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Longtime businessman and philanthropist Dr. Ajay Virmani, who was instrumental in the launch of the annual UHN Diwali Gala, which has raised nearly $10 million, has joined the UHN Board of Trustees.
Dr. Virmani is President and CEO of Cargojet, a company he has taken from start-up to Canada's largest overnight cargo airline in less than 20 years. His philanthropy through the Virmani Family Foundation and the Cargojet Foundation has supported numerous initiatives, including a recent $2.5-million donation from the Cargojet Foundation to healthcare and social justice causes.
"The invitation to join the University Health Network Hospital Board is a great honour that I gladly accept," Dr. Virmani says. "I look forward to working with the entire Board and a great team at UHN to create greater value for stakeholders, and to advance the principles of diversity and social responsibility and sustainable improvements in healthcare and communities which we serve."
Dr. Virmani is an independent elected trustee of the UHN Board of Trustees.
"Dr. Virmani is a very welcome addition to our Board," says Brian Porter, Chair of the UHN Board of Directors. "Ajay brings with him more than 40 years of leadership experience and business acumen. He will make tremendous contributions to the Board's oversight of UHN's ongoing customer and team excellence initiatives, and our staff and clinician engagement activities."
Dr. Virmani founded Cargojet from the ashes of the bankruptcy of Canada 3000 and built it into a company that flies to more than 16 Canadian cities every night, and serves Latin America, Europe and Asia. It employs more than 1200 people and this year has completed over 125 flights to China to bring much-needed personal protective equipment to Canada, and donated humanitarian flights to Lebanon.
In addition to being instrumental in the launch in 2011 of the Diwali Gala, which has raised $9.6 million for UHN, Dr. Virmani has generously supported SickKids Hospital and the Trillium Health Network. He also holds a special place in his heart for the arts community, serving on numerous arts organizations, including Canadian Screen Awards. He believes arts is a great unifier of diverse communities in Canada.