For more than thirty years, Rankin MacSween has led the growth and diversification of New Dawn Enterprises. New Dawn, a non-profit, private, volunteer-directed social enterprise dedicated to community building, identifies community needs and establishes and operates ventures that speak to those needs.
In an effort to move towards its vision of a self-reliant people in a vibrant community, New Dawn today administers, among other projects, a real estate company, a health care company, a meals on wheels program, a community kitchen, a centre for arts and innovation, and a multi- million dollar Community Economic Development Investment Fund (CEDIF).
Rankin first joined New Dawn as a volunteer in 1980, became Executive Director in 1985 and President in 1995. In this time, he has witnessed this initially small organization grow into a well- known and respected community development social enterprise that today employs nearly 200 people.
New Dawn remains fiercely proud of its independence and of its ability and responsibility to speak openly and honestly about the challenges facing this community and our need to come together as Cape Bretoners and devise our own unique solutions to these challenges.
Rankin was born and raised in Boisdale, Cape Breton Island. He holds degrees from StFX, University of Ottawa, the Merrill Palmer Institute, a PhD from the University of Toronto and holds an honorary doctorate from Cape Breton University. Rankin is a founding member of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. He has also served as a board member of the Church Council on Justice and Corrections, the Vanier Institute of the Family, and the Island Community Justice Society. He is a past chair of the Cape Breton branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association and in 2008 was inducted into the Cape Breton Business Hall of Fame.