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February 8, 2001 John Molson School of Business Awards of Distinction




John Molson School of Business Awards of Distinction

Once again, there was a capacity crowd for the annual Awards of Distinction banquet, held Tuesday in the ballroom of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

The keynote speaker was Concordia governor emeritus and former head of Air Canada Claude Taylor. Unfortunately, due to her business commitments, Heather Reisman was unable to attend.


Yvan Allaire

Yvan Allaire, PhD, FRSC
Executive Vice-President, Bombardier Inc.
Chairman of the Board, Bombardier Capital

Dr. Allaire is a member of the Board of Directors of CGI Group Inc., the C.D. Howe Institute, the Council for Canadian Unity and the Institut de Finance Mathématique de Montréal (IFM2).

He is chair of the Association des MBA du Québec, and is, or has been, a member of Le Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada, Le Conseil des Universités du Québec and Le Conseil des Arts de la Communauté Urbaine de Montréal, and the Strategic Management Association, Sigma Xi (MIT chapter).

While pursuing a university career, he was a consultant to the management of several Canadian corporations. He was a co-founder and board chairman of a strategy consulting firm for several years, and was strategy consultant for Laurent Beaudoin, former CEO of Bombardier Inc.

He holds a BSc and an MBA from Sherbrooke University as well as a PhD in Management Science from the Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He taught at Sloan and and at several European universities. In 1990, he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities of the Royal Society of Canada.








Suzanne Labarge

Suzanne Labarge
Vice-Chairman and Chief Risk Officer, Royal Bank of Canada

As a member of the group management committee, Ms. Laberge is one of 10 executives charged with setting the overall strategic direction of the Royal Bank Financial Group. She is also charged with ensuring that there is a comprehensive and forward-looking risk management process in place.

A native of Ottawa, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from McMaster University and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.
Ms. Labarge joined Royal Bank in 1971 and held positions in branches across the country before being appointed an executive officer in 1979. She worked in the international division in Canada and overseas until she left the bank in 1985 to join the federal public service as an Assistant Auditor-General.

She joined the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada in 1987 as Deputy Superintendent, Policy. In her last position there, she was responsible for all matters relating to deposit-taking institutions.

She returned to the bank as Executive Vice-President, Corporate Treasury, in 1995, with responsibility for Royal Bank’s balance sheet management, funding, liquidity and portfolio management. She became executive vice-president and chief risk officer in October 1998, and assumed her present position in February 1999.


Brian I. Neysmith

Brian I. Neysmith, CFA
Managing Director, Canadian Ratings, Standard and Poor’s Corporation

Brian Neysmith founded Canada’s first credit rating agency, Canadian Bond Rating Service in 1972. After 28 successful years, CBRS Inc. was merged into the global operations of Standard and Poor’s Corporation in October 2000.

Brian entered Sir George Williams University with the $500 he won for his first-place finish at a Montreal science fair. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1966, he was hired as a programmer by Northern Electric (now Nortel Networks) and was promoted to their Pension Fund division. He left Nortel to work for the Bell Canada Pension Fund, and while there completed his Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1972.

Mr. Neysmith has been an active member of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams since 1980, and has been a member of Concordia’s Board of Governors, chair of the budget committee, vice-chair of the pension benefits committee and chair of the Alumni and Friends Division of the Annual Giving Campaign. Currently, he is a member of the Concordia University Foundation.

Mr. Neysmith now lives in Toronto with his wife and three sons.


Heather Reisman

Heather Reisman
President and CEO
Indigo Books and Music Inc.

For the first 16 years of her 25-year business career, Montreal-born Heather Reisman was managing director of Paradigm Consulting, the strategy and change management firm she co-founded in 1979. Paradigm was the world’s first strategic change consultancy, and pioneered many organizational change strategies in major use today.

Ms. Reisman left Paradigm to become president of Cott Corporation. During her tenure, Cott grew from a regional bottler to the world’s largest retailer-branded beverage supplier. Harvard wrote two case studies focusing on the company’s growth and development while she was president.

Launching Indigo was the culmination of her passion for books and music.
Educated at McGill University, she has served as a governor there, and also of the Toronto Stock Exchange. She has been on several boards in the communications, manufacturing and retailing industries, including Rogers Cable, 724 Solutions, and Vincor International. She is also an officer of Mount Sinai Hospital.

Married to Gerald Schwartz, CEO of Onex Corporation, she has four children and three grandchildren.