s one of those things where we’re just continuing to try to put money to where it’s needed.”

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