Viewpoints, Spring 2015 - Sauder School of Business

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SPRING 2015 • VOLUME 35 • NO 1


Harnessing the power of business to do good


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The doing good issue



Mark McCoy, BCom 2006


BCom Class of 1974

Is “doing good” just philanthropy: contributing our spare time and money to our schools, our communities and charities? Or is it more; an obligation to better the world?



Viewpoints from the Dean


Sauder Index




Insider Information




Earning Interest


Class Notes




Points of View



Naeem Mawji, 28, Sauder technology entrepreneurship graduate and UBC student, divides his time between his studies in Vancouver, and bringing power to rural villages in Tanzania. Not because it is charitable, but because it is business. Not because he can, but mostly because it makes business sense, and a little because he thinks he should. He’s not alone, and in this issue, you will meet members of the Sauder community who work every day to harness business to do good for us all.

14 Green



ts igh


Re cy cli ng

al y ci tit S o en id

eSUSTAINABILITY ur Charitable t Fu g iv i n g s In

Naeem Mawji was photographed by Kent Kallberg in Vancouver en route back to Tanzania, where he is shedding light on the challenges of solar power.


ETHICAL consumption


ATTITUDES Behaviour change tation Experimen


Inter personal

Harnessing the power of business to do good


Generation empowered Millions lack electrical power and clean water. Jamii Power and Tapp, companies started by graduates of Sauder’s Technology Entrepreneurship course, are working to change that. Local research does good Questions we never think about have enormous effects on our workplaces, our health, and even how we govern. Five Sauder researchers talk about the questions and answers they are exploring. Stepping lightly From the shoes we wear to the vehicles we drive: almost everything we do leaves a “footprint” on the planet. See how nine Sauder alumni are working to make sustainability, and a smaller footprint, a part of their business. Doing good and doing it well The Spitz Fellows Program is a pathway for Aboriginal women to pursue a business degree at Sauder. Warren Spitz and his daughter Kelsey reflect on what the initiative means to their family. VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015



Pro-social is proactive This edition of Viewpoints focuses on the role of business in society and on the power of business to “do good.” In the pages that follow you will find compelling stories of how Sauder alumni are creating innovative solutions to problems ranging from the generation of sustainable power in remote communities in Tanzania, to the provision of inexpensive clean water in Haiti, Bolivia, and Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. You will also learn about the school’s commitment to embedding values into business education, and the many ways that MARK MUSHET

research by Sauder faculty helps to create more effective, sustainable and just public and private enterprises.

MANY OF THE INSPIRING STORIES IN this edition of your alumni magazine examine how principles of social innovation and social impact are reflected in the activities of our students, alumni and faculty. The overwhelming impression that I take from these stories, reinforced by my interactions with the broader business community, is that engagement with “prosocial” activities is now an integral part of a successful business and a satisfying career in virtually all fields. It is remarkable to reflect on how attitudes toward the social responsibilities of business have changed over a generation. In a very famous and early essay on the subject (The Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, widely available online, and definitely worth reading) the Nobel prize-winning economist Milton Friedman argued that resources devoted to social activities by the managers of publicly traded businesses are—at best—a violation of the agency relationship between a manager and an owner and—at worst—a form of graft. Friedman labels such activities “pure and unadulterated socialism.”



Contemporary scholars are more likely to note that businesses may benefit from acknowledging and addressing differences between private and social costs and inequities in the distribution of income and wealth; that there is in fact a business case to be made for social innovation. For example, consumers may reward brands that are associated with support for environmental causes, and employees may be more engaged and effective in organizations that are recognized as leaders in sustainable and equitable business practices. The magnitude of this change in attitudes is, for me, best reflected in our amazing Sauder Philanthropy Program. This is an extra-curricular program, created by a remarkable group of undergraduate students, whose aim is to teach students about the process of philanthropy and its relation to successful business. The program organizes workshops with business leaders who are deeply involved in philanthropic and social activities to learn about their inspirations, and how philanthropy, sustainability and corporate

social responsibility contribute to the success of their organizations. They also learn how to articulate and realize their own altruistic interests. This program is, to the best of my knowledge, completely unique. It is certainly completely inspiring. I hope you enjoy this edition of Viewpoints. Please stay in touch. n Sincerely,



Viewpoints Magazine is designed to nurture dialogue and relationships with our alumni and friends by ensuring that you continue to enjoy the practical benefits of the school’s leading-edge business thinking. Viewpoints presents news, research and commentary that demonstrate the ability of our faculty and our graduates to define the future of business and to open doors for those who are connected to the Sauder School of Business. Your thoughts about this mission are always welcome. EDITORIAL Dale Griffin executive editor Erica Smishek editor-in-chief Jennifer Wah managing editor

DESIGN Brandon Brind creative director graphic designers:

Leanne Romak

Deana De Ciccio, Karen Cowl,

PRODUCTION Spencer MacGillivray production manager

Viewpoints Magazine is produced by Forwords Communication Inc. and published by the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia 2053 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 Tel: 604-822-8555, Fax: 604-822-0592. Viewpoints is published regularly for alumni and friends of the Sauder School of Business. We welcome the submission of ideas and articles for possible publication in Viewpoints Magazine. Email: For an online version of Viewpoints, visit CHANGE OF ADDRESS Send change of address to Alumni Engagement Office, fax: 604-822-0592 or email to ©Copyright 2015, Sauder School of Business. Editorial material contained in Viewpoints Magazine may be freely reproduced provided credit is given. ISSN 089-2388. Canada Post. Printed in Canada. EDITORIAL BOARD Dale Griffin (Chair), with Sheila Biggers, Teresa Faulkner, Andrew Riley, Erica Smishek, Jennifer Wah and Bruce Wiesner CONTRIBUTORS Brenda Bouw, Sue Bugos, Allan Jenkins, Chris Lane, Spencer MacGillivray, Andrew Riley, Thiago Silva, Erica Smishek, Jennifer Wah, Bethan Williams PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40063721 RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO ALUMNI ENGAGEMENT, SAUDER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS, UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, 800 ROBSON STREET, VANCOUVER, BC V6Z 3B7

The Sauder Index Percentage of natural disasters since 1990 considered water related (floods, droughts and windstorms): 90 Number of people who die annually from natural disasters and water-related diseases: About 7 million Amount of water needed, from bean to mug, to produce 1 cup of coffee: 140 litres Amount needed to produce 1 kilogram of beef: 15,000 litres Percentage of population with access to electricity in 2010: Canada—100, Tanzania—15, South Sudan—1.5 (least in world) Approximate number of companies spun out of discoveries made through research at Canadian universities, since 1999: 1,200 Approximate number of companies spun out of discoveries made through research at UBC: 161 Estimated annual economic impact of university research in Canada: $60 billion Estimated annual impact of UBC research on BC provincial economy: $12.5 billion Number of internships supported by MITACS, the research partnership facilitator founded in 1999 by Arvind Gupta, now UBC’s president: 10,000 Number of blockbuster movies using animation made better by 2015 Oscar winner and former former UBC/Mitacs prof. and mathematician Robert Bridson: 4 (Gravity, The Avengers, The Hobbit, and Avatar) Top country in the developed world for giving money to charity, per capita: United Kingdom European country considered the most generous, adding in a 37% volunteer rate: Ireland Top 5 most generous countries in the world, in terms of giving, donations and volunteerism: Myanmar, United States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand Country listed last on World Giving Index: Greece Percentage of online giving made in the last 2 days of the year: 22 Number of countries with recycling rates above 30%: 11 Canada’s rank: 13 (27%) Singapore’s rank: 1 (59%) Sources:, World Bank, Earthscan, University of Leeds, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, Charities Aid Foundation,,




Research on “slacktivism” makes global headlines PhD student Kirk Kristofferson shared his research on slacktivism, originally published in the Journal of Consumer Research, with major media outlets who were reporting on the recent social media craze, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. USA Today, Fox News, The Indianapolis Star and the Waterloo Region Record were among those to quote Kristofferson, who found that online displays of support did not necessarily translate into anything meaningful. “By publicly supporting these causes, you say, ‘I’m a good person,’” diminishing the need to provide follow-up support for the cause, Kristofferson says. n

Media report on study of global airport efficiency Media near and far reported on Professor Tae Oum’s Global Airport Benchmarking Report, which gauges airports’ managerial efficiency, with articles in Sri Lanka’s DailyFT, Victoria Times Colonist, Sing Tao Daily and others. The study found that Vancouver International Airport is the most efficient in Canada, while Atlanta’s airport is the most efficient in the world; it also looked at how they achieved that success. “Our report finds that the highly efficient airports are more likely to generate a large share of total revenues from concession and other retail activities in terminal buildings, as well as parking, office rentals, and real estate development on airport lands,” Oum says. n

Marketing prof. comments on Vancouver brand to international media Professor Darren Dahl is featured in news articles and a video commenting on a new streetwear venture launched by the wife and son of Lululemon founder Chip Wilson. “Where Lululemon was very successful was that they identified a new trend. With this new brand, it’s not quite as clear that they have pinpointed an identifiable market,” Dahl told Reuters. He was also quoted in Fox Business, CNBC and the Financial Post. n



Study on teen part-time jobs draws international attention

Teens with jobs enjoy benefits like better and higher-paying jobs as adults, according to a study by Associate Professor Marc-David Seidel, which was featured widely in The Atlantic, TIME Magazine, The Daily Mail, MTV, CBC and more. Seidel, along with co-authors Sauder PhD student Marjan Houshmand and Sauder Commerce Scholar alumnus Dennis G. Ma, found that early knowledge of the working world helps teens hone their career preferences. “Parents may think that their kids could do better than a job at the local fast food joint,” said Seidel, “but our study shows even flipping burgers has value— particularly if it leads to part-time work later during the school term.” n

Real estate program and prof. featured in The New York Times Sauder offers one of only three formal real estate programs for undergraduates in Canada—a fact that’s highlighted in a New York Times article. “We force our students to get a much better understanding of the context of real estate and ensure that they become something more than just field specific,” says the Centre for Urban Economics and Real Estate’s director, Tsur Somerville, Real Estate Foundation of BC Professor in Real Estate Finance. n

Counterfeits can boost sales of the real thing

Sauder prof. writes op-ed on hacking sexism in tech Professor Jennifer Berdahl weighs in on what can be done to eliminate biases against women in the tech industry as part of a regular feature of The New York Times called “Room for Debate.” Berdahl, Sauder’s Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Women and Diversity, says tech companies should weed out the “bad apples,” regardless of their tech prowess, who contribute to the hypermasculine culture that drives away talented women. “Gender bias should be recognized as a form of incompetence in the workplace; the inability to work with and respect women, or to recognize merit and promising ideas independent of their style or source, are social and intellectual handicaps,” Berdahl writes. n


Knock-offs can actually help luxury brands increase their sales by serving as free advertising that shows the brand is worthy of imitation, according to a recent study by Associate Professor Yi Qian in Management Science. Qian’s research, focusing on real and fake high-end footwear in China, was profiled in The Atlantic. n

Dean shares lessons on leadership in the Financial Times Dean Robert Helsley wrote a prominent piece in the Financial Times about the leadership lessons one can learn from former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Dean Helsley, the Grosvenor Professor of Cities, Business Economics and Public Policy, describes Annan’s approach to leadership—combining vision, creativity and pragmatism— while also highlighting how the former Secretary-General valued partnering with the business community to make real change. The dean’s article was published in the Financial Times’ annual report that ranked Masters in Management programs. n




Western retailers in China boost Chinese manufacturing supremacy When western retailers like Walmart and Tesco moved into China, Chinese manufacturing got a boost, finds a new study by Professor Keith Head. After 1995, when China began to open to retailers like Walmart, Carrefour, Tesco and Metro, it required them to carry Chinese goods from the areas in which they wanted to set up shop. In turn, to source products from the local market worthy of space on their shelves, retailers pushed hard on manufacturers—many of which had no previous experience supplying goods internationally—to up their game. “Ultimately, it’s like a boot camp that pumps out more effective exporting machines,” says Head, HSBC Professor in Asian Commerce. n

Sauder’s EQUIS accreditation affirms world ranking Sauder has again achieved accreditation by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), reaffirming the school’s capacity to offer the highest standard of business education. “EQUIS accreditation is one of the most important benchmarks available to business schools to ensure excellence in teaching, student experience, research and outreach,” says Dean Robert Helsley, Grosvenor Professor of Cities, Business Economics and Public Policy. To achieve EQUIS accreditation, schools must demonstrate academic distinction, close connections with the corporate world, and commitment to innovation in teaching and program design. Schools are also evaluated on their ability to create learning environments that promote leadership and entrepreneurial skills, as well as a sense of global responsibility. n

Master of Management ranks in global top 50 in the Financial Times Ranking 49th in the world, the Master of Management program offered by Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School is the only North American program to make the 2014 Financial Times Global Masters in Management ranking. Sauder launched the Master of Management program in 2008 to provide students with undergraduate degrees the opportunity to fast-track their careers with nine months of intensive business training and hands-on experience. n 6


New interactive documentary tells story of Sauder and its community

Maryanne Mathias taps into rethinking the global supply chain.

