Harnessing the Power of Sport Through the TO2015 GAMES!

What sparked your interest in being a Torch Bearer?

Since being chosen, I thought of many reasons, but all seem way too embarrassing, almost “Hallmark”-ish. But then I met someone at the Ottawa Marathon who made it all clear.

She and I were the only two spectators out at the 5km marker, her with a black lab and me, still half asleep frantically trying to spot the members of my Montreal Boreal Running Club so I can cheer them on.

As we started to chat, I was immediately fascinated by this woman. She was nervous about her son running the race, worried about all the things that could go wrong. She continued to tell me the story of her son, a person, which on his own, would have difficulty crossing a simple intersection and states his black lab is a Dalmatian covered in soot hiding from Cruella DeVille. Her son Tommy is Autistic.

That is when it came to me – the power of sports and how much its effect goes way beyond the individual participating in it.

When our Canadian athletes go for the gold, when my Running club group and coaches challenge its members to push harder during a run, when a mom voices her pride to a complete stranger on how her son, who is Autistic, surpasses most of the abilities of his competitors…I know that we are all benefitting from the good of sport.

The Pan Am games are made up of teams, countries and events, but it is more importantly made up of unique individuals and each one of them is harnessing the power of sport, and that reverberates loudly.

Why should you carry the torch?

Because I want to show my respect for the power of the sport and my recognition to those who keep it burning!

If you had a chance to do one thing out of the ordinary when carrying the torch, what would it be? 

I would have bells on my shoes, and would drag empty cans on a string behind me with a big sign on my back saying “ Well, look at me! Who’d a thought!”


Author:  Julia Skierszkan

Born in Sudbury, Ontario to a family of four, Julia was the youngest. Now she has a family of her own; Julia has been in a loving marriage for 30 years and has two wonderful children. Alongside her pride for her family, is that of her work – she has been the IT Manager for 14 years at Metro Supply Chain Group, a Canadian owned company. Julia loves to run and trail over road; she sometimes participates in races as an excuse to travel around the world.


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What Sparked Your Interest in Being a TO2015 Torch Bearer?

What sparked your interest in being a torch Bearer?

I wanted to be a part of a large sporting event so that I could share in the excitement and the spirit of the Games. In turn, when the opportunity came up, I accepted immediately; I thought this is a once in a life time experience.

How are you personally involved in sports or fitness? 

I’m pretty active and quite focused on personal health and nutrition. I do weight training three or four times a week. I’ve completed a 10K run on Mother’s Day, the Ride of Heart bike ride and will be part of OneWalk to conquer cancer walk coming up later this year.

Additionally, I have two girls who I try to keep active through different sport teams such as swimming and tennis.


Author: Hatice Unal

Hatice Unal, Head of Technology Infrastructure and Market data at ITG Canada, holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Yildiz Technical University, Turkey. She has extensive experience in architecting and building trading systems from holding various technology roles at BMO Nesbitt Burns and Istanbul Stock Exchange. Additionally, Hatice joined ITC Canada five years ago where she has held various progressive roles and overall has seventeen years of experience in the Financial Services industry.

In her current role at ITC Canada, as Head of Technology, she is responsible for managing ITG Canada’s technology infrastructures architecture. In addition, Hatice oversees market data relating to real-time & historical market data product management, data delivery, architecture and operations. She is also a member of ITG Global Client Services Senior Leadership Team.

Last but certainly not least, she is a great role model for her two daughters.

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Cisco IoE Innovation Centre Toronto: The Future is Now

Innovation: it’s a word that is rather imprecise on its own. However, when teamed with the concepts of research and thought leadership, innovation becomes a powerful term, imbued with virtually limitless possibilities and underpinning positive outcomes.

Toronto IoE IC - Entrance Rendering

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a global industry phenomenon that brings together people, processes, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. When Cisco named Toronto the location for one of six global Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centers, the company made a commitment to help organizations improve business outcomes by integrating, creating, testing and validating IoE solutions. It signified that Toronto, as one of the most multicultural and vibrant metropolises in the world, would be a facilitator of technological movements such as the IoE model.

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What Does Being a Torch Bearer for the TO2015 GAMES Mean to You?

  1. What does being a torch bearer mean to you?

Being a torch bearer means participating in a pre-games event across the Provinces that brings attention and visible representation to the group of Networking Academy instructors and students that are volunteering in a technological capacity.

Further, participating as a torchbearer celebrates the Games arriving to the Province of Ontario, and demonstrates pride in our Province and our heritage.

