Volunteering at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala

CBHF 2016_282(JA Central Ontario Achiever, Andre Severin, speaks on stage at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala Dinner)

I had a phenomenal experience at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala.  My group of volunteers and I met top leaders in the business world – it was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  We had an amazing time volunteering, and were fortunate enough to enjoy dinner among such important people.

Hearing the stories of this year’s inductees to the Business Hall of Fame was very inspiring.  They have accomplished many things being leaders of their respective companies.  Listening to Frank Hasenfratz’s experience, immigrating to Canada from Hungary, and then creating a substantial company from a small shop, was a story of true entrepreneurship.   Continuing his legacy, Linda Hasenfratz grew Linamar into a billion dollar company under her leadership.  It was incredible to hear what she has done during her time leading the company.  We also heard the remarkable stories of former CEOs, Gord Nixon and Ed Clark, who ran two of Canada’s top banks.  Gord Nixon was the CEO of RBC for over 10 years, growing the bank and increasing its profits.  Ed Clark, the former CEO of TD Bank Group, brought his customer first mentality to the bank, guiding it to multiple awards for outstanding customer service.  Hearing both of their experiences running multi-billion dollar banks was nothing short of extraordinary.  The final inductee, Rick George, grew Suncor Energy from $1 billion to $50 billion under his leadership as CEO.  It was astounding to hear how he grew the company to Canada’s largest public energy company.  All five inductees were an inspiration to all of us volunteers as we heard everything they did to get to this point.  After hearing their stories, I want to work harder to achieve such success.

EDITED CROP(JA volunteers at the Canadian Business Hall of Fame Gala)

In addition to hearing the inductees’ stories, I was able to meet top leaders in the business world, while volunteering at the Gala.  We assisted guests by directing them to their tables, and also had the privilege of speaking with them.  A highlight of my experience was certainly introducing Frank Hasenfratz to all the guests at the start of the night.  At the event, I was also able to meet other amazing achievers, and made great friends.  We enjoyed each other’s company throughout the entire day, and I look forward to the next time I see them.  I am thankful to JA Canada for the opportunity to volunteer at the Gala and to meet such successful business leaders.

Andre Severin
Achiever, JA Central Ontario

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