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Wilfrid Laurier University School of Business & Economics
October 20, 2014
Canadian Excellence

2014 SBE Alumni Award Winners

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.


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

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Michael Ward graduated with his BBA degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1986 and immediately began his career with IKEA as a Management Trainee in Mississauga Ontario.

After his traineeship of one year he began working at IKEA in North York. His first position was as Group Leader in the warehousing side of the business, followed by several positions in Sales Management. In 1994, he became Store Manager of IKEA Burlington where his interest in developing co-workers led to his promotion to leading training and development for the Canadian organization. In 2001 Mike took a global role in leading the development of several company-wide Human Resource projects. After their completion, Mike joined IKEA Netherlands as Deputy Retail Manager. In 2005 he became President of IKEA Netherlands. During his time there, IKEA Netherlands experienced excellent growth and was recognized as the Netherlands’ leading retailer for three years running.

Michael became President of IKEA USA on January 1, 2009. Since opening its first American store in 1985, IKEA USA has become the second largest home furnishings company in the USA. IKEA is focusing on growing the business in the USA further through store expansion, developing the supply chain in the Americas, becoming a true multi-channel retailer, growing the IKEA Food business, and by continuing to make IKEA a great place to work.

On March 1, 2014 Michael moved on to a global role with IKEA as Regional Retail Manager for North America and the Nordic countries. In this role, Michael is a member of the global Retail Management team, and is also the Chairman of the Boards in IKEA USA, Canada, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The Board work consists of working with each retail country in order to optimize the opportunities on each of these markets. In addition to the Board work in each country, the global work is focusing on such questions as creating a great customer experience, leading and developing over 100,000 people in IKEA retail worldwide, optimum expansion on new and existing markets, and how to implement a multi-channel IKEA in all markets.


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 an accomplished visionary leader driven to improve health service delivery both in Canada, and Globally. As an Emergency physician, his first-hand experience of the impact of inefficiencies on patient care has motivated him to search for new and better ways of delivering health services.

Dr. Sharma was the founding CEO, and is currently a Director, of Wellpoint Health Services; one of Canada’s largest and fastest growing occupational health and safety providers. During his 8 years of leadership, Wellpoint grew from a single office in Toronto in 2005, to providing clinical services in over 40 locations to over 200,000 Canadians across 4 provinces. He played a pivotal role in developing an innovative “leveraged medical model” which enabled traditional medical clinics to support a mobile workforce of broader clinicians, including nurses, paramedics, and safety officers.

He has close to 20 years of experience in healthcare, having held leadership positions in both Canadian institutions and global corporations. In addition, he has supported or founded multiple start-ups in the health care and technology verticals. Prior to finding his calling as a health care entrepreneur, his corporate experience included working with the senior Global leadership team of Belgium-based AGFA Imaging and serving as Global Director of Product Management with Chicago-based Baxter Healthcare.

Dr. Sharma has provided Board level expertise to organizations throughout his career, including the Ontario Medical Association, Advance for Health Information Executives Journal, and Global Healthcare Concierge. He is an international speaker, and is a sought after health expert with numerous media appearances including CTV, Globe and Mail, Huffington Post, and CBC.

Dr. Sharma completed medical school at McMaster University, post-graduate training at the University of Toronto, and a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. He continues to practice emergency medicine, and is an attending physician at Trillium Health Partners.

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.