Management alumni honoured
Randall Kelly, BComm 78, is president of Montreal-based investment company Formula Growth Ltd. and a long-time volunteer and supporter of Concordia’s John Molson School of Business (JMSB). But Kelly told the 230 guests packed into the JMSB Building’s BMO Amphitheatre on November 9 that he recalls his days at Concordia spent in more modest settings.
“I had classes in the old Norris Building on Drummond Street, right next to the YMCA racquetball courts. Actually, in the racquetball courts,” Kelly quipped. “So to think that we’re now in a building like this is quite an accomplishment for the JMSB.”
Kelly was on hand as one of the honourees at the 21st JMSB Awards of Distinction ceremony. Kelly started his career at the accounting firm Touche Ross (now Deloitte), joined Formula Growth in 1984, became its president in 1993 and has since led it to remarkable success. He added that because Formula Growth has hired so many graduates of the JMSB’s Kenneth Woods Portfolio Management Program: “I have to assure people that we are not another Concordia campus.”
David Laidley, Chairman Emeritus of accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, introduced Kelly. The two first met when Kelly started at Touche Ross in 1978. The second Award of Distinction recipient, Anna Martini, BComm 85, GrDip 86, began her career at the same firm and pointed out that Laidley was one of the most important influences in her career.
Martini remained at Deloitte until 2004, when she became president of Montreal-based apparel retailer Groupe Dynamite Inc. She quickly helped expand the number and success of its retails stores, Garage, Dynamite and Chado. Martini told the audience that she remembers her days at Concordia well. “This is where it all began,” she said.
Groupe Dynamite CEO and owner Andrew Lutfy praised his president’s business skills as well as her values. “What makes Anna special is not what she takes but, from her soul and heart, what she leaves behind,” Lutfy said.
CBC TV commentator Marianna Simeone, BA 86, served as a lively master of ceremonies. JMSB Dean Sanjay Sharma told the guests that he was proud to present the awards to “two of our own. They exemplify the JMSB, which provides a relevant and pragmatic education.”
Peter Kruyt, BComm 78, Chair of Concordia’s Board of Governors, also stressed the significance that both Awards of Distinction honourees are graduates of the JMSB. Kruyt said the business school is not only among the largest in Canada, “but, I think, it’s the best.