We Are Family
Sometimes the most inspiring people in the world are sitting right in front of you – and part of your closest family. In this post, continuing this series on inspiring people blessing the planet, I am honored to profile Neda Moeini, co-founder & past president of Group of Gold Line, who helped build the business with her husband Ata.
As one of the largest communication companies in Canada, specializing in long distance but also innovating software solutions beyond VoIP to include Web-to-Print, WebTV, global mobile roaming services, point-of-sale mobile solutions, distance learning applications and more, Group of Goldline is not just a great company, but a great culture.
Neda and Ata started the business in their basement, which I remember as this was my first job in what we used to call “telecommunications” in 1996. I was young, energetic, and enthusiastic but I could never out work this incredible
husband and wife team who recognized the world opening up with VoIP technologies and lead in the pre-paid calling industry where they gained their first foothold after moving to Canada from Germany where they previously were in the hospitality business.
Neda is my first cousin; her mom was my dad’s sister and another inspiring woman who mentored and encouraged me to extend beyond my professional career to serve my community and support the continuation of the Iranian culture after leaving Iran for Germany as a young girl, then migrating to the US. Not only is Neda an extremely successful and capable business leader, she is also actively involved in many philanthropic activities, and is the founder of Borani Global.
In 2012, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal honoring outstanding Canadians, along with several other of Ontario’s brightest and most dedicated entrepreneurs, legal professionals, and civic and community leaders.
As are many gifted and passionate leaders, Neda is humble – in fact one of the most humble people I have ever met. This profile will most likely make her blush. But it is so important for us to promote women, especially women who have come from societies which discriminate against them, to show what is possible and to inspire every person to recognize their potential beyond all boundaries.
Neda has passed along her love for humanity to her daughter, Anissa, who serves alongside her on the board of Borani to further this mission, which is best told through this mission statement:
The recognition of the value of education and the acceptance of the universal right to education have steered the world ahead on the road to betterment and unimaginable advancement. It is an undeniable fact that as education becomes more widely accessible to the generality of humankind, the ails of society become far less painful and much more readily curable.
Unfortunately, however, even against the present-day global perception for equality, there are those who struggle to find their way to educational achievement. This is particularly true in those nations, where people are persecuted for their religious beliefs or political views.
Prompted by a genuine longing to make post-secondary education available to those who remain deprived of it for reasons beyond their own control, such as the inability to secure financial aid or being victims of persecution, Borani Global Education wishes to open new portals to educational pursuits by bringing accredited online solutions to qualified applicants everywhere.
We believe that education is a universal right and not a privilege, and our mission is to strive to make this a reality even in nations where many still remain deprived of this basic right.
Looking back, Neda’s path was lit by her own mother, Mrs. Najibeh Nouri-Milani, who dedicated her life to the education of children both in her native land of Iran and in Canada, where she passed away a pioneer in keeping the Persian language alive for the children of thousands of Iranian newcomers.
A graduate of the Computer science and Software Development program at York University in Toronto, Neda also initiated a bursary at the University of Toronto Law School and the establishment of the Group of Gold Line International Human Rights Internships, which will allow law students to work on human rights issues in foreign countries over their summer holidays.
She also supports the Abilities Arts Festival, a disability arts organization that promotes diversity and “the power of the art as a means of enriching the cultural fabric of our communities.”
Neda has inspired me, and countless individuals at Group of Gold Line, and over the span of her life is inspiring children, students, artists, entrepreneurs and humanitarians, serving as a model for how to live, to love and to give. Who in your family or extended family inspires you?
In my next post, I’ll share a story about an American woman who travels globally whom I’ve only recently been introduced to by a good friend, who has devoted her life to improving the lives of girls and women, with extraordinary grace and style. Stay tuned!