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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
August 23, 2014
Canadian Excellence

2014 SBE Alumni Awards

The School of Business & Economics Alumni Awards aims to honour and celebrate alumni who have consistently demonstrated outstanding achievements. The SBE Alumni Awards are designed to showcase the successes of our undergraduate and graduate alumni. Award winners will be those alumni who exemplify the qualities and characteristics of the awards presented.

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Questions? Contact Patrycja Gadomski-Cebo at  or 519 884-0710 x 3280

The J. Alex Murray Alumni Award

Awarded to two SBE alumni as the highest honour given by the School of Business & Economics. This award recognizes leadership, initiative and contributions to the business world, the community and their alma mater. This award is selected by the alumni selection committee.


  • Demonstrated success in their chosen field
  • Demonstrated leadership and initiative to contribute to the business world and outside communities
  • Shows active involvement in changing the Laurier community for the better
  • The reputation, achievements and contributions of the nominee must bring honour and prestige to the SBE

The 2014 winners of the award are Mike Ward, BBA '86 and Rob Giammarco, BBA '91


Mike Ward became President of IKEA USA on January 1, 2009.  He came to this position after four years as President of IKEA Netherlands.  Mike has over twenty years of IKEA home furnishings expertise accumulated from several growth management positions.

A native of Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada, Mike Ward began his career with IKEA in 1986.  After traineeship of one year he began working in the Canadian IKEA, stores where he held various positions on the commercial side of the business.  In 1994, he became Store Manager of IKEA Burlington where his interest in developing the co-workers led to his promotion for managing the training and development for the Canadian organization. 

In 2001 Mike left Canada to take a global role in leading development of several company-wide Human Resource projects.  After their completion, Mike joined IKEA Netherlands as Deputy Retail Manager.  After several years, Mike became President of IKEA Netherlands in 2005.  Under his leadership, IKEA Netherlands enjoyed excellent growth and was recognized as the Netherlands' leading retailer 3 years in a row.  Last year Mike was a CEO in Residence for the School of Business and Economics.


Robert Giammarco is a Managing Director in Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Financial Institutions Group where he is responsible for managing a variety of the firm’s key relationships in the insurance services sectors. Prior to rejoining Merrill Lynch in 2006, Mr. Giammarco served as Chief Financial Officer of Odyssey Re Holdings, a publicly traded global reinsurance company that has since been fully acquired by Fairfax Financial Holdings. Prior to joining Odyssey, he was a Managing Director at Bank of America Securities and was also a member of the Insurance Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch & Co.  Rob is also a founding member of SBE's New York City DAC.

MBA Alumnus/a of the Year

Awarded to a Laurier MBA graduate who has achieved career success and demonstrated a pattern of exceptional leadership and service.


  • Outstanding leadership qualities in the area of management and innovation in Canada
  • Meaningful business achievements during the last few years
  • Exemplifying the qualities and characteristics of leadership and entrepreneurial excellence that we seek to develop in our students
  • Significant demonstration of corporate social responsibility and community involvement

The 2014 winner of the award is Michael Dell, MBA '05

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Michael Dell is owner of Dell Corporation Realty Ltd., a firm that specializes in corporate tenant representation, specifically office leasing primarily in the Greater Toronto Area. Michael has worked in commercial real estate brokerage for thirty years.

Michael’s prior professional experience includes overseeing large-scale, very profitable land developments with one of Canada’s largest public development companies and design and construction supervision of municipal infrastructure for a large Western Canadian based consulting engineering firm.

Michael served on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Chapter of CoreNet Global, the world’s leading association for corporate real estate, from 2006 to 2009. He founded CoreNet Young Leaders in Canada, a program to encourage those under 35 to join CoreNet. Today 25% of Canadian CoreNet members are under 35. Michael is a past coach and sponsor of the North Toronto Hockey Association.

In 2012 Michael joined the Buildings and Properties Committee of the Wilfrid Laurier University Board of Governors as a non-board member. He is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for WLU’s School of Business and Economics.

Michael holds a B.A.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo and an MBA (gold medalist) from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is a professional engineer and real estate broker. In 2010 Michael was awarded the WLUAA Award of Distinction. The award is for a Wilfrid Laurier University MBA graduate who has a record of distinguished career accomplishments and who maintains a direct and meaningful involvement with Laurier.

Young Alumnus of the Year

The Young Alumnus/a of the Year Award honours those individuals (under the age of 35) who have made exceptional accomplishments in their professional career and/or community throughout their first 10 years of alumni status. This award is selected by the alumni selection committee.


