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Top 7 Over 70

The time to rewire and refire

Top 7 Over 70 committee chairman Kim McConnell.

While some media and a lot of marketing strategy chases after Millennial, Gen X and under-40 product consumers, digital stars, programmatic geniuses, new-business rainmakers, data scientists and entrepreneurs, there’s a stealth tortoise-and-hare story about the wisdom of experience playing out, especially in Calgary.

That revelation was the spark for Jim Gray, the iconic Calgary oil patch pioneer, business leader and philanthropist. All kinds of award programs in a range of demographic groups, except baby boomers and post-boomers, despite the reality of the many gung-ho types starting new ventures and initiatives, after reaching traditional retirement age.

With Jim’s reputation for bright ideas and walking-the-walk, he formed a volunteer committee and Calgary’s Top 7 Over 70 Awards idea started in 2017, and happens every two years.

The first Awards Gala—recognizing and celebrating the dynamic contributions that Calgary over-70’s make in every facet of business and community life—attracted 87 nominations and more than 800 people attended the sold-out first event. In 2019, the group did it again, hosting a sold-out Gala to recognize seven more individuals that are making an impact on the Calgary community and inspiring others.

Now that the pandemic fog is lifting and there is light at the end of the very long tunnel, the 2021 Top 7 Over 70 Awards and Gala are back, bigger than ever. For obvious (abundance of caution) reasons, the Awards Gala is set for November 18th, with limited tickets available for in-person seating at the Hyatt and an open invitation for a virtual audience to join-in. More info is available at https://top7over70.com.

And this year, there is also a bonus. “The organizers have created a special citation program to recognize the community work of seniors during the pandemic: the Noble Neighbour Citations. “We have seen so many seniors from all communities and all walks of life go above and beyond during the pandemic to help their neighbours,” said Top 7 Over 70 committee chairman Kim McConnell. “They have sewn masks, tutored school children, fixed bikes, delivered groceries, provided relief child care services and much, much more. They are truly individuals who inspire us, lead by example and galvanize community action.”

It’s a uniquely natural and perfect fit that the proceeds from the Gala go to InterGen, the dynamic Calgary organization committed to the belief that the talent and expertise responsible for making Alberta the economic envy of the entire continent for the last twenty years, can be leveraged to build the companies that will define the next twenty years—and beyond.

In 2019, the Top 7 Over 70 Awards Gala contributed almost $400,000 to help InterGen connect scale-up businesses with accomplished senior leaders so they can rebuild, revitalize and reimagine the Calgary economy.

2021 nominations are now open to any individual who is over-70 and lives in the Calgary area and those who have started something different or new, after-70. Not past accomplishments or lifetime achievements but new ideas and ventures, after-70.

Nominations are open and welcome on the nomination form that can be found at InterGenConnect.com/Top7

The affable and focused Jim Gray says it best: “Turning 65 isn’t a time to retire. It’s a time to rewire and refire!”