Sauder is taking a fresh approach to telling its story with the multimedia documentary, The Spirit of Discovery, brought to life with impactful images, video, and interactive infographics showing how Sauder and its community are changing the world of business. The documentary sheds light on areas of Sauder’s strategic strength: how to operate in an increasingly global environment, harness and lead with innovation, and take on the world’s toughest challenges by using the tools of business. Through a journalistic lens, the piece showcases innovative researchers, an entrepreneur pushing the boundaries of wearable tech, a young grad launching a Western brand in China, and alumni improving water security in the developing world and making homes smarter and more sustainable. n

Sauder prof. appointed Canada Research Chair Associate Professor JoAndrea Hoegg has been named Canada Research Chair in Consumer Behaviour, which gives her research a $500,000 boost in funding and adds to her authority in the area as she further establishes herself as an international leader in marketing research. The new funding will go towards research on the effect of product design features, such as cars that look like faces and eye-catching nutritional info on food packaging, and research into customer experiences. “To have my name among this group of incredible scholars is a huge honour,” Hoegg says. n

Sauder prof. recognized as leader in ER and conceptual modeling research Professor Yair Wand, the CANFOR Professor in Management Information Sciences (MIS), has been given an ER Fellows Award, a prestigious title recognizing worldleading researchers in the field of ER and conceptual modeling. “The foundational concepts developed by Yair have been vital to the effective design and Yair Wand development of information systems,” says Associate Professor Ron Cenfetelli, Chair of Sauder’s MIS Division. “Any large-scale IT implementation in an organization has, in some way, benefited from Yair’s work.” n

Gender equality leads to more Olympic medals for men and women Gender equality boosts a country’s Olympic medal count for both women and men, shows a new study by Professor Jennifer Berdahl, the Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Women and Diversity, in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. Drawing data from the World Economic Forum’s 2013 Global Gender Gap Report, the study compared a country’s tendency toward sexual equality with its medal counts from the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games. “Our study makes apparent that gender equality has a tendency to lift everyone up within a country,” Berdahl says. n

Former dean to chair NSERC Daniel F. Muzyka is the new Vice-President and Chair of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Muzyka continues to be the President and Chief Executive Officer of The Conference Board of Canada and Sauder’s RBC Financial Group Professor of Entrepreneurship. Previously Sauder’s dean, Muzyka has been a council member of NSERC since 2008. NSERC is a federal agency that supports almost 30,000 postsecondary students and post-doctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 3,000 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. n

First-in-Canada university program offers bachelor plus grad business degree in 4.5 years Beginning in September 2015, UBC students will be the first in Canada to be able to study toward a Bachelor’s degree in arts and sciences while also earning a Master of Management, graduating in just 4.5 years. The new UBC Bachelor + Master of Management Dual Degree, offered by Sauder’s Robert H. Lee Graduate School, allows students from across the university to integrate undergraduate studies with graduate-level business training, hands-on experience and enhanced career services aimed at preparing them for the job market. “From day one, we will work with these students to leverage their unique strengths and talents and prepare them for meaningful professional lives drawing on their specific abilities and interests,” said Sauder’s Dean Robert Helsley, who is also Grosvenor Professor of Cities, Business Economics and Public Policy. n

Major new grant to fuel social innovation and entrepreneurship at UBC UBC and Sauder are set to become a leading hub for social entrepreneurship and innovation focused on solving the world’s toughest challenges thanks to a $500,000 grant from the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation’s RECODE program. The grant will help fund the campus-wide Entrepreneurship 101 class, develop a social venture boot camp in collaboration with entrepreneurship@ubc, establish a seed fund for promising social ventures, and enhance experiential learning opportunities with the UBC Centre for Community Engaged Learning. n

Students help businesses tackle operations challenges with COE industry projects Sauder’s Centre for Operations Excellence held their annual Partners’ Roundtable in November, showcasing the projects completed in 2014 by Masters of Management in Operations Research students working with industry partners. The projects included helping telecommunications company Telus improve customer service delivery related to phone bills; optimizing the allocation of cardiac patients between health regions in British Columbia; improving blood inventory management to minimize waste, age of blood and shortages; partnering with WorkSafeBC to identify problem areas in clinical practice that can delay the return to work; and working with Boeing Canada to reduce flight delays related to maintenance issues. n




Sauder Alumni Clubs:

fostering networks around the world The Sauder Alumni Clubs serve the business, social and professional development interests of Sauder’s alumni community around the world. Recent club events brought alumni, faculty and business professionals together to explore ideas and interests.

Professor Roadshow in Toronto

Ethics roundtable in Vancouver



Associate Dean, Faculty and Director of the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, met more than 40 alumni at the Professor Roadshow event held at The National Club on October 21, 2014. Dahl delivered his “Building Creativity in Business” presentation, sharing details on how creativity leads to success in business and how employers can foster creativity in the workplace. n

to learn more about conflicts of interest at the Integrity in Decision Making event organized by the Sauder Alumni Club of Vancouver in partnership with In1 (Integrity First). David Silver, Chair in Business and Professional Ethics and Acting Director of the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at UBC, joined a number of experienced business professionals in conversation and shared thoughts on how to approach different scenarios. n

Foodie for thought in Vancouver THE SAUDER ALUMNI CLUB OF VANCOUVER, IN partnership with the UBC Faculty of Law, brought the “Pecha Kucha” format to the Imperial in Vancouver on November 5, 2014. In this presentation style, each speaker uses 20 images and 20 seconds per image to share their ideas. More than 100 alumni heard innovative and entrepreneurial stories from experts in the food and beverage industry including Jordan Cash (MBA 2011), founder, Cartems Donuterie, and Tim Yu (MBA 2012), principal, Koerner’s Pub. A networking reception featuring local food and drink followed the presentations. n

September social in Hong Kong Room in Hong Kong on September 18, 2014. The event gave those in attendance the opportunity to network, sample different contemporary cocktails made by top mixologists and enter a draw to win prizes. n



Best of BC Wines in Calgary with alumni UBC, UBC Faculty of Applied Science and UBC’s Okanagan Campus welcomed more than 120 alumni and friends to the exclusive Best of BC Wines event at the Glenbow Museum on October 16, 2014. UBC alumnus and international wine and food guru Sid Cross (LLB 1962) shared his insights on the BC wine market, its unique wines and what he looks for when judging wines around the world. Alumni then had the chance to taste more than 20 of BC’s finest wines from nine participating wineries. n 8





Business leaders inspire the next generation at the Dean’s Speaker Series

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEARNING HOW TO NAVIGATE the business world after graduation was a common theme at the last two Dean’s Speaker Series events of 2014. Two prominent UBC alumni, Sue Paish (BCom 1981), President and CEO of LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services and member of Sauder’s Faculty Advisory Board, and Bill Thomas (BSc 1989), CEO and Senior Partner at KPMG Canada and Chair of KPMG’s Americas Region, came back to campus to share their life lessons and advice with students. Paish spoke to students on September 23, 2014, about her career and explained how her professional choices were always guided by her principles. For Paish, any major decision, including the decision of whether to accept or decline a senior partnership offer, were all made based on her values. She immediately caught everyone’s attention by framing her presentation as the top 10 lessons that business schools won’t teach you. Among these lessons, Paish highlighted the importance of building genuine relationships by taking the time to learn about other people in a sincere way. “Rather than walking away from a networking event with five business cards, it’s better to walk away with stories of people,” she said. The importance of trusting your peers in collaborative work and remembering to say “thank you” were other points she stressed. She explained that sometimes things will not work out in your career and you will fail, but if you are easy to talk to and work well with others, trust will naturally follow.

“I trust people, I don’t trust résumés,” she explained. When interviewing prospective employees, Paish focuses on the “why” questions as opposed to the “what” questions. She wants to understand what motivates and drives people to do the things that they do. Similarly, Thomas stressed to students during his presentation on November 25, 2014, that first and foremost they must identify and determine their compass, for without one they will not be able to navigate, explore, grow or find their purpose—four things he thinks are fundamentally important for an individual to find success and fulfillment. While he had always aimed for professional success, Thomas explained that having a career goal in mind is not the same thing as chasing a high-paying job. “I never worried about the financial rewards of jobs that I had because I knew I would end up in a place where I would be doing two things: making a difference and having fun,” he said and added that “as long as I was in a position to do both these things, I knew the financial rewards would be there and take care of themselves.” His final advice to students was that they should never compromise their personal integrity. “If you’re ever in a place that asks you to compromise your personal integrity—get out of there,” he said. n




Sauder JDC West team raises funds for scholarship in honour of David Huynh ON NOVEMBER 6, 2014, A GROUP OF FIFTY SAUDER STUDENTS, staff and faculty took the plunge into an ice cold tank of water outside of the Henry Angus building as part of Sauder JDC West’s annual Chillin’ for Charity event. The event is one of many fundraisers organized by the team. This year, the Sauder JDC West team donated all funds from the event to the David Huynh Memorial Fund, which will go towards establishing a scholarship in honour of David Huynh, a Sauder student who passed away in the summer of 2014. Huynh was a highly involved and well-respected student leader at Sauder. He was a teaching assistant for three courses, served on the Commerce Undergraduate Society board of directors, was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and represented Sauder at multiple case competitions at home and abroad. Huynh was also a member of the Sauder JDC West team in 2012 and 2013, and served as its co-captain in 2014. He received the Executive of the Year award at the 2014 competition along with co-captain Chloe Tarbet. The group’s goal is to raise $60,000 to fund an endowment to support a scholarship to be presented annually to a Sauder student that embodies the values that Huynh lived by: community-building

and leadership. To learn more about the scholarship or to donate, visit: JDC West is Western Canada’s largest business competition with 12 top business schools competing in areas of academic case, debate, athletics and spirit. n

Fall Congregation


ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY SEVEN students walked across the Chan Centre stage on November 27, 2014, and officially became Sauder alumni at UBC’s Fall Congregation ceremonies. New graduates then gathered at The Big 4 Conference Centre on the ninth floor of the Henry Angus Building to celebrate their achievements with friends, family, Sauder faculty and staff. Congratulations to the newest members of the Sauder alumni community! n



Event highlights obstacles, proposes solutions for gender imbalance in leadership roles THE CORPORATE LADDER GETS NARROWER AS YOU GO UP. This statement is especially true for women who aim to secure a leadership position. According to Jennifer Berdahl, Sauder’s Montalbano Professor of Leadership Studies: Women and Diversity, the ever-present gender imbalance in leadership roles is the product of our society’s deeply ingrained biases and businesses should take steps to eliminate barriers that impede genderbalanced leadership within the organizations. Berdahl was one of five panelists at ”Who’s in charge: Why aren’t there more women in leadership roles?,” part of UBC Dialogues held at the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel in downtown Vancouver on September 9, 2014. Presented by alumni UBC in partnership with the Sauder School and attended by more than 150 people, the lively discussion also featured John Montalbano (BCom 1988), Chief Executive Officer, RBC Global Asset Management and Chair, UBC Board of Governors; Maninder Dhaliwal, Vice-President, Pacific Autism Family Centre Foundation; Anne Giardini, Director, Weyerhaeuser Company Limited; and Martha Piper, Corporate Director and former UBC President and Vice-Chancellor. Berdahl stressed that gender biases are deep-rooted in our society, beginning in pre-school and on playgrounds where an assertive girl is seen as bossy while an aggressive boy is seen as a leader. “The stereotypes of what a leader looks like become values. The descriptive becomes prescriptive,” she said, and explained that it subconsciously affects hiring and promotion decisions in the corporate world. One of the major problems, according to Montalbano, is that most organizations are still fashioned in a traditional business model that values male traits. He believes that this model has

not evolved because these behaviours continue to be rewarded. He also noted that while the problem has been identified, and there is extensive research on gender imbalance in leadership positions, little research exists on how to fix it. “It’s now time to move on from saying ‘there is a problem,’” Montalbano said. “People do sincerely wish to make a difference, but now we need solutions.” Berdahl agreed and added that women in positions of power are more likely to be questioned or undermined than their male counterparts. She suggested that a possible solution would be for businesses to encourage more mentoring and offer a working environment that supports women in all levels of leadership. The panel acknowledged that government policies play an important role in supporting women in the workplace and called for a more robust maternity and paternity leave regulation, in addition to daycare subsidies, to better support mothers who might forgo leadership position aspirations due to household obligations. UBC alumna Rupindere Gosal (BA 2009) said she found the discussion very interesting. “They picked up on a lot of concerns we tend to tip toe around like social issues and increasing maternity leave,” she said. “To hear John Montalbano say that his team is working on getting more women on his board is very inspiring. It tells you that something is actually being done.” Hosted by CBC’s Gloria Macarenko, the event was broadcast live on the alumni UBC website and included questions from both the live and online audience. The complete video and podcast are available online at www.alumni.ubc. ca/2014/events/dialogues/whos-in-charge-why-arent-theremore-women-in-leadership-roles/. n





“There’s a day when I hope we don’t have to talk about social entrepreneurship and how it is different from normal business, because all business will be good business.” These are the words of Amy Chen, an American executive who founded Pepsi’s Food for Good program, and this is the sentiment of the Sauder alumni we spoke to for this issue of Viewpoints. NO MATTER THE INDUSTRY IN WHICH YOU WORK, in the past 10 years, it has become common to speak about the corporate response to social and environmental challenges in terms like “triple bottom line” and “creating shared value.” Companies of every kind work to balance profitability with other stakeholder demands and governance obligations. In business, more and more,

Handbuilt by UBC alumnus Naeem Mawji and his brother Aleem in 2012, this solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant provides access to 230V AC power for 50 households and businesses in a village called Masurura in Northern Tanzania. The village is about 50 km from Musoma, where Naeem and Aleem grew up, and is where their Kuwasha project was first implemented.



sustainability in the long run—and therefore profit—will be measured not “in the black” or “in the red,” but in the grey areas. At Sauder, the concept of “doing good business” is brought to life in myriad ways. Faculty members research everything from gender equity in the workplace, to the impacts of social marketing, to the emerging field of impact investing. And, that research has

read how sauder alumni are making a difference

Alumni in action: generation empowered >> pg 14 Business and ethics: playing follow the leader >> pg 18 The power of research: local research does good >> pg 22 Solving real problems: doing good by stepping lightly >> pg 26

THE POWER TO DO GOOD been translated into practice in a range of venues, from the environmental sustainability of the Winter Olympics, to the efficiency of physicians’ treatment decisions and the health care system as a whole, to the creation of a new conservation economy in the Great Bear Rainforest. In the classroom, students have embraced changing corporate demands by shifting their—and our—attention to creating new solutions and business models focused on solving key social problems domestically and abroad. A quick survey of how our alumni at the early and middle stages of their careers choose to spend their time and money, both professionally and personally, is testament to the shift Amy Chen describes. In this

theme section, we feature several recent UBC and Sauder alumni—from Naeem Mawji and his brother’s efforts to bring sustainable electricity to rural Tanzania, to Glen Garrick’s work closer to home, improving recycling in Vancouver hospitals. As you will see, Sauder alumni are enthusiastic and successful representatives of the world of social enterprise. In business, doing good can no longer be reduced to compromising profit or accepting tradeoffs: in the eyes of many, it is essential to the success of modern capitalism. And, it might just be the fastest-growing area of a new economy.





empowered by


If hard-thinking business has a new softer heart, it beats strong in the alumni described in the next few pages. Their projects do good; there is no question. Naeem Mawji and his brother are bringing electricity to rural Tanzania, and Bradley Pierik and Kevin Reilly invented a super easy and effective water filter that is now saving lives in Bolivia and Haiti. But make no mistake: they wouldn’t be doing what they are doing if it didn’t make good business sense first.



