Vote Dexter King

Nominated by Lorna Schwartzentruber, York University
Vote For Nominee

Dexter King has been the Director of Procurement Services at York University since 2014. In 2019 he was instrumental in developing one of Canada’s first comprehensive Social Procurement Policies – committing the University to exploring how procurements can best generate community wealth through marketplace access and creating apprenticeship opportunities. Through Dexter’s leadership, York was able to partner with community organizations and collaboratively incorporate hard, social procurement targets into York’s major capital projects. This has led to $3million dollars spent at local, equity-deserving businesses and social enterprises.

York University is launching the first social procurement vendor portal to enable the university to quickly identify social enterprises and diverse owned and operated businesses. This will make access easier for both the vendor and the procurer. This initiative will be publicly accessible and will be a significant contribution to the broader ecosystem of community benefits. York has taken on this work out of our own desire to access appropriate vendors as we continue to work toward our own social procurement goals as outlined in our Anchor YorkU framework. Both Dexter and Brent have been champions for this work at York U, looking for concrete ways to include social procurement, diverse vendors, increased apprenticeship opportunities in the business practices at York University.

Identify the project name and location (city, town or other location) and the role played by nominee in achieving the CBA.

The building of our new School of Continuing Studies on York and Keele Campus, has ensured 43 apprenticeships from the local community and diverse groups and has seen approximately $1M in social procurement purchasing on the project. (As the project is not complete, these numbers will need to be updated.)

Has the individual led efforts that benefit targets for diverse hiring on construction projects associated with a community benefits agreement?
Mobilizing and collaborating with stakeholders on new approaches to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion in construction workplaces

Provide more detail about the actions taken, and any outcomes or measurable results for the actions selected above.

York continues to build in targets and expectations with contractors to meet community benefits objectives, including with internal staff. The vendor portal will create opportunities for greater access to both opportunities and people and will be a big step in eliminating some of the barriers of cost and awareness that are experienced currently when trying to implement community benefits objectives. They have put in the up-front development of this as a contribution to the broader Community Benefits ecosystem in Toronto and the GTA.

Describe any other actions (not mentioned above) that recommend the nominee as a Community Benefits Champion.

Dexter has advanced community benefits approaches to doing business at York University. He continue to be a resource and model for other similar institutions across the City of Toronto.

Has the nominee contributed to adjusting or improving on any other traditional practices within the construction sector to incorporate more inclusive approaches?


If yes, please describe the adjustments made, and their results.

He worked with his colleagues to design ways to include Community Benefits into contractual agreements, as well as tracking methods to ensure the agreements are being met. We are able to be concrete in our own reporting and push ourselves to continue to develop this work based on data.

Has the nominee led in supporting and advocating for diversity-related interests in government and societal affairs?


If yes, please describe the contribution.

York University is an active member of Anchor TO, advocating for concrete actions in relation to vendor diversity. Dexter and Brent also created a community table in relation to the building of our Markham Campus which included municipal and regional governments along with community organizations to build awareness and development of a more active community benefits ecosystem in York Region.

Provide any additional information that explains why this nominee should be considered for the Community Benefits Champion Award

Dexter has been tireless champion of the Anchor YorkU work, including social procurement. Dexter has successfully identified and advocated for the university to put resources behind this work indicating the commitment to continue to be leaders in ensuring diversity and community are key elements of how we do business.

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