Archive for July, 2011
But my answer will be more like a miniature version of the history of civilizations than a sentence (and of course, it’s different for everyone). Here it is:
Years go by so fast that at one point, you will outgrow what you are wearing, literarally. For me, that moment was when I decided to immigrate to Canada, start a new life and follow my dreams. Immigration was a turning point in my life. It exposed me to a diverse spectrum of cultures and endless opportunities. You don’t have to be a so-called rocket scientist to learn that education here is synonymous with investment in success. In a moment, all the pieces of my future plans shaped in my mind. I turned my whole life upside down, so I didn’t want to still be working at the same job. I come from an entrepreneurial background with years of experience in industry and am always ready for challenges; characteristics which identify an MBA candidate! It was time for my challenge.
Alex Conconi, a current student in the full-time Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) program and active participant in the Student Investment Advisory Service (SIAS Fund) recently completed the ride of a lifetime to raise funds for cancer research.
In recent times, he had been spending a significant amount of time organizing a team for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day cycling event from Vancouver to Seattle, in benefit of the BC Cancer Foundation. This would be Alex’s second year participating, and this year, he co-captained an enthusiastic team of 21, the “Knight Riders,” who collectively maintained an ambitious goal of raising $100,000.
On June 18 and 19, the “Knight Riders” joined over 2,800 cyclists for a gruelling ride—over 200 km over two days—and one that took place mostly in the rain.
When the team gathered in celebration at the finish line, the rain subsided, the sun came out, and fatigued-but-triumphant smiles were on display for all to see.
The ride is especially important to Alex. On a very personal level, his father had been diagnosed with throat cancer last summer (shortly after last year’s ride). Fortunately, he has since been given a clean bill of health. Alex credits his father’s recovery to the great work of the BC Cancer Agency, its medical team and dedicated staff.
Alex would like to thank all of those who generously supported the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. This year, the ride helped raised over $11.1M for the BC Cancer Foundation. The “Knight Riders” raised over $74,000 of that total amount.
Alex would also like to thank his fellow MFRM classmate and SIAS organizer Lauren Looi, who committed to the ride without even owning a bike. Lauren was able to source a bicycle a few days before the ride. And despite virtually no training or practice, Lauren joined the team and successfully completed the 200+ km trek from Vancouver to Seattle.
To support the Knight Riders and learn more about the Ride to Conquer Cancer, visit: http://www.conquercancer.ca/site/TR?pg=team&fr_id=1371&team_id=37141
A team of four MBA students from Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business has developed a project plan that has not only garnered top billing in a prestigious international competition – it could leave a lasting environmental impact on the dynamic Asian economy of Singapore.
SFU graduate business students Kathleen Williams, Peter Konefal, Eva Tidlund and Connie Chang were selected from a global field in the Graduate School Projects@Singapore competition. The team’s faculty adviser is David Hannah, Academic Director of the MBA program.
Their project proposal, which has now been accepted by Contact Singapore, an alliance of the Singapore Economic Development Board and Ministry of Manpower, is focused on integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental standards in Singapore’s booming hotel industry. This is the first time a Canada-based team has been selected in the program.
“Connie, Eva, Kathleen, and Peter took the initiative to enter this competition, and they wrote a winning proposal while carrying a full course load in our full-time MBA program,” said Hannah. “We want our graduates to be great thinkers and communicators, and to be motivated to solve challenging problems. Needless to say, these students exemplify these qualities, and we’re very proud of them.”
The students will travel to Singapore this September to meet with stakeholder groups from government and industry, and to conduct field interviews and research. Stephanie Bertels, Assistant Professor at the Beedie School of Business, will provide guidance for their research. The team’s findings will be presented to Singapore government officials later that month.
They note that the Singaporean hotel industry was selected as a focus in their project because of its economic prominence, making up a significant four percent of the nation’s annual gross domestic product. “Hotels have the potential to be influential corporate hosts to international business and leisure travelers,” they argued. “Positive environmental practices… are noticed by hotel guests, and in turn have the potential for wide-reaching effects such as setting new industry expectations.”
The Graduate School Projects@Singapore program offers graduate students from all disciplines globally the opportunity to create a project that could impact the Singapore economy.
Using the vibrant Southeast Asia city-state as a focal point for study, participants demonstrate their knowledge of industry sectors and businesses in Singapore, by translating them into insightful research findings, creative ideas or products. Projects may cover any of the key growth industry sectors in Singapore, such as biotechnology, clean energy, tourism, finance, oil and gas, and electronics.
On Tuesday, June 28, I had the opportunity to attend the Farewell Tribute Dinner for SFU’s chancellor Dr. Brandt Louie, who retired after 11 years of service to the university. Dr. Louie served for two terms as SFU’s 9th chancellor and also as a member and chair of the university’s Board of Governors. He is one of the BC’s leading entrepreneurs as Chairman & CEO of H.Y. Louie Co. and Chairman of London Drugs – and he is a previous winner of the prestigious “Entrepreneur of the Year” award bestowed by BC Business Magazine.
The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver and hosted by Gloria Macarenko of CBC News and Christopher Gaze of Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. Guest speakers included SFU president Andrew Petter, presidents emeritus Dr. Jack Blaney and Dr. Michael Stevenson as well as incoming chancellor Carol Taylor. All noted the instrumental role Dr. Louie played in SFU’s growth over the past decade and many made specific mentions of opening the Surrey campus which was driven through his vision and leadership.
The philanthropic efforts of the Louie family were also recognized, including the commitment to match gifts made to the Chancellor Brandt C. Louie Legacy Fund. The fund is an endowment that will be used to support undergraduate and graduate awards at SFU and has raised more than $500,000 to date!
The evening closed with a performance by the World Championship SFU Pipe Band, a group that Dr. Louie has had a close relationship with during his time at the university. Overall, it was a fantastic event and one that I’m sure left many people inspired to give back.