Touching the spark “At the time, I was a kid in uni wanting to do good in a small village. I had no idea how big the problem was.” WHEN NAEEM MAWJI, M.ENG 2015, AND FOUNDER OF JAMII POWER, talks about bringing sustainable, profitable electricity to rural Tanzania, you hear the words not of a dreamer, but those of a problem solver. His message has resonated with audiences at last year’s UBC President’s Installation Panel Discussion, “Generation Empowered,” and five years ago at TEDxTerryTalks 2010. “We are not doing this because we are doing something good. We are doing this because we think we can. It’s a massive challenge. We want to be the ones to resolve it, and we believe we are the ones who can resolve it.” Mawji grew up the son of a civil engineer in Tanzania. He and his younger brother, Aleem (co-founder of Jamii and now a UBC mechanical engineering student), spent their school breaks in rural villages with their father, Anil, a builder of schools, community centre and dams. “Unlike people from cities, we spent a lot of our childhood in the villages. We speak Swahili and could absorb the culture. That’s how we were exposed to the challenges these communities face. “And, coming from a family of entrepreneurs, we saw opportunities in these areas, and saw ways to open up possibilities,” says Mawji. Mawji was also inspired by his Ismaili faith, and particularly the words of the Aga Khan, who urges the fortunate to touch the less fortunate “with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination.” While an undergrad in chemical engineering at UBC, Mawji started an electrification project in the village of Masurura, near his home town of Musoma. The project, called “Kuwasha” (“to ignite” in Swahili), was a collaboration between the Masurura village, the Musoma District Council, and the UBC Centre for International Health. “I grew up during power rationing, and have seen how people in rural areas use kerosene to illuminate their homes and some of the dangers associated with that,” says Mawji. “So Aleem and I started Kuwasha to address the lack of electricity and lighting in small Tanzanian villages.” Mawji and his brother wanted to prompt interactivity in the village by using solar power to illuminate the village’s community gathering places. The project helped “open up time,” in Mawji’s words, so that villagers could interact outside the working day. While a success, the project illustrated the limitations of small electrification projects. Private solar generators only replace one source of illumination (kerosene) with another. Moreover, they are difficult and expensive to maintain. Worst, because they are DC-power systems, useful appliances cannot be hooked to them without more investment. “We needed a new approach that would give them the same sort of system any urban person would have,” says Mawji. “We wanted them to just be able to plug in to have broadly useable electricity.”

“We are not doing this because we are doing something good. We are doing this because we think we can. It’s a massive challenge. We want to be the ones to resolve it, and we believe we are the ones who can resolve it.” – naeem mawji




Wired for change. Brothers Naeem (top, right) and Aleem have engineering in their DNA and have the energy to change the world.



The Mawji brothers came up with Jamii Power, a concept built around a central 33kWp solar plant sufficient to supply 230V AC power to 150–200 village homes. The power plant is modular and can be installed in just two weeks. “We build the grid the week before the container [containing the power plant and solar panels] shows up, using locally sourced wires, poles, etc.,” says Mawji. “Once the container arrives, we set up the plant, and then use the container as housing for the plant.” The Jamii Power model addresses all the challenges raised in Mawji’s Kuwasha project. “First, we supply AC power, so they can use appliances. Second, we make the necessary investments in the plant, depending on demand. And third, our team handles maintenance, which we can do far more cheaply than an individual could.” But the success of the first Jamii Power project raised scaling issues, which kept the idea from being a sustainable business. So Mawji turned to UBC and Sauder for help. “The issues were not technical so much as they were social,” says Mawji. “For example, the community does not have access to banks or credit, so collecting revenue is a nightmare once you expand from a few units to a whole village or many villages.” Load management was also an issue. Solar power can only be generated in daytime and can only be stored in batteries. There is no way to import power from another village with a surplus. “To solve the capacity problem, I wanted to look at other sources of electricity. So I joined the UBC Engineering’s Clean Energy program to learn more about technologies, such as bio-mass and micro-hydro power, I could incorporate into the project. “And I wanted to use the entrepreneurship track to learn more about the business side. That’s where Sauder came in,” says Mawji.

In September 2013, Mawji joined UBC’s Lean LaunchPad accelerator program: an intense eight weeks where the ideas of budding entrepreneurs are ruthlessly picked apart from every angle. “[Instructor] Paul Cubbon and [entrepreneur] Blair Simonite helped us narrow down to the four key ‘pains’ so we could explain it to people who are unfamiliar with Africa and rural electricity. “The semester after that, I got into the Technology Entrepreneurship course taught by Cubbon and [Professor] Thomas Hellman. And that is where we took the idea further, getting into the details of what the Jamii business model would look like,” says Mawji. Armed with his education from UBC, Mawji, 28, now works full-time at Jamii Power in Tanzania, using the firm to also complete his masters project. Brother Aleem, who is 21, divides his time between his UBC engineering co-op work for Teck Highland Valley Copper in Logan Lake, and working at a distance on the Jamii project. Cubbon continues to follow Mawji and Jamii Power with interest: “Naeem is a UBC entrepreneur that put his company front and centre to help solve a major global societal problem. Sauder and e@UBC continue to stay in contact with Naeem and Jamii to support him where possible. ”Naeem is still developing Jamii Power’s business model, but he is determined to bring sustainable electrification to the villages in a way that all parties, not least Jamii Power, profit and develop. He sees it as an obligation.” Mawji reflects: “I believe people shouldn’t do things because they feel good about it. They should do it because they can. Because once you have the ability, you have the responsibility. If you don’t, you have denied yourself and the world. Simple as that.” n

Let clean water flow… simply Eight hundred million people lack clean water. As a result, 1.6 million people—mostly children under age five—die each year from dysentery, cholera and other water-borne diseases. CLEAN WATER CAN PREVENT THESE DEATHS, AND entrepreneurs around the world are working to find better ways to supply it. Two of them are Bradley Pierik and Kevin Reilly, UBC engineering grads who also took Sauder’s Technology Entrepreneurship class, and whose invention is saving lives in Bolivia and Haiti. Pierik and Reilly have invented a simple, yet highly effective water filter, called Tapp, that families can use to clean water. “I’ve been working with water technology in developing countries for about a decade, mainly as an engineer on different water projects,” says Pierik, Tapp’s CEO (shown in photos). “I found we just didn’t have very good options available. The filter systems were often complicated to use and maintain. So I became interested in making a water filter that’s simple to use and requires no maintenance.” Pierik and Reilly have been working on Tapp for three years. A quality issue with a Chinese manufacturer set back an earlier launch, but this gave Reilly, the chief engineer, time to make Tapp even simpler. “How many prototypes have we had?” Reilly jokes to his partner.

“There is a saying in the design world—‘Good design should be as simple as possible, but no simpler,’” says Reilly. “But simplicity too often means ‘dumbing down,’ by just taking things away. Tapp, on the other hand, is simple, yet effective, because we have put a lot of complex thinking into its design.” The Tapp filter provides clean water to a single family for about three years, using the same filtration technology that has been used for kidney dialysis for several decades. Other filtration systems use the same technology, but Tapp is different because it is easy to use. The user twists open the filter, presses a pump three times (this cleans the filter, though the user may not know it), closes the filter, then lets water flow into the Tapp through a siphon. Tapp’s capacity is 30 litres per hour. Flow can be cut off at any time (“like a tap, hence the name,” notes Pierik), so the user filters only the water needed. This prevents the recontamination that is common when large amounts of water are filtered. Tapp filters have been deployed through NGOs in Haiti and Bolivia, and Pierik says more will be deployed soon in the Philippines, Ethiopia and Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. n




Playing follow the


Sauder's commitment to teaching BRENDA BOUW responsible leadership by

There are more than enough case studies of businesses doing bad things, from treating customers poorly to polluting the environment. But what about those that do good? SAUDER ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR David Silver believes companies doing the right thing should also be highlighted to serve as inspiration for future leaders, starting in the classroom. That’s why Sauder is continuously working to incorporate values, ethics and sustainability in business across its course load. “Business ethics are important because business is important. It affects people, and people matter,” says Silver, who is part of Sauder’s Sustainability and Ethics Group and Chair in Business and Professional Ethics at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics. “There is a sense among a lot of people in the Sauder community that we can do things better and try new ways to help our students develop into the responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”



David Silver

For example, instead of waiting for the ethics course in their third year, students are introduced to business ethics within a few weeks of starting at Sauder. A number of courses, from accounting to marketing, also include critical and strategic thinking around responsible leadership, ethical conduct, accountability, and values in business. Working with Silver, lecturer Tamar Milne helped pioneer the integration of ethics in all the Introduction to Marketing sections.

“Values and ethics aren’t separate topics to be studied. They are part of every decision we make,” says Milne, a member of the Marketing and Behavioural Science Division at Sauder. Milne says it starts with valuesbased decision-making. That means being clear on what an organization’s values are, what it stands for, what value it brings to society, who is vulnerable and finally how it can make improvements. “Success has to include ethics from start to finish,” says Milne. In the following pages, we’ve highlighted three examples that inspire values-based leaders and entrepreneurs of the future. The work underscores Sauder’s “The Spirit of Discovery” campaign and is an extension of the school’s own values of rigour, respect and responsibility.


Philanthropy Program WHEN VANCOUVER FOUNDATION President and CEO Kevin McCort was asked to address a group of Sauder students on philanthropy last fall, his presentation opened with the following quote from the ancient philosopher Aristotle:

“To give away money is an easy matter and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power nor an easy matter.” McCort felt the quote was appropriate not only given the student setting, but also to drive home the point that philanthropy is a learned behaviour, and should be shared. “The desire to give is innate,” says McCort. “But to be an effective philanthropist takes some time, exposure and some thought.”

The team from the Sauder Philanthropy Program. As philanthropy is believed to be a learned behaviour, these students are learning to become skillful from direct interaction with role model mentors.

It’s a message he wanted to deliver to Sauder students, particularly given growing research showing that people their age are more trusting of charities and how they’re run, compared with older generations. Millennials, the term used to described young people today between ages 18 to 34, are also eager to give back to their communities, McCort says. “That should give us all hope for charities in the future,” he says. “These young people don’t have the money, but they are enthusiastic about giving back.”

Kevin McCort, Vancouver Foundation President and CEO, centre, speaks with students after his philanthropy presentation at Sauder last fall.

McCort is one of a handful of community leaders invited to speak with students as part of the Sauder Philanthropy Program (SPP) launched in the fall of 2013.

“The desire to give is innate. But to be an effective philanthropist takes some time, exposure and some thought.” The SPP is an extra-curricular program for Sauder undergraduate students, designed to provide participants with an innovative and unique opportunity to learn about the practice and impact of philanthropy. The program also offers workshops about charitable giving, including how to ask for and give money to particular causes. “It’s relationship building: Learning how to understand what motivates individuals and what interests them to give back,” says Allyson Haug, Senior Associate Director, Development at Sauder. The SPP program was started by a group of Sauder undergraduates, with the support from faculty, administrators and the Development and Alumni Engagement (DAE) staff. Its mission is to promote the growth of the next generation of philanthropic leaders. VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015


Jess Tang, Sauder’s Students & Young Alumni Coordinator, says the program also aims to give students hands-on experience in the non-profit world, which could potentially lead to careers in the sector.

“Our aim is to build business leaders who have a focus on values-based leadership, and who consider philanthropy and charitable giving in their leadership style.” “The goal is for them to learn more about philanthropy and how they can get more involved in charitable giving. “Our aim is to build business leaders who have a focus on values-based leadership, and who consider philanthropy and charitable giving in their leadership style,” says Tang. Michael Darnel, 21, a fourth-year commerce student, says the program was pitched to him by John Montalbano, Sauder alumnus and CEO of RBC Global Asset Management, who wanted to start something that educates students on the importance and impact of philanthropy in business. Darnel thought it was a great idea and ran it past some fellow students at Sauder, who then formed a managing committee to help develop the program. “The program has also given me the opportunity to network with philanthropists in the Vancouver business community,” Darnel says, citing support from Social Venture Partners Vancouver, “an organization that has allowed me to see first-hand how successful business professionals are creating change in society.” He says the program has inspired him to dedicate time and money to charitable causes, including the Ride to Conquer Cancer over the past two years. When he graduates, Darnel hopes to pursue a career at a company where giving back to the community is part of the culture. n




Physician Leadership Program

Mahesh Nagarajan

Daniel Skarlicki

PHYSICIANS ARE LEADERS IN OPERATING rooms and with their patients, overseeing surgeries and treatments using the health care staff and services that surround them. But what happens when a physician also takes on an administrative role? For some physicians, the transition can be challenging, particularly given the constraints on resources in today’s society and growing pressures on the system as a result of the aging population. Sauder is helping BC’s physicians to better manage their administrative duties and hone their leadership skills through the Physician Leadership Program (PLP), offered through Executive Education. Sauder created PLP in collaboration with the BC health authorities, BC Patient Safety Quality Council and the UBC Faculty of Medicine. “Doctors are very good at the medical aspects of what they do. The health care system, however, is a very complex network. There’s the human aspect with doctors, nurses and patients, and operational aspects looking at data and systems. Our mission is to help build capacity to lead change for health care in BC,” said Mahesh Nagarajan, an associate professor and Chair, Operations and Logistics Division at Sauder. He is one of the academic leads of the PLP program, along with Daniel Skarlicki, a professor in Sauder’s Marketing and Behavioural Science Division and the Edgar F. Kaiser Professor of Organizational Behaviour.

