2020 CCAE Friend of Education Award Recipient - Supported by Offord Group
Paul Soubry - President and CEO of NFI Group Inc.
An exemplary model of what it means to make an extraordinary commitment to education, Paul Soubry is one of the most esteemed alumni at both the University of Manitoba and the I.H. Asper School of Business.
Paul is President and CEO of NFI Group Inc. (one of the world’s leading bus and motor coach manufacturers), and in 2016, the Financial Post named him Canada's top CEO. However, his entrepreneurial success is only part of his amazing story. Born in Brantford, Ontario and raised in Winnipeg, Paul learned about the impact of philanthropy from his father Paul Soubry Sr., an award-winning industry and community leader.
At the University of Manitoba, Paul graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in 1984 and proceeded to build an award-winning career in manufacturing while supporting student awards and construction of a new business school, the I.H. Asper School of Business. In memory of his father, he and his family established an endowed scholarship, that supports international students who demonstrate community involvement through volunteerism - a value that resonates deeply throughout Paul’s life.
Paul continued to contribute his time, expertise and passion to advance the mission of the I.H. Asper School of Business as a guest lecturer and a board member of The Associates. Through mentorship, Paul’s interactions with students are refreshingly candid, and he is always open to sharing his career lessons – and failures – in order to provide students with meaningful learnings. Paul goes even further by inviting students to connect with him directly if they are ever in need of career advice or mentorship.
Paul is also a committed supporter of the co-op education program, ensuring NFI Group is one of the University of Manitoba’s leading co-op employers and recruits his peers at other Manitoba-based companies to participate in the program.
His philanthropic and volunteer endeavors have made an extraordinary impact. Since 2015, Paul has chaired the University's $500-million Front and Centre Campaign, the largest philanthropic effort in Manitoba's history. In this role, he has worked collaboratively and enthusiastically with his team to raise funds for students, researchers, and their learning environments.
His contributions include:
- The recruitment of leadership volunteers and personally securing dozens of major gifts.
- The hosting of campaign events at his home and travelling across North America to meet with donors and attend alumni events.
- Participation in almost every campaign activity, including meetings of the President's Campaign Team and major gift and campaign announcements.
- His personal family donation was matched by his employer to support the University of Manitoba’s state-of-the-art facilities.
Because of his efforts as a donor and ambassador, nearly 30,000 alumni and friends are supporting an outstanding student experience, Indigenous achievement, research excellence, graduate student support and the places and spaces that enhance the University campuses.
In regards to the Front and Centre Campaign, Chancellor Emeritus Harvey Secter, makes an impactful statement regarding Paul Soubry’s contributions:
The legacy of this campaign and Paul's leadership is also being felt far beyond the university. It has contributed to a renewed confidence and optimism that the city and province last experienced in the late 1960s. The success of this campaign has fostered a new role by leaders in the private sector as champions of philanthropy. Rather than inhibit other campaigns, Front and Centre has led to an increase in both awareness of the importance of support and a recognition that our collective capacity is much greater than we formerly thought.
It is the combination of Paul Soubry’s remarkable record of achievements, modest charm, eternal optimism, and a seemingly endless amount of energy, that makes him a truly deserving recipient of the 2020 Friend of Education Award.
2020 CCAE Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient - Supported by Manulife
Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock - University of Lethbridge (retired)
For two decades, Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock has instilled a vision of creativity and fortitude in her work at the University of Lethbridge. She is an incomparable leader who cohesively connects the University community and external partners, creating a strong and flourishing foundation that will be seen for many years to come.
From her first beginnings within Communications at the University, to her current role of Executive Director of Advancement, she has played a pivotal leadership role in establishing and creating a prosperous advancement department. The impact of her work is absolutely astounding, and under her leadership the University continues to see an overall increase of sponsorships, donations and volunteer engagement.
“Using an approach that has been honed by years of experience but continues to drive for innovation, Tanya’s vision and creativity are envied by many. She consistently puts the best interest of the institution at the forefront of the work we do and pushes all of us to build relationships, make connections, and ask questions. She is an inspirational leader and a mentor who has opened the door to countless opportunities, helping me see the potential of a long career in advancement.”
Kali McKay, Manager, Constituent Engagement, Communications, University of Lethbridge
The scope of her portfolio and the breadth of her expertise has provided unprecedented and immeasurable accomplishments, that include:
- The merging Communications and Alumni Relations units into one cohesive team during a time when over half of the team members were new to their roles;
- Establishing a registered University of Lethbridge logo and coat of arms and the creation of a University mascot, Luxie, and the commission of a University song, “Let It Shine On”, by alumnus John Wort Hannan, in celebration of their golden anniversary in 2017;
- The creation and evolution of the SHINE brand, that launched “The Campaign for the University of Lethbridge” in 2019 (the largest capital campaign in the University’s history with a goal to raise $100 million and engage 20,000 alumni);
- Many significant gift announcements & building openings, with the most recent being the Science Commons, Canada’s most advanced facility for science and research;
- Four exemplary anniversary campaigns and initiatives including the 50th in 2017, which saw a year-long celebration with great achievements for the University’s engagement and strategic goals;
- The creation of a “Digital 1st team” tasked to redesign the University of Lethbridge’s homepage with the long-term goal to lead an institution-wide digital transformation
Although humble, Tanya’s passion and drive are so contagious, she inspires all whom surround her. Tanya leads through empowerment and works closely with all to establish a succinct direction, that also allows for freedom of individual innovation within her immediate team. She is a true inspiration and mentor to all within her fold, her guidance, encouragement and support has led to a bounty of positivity and success:
“Since starting my career at the University of Lethbridge 15 years ago, Tanya has been someone I have looked up to and aspired to be like. Her enthusiasm for Advancement
and uLethbridge has always been a guiding light to help with the work I do. She is a positive example of the attitude I need to uphold each day to do my best work. She is a strong leader who has worked diligently to carve out a space for each of us and our careers within Advancement. I will always be grateful for her mentorship and advocacy
in my life and career.”
