Leaders in aviation and advertising will be honoured by Memorial’s business faculty at its annual Partners Celebration this month.
Joseph Randell (MBA’85), president and chief executive officer of Chorus Aviation Inc., will receive the 2016 Alumni Honour Award. Derek Langdon (B.Comm.’78) and Gary Wadden (B.Comm.’78), partners at group m5, will take home the P.J. Gardiner 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Partners will be held April 26 at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland.
“I feel honoured to be recognized by Memorial’s business faculty,” said Mr. Randell. “This is very meaningful to me and reminds me of the value of my time at the university.”
Chorus Aviation Inc. is an aviation holding company, based in Halifax, N.S., that owns Jazz Aviation LP, one of the world’s largest regional airlines, and Voyageur Airways, a provider of specialized aviation services and aircraft leasing companies.
“The original research and marketing plan for Air Nova was developed as part of my master of business administration.”
Jazz Aviation employs 4,100 people from coast-to-coast in Canada and flies to more than 70 destinations in North America. Its genesis, however, began at Memorial when Mr. Randell conceived of Air Nova. He had earlier begun his career in the airline industry at Eastern Provincial Airways in 1974.
“The original research and marketing plan for Air Nova was developed as part of my master of business administration degree,” he said. “This has evolved through many forms to be what Chorus Aviation is today.”
Mr. Randell completed his MBA in 1985 and co-founded Air Nova that same year, serving as its president. Later, he led the consolidation of Canada’s regional airlines, which led to the creation of Jazz Aviation in 2001. Mr. Randell also studied engineering at Memorial before transferring to Dalhousie University to finish with an industrial engineering degree (a program not offered by Memorial at the time).
The connection between Mr. Wadden and Mr. Langdon also began at Memorial, where they both studied marketing as part of the bachelor of commerce (co-operative) degree program. Later, they worked together in client/agency roles as Mr. Langdon was employed by the Department of Tourism and Mr. Wadden worked for an agency that was involved with the department’s marketing efforts.
Mr. Wadden founded M5 Advertising in 1981 and Mr. Langdon joined as a full partner in 1985.
“Recognition of this nature is not something we are accustomed to receiving,” said Mr. Langdon. “We tend to be focused on our business, the work we produce and our clients … We have never been about personal or company awards but there is a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in being recognized by an organization that fosters and promotes entrepreneurship. It’s a real honour to receive this business award.”
Group m5 is an integrated communications company consisting of m5 Marketing Communications, MQO Research, m5 Public Affairs and Wavelight Productions. It’s the largest communications company of its kind in Atlantic Canada, operating in four provinces as well as the United States and employing more than 200 people across its companies.
Group m5 also invests in many local charities and organizations including Choices for Youth, Team Broken Earth, Health Care Foundation, Camp Out Day and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“We consider ourselves humble people [and] we have always stayed low-key personally,” said Mr. Wadden. “But what I like about receiving this award is that others in Newfoundland and Labrador and beyond realize that it’s possible to do your own thing and have a successful career.”
Recognizing visionary leaders
Partners is the Faculty of Business Administration’s annual celebration that brings together members of the faculty, business community, donors, alumni and students to pay tribute to those who have excelled in business while using their skills and expertise to contribute to their peers and communities.
“This year’s award winners are excellent examples of the kind of business leaders we hope to pay tribute to with these awards,” said Dr. Wilfred Zerbe, dean. “We are especially pleased that all of this year’s award winners are alumni of our business faculty. It’s a testament to the high-quality education and opportunities we provide here at Memorial University as well as to the hard work these individuals put into their businesses every day.
“Mr. Randell, Mr. Langdon and Mr. Wadden are all visionary business leaders and truly deserving of this recognition. They are excellent ambassadors for Memorial and we are pleased to be able to recognize their success.”
For ticket information about Partners, please contact Wanda Whelan at firstname.lastname@example.org or (709) 864-2812.