The PLP program, now entering its third year, includes four modules held over 10 days during a six-month period, with a focus on values-based leadership. The first module challenges physicians to learn how to lead themselves, sharpening skills to influence and lead during changing times. “Very early in the program we have them delve deeply into their values. That exercise is often a unique opportunity for them to reflect on the things that matter most to them personally,” says Skarlicki. Physicians develop a personal vision statement, which has proven to be a very valuable exercise. “It re-energizes them and reminds them about why they got into health care in the first place,” Skarlicki says. Next up are courses on leading in today’s complex health care environment, including working with both internal and external stakeholders. The final two modules cover how to design operations in order to gain efficiencies, quality, and patient safety, which are critical aspects in today’s health care system. The program is designed for senior physicians taking on leadership roles and who want to augment their medical background with applied, forward-thinking management skills. Physicians leave the program with tools that help them think more strategically, while effectively leading quality and safety improvements throughout their organization. This will help to develop and nurture the physician community in the province. “There are lots of leadership programs out there,” says Skarlicki. “But what the physicians really appreciate is that the program exposes them to the “state of the science” with regards to operational management and organizational leadership. That’s going to be critical when it comes to getting a handle on the costs of health care in the future.” n

Annual Propelling Social Ventures Conference (on social entrepreneurship and impact investing). First from left is Phil Swift; third from left is Daniel Epstein, founder of the Unreasonable Group (globally known for impact investing and entrepreneurship); fourth from left is Ken Banks, founder of Frontline SMS and author of The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator; fifth from left is Jana Svedova, Director, Impact Investing S3i; and at far right is James Tansey, Executive Director, S3i.


Impact Investing MAKING MONEY AND MAKING a difference in society are no longer considered to be at cross-purposes with the rise of an increasingly popular business strategy known as impact investing. The goal of impact investing is to pursue financial returns, while also supporting ventures that help to tackle social and environmental problems. The Centre for Social Innovation and Impact Investing (S3i), led by Sauder Associate Professor James Tansey, is becoming a leader in social innovation and social enterprise at UBC, supporting a growing network in the broader community around the university. Through research and a new seed fund that will support social ventures at the school, S3i is teaching students about the importance of values-based leadership, helping shape the next generation of social entrepreneurs. “Not only has values-based leadership become popular, but we’re also showing that it’s possible to grow sustainable businesses and also create impact. That’s a great opportunity,” says Jana Svedova, Director, Impact Investing at S3i.

“We’re leveraging our knowledge and research to support this industry—to make it something more than just a niche.” The Impact Investing program was founded by philanthropists Phil Swift and Amin Lalji, who recognized an increased interest among entrepreneurs to make money and do good at the same time. The founders wanted UBC to become an influencer in the social innovation space. The program was born out of a study Svedova and some fellow researchers conducted in 2013, called Demystifying Impact Investing, which identified two major challenges around impact investing. First, it showed that most impact investing is done privately, by families and foundations, which means there isn’t a lot of public information available to others considering starting or supporting social ventures. As a result, S3i’s impact investing work will include ongoing research to help better inform the public about the process and benefits of impact investing. Second, the research showed that many investors aren’t comfortable putting their money into very early-stage companies, even those with a social purpose.

As a result, S3i has launched a seed fund, with the support of the J. W. McConnell Foundation’s RECODE program. A group of experts at the university are responsible for choosing which startups will receive the money, while also assessing and managing the potential risks. This part of the program is based on the success of the current e@UBC Seed Fund, which provides funding for more traditional early-stage ventures at UBC. “We look at business models that make money and maximize social impact,” said Svedova. “We are eager to expand the university’s investment capabilities and develop a new source of capital support that meets the unique needs of social ventures.” S3i’s mission is to support the growth of the impact-investing field through applied research and collaborative initiatives engaging investors, funders, students, entrepreneurs, academics and policymakers. “Impact investing is an emerging sector that seeks to tackle pressing social and environmental challenges while generating a financial return,” says James Tansey, S3i’s executive director. “This initiative will establish Sauder and UBC in a position of Canadian leadership.” n VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015




not questions that have an impact on the future of the planet. Finding the best answers to them can have enormous effects on our workplaces,

“If you want someone to buy energy-efficient goods, should you tell them how much it will cost them or how much it will save them?”

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answer important questions of our time, what they’ve learned, and how they have been surprised. >>

David Hardisty Sauder Assistant Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science.

The cost is on the tag


WHEN CONSUMERS SHOP FOR A NEW appliance, they consider many factors: Features, colour, how it will look in the kitchen and, of course, the sticker price. But how many consider the energy cost of the refrigerator over the next decade? And if they do, does it affect their buying decision? “Consumers can save money in the long run by choosing a more energyefficient product, and it is better for the environment,” says David Hardisty, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Behavioural Science. “And this applies to everything from light bulbs to dryers to furnaces.” Hardisty and his team believed consumers would make better decisions if fully informed of the energy cost of the appliance, and, in August 2014, conducted a study with BC Hydro to find out. Their method was to tag some appliances with the estimated cost of operating the appliance over the next ten

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years. They found consumers took these costs into account when making their decisions, and that they tended to opt for more energy-efficient models, as a result. “We found that the labeling is very reliable, and that it has a strong effect. Once consumers see the 10-year cost, they think ‘I don’t want these costs hanging over me, I want to minimize them.’” Hardisty and his team found that to be effective, the tags had to emphasize cost, not savings. “People care a lot more about cost than savings,” says Hardisty. “So while some stores will have a tag that says ‘Saves you $100,’ we found that doesn’t do anything. People care far more about losses than gains, especially over time.” Hardisty and his team will continue working with BC Hydro and consumer decision-making. “I’m interested in how we can nudge consumers to make more sustainable choices.” n

does GOOD “What do people need to hear before they will change their behaviour for the public good?”



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Katherine White Sauder Professor of Consumer Insights, Prosocial Consumption, and Sustainability.

Messages matter

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WHY DO SOME PEOPLE DO THINGS FOR the public good, but others don’t? What messages do people need to hear before they will change their behaviour for the public good? These are not just theoretical questions. The answers have practical applications, says Katherine White, Sauder Professor of Consumer Insights, Prosocial Consumption, and Sustainability. “I am a social psychologist by training, which can be pretty theoretical,” says White. “But when I became interested in marketing, I realized I could study things that have tangible outcomes for society and apply insights to real situations.” In a recent project, White and her colleagues worked with the City of Calgary to explore ways to motivate more Calgarians to recycle and to recycle properly. “The city saw that some people were just not recycling at all,” says White. “And others were doing it wrong, such as putting stuff where it shouldn’t be, or not putting their bins out in the right location. “So the city wanted to look at different ways of communicating that might make people take part, recycle more products and follow instructions.” After preliminary surveys and measurements to get a sense of recycling behaviour, White and her team created marketing messages addressed to 400 Calgary households and subsequently measured their actual recycling behaviours.

“These were basically doorhangers, but with different messages so we could see which messages prompted behavioural changes,” says White. What sort of messages work best was the focus of the study. Some past research indicated people were best motivated by what psychologists call “loss frames” (negative things that will happen if you don’t do this behaviour). But other studies indicated people respond better to “gain frames” (positive things will happen if you do this behaviour). “What we wanted to do is understand this better and try to determine if loss frames or gain frames work better under different circumstances,” says White. “So we gave information to all the participants, but in half the cases the information was couched in a loss frame, and for the other half, in a gain frame.” White’s team learned that “loss frame” messages worked best when paired with concrete information that helped consumers “solve” the loss, such as details on how and when to recycle. The team found that “gain frame” messages worked best when paired with abstract messages, such as information about “why” to recycle. The study resulted in improved recycling behaviours and the results held six months after the original messages were given. The City of Calgary is studying wider implementation. n







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“How can a blood bank best allocate its supplies?”


WE DON’T OFTEN THINK ABOUT THE blood in hospital blood banks. Many of us are glad to give it; Canadians donated over one million pints last year. And many of us are glad to get it; a transfusion is needed every two seconds in North America. But few of us realize that keeping adequate blood stocks is a difficult balancing act for hospitals. Blood is perishable, just like milk in your refrigerator, and can only be stored 42 days. Steven Shechter, Associate Professor of Operations and Logistics at Sauder focuses on applying operations and management science to health care. According to Shechter, maintaining blood inventory, like maintaining optimum inventory in other businesses, is a balancing act of competing objectives. But whereas running out of stock at a store may only cost a customer, running out of blood can cost a life. “On the demand side, every day, hospital blood banks know some patients will need transfusions,” says Shechter. “But they don’t know how much blood they will need. “On the supply side, the blood bank receives blood from Canadian Blood Services each day, but they don’t know how much they will get or how old it will be.” Most blood banks follow a first-in, first-out (FIFO) policy, which helps prevent shortages. But the policy increases the average age of the blood transfused, which may lead to poorer medical outcomes. However, while changing to a last-in, first-out (LIFO) policy reduces average blood age, it increases shortages and waste. To help blood banks make better choices, Shechter and his colleagues at Sauder and the Centre for Operations Excellence conducted a study with local health authorities in which they applied


The blood balancing act


Steven Shechter Sauder Associate Professor of Operations and Logistics.

mathematical and computer models to blood stock management. “We used the models to create a ‘statedependent’ policy the blood bank could apply daily, instead of following a rigid FIFO or LIFO policy,” says Shechter. “With a state-dependent policy, the models allocate blood based on current inventory, anticipated need and average age of blood. “For example, if we see blood will soon be outdated, we will use the oldest blood. But if no blood is about to expire, the models will allocate newer blood.” The study is being reviewed for possible implementation. n


Sandra Robinson Sauder Professor of Organizational Behaviour.

The bad seeds among us SANDRA ROBINSON, PROFESSOR OF Organizational Behaviour, studies territorial behaviour, trust, betrayal and workplace deviance, or, as she puts it “how people acting badly at work affect us all.” Sometimes the results are surprising. In her study of how members of unethical teams regard each other, she found “there’s no honour among thieves.” “Even if the entire team is cheating and is benefitting from it,” says Robinson, “the team members all distrust each other and are watching their backs. Many want to leave the team.” More recently, Robinson has turned her attention to workplace bullying and its lessdiscussed sibling, workplace ostracism. Robinson and her colleagues studied nurses at a large urban hospital to determine the extent and effect of bullying. Again, the findings were unexpected. Unsurprisingly, the team confirmed that the direct targets of bullying are unhappy, with poorer well-being, poorer performance and a desire to leave the organization. But Robinson and her colleagues were surprised to find that those who were not bullied are almost as badly affected as the bullied, and almost as likely to leave. “People who were not bullied, but who were working in bullying environments, were substantially more likely to leave the organization than employees in a nonbullying environment,” says Robinson. “Statistically there was little difference in turnover likelihood between the bullied and those exposed to it. Just being around bullying is like being the target of bullying.” In a later study, Robinson found social ostracism, or exclusion, to be even more widespread than bullying and worse for the victim.

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“Ostracizing behaviours are more prevalent, which makes sense because it is hard to write policy against them. We also found that managers see ostracism as more socially acceptable than bullying because it’s perceived as less harmful. “But our results show that ostracism is worse than bullying, causing more physical illness, more absenteeism, high emotional distress and a greater desire to quit. We found being ostracized actually predicts turnover up to four years out.” n

“What’s the best way to put public works out to tender?”

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TOM ROSS, PROFESSOR OF REGULATION and Competition Policy at Sauder, focuses on the interplay between the public and private sectors, including the field of public-private partnerships, where both work together to provide and manage public infrastructure. A part of public-private partnerships that interests Ross is the bidding process. Traditionally, public infrastructure projects have been put out to tender in a way many of us are familiar. The government body describes exactly what it wants done (a six-lane highway from A to B, for example, or a 400-bed hospital with certain capabilities), and asks contractors to bid a price for the work. All things being equal, the low bidder wins. That is the best approach in most instances, according to Ross. “If you know you want a 400-bed—no more, no less— hospital, then put it out to a project bid.” But Ross and his colleagues believe the public would be better served in many cases if the public agency used an untraditional bidding process called “bidding the envelope”: telling contractors how much money is available for the project, and asking them to come up with the best they can offer for that amount. “Maybe the agency thinks ‘Well, we think 400 beds is what we need, but if these contractors have low costs, maybe we could get 450 or 500 beds,’” says Ross. “If the agency can be flexible, so that it gets a smaller quantity if costs are high, but a greater quantity if they are low, then ‘bidding the envelope’ may be preferable.” Motorists on the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler are


Tom Ross Sauder Professor of Regulation and Competition Policy.

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“What happens to workplace morale when people or teams act badly?”

beneficiaries of the “bid the envelope” approach. “They [public sector] basically said ‘We have a half billion dollars for this. How much highway can we get?’” says Ross. “They got more four-lane road than they expected, gentler turns, and ended up getting millions of dollars of more road than they expected.” n






“Doing good” by stepping lightly How sustainability-savvy alumni are taking big strides to leave a lighter footprint on the world by

Do good w it h w hat y o u d o b es t

Do good b y b e in g a c c o u nta b le fo r y o u r a ct io n s

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In a world where the gap between “the haves and have-nots” is widening, the environment is in peril, natural resources are being depleted at alarming rates and charitable organizations are competing for seemingly scarce funds, many recent Sauder alumni are leveraging their business knowledge, skills and experience to do good and make the world more sustainable. While all recognize the significant challenges, they are optimistic about the opportunities these offer us as a society to change;

Do good b y u t il iz in g re s e a r c h and a d v o c a cy to b r in g a b o ut p o s it ive change

they aspire to leave the world in better shape and see themselves as bridge builders or facilitators, bringing the sometimes disparate worlds of business and social/environmental efforts together to create positive and sustainable solutions. Viewpoints is pleased to share their stories, which show there are many ways to leave a lighter footprint. In fact, while talking to these alumni, several themes developed which can serve as guideposts for anyone hoping to follow a similar path.

y s h a r in g D o g o o d b il itat in g , fa c ex p e rt is e e nt a n d d eve lo p m it h oth e rs w o r k in g w

D o g o o d by leve ra g in g s us ta in a b le b us in ess p ra ct ic es fo r b otto m -l in e b e n e fits

Do go od by adaptin g system s to sa ve mo ney

Do goo b y th in d k in lo n g te g rm

Glen Garrick—Global citizen. Sustainability advocate. Says the three most important skills for business success, which he honed at UBC, are human resource/ emotional quotient, marketing, and finance/data analysis.

