While the “F” in Brock grad Alia Lee’s (BBA ’06, MBA ’07) CFO title officially stands for finance, her focus is set squarely on the future.
Lee was awarded the Goodman School of Business 2023 Distinguished Graduate Award during Brock’s Alumni Recognition Reception on Saturday, Sept. 16, honoured for her visionary leadership and contributions to industry and community. She is the first recipient of the award to hold both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Goodman.
The Goodman grad sees her role as CFO as being a Chief “Future” Officer supporting leaders and startups with the information they need to understand their potential futures in industries that will shape the world.
“I don’t want to just talk about change, I want to take steps that make a meaningful impact,” Lee said.
In her current role at Deloitte, Lee is CFO for several technology companies in the life science and technology sectors. She works with companies in the generative artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and biotech space, and helps them navigate the complexity in finance and build the foundation for their commercialization journeys.
Throughout her career, Lee has pushed boundaries to explore diverse industries including AI, agri-tech, robotics, fintech, retail, tourism, biotech, telecommunication and transportation. This extensive experience helped solidify her approach to management in building sustainable businesses and nurturing the next generation of business leaders.
Goodman Dean Barry Wright said Lee exemplifies the School’s vision of creating meaningful impact.
“It’s an honour to recognize and welcome back to campus outstanding graduates like Alia,” Wright said. “She’s demonstrated that by combining passion with curiosity, you can direct your efforts to make an impact that matters.”
Following the Alumni Recognition Reception, Lee met with a group of Goodman student leaders, answering questions about her own leadership journey and giving advice on how students can proactively go after their own goals.
“If you seek success, you will find it; but if you don’t seek it, it won’t just come to you,” she said. “Follow what you’re passionate about and let your curiosity take you to where you want to be. It’s the curiosity that helped me achieve my goals.”
It was during her time working at publicly traded companies that Lee saw first-hand the impact of shareholder activism on corporate governance and business performance. This experience developed her curiosity in understanding and promoting good corporate governance and encouraged her to take on board advisory roles at organizations in her community.
Lee chose Brock as an international student from Hong Kong to pursue her business studies. During her Bachelor of Business Administration, there were times where she wondered if her studies were worth the financial investment. Grateful for the support and encouragement of her husband and in-laws, she kept going and finished both her undergraduate and Master of Business Administration degrees with Goodman.
She is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), formerly a Certified Management Accountant, and in addition to her background in finance and accounting she holds a Master of Laws degree (LLM) specializing in Business Law from Osgood Hall Law School at York University. Lee values education and the contributions of academia to make impactful changes in the way people live.