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Empowering Employees Leaders go beyond benefits

Presenting the 2019 nominees for the Empowering Employees Leader Award

Vibrant Communities Calgary (VCC) is a non-profit organization and REAP member, guiding the implementation of Enough for All, Calgary’s community-driven poverty reduction strategy. VCC is the presenting sponsor for the Empowering Employees Leader award at this year’s Be Local Awards.

This award shines a spotlight on an organization that is “doing business differently,” showing commitment to the well-being of its employees through exceptional Human Resources (HR) practices, inclusive hiring efforts, and paying a living wage -- $18.15/hour without benefits, and $17/hour with benefits. Doing business differently also happens to be one of the key components of poverty reduction through Enough For All.

These REAP members are in the running for the 2019 Empowering Employees Leader Award:

  • Dogma Training & Pet Services is a dog training facility in Calgary. In addition to paying a Living Wage to all employees, Dogma strives to create a “family” atmosphere at work, ensuring its staff are happy, healthy, and feel appreciated and celebrated. Dogma also offers continuing education initiatives for subjects from dog training to ESL.
  • Dryleaf is a maker of compostable plates crafted from leaves harvested in rural India, where many live below the poverty line. The factory pays a Living Wage to help lift its employees out of poverty, offers on-the-job training and flexible work-life balance to ensure its employees are still able to care for their families. Dryleaf plans to implement childhood education support for its employee’s children.
  • Hope Cleaning is a social enterprise cleaning service empowering women in need through work. By partnering with local shelters, Hope Cleaning provides survivors of domestic abuse and homelessness with a supportive place to work and get back on their feet.
  • Redemptive Developments is a mattress recycler, secondhand furniture store, and junk removal service that provides meaningful and supportive employment to recent immigrants, visible minorities, those who have physical and mental disabilities, mental health challenges, have been recently incarcerated, have been or are currently homeless or simply have gaps in employment history.  

“Doing business differently is a really important part of poverty reduction,” says Executive Director Franco Savoia. “We think that if more businesses did what members of REAP do, together we can reduce poverty in our city.”


  1. Click the above links to vote for your favourite nominee before the window closes Sunday at 11:59 pm!
  2. Follow VCC on Twitter and Facebook for important updates about addressing poverty in our city.
  3. Learn more about the Enough for All Strategy 2.0 and other publications and reports on poverty.
  4. Want to see this award presented in person? Click here to purchase tickets to the Soul of the Next Economy Forum and be sure to watch the Be Local Awards ceremony on November 14th from 3-5 pm.