Nine Atlantic Canadians receive WXN awards

Honouring Exceptional Women

Nine Atlantic Canadians receive WXN awards

On a per capita basis, Atlantic Canada has a larger representation in the 2010 list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100TM than any other region in the country. Nine of this year’s Top 100 winners, and one of the 11 Hall of Fame inductees, are from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.

According to the awards organizer, Women’s Executive Network (WXN), the awards program is Canada’s most recognizable award for the country’s highest achieving female leaders in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. “They each have remarkable achievements and Top 100 is a mark of their success and how they have supported their communities, companies, and organizations. Our Top 100 community is a powerful group of women who are at the top of their game, exemplify success and empower the next generation of women to take their careers to the next level,” said Pamela Jeffery, founder, Women’s Executive Network.

 The Awards cover eight categories: Sun Life Financial Arts & Communications, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Champions, Scotiabank Corporate Executives, Franklin Templeton Investments/Fiduciary Trust Entrepreneurs, TELUS Future Leaders, KPMG Professionals, Cisco Public Sector Leaders, and Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers & Trendsetters.

KPMG Professionals Award: Karen Branscombe, Superintendent, NB School District 02, Moncton, NB

Scotiabank Corporate Executives Award: Nora Duke, President & CEO, Fortis Properties Corporation, St. John’s, NL

KPMG Professionals Award: Leslie Galway, CEO, Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, St. John’s, NL

Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers & Trendsetters Award: Josée Kurtz, Commanding Officer, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship, Halifax (commander rank), Department of National Defence Canadian Fleet Atlantic, Halifax, NS

Xstrata Nickel Trailblazers & Trendsetters Award: Aldéa Landry, President, Landal Inc., Moncton, NB

KPMG Professionals Award: Shannon MacDonald, Managing Partner Atlantic, Deloitte & Touche LLP, Halifax, NS

Hall of Fame Inductee (Three time Top 100TM award winner): Christine Power, President and CEO, Capital District Health Authority, Halifax, NS

Franklin Templeton Investments / Fiduciary Trust Entrepreneurs Award: Aileen Reid, CEO, A.P. Reid Insurance Stores Ltd., Dartmouth, NS

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Champions Award: Rhona Levine Ruben, President, RLR & Associates Inc., Fredericton, NB

Newfoundland and Labrador Gets Woman Premier

She may not have been named one of the most powerful women in Canada, but on December 3, 2010, Kathy Dunderdale was sworn in as the most powerful politician in Newfoundland and Labrador. Not only is she the province’s first woman premier, but her ascension to power also creates a triad of female leadership in the province: all three mainstream provincial political parties are now headed by women. The PCs have Premier Dunderdale, the Liberals have Yvonne Jones and the NDP has Lorraine Michael. It will be interesting to see how the three square off in the next election.

Who is the tenth premier of Newfoundland and Labrador? According to her official bio, Kathy Dunderdale started her public service at the municipal level in her hometown of Burin, serving first as a town councillor and eventually deputy mayor. Her success with that initial municipal experience soon led her to larger roles including president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Municipalities and director of the Canadian Federation of Municipalities. Premier Dunderdale has also served as president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Newfoundland and Labrador. Following her election to the House of Assembly as member for Virginia Waters in 2003, Premier Dunderdale’s first cabinet appointment was as Minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Minister Responsible for the Rural Secretariat. In October 2008 she was appointed as Deputy Premier, as well as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, and Minister Responsible for the Status of Women.

Drug Compatability: Pharmacy cooperatives unite

Canada’s two largest pharmacy cooperatives have merged under a single banner called PharmAlliance. The Pharmasave group of 426 independently owned and operated pharmacies and the 275 stores of PharmaChoice have entered a two-stage process that executives say will benefit owners and consumers.

Sue Paish, CEO of Pharmasave Drugs National Ltd., says, “The first phase focuses on joint negotiations with vendors to provide more competitive pricing to our stores and better returns for our ownership and recruitment so we bring new members in.”

The merger is of particular interest to Atlantic Canadians. While Pharmasave enjoys a strong presence in Nova Scotia with 54 member stores, Pharmachoice is well positioned in Newfoundland with 34 members to Pharmasave’s single location, bringing the total membership in the four Atlantic Provinces to over 150 independent pharmacies.

PharmaChoice founder and CEO, Calvin LeRoux’s head office in Dartmouth happens to be directly across the street from the Pharmasave regional office, but he believes job losses will be minimal “Our functions are very different. They have a pharmacy department, we don’t. We do flyer development programs, they don’t. We may need a similar body count, but different skill sets.”

