2009 Commerce Gala to Help Keep Students in School

Some $300,000 in bursaries for entrepreneurs looking to improve their skills

September 29, 2009

HEC Montréal, Réseau HEC Montréal and Commerce magazine paid tribute to nine leading business figures at the 56th edition of the Commerce Gala, held on September 23 in the Windsor Station concourse. This year, the School will be putting the proceeds of the benefit event toward bursaries for a special group of students.

Inspired by the thoughts of the task force on perseverance and success in school, directed by L. Jacques Ménard, Chair of the Board of Directors of BMO Nesbitt Burns and President of BMO Financial Group - Quebec, HEC Montréal decided to award the some $3000,000 raised to entrepreneurs who were dropouts but are now looking to go back to school as a way of enhancing their businesses. Along with the bursaries, they will participate in a five-year mentorship and follow-up program. Part of these funds will also go to funding scholarships for deserving students and supporting student initiatives to keep students at risk from dropping out, starting in high school.

HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry thanked the two co-Presidents of the Gala: Jacynthe Côté, President and CEO of Rio Tinto Alcan, and L. Jacques Ménard. They managed to rally close to 600 members of the business community to the cause promoted by HEC Montréal. This year’s Gala was another splendid success.

Lastly, HEC Montréal is also grateful for the media coverage the Gala received in the form of $566,000 of sponsored advertising. Transcontinental, with Commerce magazine and Les Affaires, Astra Media Affichage, Neo-Traffic, Zoom Media, La Presse and many others worked hard to offer a highly effective and visible media campaign. Their contribution was a key part of the success and invaluable in reaching the School’s objectives.


1st row, from left to right

Pierre Shoiry, President and CEO, GENIVAR; Normand Carrier, General Manager, Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) ; Jürgen Engel, President and CEO,  Aeterna Zentaris; Javier San Juan, President and CEO of L’Oréal Canada; Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO, Cirque du Soleil; Yannis Mallat, President and General Manager, Ubisoft Montréal; Christian Champagne, standing for Pierre Marc Tremblay, President and CEO, Restaurants Pacini; Réjean Robitaille, President and CEO, Laurential Bank of Canada.

2nd row, from left to right

Natalie Larivière, President, Médias Transcontinental; Hélène Desmarais, Chairperson of the Board, HEC Montréal; L. Jacques Ménard, Chair of the Board of Directors, BMO Nesbitt Burns and President, BMO Financial Group - Quebec; Jacynthe Côté, CEO, Rio Tinto Alcan; Michel Patry, Director, HEC Montréal.


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