2016 ANNUAL REPORT MERIDIAN COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITIES

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1 2016 ANNUAL REPORT MERIDIAN COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITIES

2 7 Meridian s Commitment to Communities Improving financial literacy in schools Save the Camp! - Meridian s commitment to improving financial literacy among Canadian youth picked up speed in Meridian partnered with The Learning Partnership, a national charity devoted to public education, to design and build a gamebased learning app called Save the Camp! to help students from grades 7-10 learn about money management. The game launched at SavetheCamp. ca and is now available as a free download on the App Store and Google Play store. Jane Rooney, National Financial Literacy Leader at the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Education Curriculum Division have been supporting the project to ensure the app aligns to the Ontario curriculum. Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program Meridian partnered with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Ontario Ministry of Finance to teach high school students about real world money management through comedy. The Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program shows are hosted by the Funny Money Inc. team led by comedian James Cunningham. Meridian has sponsored shows in 400 high schools to reach 200,000 students in grades 11 and 12 by spring Scholarships and Grants Sean Jackson Scholarship - Our second annual Sean Jackson Scholarship administered in partnership with Niagara Community Foundation was awarded to Burlington student Kevin Han, an active leader at his school and in the Burlington community. Kevin has led fundraising events for pediatric cancer research, mentored at-risk students, and applied his passion for engineering by designing a recycling solution being piloted by the City of Burlington. The scholarship will help Kevin reach his goal of obtaining an undergraduate degree in Engineering which he plans to use to contribute to a healthier, more sustainable society. Established in 2015 in honour of the retirement of Meridian s first CEO, the $10,000 post-secondary scholarship is awarded annually to an Ontario-based high school graduate with demonstrated academic excellence and an outstanding commitment to communities. New Save the Camp! mobile game by Meridian and The Learning Partnership Meridian s Commitment to Communities Sean Jackson Scholarship 2016 recipient Kevin Han (pictured, right)

3 8 Co-operative Young Leaders Program Meridian awarded eight scholarships to Ontario high school students to attend one week at the Cooperative Young Leaders Program run by the Ontario Co-operative Association. The week-long summer program culminates in a competition for inspiring future co-operative entrepreneurs. The week of August 6 13 was Meridian Week at the camp where we were given the opportunity to judge the Create-a-Co-op entrepreneurship competition, to mentor the class and engage them in the value of the co-operative model for both business and financial services. Meridian Week at the Co-operative Young Leaders Program SmartSAVER.org As founding partner of SmartSAVER.org, Meridian has collaborated with national charity Omega Foundation to help Canadians learn about using the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) and government grants for post-secondary education. Since we launched the website in 2015, SmartSAVER.org has educated 300,000+ Canadian families about the RESP and enabled a growing number of new Meridian Members to obtain up to $2,000 in government grants available to families with household incomes up to $44,701 through the Canada Learning Bond. SmartSAVER.org is being promoted by a growing list of community partners including local municipalities, school boards and charities, generating new Memberships for those who select Meridian as their financial institution. SmartSAVER celebration at Meridian s Penetanguishene branch with local Brownies and Sparks I can t thank Meridian enough for helping my kids get off to a great start towards their education. I love dealing with Meridian. They are always looking for ways to help their Members and Community and that s why I bank there. - Brittany Dobrin, Meridian Member and Winner of SmartSAVER.org 2016 Contest

