The Gil Bennett Gold Standard Award

The Gold Standard Award was named in honour of former Canadian Tire Chair, Gil Bennett. The award has been presented annually since 2006 to a Directors College graduate who demonstrates dedication to raising the bar for professional standards in corporate governance through his or her progress in the Chartered Director (C.Dir.) program. Winners include Dr. Richard Florizone, Reena Sagoo, Jim Adamson, John Ryan, Andy Poprawa, Adam Cooper, Michael MacBean, and Don McCreesh.

Brian Friedrich Wins 2014 Gil Bennett Governance Award

Presentation made at 10th annual graduation event

Left to Right: Brian Friedrich (2014 Gil Bennett Award Recipient), Gil Bennett (Director and Former Chairman of the Board, Canadian Tire Corp. Ltd.), Diane J Sinhuber (Partner, Ernst & Young LLP)

Toronto, April 11, 2014 – Brian Friedrich, Principal in “friedrich & friedrich,” a professional research, standards and education consultancy firm, and Vice Chair of the Certified General Accountants Association of BC (CGA-BC), is the 2014 winner of the Gil Bennett Gold Standard Governance Award.

The award recognizes dedication to corporate governance and was presented Thursday at the 10th annual graduation ceremony for newly certified Chartered Directors (C.Dir.) of The Directors College, a joint initiative of McMaster University and The Conference Board of Canada.

“Given the extremely high degree of governance acumen that I saw in my colleagues throughout this program, I must admit that it was with some surprise that I received the call. I am deeply honoured to be this year’s award recipient,” said Mr. Friedrich. “It was terrific to share best practices with directors from a wide range of industries and institutions, and learn from everyone’s rich experiences. There is a strong recognition in the program that developing as a great director requires not only the competence embodied in sound technical skills, but also bringing the curiosity and courage to ask questions and act when needed; the numerous sessions devoted to enhancing these all-too-often “assumed” elements were invaluable,” he said.

Named in honour of former Canadian Tire Chair, Gil Bennett, this award has been presented annually since 2006 to a Directors College graduate dedicated to raising the bar for professional standards in corporate governance through progress in the Chartered Director program. This year, Mr. Bennett himself also received the inaugural Distinguished Faculty Award in acknowledgement of his contribution to the Directors College – where he has generously shared his own experiences through his many years of corporate and board leadership in Canada.

“Whatever the challenge, whatever the sector, the difference between success and failure is often the quality of governance. Mr. Friedrich embodies the technical and personal characteristics that are central to excellent leadership and to the core teachings of The Directors College program. With this award, we salute his achievement,” said Dr. Chris Bart, Lead Faculty, The Directors College.

Criteria for the award include scoring in the top 10 per cent on the final exam for Chartered Directors; providing a positive contribution to the class discussion; and displaying constructive behavior as a director during the unique Board Simulation exercise that is part of the program.

Mr. Friedrich’s professional clients have included universities, global accounting bodies, the World Bank, and government agencies. He has helped lay policy, procedural and governance groundwork for several established and emerging professional and regulatory organizations.

He is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC (CPA BC) Transitional Steering Committee, which is an interim Board for CPA BC. Mr. Friedrich chairs the CGA-BC Discipline Committee and represents BC nationally on the CPA Canada Public Trust Committee. Past committee membership has included work in the areas of ethics, auditing, and professional standards.

Brian Friedrich is currently also completing a Master of Laws degree specializing in Administrative Law at Osgoode Hall Law School.

Recent winners of the Gil Bennett Governance Award have included Dr. Richard Florizone, Reena Sangoo and Jim Adamson.

Founded in 2003, The Directors College is Canada’s first university accredited corporate director development program. For more information visit http://thedirectorscollege.com/#sthash.bigXf3lB.dpbs

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221
E-mail: corpcomm@conferenceboard.ca

Past Award Recipients

Dr. Richard Florizone: President, Dalhousie University

Reena Sagoo: Chief Financial Officer, Borealis Infrastructure, Winner 2012

Jim Adamson: Director, Com Dev International, Winner 2011

John Ryan: CEO, Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, Winner 2010

Andy Poprawa: President and Chief Executive Officer of the Deposit Insurance Corporation of Ontario (DICO), Winner 2009

Adam Cooper: Former Chair of the Board of Directors of Educators Financial Group, Inc., Winner 2008

Michael MacBean: Managing Director, TriWest Capital Partners, Winner 2007

Don McCreesh: Corporate Director and President, The Garnet Group Inc., Winner 2006

What our graduates say?

“The Chartered Director program provided me with a solid foundation in governance which built my confidence to comprehensively serve as a director. The exceptional content and educational process enhanced my curiosity, courage and ability to ask the right questions on crown, non-profit and corporate boards.”

Victor T. Thomas, C.Dir., H.R.C.C.C., Vice Chair, SaskEnergy

“I thought the entire program was very well developed and comprehensive. You never know what to expect when you sign-up for these programs and this exceeded my expectations and was a great learning opportunity.”

James Scongack, C.Dir., Vice-President of Corporate Affairs, Bruce Power LP

“I found the Chartered Director Program to be an excellent forum to understand how strong governance complements effective management. The ability to create and execute an effective strategy is significantly enhanced by a robust process inclusive of board engagement where the right questions are asked and expected outcomes are identified. I truly enjoyed the setting which fostered a strong level of interaction that was supported by quality presentations and material. As CEO of a Shared Service Organization set to deliver benefits to its members, I see the advantage of having a number of our board members participating in this program.”

Tony Di Emanuele, MBA, C.Dir., President and CEO, Mohawk Shared Services

“I found the Directors College to be an excellent survey of the important matters of which a director must be aware in today’s corporate environment. The quality of the presentation and materials was first-rate and the perspectives gained were invaluable. I would highly recommend the Directors College.”

The Honourable John Manley, P.C., O.C., C.Dir., Former Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister

“The changes that impact corporate governance are establishing a pattern of increased accountability for the delivery of long-term value to customers, shareholders, employees and society. Proper corporate governance is now being defined to include knowledge of critical elements such as risk management and the measurement of strategic performance. At the end of the day, each board will be judged on its ability to effectively deliver value, rather than on its structure. The Directors College innovative program fills a unique and important gap in providing knowledge and insight as to how this expectation can be met. CMA Canada is pleased to be a sponsor of this timely initiative.”

Steve Vieweg, C.Dir., Director, Executive Development, I.H. Asper School of Business – University of Manitoba

“As an organization focused on educating corporate secretaries, the ICSA believes in furthering the potential of board members to better contribute to building effective governance structures. Given the key role of directors and corporate secretaries in applying proper boardroom practices, corporations need to ensure that these individuals meet a professional standard. The Directors College curriculum covers all the formal regulatory issues for directors and also addresses the informal skills of building effective and appropriate relationships with senior management. We see significant benefits to this program and ICSA is pleased to endorse it.”

Lynn Beauregard, President, Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries

The Directors College has developed a director education program which goes well beyond the fundamentals to address the structures and the behavioural components of principle-based governance. I am proud to be associated with the Directors College and I am honoured to lend my name to the College’s graduate award.

Gilbert Bennett, Director and Former Chairman of the Board, Canadian Tire Corporation Limited

“Our strategy is to raise the horizons and potential of directors by deepening and enriching their knowledge and application of advanced skills. Increasing the effectiveness of existing directors and broadening the pool of potential directors will contribute to the professionalism of boards across Canada.”

David Beatty, Managing Director, Canadian Coalition for Good Governance