2016 Richmond Hill
“It was important to me to find a company, such as STAPLES Canada, that supported my values. I have the platform and the opportunity from a corporate giving perspective to be able to support these charities as I do.”
East Gwillimbury resident, Melanie Delicato’s first memory of giving back is routed in her childhood, doing the annual kettle drive at Christmas time. Both her parents were ministers in the Salvation Army, so she had always been in a position of service.
In April, 2011, Melanie joined STAPLES as a sales manager, and since July, 2012 has been the General Manager of STAPLES Canada in Richmond Hill. She is a working mother of three, and happily supports causes close to her heart.
Melanie experienced high risk pregnancies for each of her children. All were born premature, and all three have disabilities in various forms. Her eldest has Asperger’s, which is part of the reason she is connected with the Children's Development Group (CDG) vocational training. The program’s main goal is to provide training using known successful strategies and the knowledge of professionals to give young adults with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or Asperger’s the necessary skills for employment opportunities. Their hope is that all participants will get on-the-job experience with the assistance and monitoring of a job coach.
At a very young age, Melanie’s middle son suffered from mental illness, and as a result, they were connected with The York Centre. Over the past three years, she and her team at the Richmond Hill store have raised $12,332 for the STAPLES back-to-school drive. These funds have gone toward York Centre for Children, Youth and Families, as well as other local schools and families with immediate needs.
Born at 26 weeks and 5 days, and weighing just over 2 lb., 11 oz., Melanie’s youngest is a miracle baby. Her son’s premature birth required that he be instantly airlifted to MacMaster Children’s Hospital in Hamilton to ensure he would receive the best chance of survival. MCH’s Neonatal Nurseries provide service to 22 regional hospitals. The Neonatal Nurseries regard the provision of care to the families of these infants as an essential part of their role. As a result of their experience through this time, Melanie and her family became staunch supporters of Ronald McDonald House.
“I feel I have more of an emotional connection to a company if I know they are involved in giving back. It makes me feel like I am doing good business.”
The setting of Melanie’s portrait is at the STAPLES head office in front of the “STAPLES Soul” which is a collage of their contributions. It speaks to their values, how they support the community, and what is important to them as a company: diversity, the environment, community, and ethics. As a mother, Melanie feels environmental issues are particularly important, to her and for future generations. Melanie and her Richmond Hill STAPLES’ team proudly support the PEAK program (Pathways to Employment & Applied Knowledge) through the York Region District School Board, bringing in one student for transition each year. Candidates for the PEAK program are students typically participating in non-credit programs, and identified with a Mild Intellectual Disability, Developmental Disability, or Autism. Melanie and her staff have also raised $6,064 through their “Give a Toonie Share a Dream” Campaign supporting our local Special Olympics’ athletes.
“Entrepreneurs are one of the lifelines that are going to keep this country going, and education is the driving force.”
Using her finance and business management skills, Melanie is active as chair of the Chamber of Commerce Women in Business group, assisting the membership committee. She believes in equal rights and helping the female entrepreneur find her voice; and as well, that women bearing the dual stress of care for families and managing a career need to be surrounded by like-minded business women.
While Melanie’s husband, Mike, is her greatest advocate, she continues to inspire others and give back to the community that she loves.