  1. If you had a chance to do one thing out of the ordinary when carrying the torch, what would it be?

One thing out of the ordinary that I would love to do when carrying the torch, would be to reinforce the culture of our area, as follows:

At the end of my turn and just before passing the torch to the next runner, I carry the torch through a local Tim Horton’s drive-through and place an order for a Medium double-double and a Canadian Maple donut.  It signifies a food, habit and meeting place that is widely prevalent in Ontario, a part of our work and leisure life, and a business that is wildly successful.

susanAuthor: Susan Monachino

After graduating with a Computer Science degree from McMaster, Susan worked for ten years at IBM, before leaving the corporate world to be a stay-at-home Mom.  She pursued teaching, earning her OCT and gaining 17 years’ experience teaching computer courses to adults and high school students.  She is currently the Head of Technology at St. Jean de Brébeuf Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton.

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Video Traffic and Mobility Continue to Dominate Cisco’s VNI Report

In May, Cisco released the 10th annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast, and like previous reports it predicts substantial growth in IP traffic globally, as well as here in Canada. Between 2014 and 2019, the annual global IP traffic is expected to triple to a record 2 zettabytes.

In Canada alone, IP traffic will grow 3-fold from 2014 to 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 22%, and will reach 4.1 Exabytes per month in 2019, up from 1.5 Exabytes per month in 2014.


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Being a TO2015 Torch Bearer allows me to share my story!

1.   Torch bearers represent individuals that have proven to be a local hero. What are some of the challenges you had to overcome?

As a 36 year old mom to two young children, a wife and a professional, my world was unexpectedly turned upside down when I was told I needed a liver transplant to survive.  Despite the constant pain and exhaustion I felt, I made a choice in that moment to survive using courage, humor and grace. I owed it to my children to show them that even though unexpected things in life were going to happen, we each have the control to choose how we handle these life events. I candidly blogged about my transplant journey so others waiting for a transplant would not have to live in fear of the unknown journey ahead.  I was blessed when two amazing, selfless women in my life offered to donate 2/3rd’s of their own liver so I could live.  On January 29, 2014 my diseased liver was removed and a piece of my childhood friends liver was put in—12 weeks later both of our livers had grown back to full size and the transplant was considered a resounding success. Sharing my transplant experience and advocating for organ donation is my small way of giving back.  Continue reading

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Is your Business Games Ready?

The TORONTO 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games are less than a month away and the city of Toronto will be buzzing with activities, athletes and spectators. The Games are a great opportunity for Ontario residents to take advantage of all that is being offered this summer and participate in the action. And Cisco is proud to be a Premier Partner of the TORONTO 2015 Games and its Official Information and Communications Technology Provider, providing the network and communications infrastructure to power the Games.


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Bringing the Fire of the GAMES to Toronto Through the Torch Relay!

Q – What sparked your interest in being a Torchbearer for the TO2015 Games?

I was born in Venezuela; but have made Toronto my home since 1987.  I am a former Track & Field Athlete, who participated in many provincial, national, and international competitions between 1987 and 1993.  Being a torch bearer at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games is a privilege that will allow me to revive some of my athletic memories, and help me continue to strengthen deeper roots in this wonderful city and country we live in.  My wife Heather, and children Daliah, Elan, and Tal have always inspired me to be the best that I can; both personally and professionally.  I am honored to have been chosen to be a torch bearer, and briefly take part in this historical moment, as we bring the flame of the Pan Am spirit to Toronto for the 2015 games.  I will represent my family, my city, and my country with pride. 


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How Durham College, Cisco and the Whitby Abilities Centre are Training Tomorrow’s IT Professionals

By Laura Franks, Computer Science Professor, Durham College

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are huge, including some 30 venues scattered throughout basically the whole Golden Horseshoe area of Lake Ontario, and will take place over 24 days during July and August 2015. They will recruit some 23,000 volunteers across more job titles then you could believe in order to pull off a successful Games. And the experience is highly resume-worthy.

Laura Franks blog post

So, I was very excited when I heard Cisco was working with anyone involved with building, implementing and maintaining the Games’ network infrastructure to involve Cisco Networking Academy students as volunteers as much as possible. Students don’t have the experience necessary to make network design decisions, but they are being given a chance to work alongside Cisco and TORONTO 2015 engineers in setting up, configuring, managing, maintaining, and supporting the largest – and often cutting-edge – Games network ever created. 

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Why a Collaboration Vision Matters for Bringing Lines of Business Together

Over the course of this series, I’ve talked about the value of collaboration for making enterprises more successful and the role played by communications technologies to make this possible. Conversely, I’ve also looked at the challenges facing IT to fully leverage today’s collaboration solutions along with how the dynamics of enterprises act as inhibitors against these intentions.

The nature of large enterprises and collaboration technologies are each complex in their own ways, and IT must manage both, and that brings us to the final post in my Collaboration Insights series. Vendors offering collaboration solutions are really just one piece of the puzzle that IT needs to pull together into an overall plan.

On a broader scale, IT has to sell the virtues of collaboration across the organization. Not only does management need to be sold on the business case, but employees need to buy into the personal productivity benefits, plus line of business managers need to buy into this as a better way to drive team-based results.  Continue reading

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