International Men’s Day celebrates positive role models and raises awareness for men’s well-being. At Ricoh, we’re celebrating a group of influential individuals committed to supporting causes that inspire and drive change.
The group share their insights on how practicing the Ricoh three loves can create a positive impact for communities across Canada.
Scott Leonard, Director of Sales at Ricoh is responsible for leading the Ricoh Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) group. The PAR group is dedicated to raising awareness and engagement with indigenous communities across Canada. Scott supported Ricoh’s efforts in achieving phases I and II of the PAR program and currently leads the PAR group as they strive towards phase III.
Michael Gabriel combines his love of cycling to fundraise for charitable organizations. Most of his fundraising efforts are dedicated to supporting childhood cancer. His total combined efforts have raised nearly $10,000 in support of treatment and research for various organizations. Michael continues to support the health of those in need within his community. He is a regular blood donor with sixty-six blood donations to date.

For the past ten years Steve Clark has been supporting men’s health by participating in the annual Movember campaign. Having grown several impressive moustaches throughout the years, Steve has raised close to $9,000 from his fundraising efforts. Steve also volunteers within his community coaching football where he focuses on encouraging young people to not only strive for athletic success but to apply the principles of success to their lives and in their communities.
After a family member was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2008, Salim Fazal has supported the MS Society in raising awareness and fighting the cause. For the past six years Salim and his children have been both participating and supporting the annual MS walk and bike ride fundraising events.
What inspires you to support the organization that you support and why?
Steve Clark: “I doubt that anyone I know has not been affected by men’s mental health issues, whether directly or indirectly. However even with those shared experiences, men and families affected by these issues continue to feel isolated and fearful to seek help and support each other. I am motivated by an overwhelming desire to eliminate that stigma.”

What does International Men’s Day (IMD) mean to you and why?

Michael Gabriel: “IMD represents the opportunity for men to be the best we can be, in the eyes of our children, families, friends and community.”
Steve Clark: “Recognizing and celebrating men, from young to elderly who lead by example in their own lives, family and community. To recognize and emphasize men who have made and encourage others to make change. An opportunity to recognize negative stereotypes perpetuated by men about men and to have open conversations to change these stigmas and behaviours.”
Salim Fazal: “IMD is a day to celebrate men all over the world. The efforts and hard work they do to provide to their families and communities. It is the perfect time to be a good role model for my son and reflect on what a great father my dad was to me growing up.”
Scott Leonard: “International Men’s Day is a reminder of the positive role that each man should play within their family and community.”

What are your thoughts on how men can be important and influential role models in shaping and changing the future?

Steve Clark:Men can make profound change in even the simplest of ways. You have a choice. Change your language. Change your attitude. Change your opinion. I believe education is key and should start with self, then family, then the broader community. Men often hold the most privileged and powerful positions, recognizing this and using these advantages through meaningful ally-ship is an important way to make change.”
Salim Fazal: “The same way we are influenced by many men who left a remarkable legacy during their lives, I would like to be there for my son to provide advice, nourishment and of course lead him into a path where he can be a hero in all ways.”
Michael Gabriel: “It’s a reminder to us that the sum of our attitudes and actions can be impactful; not only on our own health and quality of life, but also on all those around us. Especially for kids and young adults.  A man’s life well lived can produce a ripple effect of positive influence to span generations.  We shouldn’t wait until our eulogies are being read to make an impression on a young mind – we should start today.”

What male role model influenced you growing up?

Scott Leonard: “Most of the male role models that influenced me were sports figures.  They demonstrated hard work and dedication, fair play, competitiveness and honour.”
Salim Fazal: “My dad. I was born and raised in Mombasa Kenya. When the British came into power we were deported back to England as we were British citizens.  It was a struggle for my family especially my dad, in the beginning. However, we pulled through to the end.  My dad was a generous caring father who would do anything for anyone. His family meant the world to him.”
Steve Clark: “My father was and will always be my #1 role model.  As a Regional Bank Manager, my family often found ourselves being transferred from city to city. He would always find the time and effort to give back to the community through volunteering as a coach in athletics to becoming a member of the Lions Club and other local charitable causes.  He would always lead me down the right path, but it was my choice or decision to follow his guidance.”
Michael Gabriel: “I think I was quite lucky – I had many male role models to help shape my early days.  My father was a fine judge of character and good at choosing his friends, who my siblings and I always looked up to.  Good people with integrity and work ethic. What we so easily passed off as ‘entertainment’ observing them back then was building our life foundations and moral compass.  My Dad’s involvement in community taught us that you can pay attention to and care for more than just what you consider to be your own.”

What does imagine.change mean to you?

Salim Fazal: “It is all about the future. I look at any change my children can do and their prospects. Any good influence and leadership I provide to them during my life will be an impact on their lives as adults and parents. Never give up on your dreams and hopes. Anything is doable and possible. Keep smiling and life will smile back at you.”
Steve Clark: “Imagining how males of all ages no matter what their social status is can make changes in the future by becoming role models themselves.  Every male can make a difference depending on their choices and how those choices impact others.”
Are you a Ricoh Change Maker? Learn more here.