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The Relève d'Excellence awards salute the talents of remarkable young graduates

May 18, 2010

The quality of HEC Montréal grads is in no doubt, and was celebrated in fine fashion once again this year, at a gala breakfast ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the Relève d'Excellence awards, organized by the Réseau HEC Montréal.  Some 450 graduates and businesspeople attended the event on May 14 at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, to salute the success and initiative of these young (35 and under) HEC Montréal graduates who already have some very impressive achievements to their credit.

The record number of nominations – about fifty – this year meant that the jury of 17 leading members of the business community had a difficult task. The number of candidates was simply a reflection of the talent and determination of the young HEC Montréal grads, after all, for whom the theme of this year’s gala, “Daring,” was perfectly appropriate.

2010 winners

  • Entrepreneur category: Benoît-Michel Archambault (HEC 2007), President, Succès scolaire;
  • Young Professional category: Simon Lafrenière (HEC 2007), Manager, Learjet Project Planning, Bombardier Aerospace;
  • Large Company category: Olivier Sefler (HEC 1997), Associate Director, Marketing Communications, Cogeco Câble;
  • Small and Medium-Size Business category: Geneviève Brault (HEC 2004), Director of Human Resources, Parc Safari;
  • Jury's Choice: Sébastien Daoust (HEC 1999), Consultant, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the awards, Paul Balthazard and Pierre Tremblay, two of the three alumni who launched the contest in 1985, were on hand to talk about how this tradition got started. Over half of the 121 graduates honoured between 1985 and 2009 attended the gala, and were invited onto the stage. It was a chance to relive some wonderful memories for all of them.

The Honorary Chair for the 25th Relève d’excellence awards was Patrick Palerme, President and CEO, Canada, of GE Capital, and Chair of the Board of the Fondation du Centre jeunesse de Montréal.

From left to right: Patrick Palerme, Honorary Chair, winners Simon Lafrenière, Geneviève Brault and Olivier Sefler, Sophie-Emmanuelle Chebin, President of the Association des diplômés HEC Montréal, winner Benoît-Michel Archambault, HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry, and Sébastien Daoust, winner of the Jury’s Choice award.

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