Three women lead class of five for the Alberta Business Hall of Fame

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Three women will head the 2022 Alberta Business Hall of Fame — Southern Alberta class.

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Dr. M. Elizabeth Cannon, Wayne and Eleanor Chiu, Nancy Knowlton, and Charlie Fischer (posthumously), will all be announced as inductees on Wednesday by Junior Achievement Southern Alberta.

Cannon is a professional engineer and served as president and vice-chancellor of the University of Calgary from 2010-18 and is currently president emerita. In her time at the helm she expanded university infrastructure to include the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning, the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex, W.A. Ranches at the University of Calgary, the Life Sciences Innovation Hub, and the future Mathison Hall and Integrated Science Innovation Centre. Before she was president and vice-chancellor, she helped turn U of C into one of the top engineering schools in Canada.

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Wayne Chiu is the founder of Trico Homes and in 2016 was inducted into the order of Canada and in 2018 received the Alberta Order of Excellence. He is an advocate for affordable housing and has made many contributions to non-profit organizations, the Chiniki First Nation and the post-secondary community. He immigrated to Canada in 1982 from Hong Kong and has been as motivated through philanthropy as he has in Calgary’s business community. In 2008 Wayne and Eleanor launched the Trico Charitable Foundation in an effort to combine these passions.

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Knowlton is the model for what so many are attempting to do now in Calgary to diversify the economy. She co-founded SMART Technologies in 1987 and grew it into a global company over 25 years with products like SMART Boards which are found in offices and classrooms around the world. For the last eight years she has been the president and CEO of Nureva, which continues to evolve conference technology.

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Fischer was a leader in Canada’s energy industry for a generation and was an advocate for many causes like corporate social and environmental responsibility, children’s health care and post-secondary education. He turned Nexen into a North American oil and gas power while also co-chairing the Alberta Climate Change Central board and other environmental organizations while also serving terms as chairman of both the Independent Petroleum Association of Canada and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2019 and in 2020 was posthumously appointed to the Alberta Order of Excellence. He died at the age of 70 on June 17, 2020.


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