Glen Garrick (MBA 2007) Sustainability Manager Fraser Health Authority



Do good by being accountable for your actions


David Lee—Economic development and social enterprise bridge builder. Keen listener. Hopes to leave a legacy of creating understanding.

David Lee (MBA 2000)

Principal Consultant Propellor Social Enterprise Advisors

Do good by facilitating understanding rather than imposing rigid business practices

“WE INTRODUCED AN ACCOUNTABILITY Report this year that is transparent with the challenges we face, how we are surmounting them, and celebrating our successes. Every little win makes a difference,” says Garrick. “Costs are always a concern for administrators, so creating strategies that are cost neutral is ideal. However, sometimes a certain approach may not save money but it is the right thing to do because it reduces waste in a way that has a positive influence on human life and perhaps long term will reduce someone’s need to rely on the health care system; it’s good business,” explains Garrick, who is part of a team of 16 working on environmental sustainability in health care. • Strongly believes finding common ground among disparate perspectives can change the world. “I think about what I want for my one-year-old son, and I believe it’s important to repair a lot of the broken connections that are

out there. Business and the environment don’t exist independently, and neither do people; by bringing everyone together we can solve the world’s problems.” • Does “good” business by helping the health care industry to move forward in recognizing the huge impact it has as a resource intense business, and how it can do the same good work in a more efficient and environmentally friendly way. n

“IT’S IMPORTANT TO HEAR WHAT the client is saying, and all of their stakeholders, and really understand the various perspectives before undertaking a planning process,” says Lee. Asking people questions that make them consider issues in a different way and really looking at issues from all sides is important,” explains Lee with regards to his approach both in his job as an internal business consultant at Spectra Energy and his consulting work with Propellor, where he leads and facilitates business planning and organizational change initiatives for non-profit organizations. He says that while outcomes are important, it is equally important to consider processes. “You have to make sure you have the right level of engagement, common ground between everyone involved and a true understanding of what needs to be done in order to see positive outcomes,” he adds. • Credits an MBA class field trip to Four Corners Bank in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as being a catalyst

for his business consulting work with non-profits. “It really opened my eyes and gave me a different perspective of how business can work differently than I had previously considered. Business can help social agencies build capacity in a way that complements their values and helps them meet the needs of those they serve.” • Does “good” business by encouraging businesses to look at social issues as an opportunity to engage people from seemingly different places and identify common goals in order to find viable ways to create more equity in the world and a sustainable future. n

59% of Vancouver Coastal Health health care facilities now have comprehensive recycling.


68% reduction in water intensity at Fraser Health Authority.


David Lee has helped MP Maintenance increase its financial sustainability in support of its social impact: training over 25 people with barriers to employment and finding permanent employment for 15 people each year. VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015


Penelope Comette—Dedicated sustainable energy advocate. North Shore trail runner. Great-grand daughter of iconic Canadian cabinet minister C.D. Howe (she’s been told she has his eyes); would like “to do for the clean energy sector what C.D. Howe did for aviation.”

A fine balance 2014





Source: KPMG British Columbia Technology Report Card, 2014 Edition “Bordering on the big play: taking our tech sector to the next level”

Penelope Comette (MBA 2000)

Program Director, Clean Energy Economy Pembina Institute

Do good by utilizing research and advocacy to bring about positive change THE PEMBINA INSTITUTE IS A THINK tank that undertakes research and advocacy focused on the energy sector. “There are a lot of complicated problems in this industry so there is a need for strategic thinking and solid data-based research. Our role is to connect people; sharing different

Claudia Bierth—Self-proclaimed ‘cultural hybrid’, being born and raised in Germany and now living in Canada. Happiest being active outdoors. Believes sustainable business practices benefit bottom-line results not just corporate reputations.

Claudia Bierth (MBA 2010) Sustainability Consultant Reeve Consulting

Do good by leveraging sustainable business practices for bottom-line benefits CREATING UNDERSTANDING, facilitating change and providing strategic focus is how Bierth explains her role. “Lately, I have been largely focused on helping organizations strategically rethink how they approach the ethical and environmental issues affecting their supply

perspectives, bringing people, information and organizations together. We like to say that we facilitate dialogues with ‘unusual bedfellows,’” Comette says. “Our strategy has three main components to it: creating understanding at the government and public level that clean energy is not a niche industry, and is one of the biggest innovators in our economy; collectively developing and modeling the best suite of proactive policies to grow the clean energy sector; and creating coalitions of ‘unusual’ partners to apply pressure on various levels of government to put these policies in place,” explains Comette who leads a cross-functional team of highperforming individuals.

• Much of what she learned at Sauder has helped Comette’s efforts working with others and creating understanding among individuals with varied skills and perspectives. “There is a real need in the energy sector for people with business skills to partner with people focused on protecting the environment; the importance of those two worlds working together can’t be emphasized enough,” says Comette. • Does ‘good’ business by tackling today’s energy challenges, transitioning the sector away from fossil fuels towards clean energy. n

chain. Sustainable purchasing is the unifying lever across an organization for stimulating sustainable decision making because it drives innovation for greener products among suppliers, drives cost savings through eco-efficiency, connects staff to an overall sustainable program and engages them in the process, and strengthens the brand of an organization as a sustainability leader,” she outlines. Bierth feels the possibilities are promising for businesses that embrace sustainable practices. She says, “Sustainable businesses are more resilient against external shocks such as scarcity of resources because they are connected to healthy economic, social and environmental systems. By recognizing new challenges early and developing a range of actions, companies minimize risk and discover new opportunities.” • Opting to attend Sauder for a good all-around business education and benefit from a sustainability specialization, Bierth got what she wanted. “I found the ongoing discourse with ‘mainstream’ MBAs was very helpful. It has allowed me to approach corporate sustainability in a way that

is grounded in business realities that resonate with business people.” • Does “good” business by helping businesses integrate social and ecological issues into business processes that help them flourish in the long term while preserving the livelihoods and natural resources of present and future generations. n


Sustainable purchasing shows a 1% reduction in costs; so if a company spends $20 million per year on operations, it can expect to save $200,000 based on eco-efficiencies such as conserving water, energy, fuel and other resources.



Karim and Yasmin Abraham worked with a Mr. Lube location to enhance lighting but also save energy costs. Resulted in the location being 50% brighter.





annual savings and a time frame of 22 months to recoup investment.

Karim Abraham—Big thinker. Entrepreneur motivated by “What can I do to make something better?” Relaxes on his bike, snowboard or the hiking trails.


Yasmin Abraham—Entrepreneur. Drawn to people and projects that inspire her passion for sustainable business solutions. Unwinds with friends and oysters on a seawall restaurant patio.



Karim Abraham (BCom 2008) and Yasmin Abraham Andricevic (MBA 2013) CEO & Co-Founder and VP, Business Development & Co-Founder, Kambo Green Solutions

Do good by adapting systems to save money LEARNING FROM THEIR FATHER’S business, they realized a market opportunity leading them to create Kambo Green Solutions, which provides products, tools, guides and other services for clients to reduce energy consumption and approach energy use from an informed perspective. “While the green aspect is great, the financial picture is what really sells the opportunity to the decision makers. The dollars do the talking for businesses, which is why we want to work with the CEOs and CFOs initially rather than the sustainability or operations staff,” explains Karim.

Working with senior executives of companies to help them understand their business’s current consumption, the opportunities to save money with energy upgrades and provide them with plans to take action on implementing energy efficiency projects is key for Kambo. Karim says, “Doing good things and being successful in business are not mutually exclusive. We can make things better while doing the right thing and we shouldn’t accept the status quo of having to sacrifice to move forward. Let’s build businesses and help the environment; not one or the other.” As siblings, the Abrahams are aware of potential pitfalls of family businesses. Yasmin took a Family Business class with David Bentall during her MBA, which provided invaluable guidance for creating a successful and socially conscious business as a family. “Karim and I know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we’re not afraid to push each other to make sure we’re moving the company in the right direction. We are able to make decisions quickly because we trust each other’s opinion and instincts, and we have a shared

vision of the kind of culture we want at Kambo. I’d like to think that we would choose to work with each other even if we weren’t siblings,” she says. • Sauder delivered on Karim’s goal to meet and interact with a wide variety of people during his degree program. “My family upbringing inspired me to question things and make my own decisions and Sauder gave me the soft tools to be successful; to understand there are multiple ways of doing things and how to think about certain problems.” • Finding an MBA program that was integrated with the local business community was a priority for Yasmin. “The biggest thing I got from my MBA was the amazing network I gained; many students had very different backgrounds and viewpoints from mine which helped me gain the ability to learn how to approach and describe problems from different perspectives based on different motivations.” • Does “good” business by using a financial model to motivate businesses to reduce their energy consumption. n

Bryan Buggey (MBA 2000)

people and resources. Buggey says, “Ethically and morally, businesses must raise their game and incorporate a triple bottom line approach to their business, which includes environmental and social stewardship. “I manage a team who are delivering on a variety of fronts including the development of a green enterprise zone, a technology and social innovation centre, and a program for demonstrating innovative green and digital solutions leveraging municipal infrastructure. We are also hosting or participating in a variety of international and local events that facilitate business development, foreign direct investment and raise the profile of Vancouver as a place for creative, innovative and sustainable business,” outlines Buggey. With a focus on the

Director, Strategic Initiatives and Sector Development Vancouver Economic Commission

Do good by sharing expertise, facilitating development and working with others Bryan Buggey—Passionate promoter of Vancouver. Considers wife Wendi his greatest source of inspiration and motivation. Hopes to leave a legacy of Vancouver being “a vibrant, green economy that is world-class and globally respected for its ability to hum along with an increasingly lower environmental footprint while also including a broader spectrum of society to participate in it.”

THE VANCOUVER ECONOMIC Commission (VEC) is a city agency working to position Vancouver as a globally recognized city for innovative, creative and sustainable business. They do this by connecting tech, digital entertainment and interactive and green economy businesses, here and in the Asia Pacific, to the right



Valerie Presolly—Austrian-born polyglot. Outdoor enthusiast. Collaborates with others in the outdoor industry to reduce environmental impacts.

Valerie Presolly (MBA 2011) Sustainability Manager Mountain Equipment Co-op

Do good by thinking long term AS AN OUTDOOR APPAREL AND equipment company, MEC is one of Canada’s leaders in sustainable business practices. Presolly explains, “I think the only way for a business to be around in the long term is to understand economic, social and



environmental risks and how they relate, anticipate changes and adapt business models accordingly.” MEC is one of only 21 organizations in the world accredited by the Fair Labour Association, an independent organization that sets out stringent standards and best practices for working conditions in factories, and was one of the first Canadian businesses to introduce Fair Trade apparel in 2014. It takes a threepronged approach to sustainability— people, planet, product—focused on a commitment to being accountable with regard to social and environmental practices. “As a company, sustainability is embedded into our business; it has to be part of the overall strategy to be effective,” Presolly says. • Believes Sauder gave her a more balanced perspective on how business and MBA grads can create value economically as well as socially and environmentally. “I was very inspired by my classmates. We had such diverse cultural, educational and professional backgrounds and I learned a lot from them. That diversity really set apart my Sauder experience.”

In aggregate, green and local food jobs in Vancouver increased 19% over the threeyear period (6% compound annual growth rate, CAGR).


Green and local food jobs represent roughly 4.9% of all jobs in Vancouver, increasing from 4.2% of jobs in 2010.


• As an entrepreneur and business owner for 12 years before returning to school, Buggey was skeptical about how much he would learn. “I was quickly surprised by how engaged I became and the realization of how much there was still to learn in the art of entrepreneurship. I was on the edge of my seat for two years and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.” • Does “good” business by ensuring Vancouver’s economy is competitive and keeping up with rapidly changing global trends while keeping it aligned to the local values of sustainability, innovation and creativity in the business context. n


green economy and technology, digital entertainment and interactive sectors, the VEC has been paying greater attention to the emergence of B Corporations, social innovation and entrepreneurship, and other models that enable business leaders to direct their companies to more inclusive human resource and sustainability practices. Buggey says this is important because, “it’s simply the right thing to do. Industry and businesses are continuing to evolve in response to what is important to the public and if they don’t they will eventually find it difficult to attract talent and customers. More importantly, incorporating socially and environmentally responsible practices is the right path to achieving the community we all want to live in.”



• Does “good” business by embedding sustainability into MEC’s overall business practices with a view to making the business more innovative, leaner and more resilient. Works beyond MEC’s operational boundaries to effect change in the industry. n

MEC’s vision is zero carbon emissions. In 2007, they set a five-year target to reduce their emissions from operations by 20%.

Better wares In 2014, MEC carried 1,068 products that were completely PVC-free, or had at least 50% recycled, organic cotton, or bluesign®-approved content.


The 2014 Bandit Tour road trip supported nine non-profits in six communities with either pro bono Salesforce consulting services or "Bandit Acts of Kindness."

Jessica Langelaan—Outdoor enthusiast. Aspires to run a non-profit organization one day. Met her husband on day three of her undergraduate program at UBC.

