April 28, 2017
Memorial’s business faculty is recognizing two of its alumni for outstanding achievements in business.
The Faculty of Business Administration is holding its annual Partners Celebration on May 8 at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland, where it will hand out two of its top awards.
“Each year, we endeavour to recognize people in our business community who have made a difference, whether it’s through innovative business practices, exceptional growth or dedicated community involvement,” said Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the business faculty.
“This year’s winners are excellent examples of the type of business leaders we hope to honour with these awards. We are especially pleased that Mr. Perry and Ms. Whelan are both alumni of Memorial and to have played a role in their success.”
First awarded in 1992, the Alumni Honour Award recognizes outstanding business graduates who have achieved excellence in their careers and have contributed to the reputation of the faculty, university or community.
Mr. Perry says the co-operative education component of the commerce program was an important factor in his early success.
“In addition to enabling some lifelong friendships, my degree gave me a secure launch pad to the rest of my career,” he said.
“The co-op program provided practical work experience which, upon graduation, led to my first job opportunity.”
Fortis Inc. is one of the top 15 utilities in North America with assets of around $48 billion. Mr. Perry’s career with Fortis Group spans nearly 20 years, starting in 2000 when he joined the corporation as vice-president of finance and chief financial officer (CFO) of Newfoundland Power.
He’s also acted as vice-president of finance and CFO of the corporation. Prior to joining Fortis, Mr. Perry served as vice-president and treasurer with a global forest products company and corporate controller with a large crude oil refinery.
He’s currently a member of the Association of Chartered Professional Accountants of Newfoundland and Labrador and serves on the boards of FortisBC, UNS Energy and ITC Holdings Corp., all Fortis utilities.
“Fortis and Memorial are linked in so many ways and each play an instrumental role in our province. I can say without hesitation that Memorial graduates, especially from engineering and commerce, have played a material role in the success of Fortis,” Mr. Perry said.
“This award, which I accept on behalf of all Fortis employees, continues to solidify that relationship. I’m surprised, humbled and thankful.”
The P.J. Gardiner Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates the achievement and entrepreneurial spirit of an individual who is strengthening the province’s economy and business community, as well as serves as a role model for today’s youth. It was first awarded in 1986.
“Everyone at Seafair is excited about this award,” said Ms. Whelan.
“Memorial has equipped me – and many others at Seafair – with a passion for business and entrepreneurial boldness. Entrepreneurship is a core value that we try to live every day so having the acknowledgement that it is evident to others is a real boost.
“We have such a committed and entrepreneurial team. To be recognized by the business faculty is an affirmation that we are making a mark.”
Ms. Whelan started her entrepreneurial journey when she took over her mother’s small home care agency, CareGivers. She’s since grown Seafair into a diverse private investment company that employs over 800 people across three divisions: health and community care, child and youth care, and safety and industrial supply and service. The company is currently looking at targeted expansion into the home care sector in the United States.
She’s received many accolades for entrepreneurship throughout her career including being named one of Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Women’s Executive Network, CEO of the Year by Atlantic Business Magazine and Entrepreneur of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs. She also won the Canadian RBC Momentum Award in 2010.
Ms. Whelan currently chairs the board of directors of Newfoundland Power and is director of BDC and CSA Group.
She credits her degrees from Memorial for laying a foundation for her success.
“My BA has been extremely valuable in helping me think broadly about challenges and opportunities, and my MBA gave me the skills and knowledge to make things happen,” she said. “I learned a lot at Memorial, both in the classroom and in the activities I was involved in. I believe that my job was to go forth into the deep and try to make even a little difference in the world.
“I’ve been striving to unlock potential in myself, in people who work with Seafair, in our businesses and in our communities. Knowing that my alma mater is cheering us on makes me feel immensely grateful.”
Mr. Perry and Ms. Whelan will receive their awards at the Faculty of Business Administration’s annual Partners Celebration on May 8 at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.
For more information or to register, contact Wanda Whelan via email or 864-2182 by Wednesday, May 3.