Oct. 11, 2016

Haskayne announces 2016-17 Jarislowsky Co-Fellows

Bill Sembo and Debbie Stein join forces to help students think broadly, more critically, and to build networks
2016-17 Jarislowsky fellows Bill Sembo and Debbie Stein

2016-17 Jarislowsky fellows Bill Sembo and Debbie Stein

Over the last 10 years, the Jarislowsky Fellowship in Business Management executive residence program has been one of the lesser known initiatives at Haskayne. That is, until last year, when the Jarislowsky Dinner and Discussion Series created quite a buzz among graduate students.

A new take on programming offered MBA and Executive MBA students the opportunity to attend two intimate dinners hosted by Jarislowsky Fellows Brian Felesky and Bill Sembo. The evenings featured inspiring and insightful guest speakers who spoke on relevant and timely topics but also provided dedicated time for students to network with over 40 of Calgary’s top executives spanning industries from agriculture and the arts to custom homebuilders and oil and gas. Those in attendance were blown away by the breadth and depth of knowledge in the room and the chance to personally connect with key industry leaders.

Encouraging students to build community

This year, Bill Sembo, former vice-chairman and managing director of RBC Capital Markets, teams up with Debbie Stein, former senior vice-president finance and chief financial officer of AltaGas Ltd., as the 2016-17 Jarislowsky Fellows. Having known each other for a number of years, Sembo and Stein feel their backgrounds, perspectives, worldviews and even their age gap will be a great complement to the program.

“I am honoured to be a Jarislowsky Fellow and look forward to working with Bill and the students at Haskayne,” says Stein. “It is going to be a fantastic year.”

Their goal is to encourage students to be leaders that are engaged with and interested in building community.

“It is important that students think broadly and have a vision and a plan for their future,” says Sembo. “Mr. Jarislowsky believes strongly in good ethics and involvement in the community and I look forward to connecting with the students this year to talk more about these ideas.”

'Expand their thinking beyond just their careers and families'

Both Sembo and Stein share a passion for giving back to the community and see the fellowship as an opportunity to impart their knowledge and expertise but also as a chance to challenge students to think broadly and more critically.

“I feel very strongly in my obligation to give back,” says Stein. “This is an opportunity for me to share my experience and help young Calgarians progress in their careers. Bill and I want to encourage the students, particularly in this environment, to think about how to adapt and innovate. We want them to expand their thinking beyond just their careers and families and to include the community around them and how they too can give back. 

“I am also hoping we can also impart the importance of building networks and relationships,” says Sembo. “Relationships not only with Deb and I but with others they will be exposed to through the fellowship. Building relationships is an important element of their future success.”

Program expands depth and breadth of learning at Haskayne

The successful Jarislowsky Dinner and Discussion Series continues this year along with additional programming that will include exclusive, limited capacity, intimate lunches with industry leaders and one-on-one opportunities with the fellows.

Established by the Jarislowsky Foundation in 2006, The Jarislowsky Fellowship in Business Management is intended to increase the depth and breadth of the learning experience at the Haskayne School of Business by providing students with access to professionals with real and relevant senior-level business experience. It is founded in philanthropist Stephen Jarislowsky’s belief that providing students with access to professionals will help them understand that success in business requires developing a more holistic perspective through community involvement and an appreciation of the arts, international culture, religion, politics and diversity.