The Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Alumni Awards celebrates the outstanding achievements of our undergraduate and graduate alumni.
Each year, we recognize extraordinary alumni for their community service, career achievements and giving back to the Laurier community. With more than 30,000 alumni, and growing, the Lazaridis School continues to prepare exceptional leaders for today and tomorrow.
For more information or to learn about sponsorship opportunities at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics Alumni Awards, please contact Graham McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are now open and will close on June 16.
Awarded to two Lazaridis School alumni as the highest honour given by the Lazaridis School of Business and 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.
Sponsored by Tom and Lynn Oldfield
Awarded to a Lazaridis MBA graduate who has achieved career success and demonstrated a pattern of exceptional leadership and service.
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.
Awarded to two Lazaridis School alumni, an MBA and a non-MBA graduate, who embody an entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen, and who have demonstrated innovative business achievement.
Awarded to two Lazaridis School alumni, an MBA and a non-MBA graduate, who have demonstrated exceptional generosity and outstanding charitable responsibility, and whose goodwill encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in the community.
This award recognizes an alumnus/a of the school who has furthered the interests of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics through significant support, commitment and service to the school. All alumni of the Lazaridis School are eligible for this award. The award winner is selected by the Dean, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics.
Presented by Lynn and Tom Oldfield
Mike Stork (BBA '77)
President, Stork Holdings
Mike Stork has been active in the Waterloo Region business community for more than 30 years. After exiting several family-owned businesses, including Unitron Hearing Ltd. and Dspfactory Ltd., Mike has since played an active role in a number of start-up businesses, many of which are in Waterloo Region. Mike is currently active on the boards of: Clearpath Robotics Inc., Dejero Labs Inc., Miovision Inc., Spartan Biosciences Inc., and meets regularly with their founders to share his experience and wisdom.
Mike devotes a considerable amount of time to non-profit organizations. In addition to being on the Board of Governors for the University of Waterloo and chairman at the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, he’s past president of the board for the Kitchener-Waterloo YMCA and past chair of the Business and Education Partnership of Waterloo Region. Mike is also active on Wilfrid Laurier University’s President’s Council of Advisors.
Thanks to a generous gift from Mike and his wife Hennie, the Lazaridis School was able to launch the Laurier Start-up Fund - a course students can take to get real world experience investing in technology companies. The students are supervised by faculty and a professional advisory board that includes Mike to screen deals, negotiate with startups and work with other private investors.
Mike was raised in Kitchener-Waterloo, attended Grand River Collegiate and graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Laurier in 1977. With his wife Hennie, they have 3 children and reside in Cambridge.
Carolyn Wilkins (BA '87)
Senior Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada
Carolyn Wilkins has a long history with the Bank of Canada (BoC). In her capacity of deputy governor, she oversees the bank’s strategic planning and economic and financial research, and shares responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy as a member of the BoC’s Governing Council. She is also a member of the BoC Board of Directors.
Prior to her recent appointment, Carolyn was advisor to the governor, with a focus on the Canadian economy, its interaction with the financial system and monetary policy. She also served as secretary to Governing Council. From 2011 - 2013, Carolyn was chief of the BoC’s Financial Stability Department, leading their analysis and research on issues related to the financial sector in Canada and abroad, the assessment of risks to financial system stability, and the oversight of systemically important payment, clearing and settlement systems under the Payment, Clearing and Settlement Act.
Carolyn has held a broad range of senior analytical roles at the Department of Finance Canada and the Privy Council Office. Since joining the BoC in 2001, she has occupied increasingly senior positions, first in the monetary and financial modelling division of the former Monetary and Financial Analysis Department, and subsequently as deputy chief of the Financial Markets Department. From Oct. 2010 - Nov. 2011, Carolyn was on assignment as special director on the OTC Derivatives Market Task Force. She also chaired the inter-agency working group coordinating implementation of the G-20’s commitments related to over-the-counter derivatives.
Carolyn holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Western Ontario. She was born in Peterborough, Ontario.
Arnold Drung (BBA '87, MBA '92)
President, Conestoga Meat Packers Ltd.
Arnold Drung joined Conestoga Meat Packers Ltd., a processor of fresh pork in Breslau, Ontario, as general manager in 2002 and since 2009, has lead the company as president.
Prior to Conestoga Meat Packers, Arnold held positions with J.M. Schneider Inc., McNeil Consumer Products and Maple Leaf Consumer Foods, primarily in the marketing and business unit management areas, and has also worked in the consulting field.
He sits on the boards of the Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation and the Canadian Meat Council, for which he was the president in 2013 - 2014. Arnold is also chair of the board for the Lutheran Church, Canada.
