March 21: Martin Connell to receive Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award on May 30 | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

March 21: Martin Connell to receive Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award on May 30

Posted on Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Unanimously selected by the committee, this year's recipient of the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award will be Martin Connell.

One of Canada’s most prominent business leaders from the 1970’s and 1980’s, Martin Connell is perhaps our single most influential philanthropist and a significant international promoter of microcredit initiatives in Africa and Latin America. He began is career heading Conwest Exploration Company Limited, a family mining firm founded by his grandfather. After building Conwest and transitioning into the oil and gas field, he shifted his focus to his personal desire to promote development in some of the poorest countries. Along with his wife Linda Haynes, Connell co-founded Calmeadow, an organization that supports provision of credit and financial services to micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries who are unable to access traditional resources. Recent Chair of the Toronto Community Foundation, Connell has recognized for his charitable work by being awarded the Humanitarian Award in 2006, the Officer of the Order of Canada in 1998 and the Pearson Medal of Peace in 1994.

Each year, the College of Management and Economics and the University of Guelph present the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award to a Canadian who has exhibited exemplary leadership within, and more importantly beyond, the boundaries of her/his organization or profession. Since revising the criteria two years ago we have ensured a fit with Lincoln Alexander’s legacy, the University’s values (as reflected in the Better Planet Project) and the aspirations of CME. As it is now written, the recipient is to be an influential and highly respected leader whose career is marked by engaging with others on groundbreaking, socially significant pursuits and who has been selflessly committed to the betterment of others. In particular, the recipient will have:

  • Exhibited leadership by doing the right thing during a time of difficulty, challenge or conflict, or harnessing an opportunity, effectively challenging current thinking and practice;
  • Moved above and beyond organizational or professional obligations;
  • Demonstrated a commitment to intellectual growth, learning and curiosity in their own leadership in and the ways they inspire others to develop these characteristics;
  • Advocated for positive change for the social good, and,
  • Achieved a positive impact on the lives of others.

Past recipients of the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award include:  the Hon. Louise Arbour, Dick Pound, General Rick Hillier, the Hon. Frank McKenna, and the award namesake, the Hon. Lincoln Alexander. 

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