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Date: April 03, 2008

UVic Honours WestJet Founder

Clive Beddoe, visionary and founding shareholder of WestJet, has been named the 2008 UVic Business Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year. This annual award, established by the faculty’s advisory board, acknowledges an inspirational entrepreneur whose business leadership has had a significant and positive impact on the community.

Currently chair of the WestJet board of directors, Beddoe has been instrumental in establishing WestJet as one of the most successful airlines in recent aviation history. Along with founders Mark Hill, Tim Morgan and Donald Bell, he developed WestJet into Canada’s leading high-value, low-fare airline.

The company began in 1996 with three aircraft flying to five cities; by 2007 its fleet had expanded to 73 aircraft flying to 47 destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean. Beddoe says the secret to the company’s success is its people.

“We have deliberately built a culture of engagement and participation. What we’re after are people who feel it’s their company and who will go above and beyond because it is their company.”

As a result of Beddoe’s leadership, this year WestJet was named the most admired corporate culture in Canada for the third consecutive time by an annual study conducted by Waterstone Human Capital of 185 senior Canadian executives.

“A company’s commitment to its people is established by its leaders,” says Dean of Business Ali Dastmalchian. “Mr. Beddoe is a great role model for our students.”

“WestJet has really put the Comox Valley on the radar for Albertans and helped to expand the Island’s reputation as a tourism destination and reduce its reliance on more traditional resource-based industries,” says Allan Gilchrist, chair of the faculty’s board of advisers.

A five-member panel of Faculty of Business board of adviser members assessed Beddoe’s vision, entrepreneurial drive and impact on the Canadian and global economies.

Past winners of the award include David Black, owner of Black Press, Canada’s largest privately-owned newspaper company (2007); Gwyn Morgan, who established EnCana Corp. as the country’s largest energy company (2006); Dave Ritchie, chairman of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (2005); and Jeff Mallett, former president and chief operating officer of Yahoo (2004).

Beddoe is a resident of Calgary and married with two children. He will receive the award at a gala celebration on June 12 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Victoria Conference Centre. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 250-721-6406 or online at www.business.uvic.ca/deya.
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Media contacts:
Dr. Ali Dastmalchian (Business) at 250-721-6422 or dastmal@business.uvic.ca
Dianne George (UVic Business Communications) at 250-721-6411 or buscomm@business.uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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