Jessica Langelaan (MBA 2009) Strategic Services Manager, Non-Profit Organizations Traction on Demand

Do good with what you do best TRACTION FOR GOOD AROSE OUT OF Traction on Demand’s general approach to business—in the words of founder and CEO Greg Malpass, “Pay people fairly. Stay local. Give back. Make long-term choices. Be sustainable in all areas.” Traction (one of the first 100 Certified B

Corporations companies in Canada) takes a three-pronged approach to community engagement through Traction for Good. “We give back financially to initiatives close to the heart of Traction employees, we volunteer doing things like helping out at the local food bank and we provide our services. This is where we feel we can have the greatest impact,” explains Langelaan. Traction puts 100% of its partner referral fees towards community engagement. “We’re finding that many non-profits are becoming more tech savvy but there are still many working with old systems. By helping them implement Salesforce, we are able to support their efforts to transform into data-driven organizations

with expanded skills but not necessarily expanded budgets,” she says. • Was excited when she realized many of her fellow MBA classmates were also completing their degrees for atypical reasons. “Their heads and hearts were all aligned and everyone wanted careers with meaning that challenged them.” • Does “good” business working for Traction on Demand’s Traction for Good program to help non-profit organizations manage their data more effectively in order to tailor communication, plan fundraising campaigns, and enhance their capacity “to do good really well.” n



Doing good and doing it well by


How the Spitz family exemplifies passionate philanthropy “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” These are both the words of an African proverb, and the philosophy of Warren Spitz, head of UCS Forest Group, and his family. As both friends and supporters of the Sauder School of Business in recent years, Warren and his daughter Kelsey shared some of their genetic sense of what “doing good” means to them. GROUNDED. THOUGHTFUL. HUMBLE. SINCERE. WARM. A thesaurus might suggest fancier words for the Spitz family personality but that wouldn’t really be what they are about. Kelsey’s smile is infectious, and Warren’s energy is just as catching. Both have an extraordinary way of making the world around them feel like there is nothing more important at the moment than you. In conversations with both of them, it’s clear that philanthropy for the Spitz family is about doing what is right; leveraging good fortune and personal success to support others in being the best they can be. There are a wide range of charitable organizations and good causes that Warren, his wife Maureen and their three adult children—Gregory, Kelsey and Mathew—have supported over the years; at the heart of that support is genuine care for the world around them and a strong sense of responsibility. “When you are fortunate, you have an obligation to help others; it is incumbent upon you to do what you can to find ways to provide opportunities for others and support the community,” says Warren

Habitat for Humanity is just one of the many social projects benefiting from the involvement of Warren Spitz (above middle) and his family.



earnestly. That sentiment is ingrained in his children as well. “Our efforts are very much a family affair and our kids know that not supporting our community isn’t an option,” he says. Kelsey adds on: “Being involved in the community was always something we did as kids. Whether we were writing letters to our family’s sponsor children through Plan Canada, or my mom was taking us to volunteer at a Christmas party for single moms and their children, it was all part of our childhood.”

Support for soldiers, screens, students and Sauder In addition to local efforts, the Spitz family have lent their time and financial resources to more prominent efforts like “Operation: Western Front,” a gala Warren organized in Vancouver with his friend, entrepreneur Brett Wilson, in 2011 to honour Canadian troops and raise funds for military members and their families. As a board member of the Toronto International Film Festival, Warren chaired TIFF’s first annual fundraising gala—“The Night That Never Ends”—in 2012, which Kelsey co-produced with him. Sharing his spirit, Kelsey was a founding member of Plan Canada’s Youth Action Council as a high school student, working with peers from across the country to raise awareness about HIV/ AIDS and inspire action among youth. Engaging friends and family in their efforts is something the family enjoys as well. Kelsey chuckles remembering the, “seventh or eighth 40th birthday party my dad threw for our mom. Instead of a typical party, we threw a fundraising gala at the Key to Bala in Muskoka with over 300 in attendance; instead of presents, everyone donated to Plan Canada. It was so fun—our guests were happy to support Plan, share in our collective passion, and help raise enough money for a youth clinic in Uganda.” The Spitz family has a long connection and history with UBC and Sauder in particular. Warren (BCom 1981) and Maureen (BSc 1979; MBA 1981) met there as students, their son Gregory (BSc 2008) graduated with a Master of Management from the Robert H. Lee Graduate School in 2010, and several family members—including two of Warren’s brothers—are UBC graduates. After many years of not being in touch with Sauder, Warren had a chance encounter with Sauder alumnus and lecturer Irfhan Rawji who reconnected him with the school. Soon after, Warren was drawn back into “the UBC Sauder vortex,” he says with a smile. This led to a number of reunions with former classmates and eventually an appointment to the Sauder Advisory Board. Warren, as most who know him know, gives his all when he is involved in something. Where there is an opportunity to support a cause he believes in, he will take it as far as it can go.

On a recent trip to Haida Gwaii, Warren Spitz (third from left) and daughter Kelsey (third from right) stopped at the Skidegate Community Centre to meet with community leaders, along with Sauder’s Miranda Huron (outside left) and Dean Robert Helsley (outside right).

A northwest passage Over the last two years, the Spitz family imagined a new fellows program for the Sauder School and reached out to the school and the staff of the Ch’nook Indigenous Business Education Initiative to collaborate on the program.

The Spitz Fellows Program is a pathway for Aboriginal women to pursue a Bachelor of Commerce at the Sauder School of Business that eliminates financial barriers to success. Having worked for several summers on the BC central coast in Namu, and later in Bella Bella, to pay his way through university, Warren developed a deep respect for First Nations communities and heard first hand of the barriers to post-secondary education faced by his friends and co-workers. He also has fond memories of the communities on the central coast from childhood visits to see his dad, Peter, in the remote logging camps he had established. Through Ch’nook, Warren, Maureen, Gregory and Kelsey had the opportunity to engage with Band Councillors, Chiefs, educators and others in northern communities to learn more about the issues young Aboriginal British Columbians face when they want to pursue post-secondary education in business. Miranda Huron, Ch’nook Program Manager, says the Spitz family has a true understanding of what the consultation process with communities should look like. “As we were leaving Bella Bella for the airport, Warren stopped the cab to take one last moment to look out on the town and the natural beauty of the environs, and it was obvious that his heart had truly never really left the northwest coast.” The experience confirmed, shaped and informed the development of the Spitz

Fellows Program, the vision of which is to foster the conditions for each Fellow to empower herself to succeed in her educational goals and beyond, and to become the leader she envisions, in both the Sauder and wider community. So where does this come from; this drive to “do good” with such passion? It is rooted in gratitude and respect, which form the foundation from which the Spitz family’s values originate. “If anyone who is successful thinks they achieved that singlehandedly, they are sadly mistaken,” says Warren, plainly. “It takes a whole lot of influencers for anyone to reach their potential, so a word that really governs me is gratitude,” he explains. “And with that in mind, I feel a responsibility to literally ‘pay it forward.’” The family has a tremendous amount of respect for anyone living in difficult circumstances, so when they see an opportunity to help that fits within their framework of values, they listen and learn to see how they can help. Not long ago, Kelsey gave a presentation to the Sauder Philanthropy Program (see p. 19) where she discussed with students how to decide what causes to support by paraphrasing American writer and theologian Frederick Buechner—“Find where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” She explains that understanding what means the most to you is important for genuine and authentic philanthropic efforts. “If you are going to really get involved in something you have to feel passionately about it; it avoids opportunism, engenders empathy and becomes a partnership. That’s really how my family feels about the things we support.” Warren, Maureen, Gregory, Kelsey and Mathew are living the proverb; they are going far, together. Kelsey smiles, “I hope one day people will say ‘I want to do philanthropy that way.’ It’s not just about what you support but how you support it.” n VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015


FRED Forum attracts leading-edge thinkers to Vancouver gathering As soon as he set foot at the FRED Forum, second-year BCom student Christopher Heathcote-Rey knew he wasn’t at an ordinary conference “AT FIRST, I WAS A BIT LOST. BUT THEN a top exec from McDonald’s came up to me, saying ‘Hi Christopher, nice to see you here, let me introduce you to some people,” Heathcote-Rey says. “And everyone was like that. They knew I was the student there, a bit of an outsider, and yet they made me feel like part of the family. Everybody was on the same level there.” The FRED Forum brings together leading innovators and top executives to explore fresh perspectives on leadership. It’s a prestigious, invitation-only event, but Heathcote-Rey was selected to represent Sauder students, as the international conference’s 2014 edition was held in Vancouver in conjunction with Sauder’s Executive Education group. Sauder is also among a select group of international business schools on the FRED ScholarsSM roster, offering scholarships for an Executive Education leadership intensive to non-profit leaders who otherwise couldn’t afford such high-level business training. “We were extremely pleased to deepen our relationship with FRED by helping present this important conference in Vancouver that brought together leaders from the corporate world with those from the government, social enterprise and non-profit sectors,” said Bruce Wiesner, Associate Dean for Executive Education at Sauder. “By drawing together leading-edge thinkers from around the globe, we were able to act as a catalyst for real learning and capacity building for leadership in our community and beyond.”



(clockwise from top) Sauder BCom student Christopher Heathcote-Rey; Jennifer Freeman, Women PeaceMakers Program Officer at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, University of San Diego; Richard Olivier, Founder and Artistic Director, Olivier Mythodrama; and David Labistour, CEO of Mountain Equipment Co-op.

FRED is an independent non-profit dedicated to elevating the quality of leadership in the world. Their mission is to inspire leaders to achieve organizational excellence and contribute to the health and vitality of their communities and global society. The annual FRED Forum is an ideas and action incubator that pushes attendees to explore new thinking and provides highly immersive experiences designed to evolve

and expand leadership and executive development. At the 2014 forum, the speakers all had unique lessons to share. Heathcote-Rey says he felt especially connected with the words of David Labistour, the CEO of Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Co-op. Like HeathcoteRey, Labistour came to Canada from Africa. Labistour hails from South Africa, while Heathcote-Rey is from Mauritius.

FRED Forum participants visited Vancouver-based not-for-profit and social enterprise organizations including Shifting Growth (Chris Reid, Executive Director, shown at left), which builds, maintains and manages temporary community gardens on private, vacant property; and Save on Meats (Mark Brand, owner, shown on far right), a socially responsible enterprise acting as an inclusive establishment catering to the diverse needs of the community. Supported and guided by team members from the Sauder School, some leadership expedition teams used bicycles to travel between locations.

Heathcote-Rey says he’s taking to heart Labistour’s advice to leaders, which is to remain open to change, to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you, and that the best leaders adapt their leadership styles to different circumstances—among other nuggets of advice Labistour shared with the group. The forum also featured a passionate talk from Richard Olivier, from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, who drew

upon the five acts of Henry V to share insights into the journey of a leader. Among other presentations and workshops, the FRED Forum also included trips to non-profits and social enterprises in Vancouver, guided by a team from Sauder, to get first-hand experience looking at how leadership can have real-world positive impact. Heathcote-Rey has since been sharing what he learned at the forum with his

fellow Sauder students, writing up some lessons from FRED in the Commerce Undergraduate Society e-newsletter. Based on his experience with FRED, he says students shouldn’t be afraid to engage high-powered business leaders. “They’ve been in your shoes, they’ve been exactly where you are.” n

Your alumni network is evolving

How we keep in touch is constantly evolving. And it’s about to take another huge step forward with the launch of Sauder Square, an exclusive, feature-rich online social network. It’s like a virtual town square that brings Sauder alumni together. SAUDER SQUARE: THE PLACE FOR SAUDER ALUMNI

> Reconnect with old classmates > Grow your professional network > Access alumni services and events > Find career and volunteering opportunities

BE FIRST: We’d love your help to make Sauder Square the best networking tool possible. Visit for a sneak preview of the site’s features and to sign up for an invitation to join our beta test group.



Earning Interest Canada’s 10 largest charities According to Charity Intelligence Canada, Canadians gave over $1.4 billion to these 10 charities in 2012*, accounting for about 10% of all charitable donations made by Canadians

1 2 3 4 5

World Vision Canada (international aid, especially child sponsorship)—Donations: $282 million

Canadian Cancer Society (research and awareness) —$188 million

Salvation Army (social services) —$181 million

Canadian Red Cross (disaster relief in Canada and abroad)—$157 million

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (research and prevention)—$124 million

6 7 8 9 10

United Way Toronto (umbrella fundraising for other charities)—$117 million

SickKids Foundation (fund raising for Sick Kids Hospital of Toronto)—$110 million

Plan International Canada (international aid and development)—$107 million

Aga Khan Foundation (social development in Asia and Africa)—$98 million

Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (fundraising arm of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto)—$80 million * latest year available

B corps Benefit Corporations, or “B Corps” are for-profit companies that have not only profitability as a defined goal, but also a positive effect on society and the environment. B Lab, a non-profit consultancy in the US, annually ranks the world’s top B Corps against the company’s impact on the environment, its workers and its community. Eleven Canadian B Corps made the honour roll in 2014. Green Living Enterprises (Toronto)—media, marketing, custom content provider and events company. TAS (Toronto)—real estate development company. Animal Experience International (Barrie)—helps animals around the globe by matching clients with animal-related volunteer opportunities at sanctuaries, wildlife hospitals, animal clinics and conservation projects. BluPlanet Recycling Inc (Calgary)—multi-family residential and commercial recycling collection service provider. ChangeIt (Waterloo)—lets users support favourite causes when making electronic purchases. Climate Smart Business, Inc (Vancouver)—provides businesses with apps to track and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 38


Enviro-Stewards (Elmira)—sustainability consulting to businesses and institutions. FlipGive (Toronto)—connects brands to grassroots fundraising. Manzimvula Ventures, Inc (Vancouver)—sustainability and social responsibility consulting. Renewal Funds (Vancouver)—social venture fund investing in environmental and social mission businesses in North America. Sustainability Advantage (Toronto)—provides educational talks and resources in sustainability and social responsibility.

Awareness ribbons and their (un)common meanings Coloured ribbons have been worn for centuries to signify alliance with political movements, but only in the past 30 or so years have become symbols for a broad range of social causes. Here are some common ribbons and their less-common causes. -YELLOW The yellow ribbon is widely worn in the United States in support of troops serving overseas. However, it is also the colour used for suicide awareness, spina bifida awareness and, in Australia, in support of the Black Saturday bushfire victims. More recently, in Hong Kong, it has been used to show solidarity with the Umbrella Movement.

