U of G to Honour Martin Connell With Leadership Award

May 29, 2012 - News Release

Martin Connell, one of Canada’s most influential philanthropists and a prominent business leader, will receive the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leader Award May 30 from the University of Guelph.

U of G’s highest leadership award was created in 2006 to honour Lincoln Alexander, who served as Guelph’s chancellor for an unprecedented 15 years.

The award is presented annually by Guelph’s College of Management and Economics (CME) to exemplary and dedicated Canadian leaders whose careers have included groundbreaking socially significant pursuits.

Past recipients include Louise Arbour, the former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and a former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; Rick Hillier, retired Canadian general and former chief of the defence staff of the Canadian Forces; Frank McKenna, former New Brunswick premier and Canadian ambassador to the United States; and Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to honour Martin Connell for his leadership in social entrepreneurship within the food industry,” said CME dean Julia Christensen Hughes. “His work clearly exemplifies the vision and values of CME, which make him an ideal candidate for the Lincoln Alexander Outstanding Leadership Award.”

Connell will speak after a dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Creelman Hall. The event will coincide with the residential week of Guelph’s two-year MA (Leadership) program for leaders in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

Connell began his career heading Conwest Exploration Co. Ltd., a family mining firm founded by his grandfather. After building Conwest and moving into oil and gas, he focused on promoting development in some of the world’s poorest countries.

In 1983, he and his wife, Linda Haynes, founded Calmeadow. The organization supports provision of credit and financial services to micro-entrepreneurs in developing countries who cannot obtain traditional resources.

His long history with the non-profit sector includes serving as chair of the Toronto Community Foundation (TCF) and as a board member with the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy and Torstar Corp. Connell and Haynes also founded Ace Bakery, which they sold in 2008.

He has received numerous awards for his charitable work, including the Order of Canada, the Pearson Peace Medal from the United Nations Association in Canada and the Humanitarian Award. The TCF Martin Connell Spirit of Philanthropy Award was created in his honour in 2011.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@uoguelph.ca.

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