It’s official! Atlantic Business Magazine is Atlantic Canada’s longestpublishing regional business magazine; this year marks our 25th anniversary. It’s hard to comprehend where the time has gone, but I’m proud to say I’m enjoying the challenge just as much today as I did when I was a novice publisher working on my fi rst edition (I now have 153 issues and 4.65 million magazines under my belt, if anyone’s counting).
Looking back over the past 25 years, one of my proudest accomplishments – aside from managing to stay in business – was the formation of the Top 50 CEO awards. It was 1998 and we wanted to recognize the exceptional corporate leaders in Atlantic Canada. We had noticed an obvious trend: our corporate community is not just dedicated to growing its bottom line results, but also to enhancing the region as a place to live. Atlantic Canada’s small population and geographic immensity can make it a daunting place to do business, so our entrepreneurs and organizational leaders are exceptionally grateful for the support they receive from their fellow citizens – and they show it in measurably tangible ways, giving generously of their time and resources to countless causes.
This year’s award winners are no exception. Atlantic Business Magazine’s 2014 Top 50 CEOs collectively generate more than $21 billion in annual revenue and provide employment to 54,405 people. On top of that, they volunteer their time with 580 community groups and industry associations. Plus, they and the organizations they represent gave $13.8 million to charity in 2013 alone. I’m not surprised: it’s the Atlantic Canadian way.
Looking more closely at the individual award winners, I’m delighted to see a number of first-time CEOs. We’ve sometimes been urged to lower the number of winners because naysayers doubt the sustainability of finding 50 worthy CEOs, year after year. To see more than a dozen new faces, after 16 years of producing this list, bodes well for the future of the Top 50 CEO awards.
We’ll need those new faces: 10 people are being inducted into the Top 50 CEO Hall of Fame this year. I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to our 2014 Hall of Fame inductees: Peter Conlon, Dianne Kelderman, Jack Kelly, Barry Kyle, Gordon Laing, Ron Lovett, Brian McMillan, Sean O’Regan, Joe Randell and Steve Winter. Inductees are five-time award winners. It’s a testament to their extraordinary leadership skills, but also retires them from Top 50 eligibility. This doesn’t, however, end their association with this awards program as the Top 50 judges are drawn from the Hall of Fame.
Speaking of which, I’d like to thank the following for their efforts in selecting this year’s award winners: Robert Zed, Christine Power, Terry Malley, Ken LeBlanc, Jerry Byrne and Nora Duke. I’ve heard it said that one doesn’t appreciate the work that goes into selecting the Top 50 CEOs until you see it from the judge’s perspective. It’s truly a herculean effort and I salute you for your dedication and diligence.
I’d also like to recognize the sponsors listed at the bottom of this page and the advertisers you see throughout the magazine. It may seem a trite expression, but we really couldn’t organize these awards and host the associated gala without their support. As their example shows, we all grow together when business supports business.
Finally, I have to acknowledge the efforts of the Atlantic Business Magazine team. This is a monumental task for a very small group of people (only 12 of us altogether in three different provinces). I am, as always, honoured to work with such a dedicated team. To Alec, Sharon R., Stephen, Darren, Dawn, Jason, Carolyn, Sharon H., Linda, Tonia and Edwina – thanks gang, you keep the good times rolling.