ING DIRECT CEO Joins i-CANADA Council of Governors; ET Group Partner Jim Gragtmans Joins Advisory Council: Program to spur intelligent communities gains support from banking, media sectors
April 26, 2011

OTTAWA, April 25, 2011  --   Bill Hutchison, Chair of the program to speed the development of Intelligent Communities across Canada, has announced two new additions to the i-CANADA team:  Peter Aceto, President and CEO of ING DIRECT Canada, who joins the Council of Governors, and Jim Gragtmans, Partner with ET Group, who joins the Board of Advisors.
ING DIRECT Canada is a Diamond Sponsor of the i-CANADA program, which provides a framework within which collaborative programs are structured to generate economic growth, build skills, support new social initiatives and improve the delivery of government and business services.
“ING DIRECT Canada is a very innovative financial institution with programs aimed at communities,” said Mr. Hutchison.  “It’s pledge to make tangible improvements in communities aligns perfectly with the i-CANADA goal  --  creating a nation of provincial and local Intelligent Communities large and small, urban and remote, featuring great places to live with innovation cultures leveraging unified and intelligent communication infrastructures, supporting growth in jobs and the economy in tandem with social prosperity for all citizens.”

Peter Aceto stated that he sees the Council of Governors as providing high-level leadership for an overall national plan to strengthen communities at all levels: “we look at the elements that communities will need to become a satisfying place to live. We at ING DIRECT concentrate on education and health care, but our program to put “Orange in the Community” means we are working on a huge variety of projects at a fine-grained level to strengthen community bonds and boost skills, knowledge and creativity. Our ING DIRECT Cafes, for example, break the ‘bank branch’ mold by acting as centres for community fund-raising or as organizing locations for green initiatives. ING DIRECT knows that in a global economy driven by brain-power, we need to optimize innovative thinking by the entire community.”

i-CANADA’s Council of Governors is Chaired by New Brunswick Premier David Alward.   View the Premier's Video interview.

Jim Gragtmans notes that ET Groups’ leading-edge digital signage and video display expertise will be able to advise communities and sectors on best practices in how to share information and messaging in public spaces.  “We will be leveraging our ability to provide entertaining and meaningful communications, to help educate, alert and unify communities.  I see the role of the Board of Advisors as providing a full menu of expert advice on the development of intelligent communities of world caliber.”
“We are delighted that the power of ING DIRECT Canada and ET Group is now behind in our program to create intelligent communities across the country”, stated Mr. Hutchison. “The capabilities of these extremely successful leaders will bring unique wisdom and counsel to our drive to bring people together around a vision of Canada that is high in global rankings in innovation, productivity, job creation and social prosperity. Our goal is to bring at least 30 Canadian communities into their ranks as defined by the Intelligent Community Forum in New York.”

ING DIRECT is Canada’s leading direct bank with over 1.7 million Clients and more than $37.6 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, low rates on mortgages and a no fee daily chequing account that actually pays interest. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING DIRECT Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4.5 billion in interest to clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at, on mobile devices at or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3743).

About ET Group

Toronto-based ET Group operates two divisions:  ET Integration, providing design, project management, installation, service and support of AV systems for corporate, institutional and hospitality clients; and Info-VISION, specializing in software development focused on real time data display systems used throughout many industries. For more information please visit:  
About i-CANADA
i-CANADA is dedicated to the creation of smart communities across the country, in which Canadian communications are the rails of light carrying knowledge and ideas between the shining communities of a global intelligent economy.  Its goal is to work with at least 30 Canadian communities, rural and local, to transform them into Intelligent Communities.  ‘First the community, then the country’, is the motto that i-CANADA uses to visualize the evolution of Canada into one of the world’s Intelligent Nations.
For more information please visit the i-CANADA website:  or
or contact: Barry Gander EVP CATA at

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