President's Report 2006 | Alumni

Partners dinner puts alumni in the spotlight

President Meisen (L) and Dr. Gary Gorman (R), dean of the Faculty of Business Administration congratulate Paul Burt and Sharon Duggan at the 22nd Annual Partners Dinner.

Faculty of Business Administration alumni Sharon Duggan and Paul Burt stepped up to the podium and into the spotlight April 27 as they each accepted prestigious awards at the faculty's 22nd Annual Partners Dinner held at the Fairmont Hotel.

"Memorial University is one of the province's greatest resources and it has had a significant impact on my life and my career, as it has for many citizens of our province," said Sharon Duggan, B. Sc. '75 and MBA '93, who received the faculty's 2005 Alumni Honour Award. The award recognizes the accomplishments of business graduates and the contributions they make to the faculty and university.

"During the time I spent as a student in the Faculty of Business Administration, I benefited greatly from the involvement of local business leaders as class speakers, judges of business case presentations, etc. So, I feel that it is important that I similarly share the benefit of my experience and knowledge with the next generation of business leaders." Ms. Duggan, who is vice-president, Customer Services, Transformation, and Development at Aliant, has been a member of the faculty's Advisory Board and regularly supports student case teams and other faculty activities. She currently serves on Memorial's Board of Regents and volunteers with several other community organizations. Paul Burt, B. Comm. (Co-op)(Hons.) '86, owner of P. S. Atlantic Ltd. (Paint Shop) received the P. J. Gardiner Institute's 2006 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. Burt and his team have grown the business to include 31 Paint Shop Home Decorating Centres. The company has been ranked the number one Canadian retailer for Benjamin Moore for the last 10 years; and recently entered into a strategic alliance with Benjamin Moore to service over 350 independent retailers across the country and credits much of that success to focusing on the cultivation of client relationships. "I am firm about dealing with companies that, like my own, are principled and ethical and that stand behind a handshake. Early in the relationship with Benjamin Moore, we identified them as a company we'd like to do business with," said Mr. Burt. "Today, that relationship has allowed us to try new things and grow."

"Memorial's Faculty of Business Administration, as a whole, benefits from the close connections we have to the external community," said Dr. Gary Gorman, dean of the faculty. "Our relationships with leaders like Sharon and Paul help to ensure that our students are prepared to pursue their chosen career paths and contribute to their own communities. While these awards highlight individual successes, they also focus our attention on the accomplishments of local firms that are impacting business across the country."

Three local employers were also recognized at the event for reaching milestones in the business co-operative education program. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency was honoured for hiring more than 200 work-term students; the provincial Department of Finance was recognized for hiring more than 400 work-term students; and Memorial University was honoured for hiring more than 600 work-term students.