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‘Exceptional experience’

Business magazine readers recognize Gardiner Centre for excellence

By Susan White

Memorial’s Gardiner Centre has received a nod of recognition from the Atlantic Canadian business community.

Robert McNeily wears a brown collared shirt and holds a black and gold framed certificate.
Gardiner Centre accounting clerk Robert McNeily proudly holds the centre’s Atlantic Business Magazine award.
Photo: Submitted

The professional development and training hub was awarded an honourable mention from Atlantic Business Magazine (ABM) in its second annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

The centre was recognized in the category of Best Professional Development behind the winner, Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD).

Memorial was the only post-secondary institution to be mentioned across all award categories, which includes divisions such as Best Accounting Firm, Best Financial Institution, Best Law Firm and Best Industry Association.

“We’re thrilled to have been chosen by the public as one of the top two professional development organizations in the region,” said Valerie Howe, Gardiner Centre director. “We work really hard to provide training that is relevant to the business community and to provide our learners with an exceptional experience, whether that’s on campus in our classrooms or virtually through our learning platforms. I’m really proud to see the hard work of our staff and instructors being recognized in this way.”

Collaborative programming

Gardiner Centre works closely with ICD as its business school partner in Newfoundland and Labrador, adds Ms. Howe.

The nationally recognized Directors Education Program, as well as the Not-for-Profit Governance Program and other governance topics are delivered in partnership with ICD.

“Our partnership with ICD helps us stay at the forefront of business education in Canada,” said Ms. Howe. “We’re proud to have been recognized alongside an organization that is so closely connected with us.”

More than 900 votes were received across 18 award categories. To receive an honourable mention, the nominee must receive at least 75 per cent as many votes as the category winner.

Gardiner Centre received 77 per cent as many votes as ICD.

‘Truly a readers’ choice’

Dawn Chafe, the magazine’s executive editor and co-owner, says editorial integrity was important in designing the awards process, and that the magazine doesn’t influence which organizations are nominated.

Voting results are also not tabulated until nominations close to prevent a lobby or “super fans” from skewing the results with multiple ballots.

“We do not offer any suggestions of who to vote for: categories are completely open-ended so that nominations are a true reflection of our readers’ go-to service providers,” she said. “From beginning to end, [we] have zero influence on who is selected. The nominees with the most votes win, ensuring that this is truly a readers’ choice selection and something for the honorees to be particularly proud of.”

“To be recognized in this way by the business community tells us that we are doing something right.” — Valerie Howe

Robert McNeily has been the centre’s accounting clerk since 2015.

He says being chosen by ABM’s readership indicates the high quality of work being done by the centre’s staff and instructors.

“Business excellence is our top priority, and to know that our clients are highly satisfied with the professional development training we are providing is truly a great feeling,” he said.

Ms. Howe concurs.

“We strive for excellence across all of our programs,” she said. “To be recognized in this way by the business community tells us that we are doing something right. We’re grateful for the continued support of our clients throughout Atlantic Canada and across the country.”

Leadership and business excellence

Gardiner Centre is an award-winning professional development hub of the Faculty of Business Administration that connects organizations and individuals with learning experiences that advance leadership and business excellence.

It offers a variety of practical certificate programs and courses to help individuals and organizations achieve professional and strategic goals.

The centre is located at the Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus, in St. John’s.

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