Top executive encourages business students to be daring and disruptive

By Costa Maragos Posted: October 27, 2017 6:00 a.m.

The guest of honour, Elyse Allan, President and CEO of General Electric Canada with Dr. Paul J. Hill, President and CEO of The Hill Companies with members of the U of R’s Hill Business Students’ Society.
The guest of honour, Elyse Allan, President and CEO of General Electric Canada with Dr. Paul J. Hill, President and CEO of The Hill Companies with members of the U of R’s Hill Business Students’ Society. Photo courtesy of External Relations

One of Canada’s most powerful executives presented an inspiring speech to a large group of U of R business students, urging them to be ‘daring and disruptive’ and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Elyse Allan, President, and CEO of General Electric Canada was the keynote speaker at the 44th annual Paul J. Hill Business Dinner hosted by the Hill Business Students’ Society held at the Conexus Arts Centre October 25.

“When we dare to disrupt it is actually all about turning ideas into purposeful action,” said Allan. “Nothing changes when you have imagination without courage."

Over 600 people were in attendance including students and community business leaders. In the quest to find the best and the brightest, Allan told the crowd about General Electric’s annual survey of business leaders conducted in 22 countries, including Canada. Allan pointed out that a common theme emerges from the survey.

“Business executives identified the top barrier to innovation as a lack of ‘out of the box’ thinkers in their organizations,” said Allan. “Disruption is about creating and pursuing new ideas. Failing wonderfully and then finding a new way to succeed. You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. You have to be the one who is leveraging the great minds around you.”

This is the tenth year that the Paul J. Hill School of Business hosted the dinner which is organized by the Hill Business Students’ Society.

“To have the opportunity to listen to Elyse Allan speak is an incredible privilege,” says student Amy Fong, business dinner co-chair. “She is a role model for so many business students.”

The event brings students and local business leaders together.

“The business dinner is an incredibly valuable event for all business students because it allows an opportunity to make connections that are essential for after university,” says student Sarah Kreklewich, co-chair of the dinner. “It’s a wonderful way to showcase the tremendous support the Hill School of Business receives from our business community in Regina.”

The evening concluded with the presentation of the Leaders Council Undergraduate Scholarship named in honour of Elyse Allan.

The recipient was Evan Wellman, a fourth-year accounting student who plans to pursue and complete the CPA program upon finishing his Bachelor of Business Administration.