Greek expatriate Gus Kotsiomitis is a typical hard-working immigrant with big dreams, determination and a strong work ethic. His parents taught him those values, arriving in Canada as part of a wave of newcomers that settled here after the Second World War.
Growing up in Toronto’s Greek town, Kotsiomitis spent most of his life living and working a few subway stops from the hospital where he was born. You could say Kotsiomitis has more than fulfilled his parents’ expectations, who had advised him to always work hard and give back.
As Vice-President of commercial banking for RBC’s London, Kotsiomitis has been given several awards for the work he’s done helping newcomers find their footing in this country’s business world. He was surprised with one of those awards – the 2012 WIL Skill Centre’s leadership and innovation award for his work championing the talents of immigrants who have professional training in other countries. “It was just a very rewarding evening for me, totally unexpected, unwarranted in many ways, but certainly a great honor and just an inspiration to do even more,” he said.
“Gus was the first business leader to step on board in terms of creating an employer-led and business-driven council,” Jennifer Hollis, Project Manager at London-Middlesex Immigrant Employment Council, explained. The council started in 2007 with 15 business leaders and now has about 250 who are involved with the organization.
Kotsiomitis also sits on a provincial panel of experts that will chart Ontario’s new immigration strategy. “We have to attract the best talent – that’s regional talent, national talent and international talent,” he said. That’s why, under Kotsiomitis’ guidance, the LMIEC has created a unique mentorship program, where newcomers to London are matched with a business mentor to coach them through the soft skills needed in their profession here. Now, the council has taken that program to the next level and created a peer-mentorship program where those who have been through the mentorship program and found jobs are mentoring other newcomers.
It’s hard to believe with all he’s contributed, Kotsiomitis has only been in London six years.He began working for RBC in 1990 after he completed his MBA at McGill University. He rose up the ranks, first as an account manager, then a national manager. He now enjoys a professional and family success with his wife and three children. During his presence in London, Gus has been active in several organizations, such as the United Way of London and Middlesex, the Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He’s currently the president of the Chamber of Commerce.
Source: London Free Press