Raised in the Kitchener area, he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in 1987 and subsequently completed a Master in Business Administration degree, also from Laurier, in 1992. Together with his wife and children, Arnold resides in West Montrose, Ontario.
Bruce West (MBA '05)
Executive Vice-President, Finance and CFO, The Co-operators
Bruce West joined The Co-operators Group Ltd. in June 2007 as executive vice-president, finance and chief financial officer. Bruce is responsible for financial management, strategic planning, enterprise risk management, capital management and corporate development for The Co-operators’ group of companies. He brings 30 years of progressive financial and managerial experience in operations, corporate development, and financial management in the insurance, wealth management, banking and technology sectors.
Bruce was actively involved in the consolidation of the Canadian life insurance industry having worked for London Life Insurance Company, Clarica Life Insurance Company. and Sun Life Financial Inc. When Sun Life acquired Clarica in 2002, he was selected as vice-president and CFO for Sun Life's Canadian business, playing a key role in the integration of the two companies. Most recently, Bruce was vice-president, finance for Canadian Tire Financial Services and chief financial officer for Canadian Tire Bank.
Bruce sits on the board of directors for a number of companies within The Co-operators Group. He also serves on the boards of EGI Financial Holdings Inc., Echelon General Insurance Company and Credential Financial Inc. Bruce is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University and is an honouree of the School of Accounting and Finance at the University of Waterloo.
Bruce’s educational accomplishments include a Bachelor of Mathematics degree from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing from Wilfrid Laurier University. In addition, he has the Human Resources and Compensation Committee certification and has earned the following designations: Chartered Accountant, FLMI and Chartered Director from The Directors College. Bruce is a member of the Financial Executives Institute of Canada.
Presented by POI Business Interiors and Steelcase
Jessica Chalk (BBA '11)
CEO and Founder, TrafficSoda
Jessica Chalk is the CEO and founder of TrafficSoda, a fast-growing startup providing marketing services and technology for businesses looking to grow online. After founding TrafficSoda in 2013, Jessica successfully raised a small angel round of funding to kick-start the business and has since landed key contracts with Broil King, Danby Appliances and the Public Service Health and Safety Association, among many others.
In 2016, Jessica’s firm successfully underwent the M&A process and merged with a Guelph internet marketing company led by Canadian business entrepreneur Jim Estill. That same year, the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce nominated Jessica as Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Traffic Soda received Gold recognition in the Favourite Marketing Firm category from The Waterloo Region Record.
A graduate of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, Jessica is a frequent guest speaker at start-up/entrepreneurship events and actively volunteers with a variety of community organizations.
Carinne Chambers (BBA '01)
CEO, Diva International Inc.
Carinne Chambers has always been inspired by her mother’s decision to opt for natural products and holistic approaches. After graduating from an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2001, Carinne worked in marketing at both IBM and Microsoft. However, she knew she wanted to do something that could really make a difference in the lives of women around the world.
In 2003, Carinne joined forces with her mother to develop The DivaCup, a modern re-design of the age-old reusable menstrual cup to provide a more reliable and environmentally-friendly approach to feminine hygiene. This was an exciting venture for both women, as Carinne had watched her mother sell and promote these products worldwide for ten years.
Carinne’s devotion to empowering women combined with her entrepreneurial spirit and matched with her mother’s many years of experience in the feminine hygiene products industry, has created a recipe for success. The DivaCup has been awarded many accolades including being voted Best Women’s Product by Canadian retailers for six consecutive years by the Alive Awards and is the only menstrual cup manufacturer in the world to achieve the rigorous ISO 13485:2003 quality certification. The product has also appeared in dozens of magazines including People, Shape, Glamour, In Style, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, and Seventeen.
Carinne lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband Rick, their two young children, Maliya and Jovan, and two German Shepherds, Hazel and Tasha.
Paul Weber (BA '90, DBA '91, MBA '95)
President and CEO, Perimeter Medical Imaging Inc.
Paul Weber is a seasoned business leader with more than 20 years of experience in start-up, growth stage and large multinational medical and technology companies. Currently, Paul is the president and CEO of Perimeter Medical Imaging, Inc., a Toronto-based start-up which develops, patents and commercializes advanced surgical imaging tools to allow surgeons, radiologists and pathologists to better assess microscopic tissue structures during surgical procedures. He has led the company from formation in 2013 through its development phase, receipt of FDA regulatory clearance in early 2016 and the establishment of partnerships with top surgical centers in North America.
Prior to co-founding Perimeter Medical, he managed business development and marketing for Covalon Technologies, transitioning the company from a technology- to a commercially-focused organization, building out OEM, domestic and international distribution channels. At Sentinelle Medical, he oversaw business development and marketing, growing the company from start-up revenues to greater than $18 million in sales in two and a half years before being acquired by Hologic Inc. for $105 million. Paul then directed Hologic’s integration of marketing as well as OEM and international distribution.