-BLUE In Canada, and some other countries, the blue awareness ribbon is associated with anti-second-hand smoke campaigns. In the US, it is associated with fallen police officers, the Oklahoma City bombing, child abuse, Crohn’s disease, bladder cancer and Parkinson’s disease. Around the world it is associated with raising awareness for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and among Internet activists, it is best known as a symbol for free speech on the Internet.

-BLACK Generally used for mourning after mass killings, natural disasters or terrorist attacks. Google, for example, “wore” a black ribbon on its website after 9/11, the Madrid bombings, Hurricane Katrina, and the Charlie Hedbo shootings. But it is also worn to raise awareness for melanoma, narcolepsy and self-harm.

-GREEN Aging research awareness, cerebral palsy support, craniosynostosis awareness, environmental protection, kidney cancer research, Lyme disease awareness, organ transplant and donation awareness, missing children, pedestrian safety, cannabis legislation, and (especially on the Internet) support for Mir-Hossein Mousavi in the 2009 Iranian election.

-TEAL Used to raise awareness for ovarian, cervical and uterine cancers, anxiety disorders, sexual assault and Tourette’s Syndrome.

-PURPLE Among the many causes that have adopted the purple ribbon: ADD/ADHD awareness, Alzheimer’s disease, animal cruelty, anti-gay bullying, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, dental hygiene, domestic violence, eating disorders, fistulas, homelessness, military loss of a spouse, pagan pride, thyroid cancer, victims of tornadoes, and women’s wellness.

Notable benefit concerts Benefit concerts raise money and awareness for charitable causes, either in the aftermath of a specific event, such as a natural disaster, or as part of a continuing campaign.

• Funds raised (estimated): $3 million • Notable acts: Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Sarah McLachlan and Robin Williams.

With improvements in telecommunication, and a desire to outdo one another, concert organizers have held concerts in which shows happen simultaneously in several cities, enlist hundreds of artists, and are broadcast to billions.

¯Live 8, 2005—London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Philadelphia,

¯Molson Canadian Rocks for Toronto, 2003—Toronto

Cause: to demonstrate the city was safe from SARS. Attendance: 450,000 Funds raised (estimated): $500,000 Notable acts: The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, Dan Ackroyd and James Belushi. • Largest ticketed event ever to occur in Canada. • • • •

¯Concert for Tsunami Relief, 2005—Vancouver

• Cause: to raise relief funds after the Boxing Day Tsunami. • Attendance: 19,000

Toronto, Chiba, Johannesburg, Moscow, Cornwall and Edinburgh • Cause: to heighten awareness of global poverty and influence the leaders of the G8 countries. • Attendance: 700,000 in Philadelphia, 450,000 in London, hundreds of thousands at the other venues. An estimated 2.5 billion via television or radio. • Funds raised (estimated): the concerts were free, but contests to win tickets raised millions around the world. G8 leaders doubled their commitments to fight world poverty by $25 billion a week after the concerts. • Notable acts: a reunited Pink Floyd, Bjork, Deep Purple, Stevie Wonder, Nelson Mandela, Elton John and U2, with over 1000 other musicians.



Let the bidding begin Online auction promotes volunteerism and meeting some pretty amazing people by


When it comes to the business model for Time Auction, time is better than money. TIME AUCTION IS A PLATFORM that lets people bid volunteer hours to meet inspiring leaders from all walks of life. Participants log their volunteer hours for causes they want to support. The more hours they put in, the more value they have to bid on rewards such as meeting a co-founder of Tim Hortons or the managing director of Facebook Canada. “Priceless rewards are the best motivators for the priceless work people do when they volunteer,” says David Wen, co-founder of the social venture. “When more people volunteer, society strengthens as a result.” The Sauder School recently partnered with Time Auction on a pilot program to thank Metro Vancouver-based alumni for their community service. Alumni could use volunteer hours accrued with Sauder, UBC or any other organization between January 1, 2014 and February 28, 2015 to bid to watch a Vancouver Canucks game with team COO Victor de Bonis, cook a meal with celebrity chef David Hawksworth, meet advertising guru and tech CEO Brian Wong, and more. “We wanted to give our alumni something really meaningful with added value,” says Martina Valkovicova, Manager of the Volunteer Program at the Sauder School. “We appreciate everything our volunteers do in the community, and this was a unique opportunity to recognize and 40


David Wen, co-founder of Time Auction

engage them, and provide them with access to a larger network and relationships.” Wen’s professional passion grew from personal experience. Raised by parents with a strong commitment to service, he had volunteered frequently until university, then work and life took him away from it. When he spotted a scholarship promotion that offered the opportunity to meet Tim Hortons’ co-founder Ron Joyce and required a strong background in volunteering, he jumped back in by teaching math in local schools, raising funds for cancer research and even travelling abroad to assist youths in impoverished nations. He won the scholarship—and got to spend two days in Nova Scotia with the legendary Canadian business leader and philanthropist.

“Meeting someone inspiring can help your career and strengthen your trajectory,” Wen says. “It’s all about the connections that can happen and the possibilities that are created.” The emerging entrepreneur knew he wanted to bring the inspiring experience to others, and loved the concept of time as currency. Originally delivered in a live auction format, Time Auction moved online. To date, more than 10,000 volunteer hours have been logged and numerous connections formed, leading to board governance roles, project collaborations and other initiatives. Time Auction is one of five business ventures welcomed into the 2015 Coast Capital Savings Innovation Hub, a one-year accelerator program run by the Sauder School of Business Centre for Social Innovation & Impact Investing. All five ventures have created innovative ways to combine their passions for doing good with smart business sense. n

Approximately 900 Sauder alumni volunteer with the school each year. For more information on getting involved, visit www.sauder.ubc. ca/Alumni/volunteer or contact For more information on the Sauder School Time Auction, visit www.; for Time Auction, see

Sauder Alumni Global Network Gain insight into fellow members of the alumni community

Mark McCoy Degree and Grad Year: BCom Finance, 2006 Current home city: New York, New York Sauder volunteer role: 2015 JDC West Head Coach Professional ID: Research Associate, Incandescent Business motto or philosophy: Borrowed from John Wooden: Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.

Greatest achievement to date: My relationship with Marica, my wife. We’ve worked through multiple longdistance stints and have made each of these experiences, which have had their challenges, strengthen our relationship.

In business today, it’s important to… do work that you find meaningful. It is cliché, and where I find most people get stuck, where I was stuck, is actually answering the question “what do I find meaningful that I care enough to spend time on?” Once you know that, you will generally find more available options for work.

Alter ego: A Mandarin pop star. This won’t make sense until you finish reading the rest of the questions.

Most valuable thing learned since graduation: My (our) beliefs and paradigms about the world significantly influence our lives —happiness, our ability to learn, how we interact with others—the list continues.

Person you admire most and why (living or historical figure): Viktor Frankl. My ongoing contemplation of his reflections on his own journey reinforces my belief that we are in full control of how we interpret and respond to our circumstances.

Eureka moment: Over the years, many. One specific moment came while reading The Quantum and The Lotus by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan, a book that discusses the parallels between science and religion and how similar they are when distilled to their foundations. The world is interconnected on so many levels.

Trait you admire most in others: Reliability is a trait that has recently been extremely important. My move to New York and the hand-off of my volunteer commitments in Vancouver would not have been possible without a select number of people I was able to rely on to take the ball and run with it.

Biggest risk you’ve ever taken: Too risky to answer.

Greatest extravagance: None really, though I’m very particular about stationery, gadgets, headphones and anything else I use every day.

Talent you would most like to have: Juggling—in the metaphorical sense—to be able to hold and manipulate multiple mental concepts at once, comparing them each against the other while being aware of and withholding biases.

Last book you couldn’t put down: A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Most listened to: focus@will, honestly. Non-vocal music that I listen to while working. Gadget of choice: Noise cancelling headphones—great for controlling the environment and creating an ideal atmosphere for work or relaxing. Your best-kept secret (what most people don’t know about you): In high school I used to go to karaoke places almost every weekend and sing in Mandarin. Favourite journey: 2008 Asia Trip—My high school friends and I spent one month travelling to five countries and six cities where we got to experience, with very minimal sleep, many different cultures. That month has the highest density of stories/memories per day. Where will you be in 10 years? Most likely in Vancouver or New York. With that said, my focus 10 years from now is dedicated more to thinking about who I want to be.

Want to be profiled in our Sauder Alumni Global Network feature? Contact us at and we’ll be in touch.




Dear alumni, From Vancouver to Hong Kong and from London to Karachi, the Sauder community includes more than 36,000 alumni in 76 countries. Each of our alumni holds a piece of the school’s history as well as its future. The connections that hold our community together are our school’s most meaningful strength. We want to hear from you! So tell us your story, share your news, and send us your photos. Whether you just got the job of your dreams or are still finding your way, took a trip around the world or have been enjoying the comforts of home, got married or became a parent—fill us in on your family and career, accomplishments and interests. We’ll print your news in the Class Notes section of Viewpoints Magazine, which is consistently ranked as one of the most popular segments of our publication. Through the Class Notes, you will share your story with fellow alumni and current students, reconnect with old classmates, and stay connected as a vital part of the Sauder community. We’re looking forward to hearing from you! Viewpoints Magazine


Iain Wyder, BCom 1966 Building background content knowledge in Mandarin might be a pedagogical breakthrough for Chinese students looking to join us here at UBC and at other top schools in the west. Building on my research I remembered the value of Coles and Cliffs Notes. My year has been spent creating a set of pre-university core subject Study Notes in Mandarin. In autumn 2015 we will launch our Introductory Economics in Mandarin. The book will follow the Cambridge International curriculum. 42


Norm Watt, MBA 1969 In March of 2014 I published a second, expanded edition of my popular hiking guidebook, “Off the Beaten Path: A Hiking Guide to Vancouver’s North Shore.” It features 39 hikes throughout North and West Vancouver, including detailed maps and photographs. There are hikes for every ability level, with many including historical information, descriptions of old-growth trees and guidance for snow hiking.


Lloyd Aasen, MBA 1974 After 35 years of practicing law (primarily corporations and commercial real estate law), now enjoying life with my wife Virginia and seeing my daughter Laurel finishing her Masters of Counselling Psychology. Safari and other travels on the agenda. Christopher Richardson, BCom 1978 Christopher Richardson, FCA, received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. He has spent his career advising not-for-profits in charitable gift planning and donor relations and assisting donors across Canada to identify and achieve their philanthropic goals. With a desire to give back to his city, he combines these skills with his passion for public service by running for and becoming a School Board Trustee in Vancouver’s 2014 municipal election. Christopher was CUS Treasurer when he was at UBC and is a longtime community volunteer. He is president of the Mount Pleasant Community Centre Association, a Trustee of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, a Board member of the Health & Home Care Society of BC, a member of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller, and an advisor to the Downtown Eastside Seniors Resource Sanctuary that is working towards opening a seniors’ centre in the Downtown Eastside.

Christopher has served three times as a Vancouver Park Board Commissioner, and was vice-chair in 1990. He is looking forward to moving his attention towards the school board as he recognizes the critical importance of education for all children. For over 40 years, Christopher has also served the Vancouver Police Department as a Traffic Authority Special Constable.


Jean Lesperance, MBA 1982 Passed the sixth year mark of writing the personal investing blog HowtoInvestOnline for Bank of Montreal’s discount brokerage arm. Having married a Scottish lady in 2006, I spend most of my time in Scotland, where I enjoy golfing and curling (managed to get to the finals of the Scottish seniors championship this past year, narrowly missing the chance to get to play in the Worlds).

Norman Laube, BCom 1983 I am a Principal and VP Development of Omicron Canada Inc. in Vancouver. Omicron is a leading development, design and construction firm active across Western Canada. I was recently appointed as the Honourary Vice Consul of Austria.

SHARE YOUR NEWS Class Notes are easier than ever to submit. Simply fill out the online form at www.sauder.ubc. ca/alumni/classnotes

Don Nilson, BCom 1976, MSc (Business Administration) 1985 West Vancouver’s Don Nilson, CPA, FCMA has been honoured with life membership by the Certified Management Accountants Society of British Columbia (CMABC). Life membership is awarded to Certified Management Accountants who have been members for more than 20 years and have substantially contributed to the CMA designation and Society, or made a significant contribution of new knowledge to the accounting profession or business management. Nilson is the Principal of Nilson & Company and A.F.T. Trivest Management. Nilson received his CMA designation in 1981 and has since provided his expertise in several capacities to further the efforts of CMABC and CMA Canada. Nilson has been a guest lecturer at a number of CMABC and CMA Canada conferences and events, has written for CMA Magazine, has served as a member of the Provincial Board in 1985 and 1986, has been a board member of the Financial Planning Standards Council on behalf of CMA Canada, and has sat as a committee member and chair of both the Public Practice Review Committee and the Public Accounting License Committee. Nilson has also been CMA’s commentator at both the federal and provincial budget lockup. In recognition of Nilson’s successful career in management accounting, his commitment to CMABC and CMA Canada, and his ongoing business and community volunteer activities, Nilson was awarded fellowship (FCMA) in 2005.

Nilson has also received other recognition awards from the Financial Planning Standards Council of Canada, the Sauder School of Business, the University of British Columbia, and the Certified General Accountants of BC. An active volunteer, Don is currently the national treasurer of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. He has also served on the national board of the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners and as the treasurer for other organizations including the BC Wildlife Federation, the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society, and the Gambier Island Sea Ranch. Robin Bristow, BCom 1986 Happy to say I’ve passed my first anniversary as a sole practitioner in accounting in beautiful Vernon, BC. I’m having a lot of fun working with great people, and enjoying the Okanagan lifestyle.


Michael Nyberg, BCom 1990 Since 2007 I have been the program manager for California’s Quarterly Fuels and Energy Reporting Program at the California Energy Commission. I provide analysis related to power plant generation for both renewable and non-renewable energy in the state and publish the Total System Power statistics. Chances are, if you obtained any statistics on power plant electric generation in California, they probably came from me. Most recently I have authored annual reports on the thermal efficiency of gas fired generation in California. My other interests VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015


CLASS NOTES include photography and sailing. Most recently I have been crewing on a classic 82-foot cutter in San Francisco Bay where this picture was taken. My years in the commerce program provided me with many skills I continue to develop to this day.

