May 2015 | Issue 20

Steve Wilson: A career of goals set and met, with one to go

Steve-WilsonSteve Wilson, B.Com ’85 and retired CFO of Shaw Communications, has always been good about goals. When he was a young McMaster University commerce graduate 30 years ago, he set two targets: To earn a $100,000 annual income by age 30, and to become chief financial officer of a Toronto Stock Exchange top 300 company by age 40.

He accomplished both with time to spare. At a time when six-figure incomes were much more elusive for 20-somethings, he reached this level at age 27. He hit his second goal when, at 34, he was CFO of Husky Injection Molding Systems as it went public. And he was CFO of a TSX 60 company by 40.

Wilson has always exceeded even his own ambitious expectations. He recently retired as CFO of Shaw Communications at a youthful 51, and is now moving to his next stage — as a corporate director, community board member, and philanthropist.

Wilson’s career trajectory would be outstanding in any era. His story has been about setting high but achievable goals, gaining wisdom from leaders, enjoying what you do, but also having the courage — and confidence — to move on to new challenges as they present themselves.

And the basic ingredient is a strong grounding in fundamental business acquired in a top-notch commerce program. more…

Deans’ Column – May 2015

Leonard Waverman | Dean, DeGroote School of Business

473r-leonard-waverman-2012_ppSpring has finally sprung in the GTA and summer is just around the corner. We’re very excited to have officially launched our new branding, anchored in the phrase “Education with Purpose.

Our value and responsibility to business and society is to foster new knowledge that is significant to today and tomorrow. Education with Purpose is more than a tagline; it is a reflection of our mission, vision and values. While we instill a sense of purpose in our graduates, we also have a collective purpose to help transform business and society. I believe that our new strategic plan will allow us to do that to a degree of success that we have yet to see; and it will benefit us all. As dean I am proud of the history of innovation at DeGroote, and look forward to our future.

On May 1st, we initiated a marketing campaign to bring the Education with Purpose message to the community – our prospective students and supporters. The campaign includes digital and print advertising in Toronto’s downtown core as well as various online markets. The keystone of the campaign is a new video that underscores the Education with Purpose theme.

Purpose is not a subject we teach. It lives in our students, professors and alumni. Purpose is how we do business and how we do business transforms the world.


Why are some franchisors more successful at developing larger brand networks?

Manish Kacker | Associate Professor, Marketing

Dairy_Queen_Restaurant_CT_USA_July_2013When we think of franchising, large chains like Tim Hortons and McDonald’s often come to mind. However, in practice, most franchise chains are fairly small – approximately 75% of the franchisors operating in Canada had fewer than 50 stores.

In 2001, researchers in the U.S. found that approximately 45% of franchisors operated systems with less than 50 stores. Researchers in the U.K. and France found that less than 50% of franchisors that survived failure continued to grow at healthy rates. more…

In Practice

Top 3 Tips for how to de-stigmatize mental health in the workplace

Natasha Sharma, B.Com ’00 | Psychotherapist, Founder LBH Therapy

Melancholy_2Issues with psychological well-being keep us absent from work more than any other chronic condition in Canada. But it isn’t simply a matter of ensuring resources are available. Shame and embarrassment are the biggest reasons people don’t seek help, even when it is available to them. We need to pursue greater education and understanding about others and ourselves in order to de-stigmatize mental health in the workplace.
Here are my top 3 tips to assist you:

1. Get in the know

Everyone goes through “stuff” in life: Breakups, divorce, loss of a loved one, changes in finances, etc. And everyone feels down or worrisome at times. Be sure to understand the difference between mental health and mental illness, and treat each one accordingly. Make sure company policies and procedures are in place to address both, that they are effective, and that staff are educated.

Getting Out

Emotional Armour: Its importance in the life of the professional woman

Burlington, Ontario

Join Karen White-Boswell, Director, Corporate Communications in an engaging dialogue on the importance of building emotional armour in life and the workplace. During her discussion, she will address the challenges that women face in the professional space and the implications these challenges have on personal and professional growth.

Event details…

Digital Leadership Summit

Toronto, Ontario

This half-day event promises provocative discussions with industry and academic experts on the rapidly changing digital landscape and what this change means for traditional models of strategy and leadership.




Emotional Armour: Its importance in the life of the professional woman

May. 19, 2015 | 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. A Women’s Breakfast Series event with Karen White, Director, Corporate Communications | Ron Joyce Centre, Great Hall, 4350 South Service Road, Burlington


Digital Leadership Summit

Jun. 16, 2015 | 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. The DeGroote School of Business, in partnership with SAS Canada, is pleased to announce the first annual Digital Leadership Summit in Toronto for executives, managers and board directors seeking to understand the implications of digital transformation on their organization’s future success and profitability.| Arcadian Loft, 401 Bay St. Toronto

We want to hear from you!

Please let us know if you have
feedback or suggestions about
this publication.


Learn | Discover | Connect

Contact Us

Have an interesting story to share? Want to get more involved with DeGroote? Email Leah Rosenthal and get in touch today.
DeGroote on LinkedIn DeGroote on Twitter DeGroote on Facebook DeGroote on Google Plus