4 9 Strengthening new businesses and local economic development Owners Wanted After a successful 2015 series, Meridian and Futurpreneur Canada co-hosted the Owners Wanted mentorship meet-up series for over 130 young entrepreneurs in 18 neighbourhoods across the province. Meridian Small Business Advisors and Branch Managers facilitated mentorship sessions at independent coffee shops, engaging aspiring business owners ages to connect with advisors and peers, share tips about financing, solve problems and learn about resources that can help them to reach their business goals. Owners Wanted meet-up at Meridian s M CONNECT community room at our King Street West Toronto branch Action Entrepreneurship From January to May 2016, for the second consecutive year, Meridian was the presenting sponsor of Futurpreneur Canada s series of 11 conferences across Canada and a national summit. This series supported 1,100 young entrepreneurs ages with education, workshops, mentorship and networking to grow their businesses. Bizsmarts.ca - Created by Meridian, MaRS Discovery District, Futurpreneur Canada and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, Bizsmarts.ca continues to support over 4,300 entrepreneurs with tips to start, run and grow. In 2016, the partnership was awarded one of Concentra s empowering Your Communities awards. Young Canadian entrepreneurs showcasing and selling their wares at Futurpreneur Canada s 2016 Action Entrepreneurship National Summit Presented by Meridian. (Photo credit: Shane Parent Photography.)

5 10 Empowering Entrepreneurs Guelph & Cambridge Innovation Guelph: Meridian was a founding partner of The Rhyze Project to cultivate women s entrepreneurial spirit with education, mentorship, networking and an annual award. Meridian s sponsorship initiated a crowdfunding campaign that has generated over $30,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. Through The Rhyze Academy, 40 entrepreneurs participated in a new 9-month educational program on funding and finance, business fundamentals and health and wellbeing, with financial planning sessions facilitated by Meridian s local Senior Wealth Advisor. The success of the Academy sparked the creation of the Rhyze on the Road Program for young women ages focused on supporting youth at risk to launch new ventures for both self-empowerment and local economic development. Durham Region Spark Centre: Meridian is Durham Region Partner of Spark Centre, the region s innovation centre, and presenting partner of Ignite Durham an annual fall series of five entrepreneurship events that foster the growth of 75 local companies and engage over 2,500 residents. We are a proud partner of the centre s new Tech Punch magazine which launched in fall 2016 to showcase and celebrate local entrepreneurs. The Centre seeks to bring awareness to new ventures and stimulate a following of innovative minds. Niagara Region Meridian Ignite! Series: In 2016, Meridian, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Niagara College and Innovate Niagara partnered to create new opportunities for local entrepreneurs to secure mentorship, funding and visibility to get their ventures off the ground. At the Meridian Ignite! series of competitions including Niagara College s Pitch Perfect competition, Startup Weekend and the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce s Ignite pitch competition, competitors will have a chance to win a $10,000 prize to get their initiative started and a basket of pro bono business and legal services worth $30,000. This annual series will run through Hamilton Region Innovation Factory: Meridian is a gold partner of the region s innovation centre, including sponsoring the centre s Innovation Destination workspace, its annual Lion s Lair competition and the People s Choice Award. Our Hamilton region branches serve as active champions, coaches and connectors in the growing entrepreneurship ecosystem by speaking at lunch & learn events, inviting new business owners into our branches for mentorship, and referring interested Members to resources and events at Innovation Factory Winners of Lion s Lair pitch competition - and over $100,000 in cash prizes and in-kind services - presented by Innovation Factory and The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Meridian (photo credit: Banko Media).

6 11 Building stronger and more resilient communities Good Neighbour Program: Meridian s signature local community sponsorship program continues to be a key pillar in our efforts to support local causes, while demonstrating local decision making. Local non-profit organizations apply online at Meridiancu. ca/community, and our branch managers and teams select which community groups, events and programs with which they will partner each year, to respond to local community needs. In 2016, Meridian forged nearly 350 community partnerships by investing in local donations and sponsorships. The Meridian Grande Parade in the City of St. Catharines - a local community sponsorship through our Good Neighbour Program My Commitment to Communities Meridian is committed to supporting the causes that matter to our employees and their families. Yearround, Meridian matches each employee s charitable donations and fundraising with up to $1,000 each year, and volunteering with $12.50 per hour - up to 40 hours or $500 that can be donated to the charity of their choice. In 2016, our employees donated and fundraised close to $235,000 and logged over 5,100 hours of personal volunteering. Meridian was proud to recognize these efforts with dollar for dollar corporate matching and volunteer rewards throughout My Commitment to Communities - Meridian s leading employee giving program

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