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December 6, 2001 Business School presents Awards of Distinction




by Barbara Black

Four outstanding members of the business community were honoured by the John Molson School of Business at the annual Awards of Distinction luncheon, held Nov. 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel.

Kenneth Woods
, president of Coolwoods Investments and director of the CICA Accounting Standards Board, is a 1975 MBA graduate of Concordia. “I was looking for a practical business education, and I got it at Concordia,” Woods said. “I liked money, and I liked numbers, and the two added together meant finance.”

Woods said that he has never forgotten the influence of the late Dr. Calvin Potter, who was then chair of the Finance Department. He has responded by giving $1 million to create the Ken Woods Portfolio Management Program at Concordia. Selected students manage a simulated portfolio, and over three years, do summer internships in the buying and selling aspects of the business.

The program is actively supported by a large number of local business executives. The 15 participating students, who are now in their first and second years of the program, attended the luncheon, and stood up at Woods’ invitation to be acknowledged. Now based in Vancouver, Woods is a director of Arts Umbrella, Canada’s leading institute for performing and visual arts for children 2 to 19, and the Concordia University Foundation.

Christiane Germain has adapted the “boutique hotel” concept to the Quebec tourism market through her Groupe Germain. These include the Hôtel Germain-des-Prés, in Ste. Foy, the Dominion 1912, in the Old Port of Quebec City, and Le Germain, in downtown Montreal.

When she accepted her award, she made a strong pitch for women in business. She said that when she’s faced with two candidates, male and female, with equal qualifications, she always picks the woman.

Paul Delage Roberge was raised in the retail clothing business, and recalled helping his mother with her fashion designs. Since then, with his wife Camille, he has developed San Francisco Boutiques into a major business force in Quebec.

The company now has nine “banners,” including Bikini Village and San Francisco Maillots, with a total of 181 outlets, and three department stores under the name Les Ailes de la Mode.

Roberge is now entering the Ontario market, opening Les Ailes in Ottawa’s Bayshore Shopping Centre and in three malls in Toronto. His fourth Les Ailes de la Mode will open in Montreal’s former Eaton’s store, and is expected to contribute to the revitalization of the downtown core.

Sherry Cooper, senior vice-president and chief economist of BMO Nesbitt Burns, was given an Award of Distinction, but was not available to accept it.

Dr. Cooper raised eyebrows in her column in the National Post recently, when she advocated giving up on our separate Canadian currency because she felt there was no solution to the sinking loony. The author of the highly successful The Cooper Files, she has just published another business book, Ride the Wave.

Her award was accepted by Ronald Monet, an executive of BMO Nesbitt Burns and a member of the advisory board of Concordia’s School of Community and Public Affairs. Monet will teach a course called Public Affairs Strategies in the School of Business in January.