Schulich celebrates three alumni leaders

The Schulich School of Business honoured three of Canada’s most senior executives at its 2004 Alumni Recognition Awards Dinner held Dec. 1 at York’s Keele campus.

Rick Waugh (MBA ’74), president and CEO of Scotiabank, Grant Rasmussen (MBA ’93), managing director and CEO of UBS Bank (Canada), and Paul Tsaparis (MBA ’84), president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd., were honoured at the event.

Left: Bill Graham (MBA ’86), president of the Schulich International Alumni Association, congratulates award winners

Waugh was presented with Schulich’s Outstanding Executive Leadership Award. The award recognized Waugh as a graduate who has demonstrated extraordinary achievement, leadership and innovation in a global operation. As president and CEO of Scotiabank, Waugh’s career has taken him to destinations around the world. He talked about those accomplishments as the event’s keynote speaker and he was quick to credit the Schulich School of Business for getting him on track in his career.

“I couldn’t have imagined I’d be standing here some 35 years ago, when I was backpacking through Europe. I had graduated from the University of Manitoba and was hitchhiking from town to town – city to city – with a few buddies of mine,” said Waugh. “The world of finance wasn’t high on my list of priorities, that’s for sure, but a job was because I was quickly running out of money! I was lucky enough to have received an offer from Scotiabank and when I came back from my trip, I started as a teller.”

Right: Rick Waugh (left) accepts his award from Schulich School of Business Dean Dezsö J. Horváth

“I always thought that I’d stay in Winnipeg – I loved it, and still do – but I ended up moving to Toronto, then later to New York – and then leading Scotiabank’s operations in 50 countries as head of international banking, travelling around the world, several times a year,” he said. “I recognized that I required some help on this journey that I was on, and it was then I decided to attend York University at night while continuing on with my job at the bank.

“Even then, the school had a focus on international business – a unique perspective among North American universities – as well as a key partnership with the business community. It taught then – and still teaches today – the importance of looking at global markets – and how they can affect business at home,” said Waugh. “My MBA was invaluable in advancing my career – it’s something I’ve always prized.

“If Schulich can help make a bank president & CEO from a globe-trotting, hitchhiking, fun-loving Winnipeger – it can do even greater wonders!” said Waugh.

The award for Outstanding Progress and Achievement went to Rasmussen. As the managing director and CEO of UBS Bank (Canada), the award was presented to Rasmussen in recognition of his outstanding career potential, achievement of early success and recognition in his field.

Right: Master of ceremonies, alumnus Terry Kawaja (MBA/LLB ’89), investment banker

Rasmussen provided a laundry list of what he considered to be the keys to success in business and life.

“Be yourself at work and remember that entrepreneurialism is key to big companies being successful,” he said. “Successful companies should be celebrated, not scorned, and transparency is a great motivator in the workplace and above all, life is a team sport so share it with someone you love.”

From left: Ron Farmer, managing director, Mosaic Capital Partners; Paul Tsaparis; Schulich School of Business Dean Dezsö J. Horváth

Tsaparis, who received the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Schulich School of Business, was recognized for his contributions to promoting the school through partnership, leadership and impact. He lauded the school for its role in teaching corporate social responsibility, something that Tsaparis said, “Schulich did long before it was fashionable.”