Jasjit Rai, BCom 1990 I am delighted to be completing my certification as a Transformational Coach this year. My major in Organizational Behaviour introduced me to the field of personal and professional growth, which has become a true passion. Since graduation, my work has been in organizational consulting and coaching through my business, Joi Works. I also had the pleasure of leading workshops and providing career counselling to MBA students at Sauder on a number of occasions. In my personal growth, my creative self led me to complete a Black Belt in the Nia movement practice, which I’ve taught for 15 years, and to the study of fashion in Paris in 2012. It’s a joy now to guide others in creating their dreams.

Toby Barazzuol, BCom 1992 2014 has been a great year of growth and change. My company, Eclipse Awards, began its 16th year in business and we 44


continue to create awards to celebrate the human spirit. As well, The Awesome Awards continue to evolve and have now started to expand into other countries, so we are excited to see this program grow to celebrate more amazing people! This year, my family went on a big adventure to Bali and Japan to celebrate my mom’s continued good health, something we are all grateful for. Our son Cosmo turned two and my wife Kate and I welcomed Elvie Grace in December. Much love from our family to yours!

Edward Lee, DULE 1993 For over 20 years, I was the Agricultural Land Coordinator of Yukon. I worked for the Yukon Government in managing agricultural and grazing lands and bringing agriculture developed lands to title. The majority of farm properties or agricultural lots in Yukon had my fingerprints on them. I have now moved on to retirement and have plenty of time to pursue my music and creative interests. Besides my interest and specialty in lands and real estate, I am also a singer, songwriter and music producer. I have released a new album titled Happy and Free, on which there is an interesting song called “We Love Women with a Ph.D.” I am planning to make a music video for this song. Any interested UBC students or alumni, especially those in Vancouver or Whitehorse, are welcome to contact me about this at edwardlee@ Jennifer Vancini, MBA 1993 Working with fascinating companies and countries as part of the Global Partnerships team of Telefonica. Watching my two kids

grow and develop—now nine and five years old. Growth of Nexgate, a company my husband and UBC Alumni, Ray Kruck, cofounded in 2012.

Ron Leung, BCom 1996 I am so proud of my 11-year old daughter Jasmine who had an amazing first full year of rep fastpitch softball in 2014. She finished the regular season batting 0.563, her on-base % was 0.627 and she pitched 50 strike outs in 32 innings. She was invited to play in 10 tournaments, including one in Las Vegas and the BC. Provincial Championships, for four different teams and finished the year as one of the top 2003-born pitchers in her division in BC. Highlights of her year include her seven home runs and retiring an inning with only four pitches. We are looking forward to watching her play in 2015!


James Kondopulos, BCom 2000 James D. Kondopulos, LLB 2003, was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers International’s list

“Best Lawyers in Canada” in the practice area of employment and labour law. James has a partnership interest in Vancouver-based employment and labour law boutique, Roper Greyell LLP. His professional biography can be viewed at Alaleh Nouri, BCom 2000 This year has been a remarkable year for my career. In February 2014 I was appointed to Interim General Counsel for Accuray Incorporated, a public company dedicated to developing radiation oncology solutions. In August I was appointed into the permanent role as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. I am excited to be a part of the Accuray team and to bring solutions that help patients treat tumors.

Evelina Mannarino, DULE 2009 I own and operate Evelina Developments in Edmonton, Alberta. I have been passionate about the real estate industry since I was 18 years old, when I bought my first house! I have spent most of my life either studying real estate, talking about it or teaching it. Armed with a Diploma in Urban Land Economics from the University of British Columbia, I continue to pursue my educational goals and am still working towards my Bachelor’s Degree in the business of real estate. Of course, all while building a world class construction company. I have authored a book entitled, Profits In Real Estate Rentals, a book on how to maximize your rental income through shortterm rentals. I am currently the executive director of a short term rental company based

out of Vancouver, BC, where I am responsible in managing millions of dollars worth of real estate in Vancouver as well as my own real estate portfolio of rental properties in Vancouver, Richmond and Surrey, BC. Having experience in real estate sales through Coldwell Banker as well as experience in trades such as framing, insulation and drywalling, from painting to flooring as well as home renovations, my next achievement has been to become the best, one of a kind, luxury home builder. “Evelina is unlike any other builder!” is so often heard around my construction sites. I have an attention to detail that surpasses any builder out there. I build with excellence to an obsession. Every home is built as if it’s built for the person doing the work. If it’s not good enough for me, it will not be good enough for the home owner. I obsess about each piece of material that comes into the home and spend numerous hours finding that perfect balance for each room. Each home is as unique as our children and all homes are one of a kind. I believe in treating my trades with the upmost respect and I ensure that all trades enjoy coming to work. The excellence in treating others shows in the excellence of each of my homes. Any job that the trades are expected to do, I would be willing to do myself. Except roofing, I’m afraid of heights. The second rule on my sites is that you must have fun! I am extremely passionate about my community of McCauley as well as the homeless. I cannot build luxury homes for the affluent while some people do not even have a home. Every home I build also provides donations and financial aid to the local agencies and shelters who also share the same passion. Building homes is about building communities, which build the people living within each community. It’s an effort on everyone’s part and I am determined to completely end homelessness in the City of Edmonton. “We may not be able to change the world, but if we can all change the life of one person, their whole world could change.”


Jennifer D’Aoust, MBA 2010 Since graduating from Sauder I moved on from PricewaterhouseCoopers in Vancouver to my current position as a Manager in Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability practice in Calgary. This past year has been a busy one for me. I bought a house in Calgary and welcomed my first child. Audrey Timmermans, MM 2010 New place of living, new job... my life changed completely in a year of time!

L to R: (all Sauder alumni) Jeff Potter, Conor Topley, Lucas Lemanowicz, Dionne Chingkoe, Connor McGauley

Conor Topley, BCom 2010 How time flies... it was just 10 years ago I was leaving my first CUS council meeting as VP First Year. How surreal it was to be back on campus last fall to host the “Meet the Dean” session as a part of new student orientations. The energy and excitement is



CLASS NOTES still alive and well at Henry Angus and has made it clear to me how important it is to stay connected. I’ve been busy this past year traveling with work. I’m currently working for Apple’s Global Retail Training team in new store expansions, which means a lot of travel. Fortunately, the travel creates plenty of opportunities to connect with old friends and fellow Sauder alumni across North America. Outside of work, I keep myself busy: singing with the Vancouver Men’s Chorus, sailing off Jericho, snowboarding at Whistler and Mt Baker, playing squash at the YMCA (always up for a game if you’re interested), and being an uncle. I feel very fortunate for the friends I get to call family and the family I get to call friends.

David Louie, BCom 2011 David Louie’s Bachelor of Commerce in Human Resource Management continues to serve as a solid foundation for his career in labour and employment law. During his time in law school, he studied a semester abroad at the University of Amsterdam focusing on European and International Labour Law. He has worked as a labour relations research assistant and was a member of the legal and advocacy group of a public sector employers’ association in Vancouver. David is currently articling at the Vancouver-based employment and labour law boutique, Roper Greyell LLP. His professional bio can be viewed at 46


Oliver Bernardino, BCom 2013 Right after graduation, I followed my passion for baking, and started interning at Jackie Kai Ellis’ acclaimed Beaucoup Bakery in Vancouver. I now work full time as a pastry cook, specializing in viennoiseries. In January, I spent a week in Paris, France, to further my training and eat my way through the city’s best patisseries for research.

Frankie Cena, BCom 2013 In Frankie’s final year at Sauder, he was given the national title,“ Mr. World Canada 2012/2013.” He was then invited to compete at the Mr. World competition in Kent, England where he placed in the top 10 and became “Mr. World Talent.” In April of 2014, Frankie was called by the Miss World Organization to Host Mr. World 2014 with Filipina Celebrity Megan Young in Torbay, England. This was the start of Frankie’s professional presenting career. At the end of 2014, Frankie worked as the Web Presenter for Miss World 2014, the world’s largest Beauty Pageant with over 120 competitors and over 100 million viewers. Check out Frankie’s webisodes at Brian Cooper, DULE 2013 In January 2014 I joined the public sector as Property Services Superintendent with Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. My portfolio includes Government Buildings located in South Vancouver Island. As Property Services Superintendent, I lead the day-to-day

management and oversight of the province wide outsourcing agreement and its related services. I am responsible for monitoring the contract deliverable and the performance of the property management contractor to ensure service and standards meet contract requirements, quality customer service, and preservation of government’s buildings and systems asset integrity. I apply technical expertise in facility operations, maintenance services, service delivery techniques and efficiency, environmental and regulatory compliance, project management and monitoring to collaborate with senior management in the development of key performance measures, methodology and performance targets and in the management of client relationship, program, policy and issues. Also, I am very excited about the opportunity to continue my studies and started my BBRE degree program in January 2015. Evan Cheng, BCom 2014 Training full time on the Canadian National Rowing Team trying to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Vivienne Wang, MBA 2014 Making a difference and giving back to the community through the amazing CSR program SAP offers, and giving back to Sauder by hiring new talents from UBC via my work at SAP Vancouver.


BCom 1974 40th Reunion

An intimate group of alumni met on Saturday, November 8, 2014 to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the BCom class of 1974. The event took place in the Big 4 Conference Centre at the Sauder School where attendees enjoyed a tour of the building and learned more about student life and the school’s activities. n

Planning a reunion? Class reunions give Sauder alumni the chance to reminisce and reconnect with each other. If you would like to be the catalyst for your class reunion, or play a supporting role, the first step is to contact Sauder Alumni Relations. We can assist you by: n

Answering questions about event planning and management


Providing you with a list of classmates and available contact information


Providing your committee with meeting space


Assisting in creating and distributing invitations


Corresponding with special guests such as deans, staff or faculty members and encouraging their involvement in the event


Promoting and profiling your reunion in our digital and print publications.

For more information about planning a reunion, please email

UBC MBA 2009 Reunion Almost 40 alumni gathered for a casual reunion of the UBC MBA 2009 class on January 17, 2015 at the The Pint Public House & Sports Bar in Vancouver. Special thanks to Jon Sharun and Ashley Hargreaves for helping to organize the event. n Reunion with THNK To celebrate the 5-year anniversary of the at UBC, Professor Moura Quayle and a group of alumni volunteers organized an interactive event in the new Learning Labs at the Sauder School on November 29, 2014. Sarah Dickinson and Lee Feldman from THNK School of Creative Leadership delivered a dynamic storytelling session that offered students a way to apply their creativity while also engaging with alumni and the business community. n

Contact us Is your information missing or incorrect? Just let us know by emailing

Become a Sauder School of Business alumni contact Be a contact for the Sauder School of Business and fellow alumni in your city, country or region. Help counsel prospective students, advise new graduates, welcome summer interns and arrange alumni events. To volunteer, contact us today!

We can be reached at: Tel: 604-822-6801 Fax: 604-822-0592 e-mail: We always appreciate your feedback on events and programs in support of alumni activities. VIEWPOINTS SPRING 2015



Turning “almost” into action As I listened to the Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers game earlier this year, an advertisement came on the radio that went something like this: Male voice: “I almost volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club last year. I almost helped at the seniors’ centre at Christmas. I almost gave a donation to the animal shelter.” Female voice: “Doesn’t it feel good to almost do something? But the fact is, almost doing something is the same as doing nothing.”

AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, “GUILTY!” It’s not that I do nothing—I volunteer as a board member for the Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation, and I give as much to charity as I can. But I am guilty of the “almost acted” scenario. Certainly it is unwise to overextend oneself, but this ad made me check in and ask, “Can I be doing more?” The ad also reminded me about some very interesting research produced by Kirk Kristofferson, a Sauder PhD student, which was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. His research explored slacktivism in social media, and found that when people declare support for a cause or a charity online, they are less likely to give to that organization later. This has interesting implications for organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. Wikipedia defines slacktivism as “‘feel-good’ measures, in support of an issue or social cause, that have little physical or practical effect, other than to make the person doing it feel satisfied that they have contributed. ... The acts



tend to require minimal personal effort from the slacktivist.” The antidote to slacktivism, of course, is action. And I am proud to work within a community whose very ethos is to act for the betterment of others.

“Doing good holds the power to transform us on the inside, and then ripple out in ever-expanding circles that positively impact the world at large.” - SHARI ARISON israeli-american businesswoman and philanthropist

The week after I heard the ad for the “Inactive Campaign,” I had the pleasure of listening to Debra Hewson, President & CEO of Odlum Brown, speak to a group of Sauder students about the culture of giving that has been cultivated within her firm and has been a defining part of her own life. Her parting words to the students were, “Philanthropy is about the act.” This is a very powerful and

simple edict—whatever our means or circumstance, we all have the power to act. Even more inspiring was the fact that she was speaking to students who have dedicated their time to learn about philanthropy, because they are committed to building a life focused on contribution. Research, student experience and community engagement at the school all reflect our commitment to support values-based leadership. Sauder has its own guiding values: rigour, respect and responsibility. Simply, by doing our best, respecting others and being accountable by taking responsibility for the impact of our actions and inactions, we can make our selves, our organizations and our communities better. n

Sheila Biggers associate dean, development and alumni engagement


Alumni Career Services As Sauder alumni, you have lifelong access to a wide range of services and resources from the Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre, available through

1:1 Coaching


Get personalized career support in-person, by phone or email. Appointments are booked online.

Share your expertise as a mentor or participate as a mentee to learn from an experienced alumnus.



Career managers and guest speakers discuss a wide range of topics, including resumes, LinkedIn profiles and job search strategies. Alumni also share their areas of expertise.

Attend exclusive networking and recruiting events in select cities and virtual networking events from anywhere in the world.

Job postings

Online resources

Access job postings on Sauder’s online jobs board, COOL.

Access career management content, planning tools and resources like Glass Door, Interview Stream and company insider guides.


PM 40063721

Explore his story and more in the interactive documentary, presented by the Sauder School of Business at UBC.