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REF NO.: 138

SUBJECT: Memorial University professor earns Lifetime Achievement Award for work in small business sector

DATE: Dec. 17

For more than 30 years, local business educator Gar Pynn has been developing a curriculum and culture for small business and entrepreneurship that has changed the way people across the country think about small business. Yesterday, Memorial’s P.J. Gardiner Institute for Enterpriseand Entrepreneurship presented Prof. Pynn with the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“In the early 70s, Gar was on the leading edge of recognizing the connection between entrepreneurship and economic growth,” said Bonnie Simmons, director of the P.J. Gardiner Institute. “With Gar’s encouragement and effort, that wave of entrepreneurial energy has been growing and gaining momentum ever since and has no doubt influenced thousands of our alumni and business leaders.“

From 1974-1979, Mr. Pynn served as the director of the business school at Memorial. Under his lead, the school created the first business co-op program in the country. Then in 1979, he helped create the P.J. Gardiner Institute for Small Business Studies. This was the first institute of its kind established at a university in Canada. The institute provided entrepreneurial research support for faculty but the primary thrust was to provide support and advice to entrepreneurs and small business owners. Mr. Pynn was the founding director of the institute and remained in the position until 1990.

“Receiving this award is quite an honor,” said Mr. Pynn. “When I first started working in this area most people had never even heard of entrepreneurship. In the late 70s, it was a big deal when we introduced a single course in small business and entrepreneurship. Today students can choose this as an area of concentration and take up to five different small business and entrepreneurship courses.”

“I am especially proud of the work being done by the P.J. Gardiner Institute,” he added. “Over the past 25 years, the institute has connected the campus to the community and made the resources and expertise at the university available to people and businesses across the province.”

Established in 1979, the Canadian Council of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (CCSBE) is the only national membership-based organization in Canadawhose goals are to promote and advance the development of small business and entrepreneurship through research, education and training. The Lifetime Achievement award recognizes individuals who have been leaders in the area of small business and/or entrepreneurship. This year’s award was presented to three people across the country: Gar Pynn, St. John’s; Lois Stephenson, Ottawa; and Louis Jacques Filion, Montreal. Now, in its 25th year, the P. J. Gardiner Institute has grown from a one-person institute to a team of business development professionals. Today’s P.J. Gardiner Institute for Enterpriseand Entrepreneurship includes a Centre for Family Business, outreach and research components, and the Enterpriseand Entrepreneurship Gateway, a resource for youth-entrepreneurs.

Note: A photo of Gar Pynn is available at

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For more information contact Aimee Sheppard, communications co-ordinator (business), Memorial University of Newfoundland at 709-737-2616 or by e-mail at


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