Distinguished Graduates

The Distinguished Graduate Award celebrates the outstanding professional or personal achievements of graduates of the Goodman School of Business at Brock University.

Alia Lee Headshot

2023 Distinguished Graduate

Alia Lee (BBA ’06, MBA ’07)

Chief Financial Officer, Deloitte

Alia Lee is a finance and technology leader known for her strategic and strong corporate governance mindset of pursuing excellence in business management. Being a committed, visionary leader with a purpose to make a difference, Alia explores beyond the horizon in both her education and professional career. Alia constantly pushes the boundaries to explore diverse industries, including AI, agri-tech, robotics, fintech, retail, tourism, food services, government, non-profit, biotech, telecommunication, and transportation. This extensive exposure in the business world has solidified Alia’s management approach in building sustainable businesses and nurturing the next generation of business leaders.

She is interested in understanding and promoting good corporate governance, and has served communities in various board advisory roles for educational organizations and a business association. Among the list of her many accomplishments, Alia managed the finances of a cell and gene therapy commercialization project funded by a public-private-partnership to build an advanced manufacturing lab at the MaRS Discovery District. As the former head of finance and technology at the Toronto Zoo, Alia led innovation initiatives promoting the importance of climate change and biodiversity. Partnering with the City of Toronto, universities and multiple startups, she implemented technologies to enhance business operations, animal welfare, and guest experience.

Currently at Deloitte, serving as Chief Financial Officer for a portfolio of technology companies, Alia is laser focused on building a better future through her finance leadership in the commercialization of emerging technologies of startups in life science and technology. She is dedicated to developing industry best practices to nurture future leaders, and utilize cutting edge technology to enable a new generation of companies to build the foundation for a brighter future.

Past Recipients

2022 – Rhonda Klosler (BBA ’93)

National COO, RSM Canada

Rhonda has nearly 30 years of public accounting experience to her role as Chief Operating Officer at RSM Canada LLP and has been instrumental in the tremendous growth of the firm during her tenure. As COO of RSM Canada, Rhonda works with the leadership team on executing the firm’s national strategy.

She is a CPA, CA, having earned her designation in 1993 and became a partner in 2001. In 2012, Rhonda completed the Harvard Business School Professional Services program and in late 2021, was named a Fellow by CPA Ontario, the highest distinction bestowed upon a CPA in the accounting profession.

View the event recording below.

Rhonda met with a group of student leaders, shared advice, answered their questions and networked with students. Rhonda also sat down with Dean Barry Wright for a quick interview to discuss her career journey and what it means to be chosen as the 2022 Distinguished Graduate.

2021 – Cheryl Brandon (BBA ’04)

Co-founder of Waterton Global Resource Management

Cheryl has remained driven throughout her career, combining her passion for investing and building companies with her desire to give back to the community. In 2020, Brandon was recognized as a recipient of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 award – a nod that celebrates the country’s top up-and-coming business leaders.

View the event recording below.

Cheryl discussed her career journey, shared advice and answered audience questions.

YearHonoreeTitle
2020Sean Washchuk (BAcc ’96)Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of CCL Industries Inc.
2019Rita Middleton (BAdmin ’87)CEO, Interim CFO, and Board Member
International Solar Solutions
2018Brian Parsons (BAdmin ’90)President and CEO
Willis Towers Watson
2017Joanne McKee (BAdmin ’86)Chief Financial Officer,
Ryerson University
2016Martin Philp (BAdmin ’80, MA ’86)Founding Partner,
Next Advisory
2015Jason Sparaga (BBA ’93)Co-Founder and Co-CEO,
Spark Power Corp.,Oakville
2014Mark Arthur (BA ’77)President
Industrial Alliance Private Wealth Management, Toronto
2013Anne-Marie Robinson (BSc ’87, BBA ’90)President
Public Service Commission of Canada, Ottawa
2012Fred Losani (BAdmin ‘ 87)Owner and CEO
Losani Homes, Hamilton
2011Jeff Park (BAcc ’95)Executive Vice-President and CFO
SXC Health Solutions Corp, Chicago
2010Kristian Knibutat (BAdmin ’86)Partner
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Toronto
YearHonoreeTitle
2009James MacLellan (BAdmin ’87)Partner
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Toronto
2008John Zoccoli (BAdmin ’86)President
Jamzoc Holdings Ltd., o/a Tim Horton, St. Catharines
2007Jim Ryan (BAdmin ’84)CEO
Party Gaming,Gibraltar
2006Dr. Stephen Young (BBA ’91)Managing Director of Accounting Policy
Citigroup’s Corporate and Investment Bank (CIB), New York
2005Debbie Sevenpifer (BAdmin ’87)CEO
Niagara Health Systems, Niagara
2004Dr. Paul Ingram (BBA ’90)Professor of Management
Columbia University,New York
2003Deborah Rosati (BAdmain ’84)President
RosatiNet Inc.,Ottawa
2002Doug Wilkinson (BBA ’91)Partner
Deloitte, Toronto

Nominate a Deserving Goodman Graduate

Rules

  1. Nominees must have graduated from the Brock Faculty of Business or Goodman School of Business (hold a BAdmin, BAcc, BBA, MAcc, MBA, or MSc in Management degree)
  2. Nominees must have fifteen years post-graduate experience
  3. All nominees should demonstrate at least one of the following criteria:
    • Outstanding professional achievements
    • Outstanding educational achievements
    • Outstanding community achievements
    • Outstanding volunteer achievements
    • Outstanding entrepreneurial achievements
    • An ongoing commitment to Brock University
  4. Graduates may nominate themselves
  5. Current Brock faculty and staff are excluded
  6. Nominations must be received by March 1

The committee reserves the right to bestow the award to a graduate they feel is a worthy recipient.

Send nominations to goodman@brocku.ca.