Part of a series featuring Brock’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients
Jason Sparaga (BBA ’93), founder of Spara Capital Partners and co-founder and co-CEO of Spark Power Corp., is enthused about improving the Goodman School of Business student experience, and makes space in his busy life to stay involved with the school.
It’s no surprise that, last September, he was named this year’s distinguished graduate of the Goodman School of Business. What is surprising is that, considering his impressive business accomplishments and community involvement, he finds time to visit Brock and mentor student leaders. But he does.
“This award helps me reconnect and feel a part of the University,” he said. “Since graduating, I spent a lot of time participating in the development of students and this award recognizes those efforts.”
In 2009 he co-founded Spark Power Corp with his partner, Andrew Clark. Aligned with Ontario’s 2008 Green Energy Act, Spark was at the forefront of the renewable energy sector and worked collaboratively with several stakeholders to help establish and shape Ontario’s renewable energy industry. Spark has gone on to build a reputation as an innovator and leader in rural, agricultural and community power in North America, and established itself in the power and utility sector, now employing more than 400 in the organization.
In 2001 Sparaga launched Spara Capital Partners, a boutique financial advisory firm that has become one of Canada’s leading independent mergers, acquisitions and corporate finance firms.
Besides holding a Chartered Professional Accountant designation, Sparaga is active on the board of Unity for Autism, sits on the Marketing Advisory Committee of Junior Achievement Canada, is founder of the Spark Power Play Challenge (a fundraiser that supports Prostate Cancer Canada) and sits on numerous other boards.
Sparaga’s advocacy for entrepreneurship and education have extended to the Goodman School of Business, where he is actively involved in the Dean’s Advisory Council and has served as a judge for the last four years at Brock Innovation Group’s annual Monster Pitch event which puts students’ entrepreneurial pitches to the test, much like CBC’s popular show Dragons’ Den.
“Monster Pitch is a riot and I love doing that,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to bring in Bruce Croxon, Jim Treliving, Deborah Rosati and John Lettieri as judges. We have a lot of fun and it blows our minds every year to see how much effort and thought students put into their presentations,” he said.
A Niagara Falls native, Sparaga lives in Burlington with his wife Michelle and their four children, the oldest of whom graduated from Brock this year.