LeRoux believes the benefits are many. “We hope we can deliver lower prices. Volume drives price. By having more stores involved, we’re able to expand our breadth of products. We could have a private label of 700 products.”

And according to Paish, consumers “can go into a store and speak with a pharmacist who owns that store, who has a vested interest in that community, who makes decisions based on the needs of that community, not on a directive out of a far-away place. We think especially in Atlantic Canada, which is a rural region, customers have a huge amount to benefit from the alliance.” By Darcy Rhyno

In Memory of David W. Rodd: Bragg Family Foundation makes donation to UPEI

It isn’t the largest private sector donation ever received by UPEI’s Atlantic Veterinary College, but John and Judy Bragg’s generosity is leaving a permanent mark on the institution all the same.

In recognition of the Bragg Family Foundation’s support of human health research facilities at AVC, the health research floor of the AVC Research Complex has been named The David W. Rodd Health Research Floor in honour of the Braggs’ “dear” friend, the late David Rodd. On this floor at the AVC, researchers work to find solutions to human health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s), metabolic disorders, epilepsy and kidney disease. Naming the floor in Rodd’s honour is a fitting tribute: the founder of the PEI-based Rodd hotel chain passed away in 2006 from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

UPEI, recently named top undergraduate university in Canada for research income and research intensity growth, saw its research income grow from just under $3-million in 1999 to nearly $16-million in 2009. AVC aims to raise $8.5-million by June 2011 to fully fund its capital expansion program. The amount of the Bragg Family donation has not been disclosed, at the request of John and Judy Bragg.

St. John’s Loves Trucks: City is home to two top-selling dealerships

Ford of Canada president and CEO David Mondragon is justifiably impressed with the results achieved by two Ford dealerships in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Both Avalon Ford and Cabot Ford Lincoln are among the top selling dealerships in Canada, as well as the second and fifth top selling dealerships in North America (respectively) for Ford Rangers. Indeed, 2010 was a very good year for Ford Canada with overall sales growth of 20 per cent.

David Wilkins, owner of Avalon Ford, credits his dealership’s success to a robust local economy, the quality of the product, excellent customer service, strong repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. As well as the fact that St. John’s “is a truck market” and Ford has, he says, the best value trucks on the road. Unable to resist the chance to pitch his product, Wilkins says he has the best sales and service agreement in the city. “Our power train is second to none. Our new V6 engine has better fuel economy, better payload and capacity than any other truck in its class.”

Marketing may also be part of the equation. According to, which named Ford Motor Co. Marketer of the Year for 2010, the company actually strengthened its brand by declining bail out funds from the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. Both General Motors and Chrysler Group received TARP funds. Ford marketing chief Jim Farley was quoted as saying the move was worth about $1-billion in goodwill media coverage. A Rasmussen Reports survey found 55 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to buy a Ford because the company did not take TARP funds.

Mondragon points out that Ford didn’t take the money because they didn’t need it: the company had already begun reorganizing and closing plants in advance of the 2009 recession. “We paid off $10.8-billion in debt, that saves us $800-million a year in interest charges. We were making hard decisions back in 2005/2006, so we were actually in a position of strength during the global downturn.”

Dal’s Competitive Advantage: Focus on integrity wins international recognition

According to European CEO magazine, Dalhousie University is home to the Most Innovative Business School in Canada. Though innovation has multiple meanings, here it refers to the focus of Dal’s Faculty of Management (of which the Business School is part) on values-based education.

Indeed, the Faculty is reportedly on a mission “to become the acknowledged centre of values-based management in Canada, with an international reputation for developing private sector, public sector and civil society leaders who manage with integrity, focus on sustainability and makes things happen.” What sort of things? Specifically, the creation of new management practices and practitioners who will drive successful, sustainable economies. Think of it as the antithesis of big, bad business.

An example of how Dalhousie is teaching students to become, essentially, better people is its Management Without Borders course. A requirement for all first-year grad students, it aims to help students understand the social, economic, ecological, political and technological forces that affect individuals and organizations. In case you’re worried that the Arts Department has enacted a quiet takeover of the Business School, it hasn’t: all of the values-based programming was developed in consultation with the business community.

According to Peggy Cunningham, dean of Dalhousie’s Faculty of Management, Canada’s performance during the recent recession proves the business case for values-based management. “While Canada’s businesses and, particularly, its financial institutions did demonstrate that the Canadian business environment is one of the most stable in the world, it does need to embrace new models and practices if it is to be sustainable. Our Faculty has engaged the public and private sectors, its faculty and its students in a collaborative process to create innovative approaches to management education that have already begun to bear fruit. Receiving recognition from the European business community in the form of this award adds to the momentum we have created.”

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