Mike D’AmicoFirst Vice-Chair

    Mike is the HR Practice Leader for Stratford Managers Corporation. He provides organizations with strategic HR support and has in-depth experience working with Boards of Directors and HR and Compensation Committees. Prior to joining Stratford Managers, Mike founded Strategic HR Consulting Canada, a successful HR consulting firm providing HR strategies to clients, with a focus on Talent Management, Total Rewards, Corporate Governance and Mergers & Acquisitions. Mike previously served as SVP of HR & Organizational Effectiveness for Iogen, as AVP of HR for Cognos and held numerous senior positions with Nortel. Mike holds a B.A. in Law & Sociology from the Carleton University, an HR Management Certificate from Algonquin College and achieved the SHRP certification – the highest HR certification level in Canada.

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    Milo's Story

    Every year when I was little, I’d think “this will be the year that everything will be okay”. And every year, I’d be crushed. By the time I was 18 I couldn’t take my dad’s drinking or my mom’s crying anymore, so I packed a knapsack with the warmest clothes I had and I left. It was freezing cold, and I was alone…but I was free.

    The next few months were rough and at times very scary. I spent nights in parks, doorways and even under bridges all with just an old sleeping bag a friend had given me. One night it was so cold that I walked until the sun came up, afraid that I would freeze to death if I slept.

    It took me awhile to get over the embarrassment to start asking people for money. But, it was swallow my pride or stay cold and hungry. After two weeks of doing this I learned about YSB. I didn’t know it then but, in that moment, my life changed for the better. I got connected to YSB’s Young Men’s Emergency Shelter and my first night in the shelter I slept 11 hours. I felt so safe and secure. I remember that moment clearly and I felt so hopeful I now have my own apartment in one of YSB’s long-term housing buildings, am attending college to become a graphic designer, and am working part-time to support myself.

    “For the first time I can remember, I’m really excited about my future. Growing up I just thought about getting by one day at a time.” I hope my story conveys just how life changing it was for me to be able to access YSB’s shelter during a really difficult time in my life. The team at YSB supported me every step of the way, and I’m grateful they were by my side. I hope you’ll consider taking the opportunity to transform the life of another young person like me today.

    Milo*

    *While Milo’s story is real his name has been changed to protect his privacy