Paul has also held leadership roles in business development and product management capacities with Johnson and Johnson and Christie Digital. As part of the founding team at Communitech, he served as a consultant for numerous technology startups on their growth strategies. In addition to Perimeter Medical, Paul has extensive entrepreneurial startup experience. In 2004, he founded and was interim CEO of Nothing But Nature Inc., an organic juice company whose KIJU brand has become the market leader in the organic, 100% juice segment.
Paul has a long history with Wilfrid Laurier University: he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in 1990, a Management Studies Diploma in 1991 and a Master of Business Administration in 1995. In addition, he acted as the first Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Schlegel Centre, sat on the board of the Wilfrid Laurier University Alumni Association, and developed and taught an MBA course in marketing and commercialization of technology.
Axel Noriega (MBA '05)
Branch Manager, Scotiabank
Axel Noriega is a financial services professional and a licensed professional engineer with degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Waterloo in 1997 and a Master of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University in 2005. At the start of his career, Axel worked in the engineering field within the public sector, managing a variety of projects including capital infrastructure, environmental and construction for Toronto Hydro and Toronto Port Authority.
After completing his MBA, Axel changed careers and transitioned to Scotiabank where he had the opportunity to work in a variety of very interesting international and domestic assignments: leading the international banking commercial deposits group, working on international M&A projects, managing the real estate purchasing and reporting departments, providing commercial and retail banking solutions, developing and implementing sales strategies and tactics, and managing a number of operational and financial initiatives. Most recently as branch manager, Axel has been developing and coaching large teams, and building strong relationships with customers and community members.
Axel has been active in the community for many years through various boards including Adventure Place, Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club, Earl Haig Community Child Centre, Homeplace, Harbour Parade of Lights and various student organizations such the University of Waterloo Federation of Students and Laurier’s MBAA. He's been recognized with the Algonquin Council Telephone Pioneers Community Service Award and the Principal’s Award for his outstanding service to the community.
Axel enjoys an active family life and shares his passions with his wife, Elise, and his two children, Aubrey and Zoe, in rural Halton Hills.
Jeffrey Rushton (BBA '85)
President & CEO, Media Resources
Jeff Rushton is an individual dedicated to his family and his business with a passion for charitable causes.
In his business life, Jeff is co-owner, president and CEO of Media Resources, an integrated sign solution company focused on LED digital displays, sign installation, large format digital printing and 3D custom fabrication. Prior to Media Resources, Jeff has held senior executive positions at the president, COO and CFO level in large telecommunication, technology and media companies.
Outside of his business life, Jeff's passion comes from being the founder, chair, and very passionate volunteer for the Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation, a volunteer-based foundation organizing local, regional and national events to raise sustainable funding for childhood cancer charities and pediatric oncology centres in every province across Canada. Since its first event in 2003, the foundation has raised and given away over $45 million. Jeff has also served on the boards of several major childhood cancer charities.
Jeff holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Toronto and is a CPA/CMA in good standing. Married for 30 years to his high school sweetheart Diane, they have a son, Skylar, and a daughter, Brooklyn.
Dean Elliott (BBA '87)
Managing Partner, BDO Canada LLP
Dean Elliot is the managing partner for BDO’s southern and midwestern Ontario region, serving private, public sector and not-for-profit organizations from Windsor to Owen Sound to Guelph. Dean leads the region’s Management Board, which oversees their operations in accordance with the firm’s strategic plan.
He is also a member of BDO’s National Management Team responsible for strategic plan development and overall management of the firm in Canada, including 3,000 BDO partners and professionals. In 2010, Dean was BDO Canada’s first recipient of the firm’s C.F. Fleming Young Leader Award for his contributions to the firm, the profession and the community.
Dean graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1987. He is a chartered accountant and has been a partner with BDO since 1999.
Tim Sothern (BBA '89)
Partner, BDO Canada LLP
Tim Sothern has over 25 years of public accounting experience with BDO in Waterloo Region. Tim was recently elected to BDO’s National Policy Board and is also the southern and midwestern Ontario region leader for BDO’s Not-for-Profit Industry Team.
In 2011, he was awarded one of the highest honours in accounting, Fellow Chartered Accountant designation, for his service to the profession along with career and community achievements that have brought honour to the profession. Tim is very active as a volunteer in both the business and not-for-profit communities including the audit committee of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, the Board of Directors for Supportive Housing of Waterloo and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce.
Tim graduated from Laurier with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1989. He is a charted accountant and completed his Master of Business Administration with a concentration on Human Resources at the University of British Columbia.
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