Businessman who helped build Brascan talks about ‘giving back’

A man who “set a standard for service in the community” told graduates of the Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA Program in the Schulich School of Business at York University that he was “deeply humbled” to receive the honour of an honorary doctor of laws degree at Fall Convocation Friday. 

Before the group of business people, whom he described as “already successful”, Timothy Price, chair of Brookfield Funds at Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and chair of the York University Foundation Board of Directors, admitted he “can’t really advise you on how to achieve success.”

Timothy Price

Right: Timothy Price

So instead, Price, who is also co-chair of the York to the Power of 50 fundraising campaign, chose to share his thoughts on what comes after success in business and graduation from Schulich, which he called “a one-of-a-kind place of higher learning.”

“In time I hope you will also be thinking about how you can make a difference beyond your business lives,” Price said. “How can you pay back the privilege of attending this school which has enabled you to achieve a place in society that 95 per cent of the population can only dream of? Yes, I’m talking about volunteerism.”

Citing the example of his friend and colleague Peter Bronfman, founder of the Brascan Group, Price said he was conscious of the part Bronfman played in setting an example as a volunteer. “One of his biggest value-adds for me was the example he set in contributing to society while allowing his team to manage the day-to-day highs and lows of a growing business,” said Price. “The work he did inspired us.”

Price also told the graduates that, for him, success depended on a dedicated and enthusiastic team, a clear plan and the achievement of tangible results. “My involvement with Schulich led to a much deeper association with the University as a whole,” Price said. “I have been able to meet and appreciate extraordinary people from many corners of the University community and see the work of volunteers who have contributed in so many different ways.

“Leadership, like success, can take many forms,” Price said. “My hope for you is that the ambition, spirit and commitment that got you here today is shared with those you work with as your career unfolds, and that you too look forward to and have the opportunity to enjoy giving back.”

Above: Schulich Dean Dezsö Horváth (left) congratulates Price on receiving his honorary doctor of laws degree