  • Under 35 years of age; graduated in past 10 years
  • Proven success in: academia, entrepreneurship, citizenship or philanthropy
  • Personal contribution to the betterment of society
  • Is a source of pride and inspiration for SBE alumni, students, faculty and staff
  • Serves as an ambassador for SBE and the Laurier community at large

The 2014 winner of the award is Aneesh Lal, BBA '11


Aneesh graduated from WLU in 2011 with BBA & concentrated in International Business. During his time here, Aneesh was the President of the School of Business & Economics Students' Society. Soon after his graduation, Aneesh was elected to represent 65,000 business students from 27 business schools as the President of The Canadian Association of Business Students and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his services upon the conclusion of his tenure. Aneesh is now a Key Account Development Manager at Coca-Cola Refreshments and serves as an advisor to start-ups and many other not-for-profit organizations.

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award

Awarded to a Laurier MBA graduate who embodies an entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen, and has demonstrated innovative business achievement.


  • His or her proven managerial acumen in a growth organization
  • Demonstrated innovation to achieve a new level of growth within an entrepreneurial organization
  • Demonstrated community and industry leadership

The 2014 winner of the award is Sanjeev Sharma, MBA '02

Dr. Sanjeev Sharma is co-founder of Wellpoint Health Services and has close to 20 years of experience in healthcare, having held leadership positions in both Canadian institutions and global corporations. His experience includes working with the senior Global Leadership team of Belgium-based AGFA Imaging on the development of new strategic verticals within North America. Prior to founding Wellpoint, he served as Global Director of Product Management with Chicago-based Baxter Healthcare.

Dr. Sharma has provided his expertise to numerous organizations in his tenure. He is currently in his second term as a section executive at the Ontario Medical Association, and has sat on the Editorial Advisory Board on Advance for Health Information Executives Journal, along with the e-health advisory board for one of Canada’s largest hospitals. Dr. Sharma is a sought-after speaker and has lectured on leadership, entrepreneurship and wellness, while making guest appearances on different Canadian television shows.

Dr. Sharma completed medical school at McMaster University, post-graduate training at the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University. He continues to practice emergency medicine part-time, at one of the busiest Emergency Departments in North America. He is a believer in giving back and recently established a scholarship at McMaster University.


Community Leadership Award

Awarded to a Laurier MBA graduate who has demonstrated exceptional generosity and outstanding charitable responsibility, and whose goodwill encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in the community.


  • The breadth and/or depth of the individual's dedication to giving
  • His or her proven generosity to their chosen cause(s)
  • Demonstrated commitment to community and philanthropic leadership

The 2014 winner of the award is Michael Devlin, MBA '03


Michael Devlin is currently the Vice President of Card Services for AFEX where he is responsible for the development of a global card based payment business to complement the company’s international corporate treasury and foreign exchange business.  Since earning his MBA in 2003 Michael has been inspired by the community leadership demonstrated by the MBA program’s faculty and their personal generosity of time and effort with the students of the program.  Michael has worked to emulate that spirit throughout his career including; developing and founding The Hugh Munro MBA Scholarship of Excellence at Laurier together with a core group of his graduating class, chairing Corporate United Way campaigns at work, sitting on numerous not-for-profit boards focused in children’s education, being an active speaker and ambassador for the MBA program and a regular mentor for students, as well as being a mentor and coach for various community-based organized sports.

Dean's Award for Community Service

This award recognizes an alumnus/a of the school who has furthered the interests of the School of Business & Economics through significant support, commitment and service to the school.  All alumni of the School of the School of Business & Economics are eligible for this award.  Award winner is selected by the Dean, School of Business & Economics.


  • Greatly contributed to serving the School of Business & Economics
  • Demonstrated leadership, collaboration and commitment throughout entirety of service
  • Serves as an ambassador for SBE and the Laurier community at large

 The 2014 winners of the award are Peter Ansley, BA '66 and Andy Macaulay, BBA '80


Peter Ansley was with Ford of Canada from 1966 to 1975, in the management of Human Resources and as a Director in Public Affairs and Government Affairs.

Since 1991, Peter has served as President and Chairman of Signature Properties International. He is on the board of DevCom, is Chairman and CEO of Datin Inc., Peter Charles Ansley Holdings Ltd. and PCA Holdings Ltd. He is a past member of the London Health Sciences Centre Foundation Board, Canadian Tire Dealer Associate Board, Board of Sheridan College, Oakville, and the Canadian Funds and Councils of Canada Board.  Peter also currently sits on the SBE Campaign Cabinet.


Andy Macaulay is the Managing Partner for Rethink Communications in Toronto. With clients like Molson, Shaw, and Sobey’s, Rethink is one of Canada’s foremost brand communications providers.

Prior to Rethink, Andy spent 20 years creating, building and ultimately selling 2 advertising agencies, both of which were recognized internationally for creative excellence. Roche Macaulay & Partners was International Agency of the Year (Advertising Age), while zig won 4 times at the prestigious Cannes Advertising Festival.

Andy serves on the Board of the Macaulay Child Development Centre (a United Way Agency), where he Chairs the Resource Development Committee, and at Evergreen, where he Chairs the Marketing Committee.

Andy is a BBA ’80 Laurier grad. He currently lives in Toronto with his wife Anne Sutherland, their golden retriever Finn, and occasionally their Laurier-student son, Garrett.