Digital technology chief executive named UVic’s distinguished entrepreneur

Sue Paish, chief executive of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster, has been named this year’s University of Victoria Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year.

Paish, who holds a bachelor of commerce and law degree from University of B.C., leads an organization which intends to establish the country as a global leader in digital technology by bringing together companies, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and non-profit groups.

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“Sue is a true inspiration, always working toward making the world better, whether it is through technological advancement, innovations in healthcare, or law,” said Peter Gustavson, chair of the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year award committee.

Paish becomes the third University of B.C. grad to step into the honour after 2007 recipient David Black, founder of Black Press, and 2013 recipient Brandt Louie, chair of H.Y. Louie Co.

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster is one of five business-led innovation superclusters, which facilitate and fund collaborative technology leadership projects that develop products and platforms. It is hoped projects approved and supported through the organization will foster economic growth across Canada by delivering jobs, increased GDP and advancing the country’s competitiveness.

In addition to the supercluster, Paish led transformative change in her previous position as chief executive of LifeLabs Medical Laboratory Services, where she grew the company to be the nation’s leader in diagnostic services.

Prior to that, in her role as chief executive of Pharmasave Drugs, she implemented new dispensary management technology that has become the Canadian standard. “Sue’s ability to lead companies and people through technological transformations with great success is a quality we’re excited to celebrate,” said Saul Klein, dean of the business school. “Our students and business leaders will learn from her exceptional leadership, teamwork and innovation skills.”

Paish, who is an appointee to Queen’s Counsel in B.C. and named by the Women’s Executive Network to its Hall of Fame of Canada’s Top 100 Most Influential Women, will receive her award May 22 during the Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Gala at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Last year, the award was given to UVic philosophy graduate Stewart Butterfield, a high-tech whiz kid who taught himself computer code at an early age and went on to create communication companies worth billions.

Paish joins a group that also includes Sir Terrance Matthews of Mitel Corp.; JR Shaw, founder of Shaw Communications; Clive Beddoe, founder of WestJet; and Alex Campbell, co-founder of Thrifty Foods.

The Gustavson School celebrates entrepreneurial excellence with its Distinguished Entrepreneur Award. Each year, it recognizes an inspirational entrepreneur who has had a significant impact on the global community through business leadership.

Previous winners

2018: Stewart Butterfield, Slack

2017: Don Mattrick, Microsoft

2016: Linda Hasenfratz, Linamar Corp.

2015: David Foster, music producer

2014: Dennis Washington, industrialist

2013: Brandt C. Louie, London Drugs

2012: Dennis (Chip) Wilson, Lululemon

2011: JR Shaw, Shaw Communications

2010: Alex Campbell Sr., Thrifty Foods

2009: Sir Terence Matthews, Mitel Corp.

2008: Clive Beddoe,WestJet

2007: David Black, Black Press

2006: Gwyn Morgan, Encana

2005: Dave Ritchie, Ritchie Bros.

2004: Jeff Mallett, Yahoo!

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