The Empire Club of Canada is proud to announce the 2019 Nation Builder of the Year Award is awarded to the Toronto Raptors, accepted by the team's President, Masai Ujiri on December 13, 2019.
The inaugural award was presented to the Toronto Raptors on December 13th.
Masai Ujiri is in his seventh season as President of the Toronto Raptors, leading the team to the most successful period in franchise history, including an NBA Championship. In June, the Raptors won the first NBA title in the franchise’s 24-year history with a six-game victory over Golden State. In his six years leading the team, the club has won five Atlantic Division titles, made its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals, set a team record for victories in a season with 59, and compiled a 321-171 (.652) regular-season mark.
Nav Bhatia is best known as the Superfan. He hasn’t missed a Raptor’s home game since they first began playing in 1995. His goal is simple; unite people of all ages and backgrounds through the game of basketball. Not just a legend in basketball, Bhatia, who arrived humbly to Canada in 1984, has become a Canadian icon — an inspirational story of immigrant success through his entrepreneurship and philanthropic initiatives. He recently launched the Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to raising money to build basketball courts and camps for kids here in Canada and across the globe.
Elected as the 65th Mayor of Toronto in 2014 and re-elected in 2018, John Tory is making the city more liveable, affordable and functional. Born and raised in Toronto, Mayor Tory has spent his life giving back to the city he loves, through his tireless work in public, private sector and philanthropic roles. Mayor Tory is the biggest champion of Toronto’s sports team, including the Toronto Raptors. He spent most of the 2019 playoffs in a gold Raptors jacket with Toronto fans in Jurassic park.
Kayla Grey is an anchor and reporter for TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE. She also makes frequent appearances on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and TSN Radio 1150 in Hamilton covering the Toronto Raptors, and contributes regular sports updates to CTV’s YOUR MORNING. In 2019, Grey reported on the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship run for TSN. She also joined CTV’s fan-favourite reality series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA as an official race correspondent for THE AMAZING RACE CANADA: RIDE ALONG. The Toronto native joined TSN in 2015 as an on-air update anchor for TSN 1050. A graduate of Toronto’s College of Sports Media, Grey began her broadcasting career in Winnipeg as a Digital Broadcast Journalist for Global News. She then moved to Prince Rupert, BC to become a senior reporter for CFTK-TV news. Prior to heading west, Grey found success in roles as a colour commentator for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and various university varsity sports.