News Release

REF NO.: 116

SUBJECT: Duke, Fishers honoured by Memorial's business faculty

DATE: May 9, 2014

Prominent business leaders Nora Duke and John and Peggy Fisher took home prestigious awards from Memorial University’s business faculty last night, Thursday, May 8.
Ms. Duke, president and chief executive officer of Fortis Properties Corporation in St. John’s, received the 2014 Alumni Honour Award from the Faculty of Business Administration at its annual Partners Celebration at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland. The Fishers, owners of the Fishers’ Loft in Port Rexton, Trinity Bay, won the Gardiner Centre 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Awad.
“This recognition is quite special to me,” said Ms. Duke. “The Faculty of Business Administration at Memorial University has consistently delivered a strong, relevant business program and it is from this foundation that I embarked on a very fulfilling and enjoyable career and professional journey.”
Ms. Duke has worked with the Fortis Group of Companies for 28 years in a variety of senior leadership and executive positions, and currently is responsible for the company’s two operating divisions: commercial real estate and hotels. She is an active volunteer and was appointed to the board of directors for the Canadian Tourism Commission in 2014. She also serves on the boards of the Hotel Association of Canada, Newfoundland Power, the Health Care Foundation and the Genesis Group at Memorial University and is a member of the National Advisory Council for the Building Owners and Managers Association.
The Fishers opened the Fishers’ Loft as a four-room bed and breakfast in 1997. Today, it is a 33-room inn, restaurant, executive conference centre and art gallery with a 4.5-star Canada Select rating. Strong supporters of the arts and literary communities, the Fishers have received numerous awards, including the Patron of the Arts Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. The Fishers’ Loft was named one of the top 10 best affordable island hotels by Travel and Leisure magazine, one of the best places to stay in National Geographic’s Traveler magazine and has received the highest rating in the Where to Eat in Canada Guide.
John Fisher is also the author of the best-selling management guide, Money Isn’t Everything, and is a founder and board member of Business and Arts Newfoundland and Labrador.
“We view business as primarily a social enterprise,” he said. “Economics count but only insofar as these enable us to access our markets, generously compensate our staff, provide the very best experience to our guests and invest in the community. This approach has driven the growth of Fishers’ Loft in every one of its 18 years.”
Partners is the Faculty of Business Administration’s annual celebration of the business community that brings together members of the faculty and business community as well as students and alumni to pay tribute to those who have achieved excellence in business while using their skills and expertise to contribute to their peers and communities.
“We’re pleased to be able to welcome Nora Duke and John and Peggy Fisher to the list of esteemed business leaders who have won our awards,” said Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean of the business faculty. “This year’s winners have clearly made an impact in their communities and, in addition to being visionary business leaders, are truly deserving of this recognition. Their success is an inspiration to us all.”

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