Citation for Frank O'Dea

Frank O’Dea is a successful entrepreneur and a dedicated volunteer whose efforts have enriched the lives of people around the world. Recognized today as one of Canada’s pre-eminent business and community leaders, Frank O’Dea is a shining example of what a person can achieve despite seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

In 1968, when he was 23, Mr. O’Dea was homeless and destitute in Toronto when he started on a long road back from poverty, armed with only the courage to hope for a better life. By 1975, Frank O’Dea had founded The Second Cup, which became the largest gourmet coffee and tea chain in Canada. Building on that success, Mr. O’Dea founded other companies, among them an airline to transport people in need of special medical treatment.

As a community leader, Frank O’Dea helped found Street Kids International, War Child (Canada), and – at the request of the Government of Canada – The Canadian Landmine Foundation.

Today, Frank O’Dea is considered an authority on corporate accountability, an issue of growing importance in the international business community. His ideas on leadership, entrepreneurship, and visionary thinking make him a compelling and sought-after speaker across the country.

Last year, in recognition to his contribution to Canada’s social fabric on both the national and international stage, Frank O’Dea was named an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General Adrienne Clarkson.

Frank O’Dea is a fine example of lifelong learning and corporate and community responsibility.