The St. Lawrence – Rideau Immigration Partnership is pleased to announce that Kashif Riaz, owner of Computer Liquidators, is the winner of the 3rd Annual Leeds Grenville Immigrant Entrepreneur Award. Mr. Riaz was presented with the award at the Bridges to Better Business Conference hosted by the Leeds and Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre on Thursday, October 26, at Chateau Brock.
Originally from Pakistan, Kashif arrived to Canada in 1999. Mr. Riaz started his Canadian career path in Kingston as an employee for MDG Computers. He and his wife Sadia Kashif moved to Brockville in 2001 when Sadia secured a job as a Chemical Engineer at Abbott Labs. Seeing the potential in retailing used computers in Brockville, Mr. Riaz persevered through many years in an uncertain retail environment to expand his business products and services, hire staff, provide local high school students with co-op opportunities, in addition to offering job training for persons with special needs. He was recently approached by a significant manufacturing firm in the Prescott/Johnstown area and now provides IT support to them. Kashif also contributes to the community through volunteer work at the YMCA, Brockville & Area Multicultural Council, local Muslim Community, Brockville Squash Club and Parents Council at his children’s school.
Mr. Riaz was selected as an outstanding candidate demonstrating the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur including perseverance and versatility in addition to extensive community involvement. Nominated by a local business colleague, his nomination states that, “Kashif is never one to take the credit, he is an acknowledged, quiet and behind-the-scenes leader of his community. If you need something done – give it to Kashif with certainty it will get done, and done right. We are so lucky to have someone of his caliber forsake the easier path of the larger centres where integrated services are more accessible. It is time we recognized his contribution to building the broader peaceful multi-cultural society we all enjoy in Leeds and Grenville.”
Melissa Francis, Program Manager of the St. Lawrence- Rideau Immigration Partnership states: “The Immigration Partnership is pleased to recognize Kashif Riaz for his dedication to entrepreneurship in a new country and overcoming the many associated challenges. Kashif is also a wonderful example of how generosity and kindness can result in an enriched community for all.”
The Immigrant Entrepreneur Award is sponsored by the St. Lawrence – Rideau Immigration Partnership and its partner organizations; Employment + Education Centre, CSE Consulting, TR Leger Immigrant Services / TR Leger Immigrant Services aux Immigrants, Volunteer Centre of St. Lawrence-Rideau, Leeds and Grenville Small Business Enterprise Centre and KEYS Job Centre. The Brockville & Area Chamber of Commerce will also provide a complimentary 1 year membership to Kashif.