Meet The Director

Mauricio has been profiled by the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, CBC and most Hispanic media in Canada and even overseas. He was interviewed for, and quoted in, the international business best seller "Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson". In 2012, he was inducted into the 'Canadian Who is Who', which for over a century has recognized past Prime Ministers and other notable Canadians for their contributions to the country. He led the first ever delegation of influential Hispanics to privately meet with the former Prime Minister of Canada to discuss issues of importance to the community, a group that was also publicly recognized at the Parliament of Canada, the same day that the President of Mexico addressed its Parliament - a historic 'first recognition' for the Spanish speaking community of Canada. His extensive network includes professional, cultural and trade associations, social and government agencies across Canada and abroad, and influential Spanish speaking people from across the nation.

At nights and since 2001, Mauricio positions Hispanics as Canada's Creative Class in the mainstream and provides guidance to hundreds of immigrants. On weekends, he is busy ensuring enhanced Hispanic ownership of the Pan-American Village in construction for the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. He was the first Hispanic to be involved with the Games and the only one who successfully advocated for ethnic inclusion and home ownership.  

Mauricio came to Canada in 1991 with no English and unfinished education in dentistry; his first job was as a factory worker and then as a cleaner in restaurants. After four years in Canada and with very basic English skills, he was accepted at both Seneca College and Ryerson University, graduating with Honours in International Business and Business Management respectively, and made member of the Golden Key Society for academic accomplishments. He lives in Toronto and loves to bike to work, and to read. Other achievements, awards and recognitions follow. 

 ACHIEVEMENTS

2001: Founded and led for 3 years the still existing Canadian Colombian Professional Association, supported the creation of several others and led or co-led several fundraising campaigns.

2006: Member of the steering committee that lobbied Statistics Canada for the "2008 Profile of the Hispanic community in Canada", a landmark study based on the census 2006 demonstrating the presence of 741,760 Hispanics in Canada - double the initial count of 350,000; it also showed that Hispanics are five years younger and more likely to be university-educated than other Canadians. 

2007: Created the "10 most influential Hispanic Canadians", only annual program within the community with a national presence that every year recognizes 10 outstanding Hispanics from across the nation. 

2008: Co-founded Hispanotech.ca, first association of Hispanics in technology, and Factor Hispano, first magazine for professionals and business people. Ospina was a key supporter of the Government Declaration (Toronto and Ontario) recognizing April as Hispanic Month.

2009: Founded the Canadian Hispanic Business Alliance (formerly known as Association).

2010With the CEO of Waterfront Toronto as co-keynote, presented to 300 people at Toronto City Hall the results if his 400 page study (2 years in the making) on why there is no Latin or Hispanic town in Toronto and how to achieve one; the study researched 12 successful ethnic towns across North America.

2010: Along with the heads of the Canadian Aboriginal & Minority Supplier Council and the Diversity Network, Ospina successfully advocated on business diversity for small ethnic suppliers to the Games; he was the first Hispanic to be involved with the Games. 

2011: Obtained real estate accreditation to promote 10% Hispanic ownership of the Pan America Village being built for the Panamerican Games and quickly became one of the top producing representatives with VIP access - meaning enhanced benefits for his clients. The Village could become Toronto's first Latin or Hispanic town even if only a handful live there. 

2016: In partnership with Ryerson University, Mauricio co-led a mentoring and fundraising campaign for Hispanic students in financial need which resulted in $110,000 pledged in only two days. The announcement was made on April 29 by Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • 2009: Named Fellow at York University's Stong College and a year later nominated for the Premier of Ontario's Premier's Award. 

  • 2011: Led the first ever delegation of influential Hispanics to meet a Prime Minister at his private office in Ottawa, which was also publicly acknowledged at the Canadian Parliament. 

  • 2012: Inducted into the 'Canadian Who is Who', which for over a century has recognized past Prime Ministers and other notable Canadians because of contributions made to life in Canada.

  • 2013-15: Member of Pan Am Games' executiVIVA (executives that support and promote the Games) and of the board that organized the Hispanic pavilion ad the Distillery District for the 2015 Pan American Games.

  • 2015: Named one of the 10 most successful Colombians in Canada by Toronto-based Latinos magazine http://issuu.com/latinosmagazine/docs/top_10

 MEDIA - selected list

The community’s significance has also benefited from several recent Free Trade Agreements between Canada and Latin American countries, as well as the 2015 PanAm Games to be held in Toronto, and the Canadian Hispanic Business Association’s 10 Most Influential Hispanic Canadians, an annual awards program that has been held since 2007”. National Post

Mr. Ospina studied Canada's Korean community in comparison with the Hispanic, and found that while both groups arrived here within the past 40 years, the former was able to develop more influence and economic clout by buying dry cleaning and convenience stores and developing a "Little Korea" in Toronto's west end. Hispanics, on the other hand, focused on a variety of menial jobs, and failed to establish a 'Little Bogota' or 'Little Havana' in any one area of the city”. Globe and Mail

The Hispanic community also has to do a better job of marketing itself to others, says the publisher of Factor Hispano magazine [Mauricio Ospina], a Spanish bi-monthly he started two years ago to engage the city's fastest growing ethnic community”. The Toronto Star