Stephenie Karsten, Senior Designer, Communications, University of Lethbridge
Through unwavering inspiration and aspirations, Tanya ignites her team to continuously push the envelope and always re-invent strategies, to ensure initiatives and projects are progressively moving forward for a better tomorrow. For demonstrating excellence in all that she does, and the boundless achievements throughout her career, it is a sincere honour to announce Tanya Jacobson-Gundlock as the 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.
Jennifer Gray - Carleton University
A nine-year employee of Carleton University with five of those in educational advancement, Jennifer Gray’s dedication through her varying roles and responsibilities has earned her the 2020 Rising Star award and solidifies her as a future leader of Canadian advancement.
Jennifer’s accomplishments, from her beginnings as the first Alumni Relations Officer in the Sprott School of Business at Carleton found immeasurable success. Jennifer built strong relationships, with some of the university’s most well-known and philanthropic alumni.
She built an alumni engagement strategy that ignited the pride of business school graduates while aligning outreach and communication with emerging institutional needs as the School went through its accreditation process.
Her adaptability and professionalism carried over to new roles within Carleton’s central Advancement Office when she first became Special Projects Officer, followed by Alumni Programs Officer. During this time, she partnered with national organizations, such as The Walrus, to spread Carleton’s message to a greater philanthropic community, and was one of the first touchpoints in Carleton advancement’s plan to steward the 29,000 donors who were part of the successful Collaborate Campaign.
Once Campaign Completion celebrations were done, Jennifer centered on delivering the CCAE Prix d’Excellence award-winning Alumni Mentors Program. In its 5th year, Carleton’s mentorship program benefits from Jennifer’s renewed focus on recruitment and relationship building with mentors.
Her inspiring results show increased engagement, positive feedback and support from the Carleton alumni community and on campus partners, where mentees are building new skills and remaining engaged with their alma mater, and mentors are helping with furthering student outcomes, and deepening their relationships with the institution. Jennifer’s exceptional relationship building skills, garnered through her experiences with Sprott alumni and through the Campaign Completion portfolio, have allowed her to excel not only in the mentorship portfolio, but also in working with our other senior leaders.
“Throughout her time with Carleton, Jennifer has demonstrated success, and many departments have tried to recruit her to join their teams. She has a genuine ability to manage relationships with alumni and donors, to develop and execute strategy, and be a positive team member. Her commitment to advancement work is unmatched.”
Mat Main, President, Carleton University Alumni Association
Jennifer’s ability and willingness to constantly learn, seamlessly transition, deliver talking points, and build relationships within the Carleton community spectacularly represent her worthiness of this award and her dedication to Carleton’s together for good ethos.
Hannah Pearson - McGill University
A reliable, trustworthy and highly valued member of the McGill University team, Hannah Pearson is making a profound impact on Annual Giving and University Advancement as a whole in her role as Annual Giving Officer, Strategic Partnerships.
Hannah has carried her passion and desire for philanthropy throughout her young flourishing career. While pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Concordia University, she was simultaneously employed as a Student Fundraiser, and upon graduation, was hired to work in various support roles in University Advancement. Her resounding beginning at Concordia is still received with endearing accolades from her then-colleague Maria Mota, Manager (retired), Administrative Services, University Advancement:
“It gave me great pleasure to work with Hannah and witness her rapid professional growth and success in our office. She has a can-do attitude that was appreciated by everyone around her. She built life-long relationships with numerous members of the staff team at such a young age and is still a beloved part of the Concordia community.”
Following Concordia, Hannah began working at St. George’s School of Montreal, where she held the position of Advancement and Communications Assistant. Yet again, her persistence and enthusiasm had a lasting impact on St. George’s advancement team, where she developed an annual giving solicitation plan and oversaw the entire stewardship program, combining industry best practices with her own unique flair.
Hannah is always at the forefront of emerging philanthropic trends. The combination of her passion and diligence are so effective that within her first six months at McGill, she led a digital solicitation campaign that won the bronze 2019 CCAE Prix d'Excellence Award for Best Annual Giving Initiative. Through concept, planning, and implementation, she has significantly improved McGill’s Annual Giving direct marketing pieces and taken their digital fundraising strategies to new heights.
Hannah has become the “go-to” person to represent McGill’s Annual Giving office with internal stakeholders and the wider philanthropic community. She has recently presented at the 2020 CCAE Independent School Summit and has also served as a CASE District I award judge for two consecutive years. She has a strong desire to grow professionally and consistently seeks out opportunities to expand her knowledge and build meaningful connections.
“I know that Hannah has what it takes to become a leader in the advancement field and in my personal and professional opinion, is very much a rising star.” says her nominator, Tarek ElChaarani, Director, Annual Giving and Business Intelligence, University Advancement, McGill University.
Within such a short period of time, Hannah Pearson has made an outstanding impression on all of those with whom she has worked, and through her many contributions, has proven to be a deserving recipient of the 2020 CCAE Rising Star Award.