EllisDon Founder inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame
May 16, 2014 by Staff Report
On Thursday, May 15th, the Canadian Business Hall of Fame honoured Don Smith, founder and former president and CEO of EllisDon, as part of its 36th Class of Companion Inductees. This year’s class of companions, which also included Peter M. Brown of Canaccord Genuity and Emanuele (Lino) Saputo of Saputo Inc., were formally inducted at the 2014 Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario.
The Order of the Business Hall of Fame was established in 1979 by Junior Achievement of Canada to recognize business leaders for their personal and professional accomplishments and legacy created for future generations while upholding high standards of leadership, ethics, and citizenship. As said by Keith Publicover, president and CEO of Junior Achievement of Canada, “Our Inductees are leading examples of achievement in business and in life.”
Under Don Smith’s management, EllisDon grew quickly to become a leader across various sectors, building many prominent schools, malls, office and healthcare buildings, and the world’s first retractable rooftop stadium, Rogers Centre (formerly SkyDome). He was an outspoken and influential business leader who maintained a strong commitment to philanthropy and breaking down industry barriers.
“Don was as close to a pure entrepreneur as I have ever seen. He was driven, optimistic and charismatic, and relentlessly honest in everything he did. This determination extended well beyond business to improving the lives of others who were less fortunate than he had been. To be recognized for his efforts would have been a truly momentous occasion for him,” said Geoff Smith, president and CEO of EllisDon.
“It is this genuineness that enabled him to leave a lasting mark on the industry and build such a unique company that no competitor could ever come close to imitating.”
Geoff Smith accepted the honour on behalf of Don who passed away last summer.